WRAAF Branch Victoria June Newsletter 2016

18/01/2017 at 9:21 pm

EX-WRAAF ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN BRANCH JUNE2016 Edition SHAME WEBSIITE In the last NSW Branch newsletter was an interesting paragraph about the ‘RSL Shame Website’ which had been brought to the attention of their committee. This intrigued me so I did a little investigation of my own. The RSL is not to be blamed nor is the correct internet address given. It has nothing to do with the RSL (other than frequent criticism of that organisation when it comes to members wearing medals to which they have no entitlement) but still makes interesting reading. I have long been aware of this site but it is ages since I last checked it out. They have revamped it and boy, have they added ‘wannabees’. If you want to look for yourself go to the Australia and New Zealand Military Imposters Group site. The part that caught my interest in the NSW newsletter was that they had ‘shamed’ an ex-WRAAF wearing an unearned Peace Keepers beret. So I had to have a look. I have spent a long time today working my way through the alphabet to get to the entry I was after. But to save you some time, I suggest you head for the letter ‘R’. If you served in the period 1958— 1967, or were an MTD, or your service number was in the vicinity of W219035—W219045 you may know the lady. NSW are seeking her whereabouts so that they can write to her “and explain what disrespect she has brought upon the WRAAF”. I would imagine that they have already received that information as the page gives a few clues and it isn’t a big metropolis community. If you have some spare hours with nothing to do, enjoy the reading. It will probably bring a smile to your face. Some people have fertile imaginations and delusions of grandeur to say the least. Dear ex-WRAAF, I began this newsletter with good intentions back in March, and here I am trying to break the speed-typing record and finish it. Back in March I was in Benalla (approximately half way between Melbourne and Albury) and the weather was gorgeous. I was bemoaning the lack of rain as we really needed it around most of the state. You will be pleased to know we have since had some rain but could use more if you have any to spare. In March it was a typical autumn day. I always recommend that if you are coming to Victoria, come in autumn when the colours of the trees show it to its absolute best. Close to where I was staying was the old RAAF base on what is now known as Benalla Airfield, the home of the Gliding Club of Victoria and their highly-rated gliding school. I have been meaning to take myself down to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook to make closer enquiries on the units located there during it’s wartime heydays, but haven’t got around to it yet. I feel pretty sure that it was a flying training school. So now I have a project. Thanks to Noelene Park and Pat Kempton (from West Australia branch) who passed on the information reported on page 4 of this newsletter. That is one of the features of being an ex-WRAAF I value most—the spreading of news. We won’t need to rely on telephones or computers as our only sources of news while the grapevine still functions. Many of you may already be aware that there is planning underway for another reunion. WRAAF Branch WA are interested in hosting a Reunion in September / October 2017 in South Australia. The address for contact is Judy Bland. You can email her (to express your interest or find out more details) at gib41@bigpond.com. I googled ex-WRAAF reunion 2017 and came up with one site with the following message, (which seems to indicate a change of date): NEXT WRAAF REUNION 2018 6,7,8 April 2018 to be held in Adelaide SA EXPRRESSIONS OF INTEREST Please send $10 with information: Service No. Name, Address etc Post to WRAAF Reunion RAAFA Bull Creek Drive BULL CREEK WA 6149 All info confidential. Also please enclose a self stamped addressed envelope. (Thanks). email: wraafreunionsaustralia@wraafreunions.org A group of girls who served at East Sale are planning on a cruise reunion around September 2017 too and have thrown it open to all ex-WRAAF. For more information contact Lyn Mitchell by email on kipling3@bigpond.com. When I started drafting this newsletter it was Autumn. Well, winter has well and truly arrived now. We have had days of cold weather plus beautiful rain. The kind of days you want to spend indoors, curled up around the fireside reading or knitting. Or outdoors watching the footie (as my husband is doing today). I am staying indoors to write this newsletter. There is no end to the sacrifices I am willing to make! And next newsletter we will be looking at our spring gardens, that is how quickly the seasons pass. Talking about time passing it is hard to credit that this time last year many of us were making final preparations for our trip to Coolangatta for the reunion. Regards Brenda 2 FROM THE PRESIDENT Well Ladies, it is hard to believe that a quarter of the year has gone. Where does the time go? I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you will know by now we didn’t have a Luncheon in February. However, I wish to thank two ladies who came up with suggestions. Caroline Hanrahan suggested either of the hotels opposite Southern Cross Station. Parking could prove expensive if we used the Southern Cross car park, and an alternative is difficult. Cate Pettit suggested Anzac House (the home of the Victorian Division of the RSL). This would mean we were very limited in kitchen resources and would need to take in our own lunch with the ability to make a cuppa on site—and this would be reliant on being granted permission to use their meeting rooms on a Sunday. Both these suggestions require further investigation and are subject to the opinion of the membership. Thank you for at least making an effort to offer suggestions. Our June luncheon will be held at the Altona RSL. Please be aware that WE NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING SO THAT WE CAN MAKE A BOOKING. The venue isn’t large and is reasonably busy, so help us to avoid being turned away. Congratulations go to our very own Berys McEvoy who come October will be sailing around the Greek Islands due to success in a Photography Competition. We are green with envy and unfortunately won’t be able to congratulate her in person as she will not be available for the Luncheons before she sails away. Cheerio J Go
I do hope that the Victorian Proban (the Official newsletter of the Probus Association of Victoria) don’t object to us using their material. This item and photograph appeared in the April—May 2016 edition. MEMBER NEWS “Berys McEvoy, a member of the Ringwood Clocktower Probus Club, was all smiles after being awarded first prize in the Probus Southy Pacific Limited Photographic Competition, which is a great honour for her and the club. The winning prize was a $25,000 cruise for two around the Mediterranean and Adriatic Coast. To reach the finals the photo taken by Berys of Autumn Fun in Bright had to face competition from scores of entries taken by Probus members around Australia and the south Pacific Region. Eventually the photos were narrowed to just six finalists one of which was fellow club member Col Pask, The final judgement was made by PSPL during A dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour. Our congratulations to Berys. We know from experience that she seldom has a camera far away from her hands. We heard that she couldn’t make the next lunches, but didn’t know the full details. We have tried to convince her she should take one or two of us with her, but no success. To say we are green with envy is putting it lightly. DID YOU KNOW …. ? The average Aussie street of 100 houses would contain: 10 kids under three, 45 dogs, 27 cats. There would be a marriage every nine months, a birth every 14 weeks, and a death every seven months. Small Talk We have many distinctly Aussie phrases, but the most popular is ‘no worries’ with 74 per cent of us using the tem regularly. I wonder what your favourite Aussie- ism is? AUSSIE FACTS The wettest town in Australia is Tully in Queensland. The town receives an incredible 4400mm of rain each year compared with Lake Eyre, our driest area, which receives just 100mm. 3 SICK LIST (Thanks to NSW Branch) PAT LAW (THOMPSON) WIN MAYNE (SMITH) HELEN RODDOM (SILLIVAN0 LYN MORRISON (CHRISTMASS) LEONE HANCOCK (WILSON) HELEN VIDLER (DOAK) PAT BRIEN (O’REILLY) JOY ROBERTS & JEN SHEILA VAN EMDEN BARBARA COHEN JAN JONSHON (CRUMPTON) MARGARET DONALD (GRAHAM) ANN GARLAND (ROSS) UNA COOPER (McCAULEY) ADDITIONS TO OUR MEMORY BOOK Vale MARION HAY (nee POWER) Marion lost her long battle on 12 February 2016. Marion was on Course 83, serving from 1958 t0 1968 as a Teleop, achieving the rank of Sergeant. She was a much loved member of the NSW Branch committee and gave valued support. ROSEMARY RYAN (nee McCOSKER) February 2016 WRAAF in the Equipment world from January to December 1961 “She had to leave the good life back then to take up the hard life as a RAAFie wife when she married Ashley (Jumbo) Ryan (deceased), an ex C130A loadie and Equip SGT at Edinburgh, Richmond, Butterworth and Fairbairn. WAAAF QX168613—CPL HINES, Rita (formerly Stokes, nee Gow) 04 Mar 2016 Found in ‘Mufti’ (RSL VIC DIV) MARY HOLMES Metung DOROTHY ALEXANDRINE JACK Box Hill AMELIA ALMA WATSON Tongala WE WOULD LOVE TO KEEP THESE TWO BOXES EMPTY, BUT LIFE BEING WHAT IT IS THAT IS WISHFUL THINKING. Still, we can only spread the news if you pass it on to us. HELP WANTED Correspondence has been passed to us from Belmont (Geelong)Victoria, requesting help. It says “I am a volunteer at the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, Hesse Street, Queenscliff, Victoria. A badge was found on the back beach at Queenscliff and handed to the museum. It has obviously been in the sand and sea for a long time. It is a Saint John Ambulance badge, engraved W.R.A.A.F. W316626 Laraine Barkley—300440, and I assume probably presented to Laraine when she joined the WRAAF. We would like to trace Laraine or any family members to let her know of this find, or obtain more details.” I have had this message for at least six weeks now, and knowing that my source will have spread the news far and wide through her own contacts, Laraine or a family member may have been found, but in case they haven’t had success maybe you can assist. If you can offer any help please contact R.W. Hodgetts on 03 5243 6637 or even the museum directly. 4 VICTORIAN BRANCH MAIL EMAIL PRESIDENT — June Gospel (nee Hoy) Brenda Douglas victorian.exwraaf@gmail.com SECRETARY —- Ann Steele (nee Dodds) 41 Bourke Crescent EDITOR —- Brenda Douglas (nee Whiting) Hoppers Crossing Vic 3029 CONTACT US —— Some of you may remember the reports on the horrific bushfires in Western Australia (in the Harvey region) in January this year—what a terrible way to start the new year. The above was sent to me as a cutting from the ‘West Australian’ dated 26 Jan 16. it may be someone you remember from your RAAF life as it concerned a Bevan and Jan Delaney who lost their home when fire raced through Yarloop. In the picture above you see all that they were able to retrieve from the wreckage of their home after the fire had passed. According to the article Bevan spent 22 years in the RAAF (serving in Thailand, Malaysia and Darwin). The couple met in Darwin where Jan was also in the RAAF (ed’s note: this should have been WRAAF. Her maiden name was Ridgeway and she was on recruit course 100). Fortunately it appears they had sufficient warning to prepare to evacuate the town and managed to pack photographs, a computer and some clothes while they waited to make the final decision. Their worried sons convinced them that it was time to go. Bevan was born and raised in the town and thought that it was ‘the best place in the world to live’. His childhood home survived the fire. How often do we hear of bushfires being selective in which house or building they will burn? Regrettably I don’t have any follow up on this story, but maybe you do? We can only hope that Bevan, Jan and their families are recovering from this dreadful experience and that the whole community is passing through the terrible period of grief which is part of the ordeal and resuming a ‘normal’ life. I understand that the fellow-members of the Ubon Group have supported Jan and Bevan, at least in the early days. At the end of January a Town Meeting was held about the future of Yarloop and the consensus was that the town would be rebuilt. One of the leading-voices at this meeting was Andrew Forrest, a mining magnate and landowner in the region. In 2009 after the Black Saturday bushfires destroyed Marysville, here in Victoria, he was one who gave valuable assistance and support with the successful rebuilding of that town. THE NEXT LUNCHEON DATE: SUNDAY, 26 JUNE 2016 TIME: 1200 HRS VENUE: ALTONA RSL CLUB {CNR SARGOOD ST AND RAILWAY ST SOUTH} COST: APPROX $15.00—APPROX $30.00 (YOUR CHOICE FROM THE MENU—THREE COURSES AVAILABLE) DRINKS: BAR PRICES PARKING: PLENTY AVAILABLE TRANSPORT: RAIL STATION ADJACENT REMINDER: SENIORS TRAVEL FREE ON SUNDAYS Please do not forget to put your name down if you are going to join with us. Give June a call on 03 9741 5562 or Brenda on 03 9749 6068 before June 22nd. Sign of Old Age Several days ago, as I left a meeting, I desperately gave myself a personal search. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search of the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realised I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the car park. My husband had scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. His theory is that the car will be stolen. As I scanned the car park I came to a terrifying conclusion! His theory was right. The car park was empty. I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all. “Hello MY Love”, I stammered. I always call him “My Love” in times like these. “I left the keys in the car, and it has been stolen.” There was a period of silence. I thought the call had disconnected, but then I heard his voice. He barked, “I dropped you off!” Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well, come and get me.” He retorted, “I will, as soon as I can convince this policeman I have not stolen you b….. car.” This is what they call, The Golden Years.