Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 29

Page 20

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Reunions and other News.




The time has come for the retirement of the de Havilland Caribou from active service with the Royal Australian Air Force. (And everyone says "hooray - no more Caribou stories....."  tb)


To mark the occasion, 38 Squadron is hosting an official farewell function at RAAF Base Townsville on Saturday 7 November 2009. Caribou A4-179


You can read further details about it HERE


As well as the official farewell, John Sambrooks, (Sambo) from the 35Sqn association, has advised that their association will be joining with 38Sqn and organising a “Sick Parade” in the hanger on the Sunday morning. Sambo has held discussions with the Townsville RSL and they have kindly donated a sum of money which will be used to provide free transport to and from the various functions. In return, there will be an unofficial get together and thank you at the Townsville RSL on the Friday night (6 November). For those attending from ‘out of town’ John has also arranged for cheap accommodation at Rydges Hotel in Townsville, and the DVA will provide a considerable sum of money which will be utilised to further discount accommodation costs.


So that suitable arrangements can be made, if you are attending, please fill in the notice which you will find HERE. This will assist Sambo in organising everything.




'Dame of the Skies' farewelled in Brisbane

                                                                                                  Jonathon Hall – ABC News.  Mon Jul 6, 2009



The transport plane, which has been flying with the RAAF since 1964, will retire in November.


Mechanics, engineers and current and former Air Force personnel gathered in a hangar at Brisbane Airport today for a farewell for the RAAF Caribou. The transport plane affectionately dubbed "The Grand Dame of the Skies" (by who?? – tb) has been flying with the Royal Australian Air Force since 1964 but will retire in November.


Caribou A4-140 was one of the first delivered in 1964 (Delivered to RAAF 12/03/64, arrived at RAAF Richmond 22/04/64) and today visited its maintenance base at Brisbane Airport for the final time ahead of its decommissioning.

 Caribou A4-140

It was known for its ability to land and take-off in a short distance.


The plane has clocked up more than 20,000 hours in the air over its 45-year career. It flew troops during the Vietnam war, peace-keeping missions in Pakistan and the Solomon Islands.


It was used for humanitarian relief efforts including delivering aid during the aftermath of the 2005 Asian tsunami and food supplies to drought stricken Papua New Guinea. Its most recent combat role was during the United Nations intervention in East Timor.


Wing Commander Tony Thorpe, the Commanding Officer of the 38th Squadron, says it was a sad day. "It definitely is, it is the end of an era and it will be sad to see the airframe go because a lot of people are very attached to it," he said. "It's a great aeroplane from the pilot's perspective, there is no autopilot so there's a lot of thought required to fly it'."


Asked how the plane would be remembered Wing Commander Thorpe said: "it'll go down as a very big part of the history of the Air Force." The Commander of the RAAF's Air Lift Group Air Commodore, John Oddie, was on hand to lead official proceedings. He says there is still a lot of affection for the plane he describes as the Air Force's workhorse. "It's a really good aircraft to fly, its a gentle aircraft and very reliable," he said.


"It moved the gear around that needed to get places and commonly that gear was quite critical." But he says modern warfare has made it obsolete. "The types of weapons that are available to be used against our aircraft are a little bit more capable than previously so that's why this aircraft is less relevant today," he said.


Air Commodore Oddie says the Caribou will be replaced by newer aircraft which can fly further and carry more. The final flight of a Caribou will be in November.


It is planned that Caribou A4-140 (above) will go on permanent display at the Air Force museum at Point Cook in Victoria.




Darwin Comms Reunion.

                                                                                                                          John Richards (JR)



The time is getting closer (very close – tb) for the old and bold Comms reunion in October. If you were in Darwin during the 60s and 70s, or if you would like to come and join us, please do!


The itinerary for the event is as follows:


 Darwin RSL

Friday 16 OCT


Meet and Greet at the Darwin RSL, 6:00pm. The Manager has offered free bar snacks and our own area for the Meet and Greet. The Club also had a very good Dinner Menu.


Saturday 17 OCT


Visit to the Base. I hope you will come along. It is planned to meet at the Main Gate around 11:30am. We will then do a walking tour of our favourite spots. Lunch will be at the SGT's Mess. BBQ (the Mess does not open until 1:00pm). The Mess will provide the food and other items we will need. As the Dining Room and Mess staff do not operate on weekends, we will do our own cooking. (Volunteers are required for cooking, do not rush all at once). The Bar will operate 1:00pm until 9:00pm. I have not received the costing of the BBQ as yet.


I will need you to give me names of all attendees for the Base visit. Gary Meyers will pass the list to Security Section for our access. This includes all attendees even though some of you may have a pass!


The evening is free to roam around Darwin at your leisure.


Sunday 18 OCT


Nothing has been arranged for this day. I would think that when we get together on Saturday, things will happen.


Monday 19 OCT


Adelaide River trip.  I have booked a Coach for the trip. I worked out the costings and found that a coach for us would be the most economical. The charge for the Bus will be $850.00 all inclusive. The Bus company, which has the present contract with Defence, has given us a great discount. Other companies wanted to charge between $1550-$1800. The small buses (12 Pax) will cost a little more if we require 2 buses. This Coach will cost $44.40 per head if we have 20 Pax. Of course, if we have more than 20 pax, it will be even cheaper. I will require confirmed numbers ASAP.


These are the only plans I have. People indicated that they will be arriving up to aweek before the reunion and departing anytime after 19OCT.


Shirts and Caps


The shirts and caps logo has been selected. I will need to have your orders for these items ASAP. There are two options:Darwin logo


Collect the shirts and caps at the Meet and Greet on 16 Oct in Darwin. The cost will be $23 for Polo Shirts and $12 for the Cap. To have your items posted to you, you will need to add $6 for postage. The ‘Tree’ in the centre of the logo (right), and the writing surrounding it, is lifted from the BSDAR original official plaque and looks very good on the original.


I will need shirt sizes. The shirts will be for Male and Female. The Caps are one size fits all. Please let me know ASAP. The payment can be by Cheque, Money Order or direct deposit into our account which is BSB 732-636 Account Number 50-2624 Account Name JP and CE Richards.  Please include your Name and “Darwin Reunion” on the transfer advice.




I hope that what I have organised meets with your approval. Don't forget to contact as many ex Darwin people as possible. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.


You can contact me via mobile 0407 454 954.



A man goes to a shrink and says, 'Doctor, my wife is unfaithful to me.  Every evening, she goes to Larry's bar and picks up men. In fact, she sleeps with anybody who asks her! I'm going crazy. What do you think I should do?' 'Relax,' says the Doctor, 'take a deep breath and calm down.  Now, tell me, exactly where is this Larry's bar?'




Telstechs anniversary.

                                                                                                                          Neil Hunter


“There will be a Telstech reunion on 29 November to celebrate (commiserate) the closing of the Telecommunications Technician mustering which occurred on the 29 November 1989, and to forget that we were all remustered to RadTechG the very next day!


In the absence of good ideas for 29 Nov (I did receive 2 replies to my email) Neal Miller and I have made a decision. It's settled – the reunion will be held, not in Melbourne, not in Canberra, not in Sydney  -   but in Albury.

Dinner is set for 7:00pm (to be confirmed) on 29 November, yes it is a Sunday and that's why I had so much trouble, I thought Melbourne had moved out of the dark ages, but a lot of catering venues didn't work on Sundays.


SS&A Club Albury

The venue is the S S & A Club in Olive St, close to Dean St, the main street. Several motels are quite close and fairly reasonable (see HERE), and there are a few a little further away, but about 5 mins in a taxi. Albury Airport, served by Qantas/Jetstar and Virgin Blue is about 2.5 Km from town at North Albury.  The Railway Station is just about in the centre of town.


For those who would drive, its 3 hours from Melbourne, 3.5 from Canberra, and about 5 from Sydney - not sure about Adelaide, and from Brisbane, well its a bit longer.


Looks like the dinner will cost about $40.00 per head - that is for a 3 course (2 choice) sit down meal, and is top class, - for less money, you get less of course, but $40.00 seems to be quite reasonable. For those who are financial members of the Telstechs Association, there should be a reduction in cost.


Note the dinner will be only for ex Telstechs and their wives/partners/girlfriends.


For those who have never been to Albury, there are many things to do in around the town, Cruise the Murray on a paddle streamer if there is enough water in the Murray, take a picturesque drive around Lake Hume viaHume Weir Tallangatta, Bullioh, and the Bethanga Bridge, visit the wineries at Rutherglen and then visit the Federation Museum and Max's Motor Museum at Corowa on the way back, Have lunch at the Beechworth bakery (a little pricey for mine, but good food), visit the gaol which once held Ned Kelly, then visit the historic gold rush town of Yackandandah, get into a time warp in Chiltern on their Historic walk, visit the Army museums at Bandiana's Gaza Ridge Barracks or visit the nearby historical post World War 2 Bonegilla Migrant Camp for their Bonegilla Migrant Experience, find out Howlong 'is a piece of string', visit the escarpment of Table Top, drive to Huon Hill for a broad overview of the Albury area and surrounding districts, or for the energetic, climb the hill to the Albury War memorial for the same sort of view.


That's is just the main things - there are many other things which may be of interest.


So there it is - start making you arrangements –


Also, we need someone to design a place-mat and menu cover for the occasion – are there any takers…..




2 CRU 50th Anniversary Reunion.



18 to 26 SEPTEMBER 2009



It is now less than a week to the reunion and those who plan to attend have already registered and identified the activities which they will be attending.  It looks like being a great week with over 160 registered for the dinner.  If, however, you are still interested in attending but have not registered, you can contact the committee to make arrangements.  Some of the planned activities are almost fully booked but there are others which will allow additional numbers.


The two main events are the Gala Dinner at SkyCity Casino on Saturday 19 September and the Plaque unveiling on Sunday 20 September.  There is no cost to attend the plaque laying on Sunday which will conclude with a morning tea.  There are many Senior Defence Officers attending as well as MLA's and His Honour, The Administrator of the NT.Gail Snell from the 2CARU Aware association would like everyone to know that her association has been planning a reunion for the past 4 years.  The reunion will also be held in Darwin from the 18th September to the 26th September. Attached is a flier setting out what is planned for the week, as well as a list of people who have indicated they are attending. It is never too late to attend so if anyone is interested they can be fitted in.  The main part of the reunion is the dinner at the Casino on 19 Sept and the plaque laying ceremony on the 20th.  The Administrator of the NT will be attending the plaque laying so we will be making it a prominent affair.





Most of the memorabilia is sold out but there are still some caps ($20) and Stubby Coolers ($7.50) for sale.  Both these items have the 2CARU Unofficial Patch on them and are very good quality.  If you are interested contact the committee to ascertain postage etc.









Plaque Ceremony

Lunch at Wharf

Local bus trip

Local bus trip

Adelaide River

Mindil Markets

Sunset Cruise

Farewell BBQ



Event Date


18 Sept

19 Sept

20 Sept

20 Sept

21 Sept

22 Sept

23 Sept

24 sept

25 Sept

26 Sept



Own cost



Own Cost





$36 - pay at boat




Money can be transferred to Defcredit Account - BSB 803 205. A/c No 20772465. A/c Name 2CARU Reunion.. Description/subject - your name. (If needed the member number is 3867087)


Contact:  2caruaware@gmail.com or 08 89451547


Further details can be found HERE and the list of people attending can be found HERE




August Committee Meeting highlites.



DVA grant application.


Ron Ledingham and Richard Orr jointly updated the committee on the DVA grant spend. All items except for the combination HP printer, copier, fax have been received; this item is currently on a back order. Most of the items will be held by Richard Orr on the understanding that the REOA and members would be able to obtain and use them as required.


The REOA will seriously consider applying for another DVA grant in 2010 for transport hire and any other items we feel we require.


We have still not engaged a web master to update our web site but the committee agreed that rather than spend grant monies on seeking another service provider to host the REOA web site, we would stay with the current Vic State Government free site and use the money to achieve a regular update service as well as modernise the current site.


Metal lapel badges.


At last the metal lapel badges have been received with an initial order of 100. Following some discussion the committee agreed to charge members $10 per lapel badge to cover initial costs, provide a small profit to the REOA and make it easy for change. If you wish to order one you can by ringing Ron L on 0409 420 458 or via e-mail on rledingh@bigpond.net.au or Ron.Ledingham@auspost.com.au.


End of Year Lunch.


Following the success of last year's end of year lunch, the committee unanimously agreed to a similar function for 2009. This year it will be held as follows:


Date:                               Thursday 5 November (Oaks or ladies day at the Melbourne races)

Venue:                             Batman's Hill on Collins.

MC:                                  Peter Jupp.

Theme:                            Bring a guest with emphasis on father, son, daughter, wife, friend.

Guest speaker:              To be determined but several interesting guests were suggested.



 11 Sqn Crest

10 AND 11 Sqn.


2009 marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of both Number 10 and Number 11 Squadrons, RAAF. A warm invitation is extended to all past and present members of 10, 11 and 492 SQN, as well as all those who flew Catalinas, Sunderlands, Neptune and the Orions.


The reunion will be held at RAAF Base Edinburgh from Thurs 24th September, 2009 to the Sunday 26th September.


For further details see http://www.ednwelfare.com.au/Base.php






Thanh and Ben, from the Barcaldine Homestead caravan park, held another get together, for all veterans, on the 18th August.


It’s a bit late to get to this year’s event, but Ben says it was so successful that it will now be an annual and he’ll remind us well in advance for next year. All veterans will be welcome.

 Barcaldine Caravan Park

This year Thanh and Ben provided, all free, billy tea and damper as well as a free meal for all campers in the park. Entertainment, which started about 4-30 in the afternoon was provided by Tapping Ted and Alan Luscombe (country and western singers) followed by the children from the Barcaldine state school (singing) and also a performance by the children from the United Church. As well as this, Tom Lockie (an Aussie bushman) entertained with bush poetry and more.


If you’re planning a “Nomad” trip next year, pencil in August at Barcaldine as at that time of year, the weather’s perfect, and there’s a lot to see and do and you’ll be most welcome at the “Homestead”.


You can contact Thanh or Ben on 07 4651 1308.



 RAF Vulcan Bomber



If you’re interested in reading articles and news from other Air Forces, the RAF has an excellent publication called “Spirit of the Air”.


You can download copies from HERE



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