Vol 47

The Magazine by and for Serving and Ex-RAAF People,

and others.

Page 14

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The Caribou 50th Anniversary Bash.


(The photos here have been crunched to make them open more quickly,

you can click most of them for a bigger and better copy which you can then download.)


Over the weekend of the 8th to the 10th August, 2014, Stew Bonett, (ex Caribou loady) with help from his lovely wife Valia, organized a wonderful and well attended get together at Coffs Harbour. The theme for the weekend was to commemorate the arrival of the first Caribous to land at 38 Squadron at RAAF Richmond on the 22nd April 1964, fifty years ago. It was also to commemorate the arrival of the first Caribous commencing operations in Vietnam as `RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam’ on the 8th August 1964. (In June 1966, 35 Squadron was reformed to take over from RTFV.)


This was the third “Bash” Stew and Valia have organised, the first was back in 2004 to commemorate the 40th anniversary and again in 2009 to commemorate the 45th. We’re all looking forward to 2019 for the 55th.  Got another one in you Stew???



The weekend started with a Meet and Greet on the Friday night when about 220 people got together in the Resort’s ball-room to meet old mates, to enjoy a barbecue dinner, to have a drink, to take up a conversation that was put on hold some 5 years previously and to marvel at how old those other blokes have got since the last “do”.


The “Bash” was held at the 135 room Opal Cove Resort which is about 5 klms north of Coffs, on the Highway.




The Resort is right on the beach and has all the facilities you could possibly need. Once settled in, there is no real reason to leave until that terrible check out time arrives. The food is great, there’s 9 holes of golf if you’re that way inclined, tennis courts, swimming pool and spa, a gym, a secluded beach to explore, a well-stocked bar and best of all, a wonderful and friendly staff that can’t do enough for you.



On arrival and after checking in at Reception, everyone was met by both Valia and Stew and given their weekend “Pack”. This consisted of a name tag with identified you to the Resort Staff in order to obtain drinks at discount prices, free drink vouchers, information on activities and amenities available at the Resort and  seating arrangements for the Saturday night dinner.


All proceedings ran like clockwork and it was immediately evident that both Stew and Valia had spent an awful lot of time in preparation for the event – a bit like a military operation you could say.


We’re all very grateful for your efforts Bonetts – and we’re looking forward to the next one…..



A doctor held a stethoscope up to a man's chest.

The man asks, "Doc, how do I stand? "

The doctor says, "That's what puzzles me!"



After registration, the troops were invited to use the downstairs bar facilities prior to being mustered to the official Meet and Greet later that evening, though it's fair to say a lot didn't need a lot of coaxing.




Jim Cameron, Jim Maguire, Wayne Oldfield.


John McDougall, Lorraine Slattery, Sheena Miller.


Rob Meyer, Don Payne, Lyn Payne.


Neville King, Peter Bolton, Mark Royle.


Serving members from both 35 Sqn and 38 Sqn were invited and they sent along a bunch of people to help celebrate the occasion and as 35 as yet doesn’t have any aeroplanes of its own, they conned 37 Sqn into giving them a ride. Given the choice of either staying and working on base or spending the weekend at a resort on the mid coast of NSW, these people reluctantly agreed to volunteer their time and come along - and we're glad they did.


38 Sqn people from Townsville, L-R:  W/O Craig Thomas, FOff Luke Duffey, Sgt Emma Kay, WngCdr Michael Burgess-Orton (CO) and out the front, FOff Chris Davis.



35 Sqn mightn’t have any aeroplanes but they have their banner sorted and it was displayed for all to see.



Some of the people who barbecued and “meeted and greeted” are: (all names left to right) 


Alex Kelly, Dick Elliott, Sandi Zimmer.


Alison Rose, Gersha Staal, Janelle Eynaud.


Back:  Brian “Masta” Bates, Jim Cameron.  

Front:  Wayne Frew, Wayne Oldfield, Dick Salter.


Bill and Sandra DeBoer.


Bill Baggett, Trevor Etheridge.


Bill Moore, Gloria Gardner.


"Chuck" Connors, Kathy Kershaw.


Chris and Gerry Reed.


Dave Coomber, Barb Coomber, Steve Gee, Robyn Gee.


Bob and Cathy Williams.


Denise and Wayne Frew.


Bing St John

Dick McGoogan


Elsie and Graham Johnson.


Front:   Doug Angus, Rick Richards, Sqn Ldr Ross Benson.

Back:   Lucky RAAF bloke, Sandi Zimmer, Alex Kelly.


Peter “Dit” Eaton, John Broughton.

Geoff Brand.


Geoff Rich, Jan “Ding” Staal, Alison Rose.


Gladys and Brian Dyer.


Janelle Eynaud and Trev Benneworth.


Ali Rose, Gersha Staal.


Jock Young, Kevin Johnson.


John "Sambo" Sambrooks.

John Webster.


Kathy and John Kershaw.


Keirman French, Ted Crawley.


Kim and Wally Little.


Continued on page 15




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