Vol 56

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2 Squadron 100th Anniversary continued from page 14.


You can click most of these pics for the HD version.

All names left to right.


As the Centenary Gala Dinner was to be held at the huge Wests New Lambton Club, starting at 6.30pm, most of Saturday was free for people from outside Newcastle to do some touristing.



We were a little disappointed in Newcastle City – Hunter Street looks a bit tired and there’s quite a few rental opportunities to be had. One building that is definitely worth looking at though is the Christ Church Anglican Cathedral. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate it either as it is impressive by anyone’s standards.


The Cathedral was designed by John Horbury Hunt in the Gothic Revival style and is located on a hill at the city's eastern end in the suburb called The Hill. The present cathedral replaced an earlier Christ Church, built in 1817 and when the Diocese of Newcastle was created in 1847, the original Christ Church became a cathedral. Due to the poor condition of the original building and the growing population of the city, it was decided to build a new cathedral and a design competition was held in 1868. It was won by architects Terry and Speechley from Melbourne, but they had seriously underestimated the cost of their design and accordingly the plans of John Horbury Hunt were adopted instead. His design was for a cruciform Victorian Gothic style building with a central tower and spire over the central crossing. Work started in 1883 and the older building was demolished the following year. A temporary building was constructed nearby for services until the new cathedral could be completed and consecrated in 1902. The tower was not added until 1979, minus the planned spire. The building was damaged during an earthquake in 1989 and since been repaired.


Another site that is worth a visit is Fort Scratchley which overlooks the very popular Nobby’s Beach.



The headland, originally known as Braithwaite’s Head, but now called Fort Scratchley, has long been associated with the history of Newcastle. Two natural features dominated its early history,  its height offered a prominent lookout and seams of coal were readily accessible around its base. Both are understood to have been used by local Aborigines.


The discovery of the coal seams by European explorers from Sydney led to the site becoming the first European coal mine in Australia and probably the first mine of any kind in the country. Mining began using convict labour during the first European settlements of 1801 and 1804 and in time, coal mining became an economic mainstay of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.


In 1813 a coal-fired navigation beacon was set up on Beacon Hill and continued until 1857. A flagstaff and signal station were also erected during this period and these subsequently became the Harbour Master’s residence. These structures were demolished later to make way for construction of the Fort.


The strategic importance of a hilltop overlooking the harbour was recognised as early as 1804, and by 1828 an earthen battery was constructed and equipped with seven guns. In 1876, with fears of a Russian attack, the British Government sent Major General Sir William Jervois and Lieutenant Colonel Peter Scratchley to advise on naval defences. Under the direction of Jervois and Scratchley, Colonial Architect James Barnet oversaw construction of the Fort. It was designed around a battery of three guns facing eastward in an arc to the ocean, with other guns covering the harbour to north and west. The gun emplacements were cut into the top of the hill to present a low profile to attack.



The new guns were in position by 1882, and construction of accommodation for the troops followed, with the Commandant's cottage and barracks buildings completed in 1886. Other small detached buildings were also built at this time and in 1892 the dry moat and perimeter wall were completed. Mines laid in the harbour channel could be exploded from a control pit at Fort Scratchley.


Commandant’s Cottage.


The guns and their enclosures were changed several times during the 20th century as military technology developed. They were used on several occasions during each of the world wars to halt unauthorised shipping movements through the harbour mouth. On the night of 7-8 June 1942 the Battery's 6-inch guns fired two salvoes at a Japanese submarine that bombarded Newcastle with about two dozen shells, becoming the only coastal fortification to fire on an enemy Naval vessel.


The area outside the Fort walls has also been continuously occupied, including many buildings related to navigation or the military. Some of these remained even after the Fort was constructed, such as an assistant Harbour Master Cottage directly outside the main Fort gates and nine pilots' cottages along Nobbys Road. Various military buildings stood outside the Fort’s walls along both sides of the entry road. Only the Master Gunner's Cottage and Transport Garage remain in this area.



The guns at Fort Scratchley were decommissioned in 1962 and the Fort closed in 1972. It was vacant until 1977 when the Newcastle City Council entered into a lease with the Commonwealth over the site. Under Council's control the site became home to the Newcastle Regional Maritime Museum in 1977 and the Military Museum/Fort Scratchley Historical Society in 1982. Both of these groups took an active role in conserving the site and interpreting its history to visitors.


It is definitely worth a visit.



“Punish me!” she cried. “Make me suffer like only a real man can!”

“Very well,” I replied, leaving the toilet seat up.







At 6.30pm it was time to frock up and head to Wests for the Centenary Gala Dinner. The CO of 2 Squadron, Wing Commander Christian Martin was expecting about 300 people to attend the evening and the Club had decorated the Convention Centre with many circular tables, each seating 10 persons.


Guests were ushered into the Ante room prior to dinner where drinks and Hors d’oeuvres were served.



The decorated dining area before the troops were marched in.


Part of the pre-dinner Ante-room.



The following photos were taken in the Ante-room while guests waited to be called to the dining room.


Mrs Dorothy Evans,  Air Marshall David Evans (Ret’d) Air Commodore John Whitehead (Ret’d)

Mrs Adrienne Whitehead.


Air Marshall Evans is the Parton of the 2 Squadron Association.






Anne Tonnet,  Warren Conroy


Jane and Paul Carpenter.





Beryl and Ken Wells


Dawn Nielsen, Frank Jones, Wayne Nielsen





Brendan Campbell, Jess Rainl.


Dwayne Sharrock, Rocky and Carol Johnstone.





Dean Harvey,  Tracey Friend


Heather Barbour, Doreen Marsh.





Eileen Donaldson, Petrina Carpenter, Annie Martan, 

Jen Picton.


Gwenda Pearce,  Kristine Carter, Ruth Smith





Gary and Lenore Olsen.


Kate Bryan,  Mark Swinn.





Gordon Binder,  Dennis Hoolahan,  Jeanette and Dan Kinsella, Noel Miller, Philip Marsh.


Lee Grieves,  Kevin Carter,  Brian Griffiths.





Noelene and Ken Winning,  John Riemann,  John Barbour,  Geoff and Diane Neill.


Nola Downey,  Lenore Olsen.





Peter and Sam Hassall.


Stuart Bellingham,  Tracey Friend.





Sally and Glen Edwards, Sam and Peter Hassall.


Rebecca Henderson,  Andrew and Wendy Green, 

Shelley Scott.





Graham and Glenys Bickle, Nev and Rhoda Duus, Kevin and Janette Dadge.


Tony Appleton, Bill Jacob, Frank Hodges.





Stuart Smith,  Curley Pearce.


Sandra Appleton, Sylvia Hodges, Robin Jacob.





Sally and Glen Edwards.


Noel and Dianne Hendrix.





Lynette Pettet-Clark,  Michael Dunne, Ross and Nancy Farnham, Nadine Page, Diane Dunne.


Owen and Emma Hamilton,  Brendan and Breanna McLucas.





Guests were called into the dining area shortly after 7.00pm. The MC for the evening was Bruce Roberts (left) the news reader on WIN TV from Wollongong. Bruce began his career in the mid 80’s with WIN (formerly BTV 6) hosting and presenting local programs from WIN’s Ballarat studios. He also had a successful stint in the 90’s in the UK where he hosted a variety of programs for the BBC and Sky Sports.


In recent years Bruce has headed up his own communications company in Melbourne, working closely with major organisations including Microsoft, Telstra and the AFL. He has also had significant roles in major Australian television and stage productions and is NIDA trained.


He presents weeknight bulletins for six regions throughout Victoria and Southern New South Wales.


Bruce performed effortlessly and professionally in the role of MC and really carried the night.





The following group of photos were taken with people seated for the meal. Sorry, no names.


Past and Present COs 2 Squadron.

WGCDR Paul Carpenter,  AIRCDRE John Whitehead (Nov68 - Nov69), AIRMSHL David Evans, GPCAPT  Tracey Friend, WGCDR Christian Martin (Present),  GPCAPT Luke Stoodley. 










































Mrs Dorothy Evans,  Sqn Ldr Lee-Anne Stanway,  Air Marshall David Evans (Ret’d).


If you had a great night you have to thank Lee-Anne Stanway as she was the chief organiser of the event and anyone who didn't have a good night should have stayed at home, the night was a huge success - when's the next one?. We reckon Lee-Anne's talents are obviously wasted in the Air Force - she should be out in Civvy Street organising big lavish weddings and the like for celebrity hi-rollers.





We tried various positions – round the back, on the side, up against a wall... but in the end we came to the conclusion the bottom of the garden was the only place for a good shed.





After dinner had been served, Flying Officer Luke Hynes marched in the Squadron’s Colours.











Sitting pride of place in front of the flags were 8 delightful cakes, all baked and decorated by Col Gardner who now lives in Townsville. Col was a RAAF cook, having joined in 1964 and stayed with the RAAF until 1990. During those years Col had many postings, including Wagga, Butterworth twice, 2 Sqn in Phan Rang (Apr 67-Mar 68), Townsville, East Sale, SupCom, 2SD, Darwin and finally Townsville where he stayed after discharge.






Back in 2002, FlLt Nick Thain approached Col to see if he could bake a cake to celebrate the (2) Squadron's move from Canberra (where it had been in storage) to Williamtown. Col insisted on baking 2 cakes, one for the Canberra bods and one for the detachment that was in the US learning their new aircraft. Nick Thain obtained approval from the US Ambassador and two cakes left Townsville via Greyhound bus-line, one ending up in Canberra, the other winged its way to the US.


Since then, Col has baked cakes for all sorts of occasions, 2 Sqn still get their Christmas Cake done by Col.


With skills like that we reckon he should be offered the rank of Air Commodore (reserve) - to say nothing of having his own TV show.






“She stood before me, trembling in my shed

I’m yours for the night,” she gasped, “You can do whatever you want with me.”

So I took her to Bunning’s.



The following pics were taken of people at the tables, sorry, once again, no names.






















































































“Hurt me!” she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over my workbench.

“Very well,” I replied. “You’ve got fat ankles and no dress sense.”





Ex CO of 2 Sqn, Tracey Friend (above), recounted some of the more memorable and humorous events that occurred during her term with the reins – one of which was snatching the life size painting of Chloe (below) from the snake pit at Amberley. It used to hang in the Sergeants Mess at Phang Rang and was repatriated back to Australia and for a time lived in the Sgt’s Mess at Amberley until Tracey and her team nicked it.



Pictured in the Sgt’s Mess back in 2001 are L-R:  Joe Ross,  Mick Nicholls, Geoff Renshaw (deceased) and Alan Goulding.




Doug Pickering (above) the President of the 2 Squadron Association, thanked the RAAF, and specifically SqnLdr Lee-Anne Stanway, for inviting members of the Association to this momentous event. His members had spent a big part of their young lives working in and for the Squadron and were very proud of its achievements.



The Raffle.


Peter Schoutens, an old ex-Radtech Air who was with 2 Squadron in Butterworth and then Vietnam from April 1968 to April 1969 and who now does the "Drive" program on Tuesdays on Radio 101FM in Logan south of Brisbane, (4.00pm to 7.00pm) approached Virgin Australia for a prize which the Association could raffle on the night.


Back in 2000 when 2 Squadron was a squadron without an aircraft, approaches were made to Virgin to allow Pilots from 2 Sqn, which was waiting on its Boeing 737s, to fly with the airline in order to keep current. Virgin, to their credit, were happy with this arrangement and many pilots clocked up hundreds of hours in Virgin aircraft until the arrival of the Sqn's first Wedgetail.


Pete thanked Virgin for providing 2 Economy Flight Tickets from the winners nearest airport to anywhere in Australia. A wonderful prize.





The winner of the prize was Gordon Binder, Gordon was with 2 Sqn in Phan Rang from March 1965 to Sept 1965, then back again from Sept 1970 to July 1971.


Gordon was presented with his prize by GPCAPT Luke Stoodley, who, like everyone else in the building, wishes he'd won it himself.


Gordon is planning to travel to Perth.




Then, unfortunately, as always happens when you're enjoying yourself, "going home" time had arrived - always happens, time goes into quick march when your having a ball. Thanks to Lee-Anne Stanway and all involved, it was a wonderful night.




Click HERE to read a story titled "When the shit got real" for Australia's Wedgetail.

Written back in June 2015 by Brian Hartigan.




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