Vol 6

Page 2


Welcome to our little newsletter - once again.


The first thing you’ll notice about this issue is the list of names on the back page is a bit smaller. Unfortunately, we’ve had to stop sending the newsletter to blokes that were unfinancial as our resources just couldn’t handle it, though, of course you don’t have to join to read the newsletter, it is free to all on the net. Our last issue contained a small reminder to all unfinancial members, and a lot of blokes sent in their money straight away-in a lot of cases it was the old “tuit” problem (get a round tuit), but we can do with a lot more. We’ve changed our printing arrangements too, and even though the quality is down a bit, and not as good as the trusty old 1040, the cost is way down too, so our available funds will stretch a fair bit further. Our membership fee is still only $10, it’s not a king’s ransom, and at this stage it’s a “once-off” fee and we reckon it’s good value for money. Sometime in the future we’re going to run out of funds and we’ll have to ask for renewals, but at this stage we’re sweet. If you know anyone who hasn’t joined yet, please, give them a shove and get them to do so. Thanks to all that have, especially to those that have joined twice-sorry again Ron.


Quite a few blokes had an opinion on how to increase our numbers, several putting forward the suggestion of having different classes of membership. We think that idea has merit so we’ve adopted it and introduced two extra classes, associate membership for blokes and blokettes who want to join but who weren’t radio and who pay our $10 joining fee (yep-even pilots), and honourary membership for blokes and blokettes who have done something special and who we’d like to have in our association as guests.


We’ve changed the membership form a little to include associate membership, and just so you know who’s who, the names on the back page will have little markers indicating membership type. Full members (ex Radschoolers) will have the familiar (*) against their name, associate members will have a (§) and honourary members will have a (#).   If we’ve got the bloke/blokette’s email address on file, we’ll put a (@) against their name. If you want to get in touch with anyone with a (@), send your email to us and we’ll forward it on-just like a message switching centre of old, though without the punched tape.


Any full member can nominate a person for Honourary membership. If you know someone that you think should be an Honourary member, send us their name/address etc, and a reason why you think they should be, (and a photo too if you’ve got one) and we’ll include them to our list. Similiarly, if you know any other queer traders, and/or black handers who would like to join as an associate member, talk them into it.


Now to the Fred Holtmann story. Yep-we’ve found him, actually, Phill Baldock from 20 Appy found him for us, but more on Fred and the bed later (see page 4).  An awful lot of people either know or have heard of Fred Holtmann, and we don’t know of a single person who has a bad word to say about the bloke which is strange for someone who used to be a DI. We’ve spoken with him and he’s agreed to do a few stories for us as he has a ton of memories from Radschool Appy days. So look out!!!!


The reunion plans are going along just fine, and March the 31st next year is firming up as the date. 2001 is the 80th anniversary of the formation of the RAAF (see page 11), and Air Force week that year is from the 26th March to the 1st April. The RAAF Association is planning a march through the streets of Brisbane for the Sunday morning (1st April) and we’ve been in touch with them and they’ve welcomed us to march with them and to have our banner (Radschool Association) represented. We don’t have a banner yet, but John Broughton, Newcastle, is making one for us.


The march is a little different to an ANZAC Day march in that the ATC cadets lead the march and carry all the banners. Everyone else just fills in behind-én massé. The march will be made up of serving members, ATC cadets, and ex blokes and blokettes.


We’ve also been in touch with Allan George, currently a Group Captain in Canberra and depending on work commitments, he has agreed to lead our lot. The Air Force Association are expecting up to 1,000 to take part, and after the march all participants are invited to a luncheon which will probably be held at Lennons hotel in the main street. We don’t know the cost of that yet, but more on it later. We’ve booked the ball-room at the Irish club for the 31st March, and it’s planned to hold our reunion there that (Saturday) night and those that are still standing, or are capable, can take part in the march the following morning.


At this stage we think the cost of the reunion will be $45 per head which will cover the hiring of the complex, all night “walk around” finger food, your drinks (house wine, spirits, beers and goffers), music and of course GST. Once again, John Broughton will MC the night, and those that went to the Brisbane reunion last year will recall he does one helluva good job. Mark that date into your diary now, start saving, whack in your leave apps and don’t forget, it’s a social event, so bring your wives, girl-friends, boy-friends, whatever, as the most boring thing God ever made is a bloke’s only evening. We recently went along to the PNG reunion which was held at the Irish Club, and the venue proved to be excellent.


Air force week is of course, exactly that, it lasts for 7 days. The RAAF Association are planning a number of activities for the period, and we will do the same. When they firm up their plans we’ll have a look at what they have in mind, and we’ll let you know through this newsletter. We’ve included the questionnaire again on page 13, (we’ll continue to run it in subsequent issues) and depending on the responses, and we’ve received some back already-thanks to those that have, we’ll plan those additional activities that are popular with respondents. At this stage a tour of Amberley is favoured, as is a tour of the XXXX brewery (I’m for that!!). XXXX will put on a day for us (a Friday) which will include a tour of the brewery, a bar-b-q lunch, drinks etc-great day all for $25 per head. A normal “run of the mill” 45 minute tour costs $8, and for that you get a look at how things are done, and 3 drinks. I think what they’ve offered is good value. If the numbers are there we’ll book it.


We’ve written to the Base Commander at Amberley to see if we can arrange a tour of the base, and if we can we’d hire a bus(s) for the day and all go out together. For those not familiar with SE Qld, Amberley is west of Ipswich, about an hour and a bit from the centre of Brisbane. Other activities we’ve got up our sleeve, once again depending on demand, are a cruise across the Bay to one of the Islands, and a shopping spree for the Blokettes to Harbour Town on the Gold Coast (a shopping centre chock full of factory outlets). Once again, we’d hire a bus for this if the demand is there. (Might need some help on this one Cecilia).


We intend to plan activities for the four days-Thursday 29 March, to and including the 1st April, 2001, so if you’re not from Brisbane, try and plan to stay here for the (minimum) 4 nights. Ideally, arrive Brisbane on the Wednesday night-28 March, and leave Sunday night after the march and luncheon. Weather that time of year is normally pretty good-the summer heat and humidity will have gone, and there will be heaps to see and do.


More on it in our next issue.



A Chinaman walked into the currency exchange at Sydney airport with 2,000 yen and walked out with $33. Two weeks later he did it again, but this time all he got was $25. He asked the teller “Why got less money than got last time?” “Fluctuations” said the teller. “Well fluc you Austwalians too!”  he said, and walked out.



Passing out parade.


Last issue we mentioned that 35Sqn and 38Sqn had been merged into the one squadron which was now based at Amberley. This was done to allow the RAAF to continue to fly the Caribou, seeing as they have yet to find a suitable replacement aircraft. It is interesting to note that the Caribou was ordered by the RAAF back in 1963 as a replacement for another ageing aeroplane, the DC3. The DC3, or Gooney Bird as it was affectionately called, has been in active service with the RAAF since 1940.


Just recently, at Edinburgh, the RAAF auctioned off their last 3 remaining DC3’s, the last of those wonderful old work horses which have been every-where the RAAF has been, and which were supposed to have been replaced 36 years ago when the first 3 Caribous were delivered to Richmond (22 April, 1964). These poor old things have been around for what seems a million years, and will probably continue to fly for another million years. It would be a shame if they just ended up on a pole somewhere.


Over time there has been a lot of mods carried out on the Gooney. No longer do they have that terrible old liaison HF with its fist size output bottles and its trailing wire antenna, but even so, they haven’t changed all that much since first made back in 1935. How many other machines that were designed and made in 1935 do you know that are still being actively used today—not many I bet. (How many people have snapped a tail wheel lock with the towing brace—and had to get down the back and fit a new one—mongrel of a job. You only ever do it once).


During WW2, Goonies were used by 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 Sqns. All told, Mr Douglas made a total of 10,926 DC3’s, and they’ve done just about everything since. Apart from carrying bods and cargo, they’ve been used as crop dusters, glider tugs, gun carriages, rain makers and have been fitted with skis and JATO bottles and used on the ice. Long may they continue to fly our skies.




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