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Appy reunion – 2019



These pics have been crunched to allow the page to open quicker, click each pic to get the HD version which you can download.


On Saturday 19th January, a bunch of Appies and their ladies got together at the Werribee RSL for a few drinks, a few nibblies, a few tall tales and great old time.



This was the 45th time they had got together and although age had worn a few of them out, had an effect on waist lines which had grown a bit, had slowed the rate and quantity of amber fluid injection, when compared to the rate and quantity of years prior, it had not dimmed their enthusiasm. Talk flowed thick and fast, old friendships had been revived and promises were made to do it all again in 12 months time.


Those at the event were:  All names left to right.


Gate keepers for the afternoon were Rick Lovett and Barry Hillsley.


Chris Hudson,  Bill Beggs,  Brett Poiner.


Dick and Margaret Joyce,  Pam and David Downing.


Don Ralph,  George Firm.


Errol Fisk,  Gene Fisk,  Carol Maloney


Glenda Trainor,  Doc Dougherty.


Gordon Charlton,  Phil Ireland.


John Vander Linden,  Kingsley McRae,  Dean McFadden.


Ken Marsh,  Paul Shadbolt


Nev Williams.


Nev inadvertently left his baggage in a taxi – and spent a fair bit of Carlton Draught time on the phone trying to track the cab down.


Noel Ryan,  Doug Patterson.


Lyall Rogers,  Brian Fuller,  Peter Tunks,  Bob Bennett, Ron Gratton.


Trev Benneworth,  “Beetle” Bailey.


The troops.




After both suffering from depression for a while, the missus and I were going to commit suicide together yesterday. Strangely enough, however, once she had killed herself I started to feel a lot better. So I thought - damn it, I'll soldier on.




RAAF’s 98th Anniversary and Diploma Cadet Plaque Dedication



As the RAAF approaches its centenary, it is fitting to reflect on all the different elements that have made the Air Force the powerful and contemporary force that it is today and to consider where it needs to be heading in years to come. The Air Force’s history runs deep, having its roots in the traditions of the Australian Air Corps and the Australian Flying Corps, trailblazers who laid the foundations for the formation of the Air Force 98 years ago.


On its 98th anniversary, we recognise the achievements of all those who have come before us and reflect on the Royal Australian Air Force’s airmen and airwomen who have given their lives in the service of their country. Their legacy is today’s Air Force.


Today’s Air Force is highly professional, well respected and recognised as an important part of Australia’s contribution to International Peace and Security. Past and present members can be rightly proud of Air Force’s contribution to the global intervention against Daesh, where airmen and airwomen performed with distinction, displaying exceptional proficiency and professionalism. We are all equally proud of Air Force’s achievements in humanitarian and disaster response, delivering vital assistance to our neighbours in Indonesia in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis. At home Air Force provided air support critical to flood relief efforts after extreme weather events across Queensland.


Today’s Air Force is at an evolutionary waypoint with major upgrades of platforms, systems and training, alongside essential changes in thinking. The successful introduction of the F-35A will be an important achievement on Air Force’s journey to become the world’s first 5th generation air force. Transitioning to a 5th generation force is not just about the introduction of highly capable platforms, it is about designing an Air Force that can provide integrated and networked air power, supporting all fighting domains. Like those who paved the way for Air Force 98 years ago, today’s Air Force must now lay foundations for the next century, building on its legacy and establishing its own, upon which future generations will reflect.


On Wednesday the 27th March, 2019, the Acting Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull, led many dozens of people who gathered at the RAAF Memorial Grove in celebrating the occasion. The RAAF Memorial Grove is just inside the ACT border on the Federal Highway, next to a rest area. It is administered by the ACT Government with assistance of the RAAF Association of the ACT and the Lions Cub of Belconnen.


Both serving and ex-members of the Air Force began gathering at the Grove from about 9.30am for a 10.00am start. Serving members wore uniform with medals, ex-members wore coat and tie with medals. Buses had been arranged to transport people to and from the area as parking on the highway is limited.





Some lucky RAAF “volunteers” had been up earlier, mowed all the grass, done an emu and cleaned up the place, delivered and right dressed several hundred seats, installed and tested a PA system, set-up many urns of very welcome coffee and of course several porta toilets.


MC for the morning was Sqn Leader Bruce Chalmers who has obviously done this many times before. The morning went off without a hitch.




SqnLdr Bruce Chalmers welcoming everyone to the morning, asking everyone to please turn off their mobile phones (a sign of the times) then welcomed Senator the Hon David Fawcett and acting CAF Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull.


Senator David Fawcett and acting CAF AVM Gavin Turnbull AM.







Bruce then called for the mounting of the Catafalque Party.




The Catafalque Party.


Sqn Ldr Chalmers told those gathered that:  “This RAAF Memorial Grove is an area designated by the National Capital Authority to be used as a memorial park for the ACT Division of the RAAF Association. This place is not intended as a substitute for the Australian War Memorial but I’m sure you will agree that it is a beautiful place for ceremonies such as this one and for the placement of plaques.


This memorial structure behind me is known as a Cairn. It is a mound of stones that has been erected to honour all those who have served and those who are currently serving in the Royal Australian Air Force. It also honours those who have served in the Australian Flying Corps, the Woman’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force and the Woman’s Royal Australian Air Force.


This Cairn was designed, funded and constructed by the members of the ACT Branch of the NSW Division of the RAAF Association and I thank them for maintaining this beautiful site and allowing us to use it today.


Celebrating the Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force causes us to reflect on who we are, where we have come from and to where we are heading as we honour the heritage passed onto us and embrace the future.


Our ceremony this morning will acknowledge and commemorate our past, give thanks for our current service and look forward to our future.”



Chaplain Nikki Coleman led everyone in the opening prayer.




MC Bruce Chalmers then called on Cpl Anthony Robb to address the people. Anthony spoke of how proud he was to be an airman in today’s Air Force and of the job satisfaction he and all other airmen and airwomen experienced in working for one of the world’s great Air Forces.


Anthony Robb.



WO Ben Wright then stood to recite the Airman’s Code.





The Airman’s Code!


I am an Australian Airman

I inherit a proud tradition

I follow in the footsteps of many fine Australians

Their legacy is my future.


I am an Australian Airman

The air is our domain

I strive for excellence in all that I do

To protect our skies, our country, the land I love.


I am an Australian Airman

I live for my family, work with my mates,

Support my community and fight for my nation

I am a valued member of the Air Force team

I do what is right.


I am an Australian Airman





It was then time for members to lay wreaths at the Cairn in respect of those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.


Carl Schiller – on behalf of the National RAAF Association.


Judy Webster – on behalf of the ACT RAAF Association.


Brigadier Leigh Wilton – on behalf of the Chief of Army.



Rob Swanwick, the Warrant Officer of the Air Force then recited the Ode of Remembrance, after which the Last Post and the Rouse were played by the RAAF Brass Band, the National Anthem was sung, the Catafalque party dismounted and a 37 Sqn Herc flew over so quickly no one saw it.




As it was then 11.15am, the MC, SqnLdr Bruce Chalmers declared the ceremony closed and invited everyone to participate in the unveiling of the Engineering Cadet plaque and to enjoy the light refreshments available.


Acting Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull, AM recognised Royal Australian Air Force graduates of Diploma and Engineering Cadet Squadrons by unveiling a plaque at the Grove. Chris Beatty, left (No 1 Course) and Nico Padovan (30 Course) unveil the plaque. These two blokes, were chosen to represent the youngest and oldest from the DCS/ECS scheme to help DCAF unveil the Plaque.





After the unveiling of the plaque, everyone headed for the coffee and nibblies, then it was back onto the bus and into town to the hotel for a nana nap prior to the night’s dinner.




A man doing market research knocked on a door and was greeted by a young woman with three small children running around at her feet.  He says, "I'm doing some research for Vaseline. Have you ever used the product?"  She says, "Yes. My husband and I use it all the time."  "And if you don't mind me asking, what do you use it for?"  "We use it for sex."  The researcher was a little taken back, "Usually people lie to me but, in fact, I know that most people do use it for sex. I admire you for your honesty. Since you've been frank so far, can you tell me exactly how you use it for sex?"  The woman says, "I don't mind telling you at all...my husband and I put it on the door knob and the kids can't open the door




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