Home' Aerogram : Aerogram 2014 4 December Contents Aerogram December 2014
Colin Fee, President
Friends of the RAAF Museum Inc.
Australia’s first JSF Lightning has taken to the skies over the US. Numbered A35-001, it’s
thought that this aircraft will probably never come to Australia, remaining in the US for
ongoing proving trials, but it would make a terrific RAAF Museum exhibit in years to come...
I was going to commence this edition’s column with a review
of the year’s activities but after several aborted starts I find I
must begin with the news that I have tendered my resignation
from the Committee of the Friends of the RAAF Museum. This
will be my final President’s Piece.
Effective as of the first of December, I will revert to being an
ordinary member of the Friends, continuing my monthly
volunteer duties as part of the Cleaning Crew, keeping the
static exhibits in tip top condition. The Friends committee has
evolved with the change of membership and with that its
character and focus has changed as well. But that is a good
and expected thing, something that ought to happen from
time to time. Personally my own time and focus over the past
six months or so has shifted to the extent that I can no longer
give the President’s role the time and energy that it deserves.
Relaxing on a beach in Thailand gave me ample opportunity to
mull this over and I came to the conclusion that it would be
best if I stepped aside now rather than later, giving the
committee a clean break and time to begin the recruitment
process. More on that later.
I have served on the committee since 2003, firstly as an
ordinary member, then moving onto secretary for three years
before taking over the presidency in 2007 after John
Matthews stood down. In that time I have been the instigator
and steward of the Friends’ web site, overseen the annual
dinners including two important anniversary dinners, been
involved in our two moves into P190 and then P170, enjoyed
the excitement of many Air Pageants and learnt much from
the collective experience of those that I have had the privilege
to serve with on the committee.
As another year comes to an end it seems only yesterday that
we were busily preparing for CMA14. The highlight of this
year, it featured not only an intimate, exciting aerial and
ground display but the historic recreation of the first flight at
Point Cook to the minute and
the unveiling of the superb
BE2a replica built by Friend
Andrew Willox. We moved
beyond the air show to focus
on governance matters as we
passed our new rules of
association at a special
general meeting in June.
The meeting, along with the
postponed annual general
meeting, was held in the
Friends’ new HQ within
building P170 adjacent the
Bloodhound missile. Thanks
to efforts of many of the
volunteers, chief amongst
them Warwick Bonner and
David Devenish, 170 is now ready for inhabitation by the
Friends, the Mosquito Association and for use by groups
visiting the Museum during the week. Look out for an official
opening function in the new year.
In mid November we held the sixth George Merz Memorial
Lecture, this featuring a change in venue and format. With the
help of the Museum we moved the lecture into the Museum’s
Technology Hangar under the watchful gaze of the B Model
UH-1 Iroquois, fitting, as the topic this year was RAAF Iroquois
Operations in the Vietnam War. The evening was well attended
my members and their guests and was both informative and
entertaining even when the Q&A session began to wander into
the realm of opinion and conjecture.
In closing I would like to firstly thank members past and
present for allowing me the privilege of being President. The
Friends is an important part of the make up of the RAAF
Museum’s community and deserves therefore to have just, fair
and hard working leadership focused on achieving the aims of
the organisation and serving the needs of the membership. If
you think you might be able to contribute to the collective
work of the Friends I encourage you step forward and
nominate for the presidency and the general committee.
I would like to thank those that I had the pleasure to serve with
on the committee – thank you for your support and counsel
when it was needed. I want to highlight the service and
assistance of Trevor Odering, Ian Adderly, Warwick Bonner,
John Matthews, Keith Gaff and Andrew Willox.
Wishing you all the best for coming festive season, I look
forward to seeing you all in the new year.
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