Good afternoon everyone. Spring is almost over and this very wet Sunday is part of the finale it seems! I have held off with this newsletter as there has been a good deal of activity in recent weeks.
RAAF Williamtown Aviation Heritage Centre (FighterWorld): I was able to visit the centre on November 3rd and meet with their outgoing President, Air Vice Marshall Ret’d John Quaife. Present also was Wing Commander Rick Dyson who is acting on behalf of RAAF Heritage as an advocate for us and the proposed move.
The meeting was held off site, but we later spent an hour at FW and had preliminary discussions with FW management. The tone was very positive and directed at possible interim solutions and the FW lay out. To recap, FW is in discussion now with respect to planned refurbishments of the existing facility and I believe we will see future working group meetings commence shortly around what our move will look like…that said, Christmas approaches with the usual scheduling issues.
On a social note, John Quaife accepted my invitation to pay us a visit and will be at the aircraft this week. We have also extended an invitation to the FW staff for a BBQ early in December…a date is yet to be set.
Rathmines Memorial: We have been successful with a Grant application and I was advised last week, Friday, Nov.12th that an amount of $16,229 has been allocated for our Memorial watering system. This amount is a little below the quoted price for the job, but your committee has agreed to fund the balance from RCA savings.
There is quite a lot of paperwork to complete and we would hope to start on the project in the early part of 2022. The irrigation design and operation will allow a huge saving in time and water efficiency.
Heritage Base Tours: I mentioned in the Winter Newsletter that we had new brochures to post out and the first stage of a mail out was completed in October. On Wednesday, Nov. 17th we entertained a party of 12 from the Morisset Grange Retirement Village…see photo. A subsequent message from them expressed thanks for a ‘fabulous day’.
If you are aware of any Club or group that might be interested in this activity I would appreciate you passing on my details to them or give me a call…thanks.
Fortress Newcastle Movie night: Many of you responded to our invitation and a group of 40 members and friends met at the Rathmines Bowling Club last Thursday evening for a light meal and the documentary video. The producer of the documentary, Mr. Glenn Dormand, kindly offered his time to attend and answer questions. The film can be viewed on You Tube, using the search bar, type in ‘stories of our town’- or try this LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOcpAMgPh1I
Restoration: On a count back, the C-19 shutdowns spanned 146 days since March 2020. The restoration team are now back and doing what they do best. There is some good coverage on our Face Book page - https://www.facebook.com/RathminesCatalina - and our website - https://www.rathmines-catalina.com/ - should you wish to follow progress that way. The ‘turret’ that we purchased in the USA is on board ship and due to land at Port Botany later this month. You can expect to see a photo update accordingly.
AGM: To be held on Tuesday, Nov.30th….at the Rathmines Bowling Club, commencing at 1800 (6pm). We made enquiries about the use of Zoom for members, however the Club facilities and the available room are not set up to handle this. The website will be updated after the AGM.
Advice has been received that our Financial Year accounts audit is now complete and will enable the Treasurer to present these at the meeting. We would all hope that this work can be completed in a timelier fashion next year with an earlier AGM.
Christmas: I hope all of you can enjoy the Season with friends and family after such an extended period of quarantine. Sherrin and I are certainly looking forward to time with our small mob.
On behalf of the Committee, our best wishes and Merry Christmas.
M: 0418 770 400