Chris Carroll

Where are you from and give us a little background about yourself and where you grew up?

I grew up in Brisbane, attended the Kelvin Grove High School. I joined the Army at the age of 20 and retired after 30 years of active service.  This period included deployments to East Timor as an S4 (Senior Maintenance Manager), Afghanistan with the rank of ASM (Artificer Sargeant Major responsible for maintenance of a huge range of equipment), and also the Middle East where I acted in a liaison capacity between the military suppliers and Coalition partners for anything from general maintenance items to specialist equipment including tyres for the Bushmaster fleet in the theatre of operation.

Apart from the above, most of my life has been spent on the eastern side of Australia.

What did you want to be when you grew up and what did you become?

I do not recall any real ambitions as a child, but did complete a panel beating apprenticeship before joining the Army.  When I retired I held the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1.

How did you come to be involved in the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association?

A good friend told me about the project.

What role do you play in the RCMPA and what are the benefits of belonging to this organisation?

Mainly as an aircraft metal worker…I benefited from considerable training in this area during my Army service.   I enjoy the work as it keeps me thinking.

What do you do in your spare time and what are your hobbies?

Fishing and home renovations. Also, we have just purchased a 28foot cruiser and are looking forward to exploring the lake and surrounds this summer.

Where is your favourite place to visit, in both Australia and the World?

I do enjoy travel, but do not have any real favourites.

Brett Ley


Where are you from and give us a little background about you and where you grew up?

Originally a Westy from Sydney…then North Rocks, amongst poultry farms, tennis courts, with extended family, big backyards and speedway tracks.

What did you want to be when you grew up and what did you become?

A trade background was always on the cards, ended up 40 years with NSW Railways-electrical background and postings at Redfern, Enfield, Goulburn, Albury, Hamilton and Morisset.

How did you come to be involved in the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association?

Listening to locals like Vernon Hiles and Pat Henry tell stories of the Catalina Base at Rathmines and realising how many have a connection with the Base. It was an easy choice to join the RCMPA.

What role do you play in the RCMPA and what are the benefits of belonging to this organisation?

From infrastructure maintenance and restoration site improvements. Then Catalina panel fabrication and installation. A great volunteer team to be part of, with a common goal to present a restored Catalina to the public at a Rathmines museum.


Peter March


Where are you from and give us a little background about you and where you grew up?

Born in Cessnock and went to school there until age 16, then moved to Singleton for the next 15 years and finally moved to Morisset Park in 1982. 

What did you want to be when you grew up and what did you become?

After leaving school I started working in the coal mines as an apprentice Fitter and Turner, then progressed to Mechanical Engineer.

How did you come to be involved in the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association?

I knew someone already involved in the Catalina and offered to help on the project, to see it completed.

Where is your favourite place to visit, in both Australia and the World?

My favourite places to visit are anywhere in Australia and overseas, Europe, UK, Canada, Alaska and the Pacific Islands.

What do you do in your spare time and what are your hobbies?

We like caravanning, fishing and I like to surf. We have our own caravan and enjoy trips around coastal NSW and Victoria…somewhat curtailed at present!

What role do you play in the RCMPA and what are the benefits of belonging to this organisation?

Mainly work on a range of mechanical projects, but I have also been involved with setting up the aircraft walkway access and weather protection covers.  More recently I have helped in removing a range of internal components for cleaning and refurbishment.  In 2019 I was part of a small team that removed the undercarriage assemblies.  These have now been cleaned and painted and we are now ready to reinstall them.

I enjoy the company of the other volunteers and giving time to a worthwhile project.

Terry Woolard


Terry Woolard with Our Girl in Puerto Rico

What role do you play in the RCMPA and what are the benefits of belonging to this organisation?

My involvement with the RCMPA has continued to the present and I’m now very busy as the Volunteer Co Ordinator for 2-3 days a week. Without doubt, a standout period in my life was time spent in Puerto Rico helping in the recovery of our PBY-5A. I try to impart my passion for this project onto the other volunteers, this project in particular. It has never ceased to amaze me about the remarkable people and places aviation has introduced me to. I think the RCMPA volunteers are gradually finding that also.

What do you do in your spare time and what are your hobbies?

Strangely enough, my spare time seems to have diminished since I retired. I’m also well involved with the local Men’s Shed which takes up another major part of my week. I still try to find time for reading a good book, the occasional trip away with my wife Linda and am thinking about taking up ten pin bowling again.

Where are you from and give us a little background about you and where you grew up?

I’m originally from near Blayney in the Central Tablelands of NSW, my parents and other family members owned several orchards in the area. My two sisters and myself attended a one teacher primary school at Moorilda, about four kilometres from our property then secondary school as boarders at Orange. It’s true what everyone says about the winters in the tablelands, they are absolutely freezing. We didn’t seem to notice, probably thought it was normal until we moved somewhere else. Life was much simpler then, when not at school, I often disappeared for the day with my .22 rifle and blue heeler dog and my parents didn’t seem to worry. I still recall my passion for reading from an early age, anything to do with flying or Australian history really interested me and that has continued all my life.

What did you want to be when you grew up and what did you become?

As I grew up, aviation continued to interest me but so did all things mechanical. My parents sold their property when I was in my early teens and bought a service station in the same area. This is where I was exposed to road transport and heavy equipment. This led to an apprenticeship with a transport company in Sydney where I lived for about six years. Until I retired several years ago, my entire working life involved heavy equipment and mining machinery maintenance. However, my interest in aviation was always there.

How did you become involved in the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association?

A job transfer led to a move to Toronto in 1975, by this stage I was married with two young children. My new job plus a young family kept me very busy for quite a few years until I eventually had time to research the local area, Rathmines in particular. It was also about this time that I actively engaged in learning to fly, firstly in gliders which is a fabulous experience and then light aircraft at a local flying school. My first solo in VH-UGG, a Cessna 152 is still a great memory. All this gradually took me to Rathmines where the Catalina Festival was in it’s infancy and I became a member of the organising committee. It was through the Festival that I learnt about the RCMPA, back then it was still the RCMPT.

Where is your favourite place to visit, in both Australia and the World?

Linda and I have probably ticked most of our travelling boxes, we have had a great time doing it. We both would like some more time in Tasmania, I also found rural England really beautiful and the WW1 battle fields in France and Belgium a very sobering experience.

Paul  (Crash)  Barrett

Where are you from and give us a little background about you and where you grew up?

I was born in the small country town of Beaudesert in South East Queensland, about 60km south of Brisbane. The eldest of eight boys and a girl (a twin). I had part time jobs in my father’s sport/hardware store, a local soft drink factory and barman work in Brisbane. After school at 17 and a half, I joined the Air Force. Then initial military training at Adelaide, it was off to Wagga for aircraft trade training. I graduated as an Airframe Fitter and sent to Williamtown (NSW). Over the next 25 years, I was trained and worked on numerous aircraft (Macchi, Winjeel, Iroquois helicopter, Mirage F111 and FA18 Hornet) and had postings to Williamtown, Butterworth Malaysia, Amberley, Middle East (Peace Keeping operations) and Townsville (ARMY support). I left the Air Force in 1999 having achieved the rank of Flight Sergeant and had roles of logistic and engineering management, aircraft component workshop manager, technical and personnel section head, training coordinator, unit driving instructor and aircraft maintenance coordinator. Upon retirement in 2017, I had been a driving instructor for a few years and worked as an aircraft logistical and technical engineering officer for the FA18 Hornet engine and airframe components. I also stayed with defence in the Reserves until 2020. I got the nickname “Crash” after an end-of-season Rugby trip to Cobar.


What did you want to be when you grew up and what did you become?

My air force career took to places I had never dreamed of and went with the flow. Met a lot of different and interesting people on the way and enjoyed every minute. Now settled in Newcastle with wife, Robyn, two boys, one granddaughter and one on the way.

How did you come to be involved in the Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association?

My father was in the Air Force during the Second World War. Initially trained as an engine fitter, he later retrained and become a Flight Engineer flying on the B24 Liberators, Catalinas, Mariners and Sunderlands. I have most of Dad’s service history, log books and personal military documents. My brother, who was in the Air Force at the time contacted me to put together a background piece of our father’s WWII history for an ANZAC Day presentation he was involved in. Weirdly enough, at the same time while doing this research, my wife (Robyn) saw a post on Face Book about the Catalina restoration project. I had recently finished restoring a vintage 1953 Norton and then got an opportunity to help with the Catalina and having my father’s connection with the Catalina and Rathmines, it seemed to fit.

What role do you play in the RCMPA and what are the benefits of belonging to this organisation?

I am currently helping with the replacement of corroded airframe structures. I’m not a metal worker by trade but am getting expert advise and repair techniques from Steve and Chris. Being actively involved in the restoration and seeing the progress gives me a sense of immense job satisfaction, and the smoko / lunchtime chats with the other volunteers are always interesting and sometimes quite comical.

What do you do in your spare time and what are your hobbies?

My spare time is taken up with the Catalina, golf, home brewing, motorcycle rides, grandkid/s, home upkeep, catching up with my old air force and rugby mates, watching my son play for a local Rugby team and short holiday trips with the family.

Where is your favourite place to visit, in both Australia and the World?

During my Air Force career I travelled to numerous places, both with work and privately with our travelling friends, mainly South East Asia (New Guinea, Thailand, Borneo, Philipines, Malaysia, Singapore, Loas, Cambodia,Vietnam), India, Sri Lanka, western USA, Egypt, Israel and a couple of trips to Europe. Favourite international destination is south east asia – not too far to travel, food, people, culture, ancient architecture and history, and value for money. Would really like to go back to Egypt some day and also see Turkey and Jordan. Favourite Australian place is Forster. Still a quiet and laid back area with beaches and golf courses.

Rathmines Catalina Memorial Park Association Incorporated is a non-profit organisation, trading as RATHMINES CATALINA Association
ADDRESS: PO Box 59, Toronto NSW 2283 AUSTRALIA

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