Home' Air Force News : October 29th 2009 Contents Make a real
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CRICOS No. 00213J QUT 2009 16320 HLT--09--878
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6 Wagga open day
AIR FORCE October 29, 2009
By FLTLT Bruce Chalmers
VISITORS to the RAAF Base
Wagga open day were given a vi-
sion of the future preservation of
Air Force heritage in the local com-
munity with the showcasing of con-
ceptual displays and artefacts in the
newly named RAAF Wagga Heritage
The Heritage Centre was visited by
dozens of people on the open day.
The centre was opened for the first
time since 2003 for public viewing.
Originally opened as the RAAF
Museum -- Wagga Annex in 1995, the
facility was closed in 2003 to under-
take building repairs and refurbish-
ment, and questions were subsequently
raised as to the collection's future.
To address these concerns, in 2008,
Air Force and the local council set up a
Museum Reference Group to undertake
planning for a new display that would be
known as the Heritage Centre.
WGCDR Karen Wood-Meyer
chaired the group.
OIC of the Engineering Training
Flight at the RAAF School of Technical
Training, SQNLDR Terry Pridham, was
subsequently appointed as OIC of the re-
furbished facility. He will work closely
with the Heritage Centre Steering Group
and Management Committee to ensure
the centre appropriately showcases Air
Force History, the Air Force presence in
the Riverina and that it also runs a com-
munity based theme display.
"While there are still some final
upgrades and maintenance work to
undertake, the Point Cook curatori-
al staff and the Museum Reference
Group have been busy consulting with
the local community and planning the
concepts for the new displays, which
will be ready for the grand opening in
Spring 2010," SQNLDR Pridham said.
"During the base open day, the
Heritage Centre was set up with con-
ceptual displays and artefacts to show
the public what to expect when it is
finally finished next year.
"The complete display is being
professionally designed by the RAAF
Museum team at Point Cook, with one
large room at the back of the Heritage
Centre to be devoted to various dis-
plays of community-loaned items,
based on specific themes.
"We currently have over 50 com-
munity members that have volunteered
to work in the Centre, and around 25
of them are currently undertaking a
Certificate III course at TAFE.
"We are all very excited about the
WELL, LOOK AT THAT: William
Robinson of Wagga watches the
PC-9 Roulettes aerial display, left.
BALANCING ACT: Below, SQNLDR
Michael Dillon participates in the
high ropes display.
Photos: LS Lee-Anne Mack and AC Terrence
new Heritage Centre and what it rep-
resents as a partnership between the
community and the Air Force," he said.
The visitors included four members
of the only flying squadron to be based
at RAAF Base Wagga -- 31SQN, which
The four veterans, Fred Andersen
(Navigator to the CO), Peter Demaine
(Navigator A Flt), Ron Lecke (Navigator
B Flt) and Jack Andersen (Association
Secretary), are active members of the
BACK HOME: Former servicemen
from 31SQN, from left, Ron Leckie,
Peter Demaine, Jack Andersen and
Fred Andersen gather around the
Number 31 Beaufighter Squadron
Photo: ACW/T Nichola Freeman
31SQN Beaufighter Association and
were delighted to see the 31SQN Honour
Roll displayed in the main display case
in the front of the centre.
To mark the occasion, the veterans
donated a Beaufighter print (featuring
Fred Andersen in the cupola) to the
Heritage Centre for display.
The re-opening of the centre next
year will celebrate and strengthen the
strong partnership between the staff at
the base and the Wagga community.
IN THE FUN SEAT: AC trainee Guy
Williamson shows Courtney Harp
through a Macchi cockpit.
Photo: LAC Christopher Hall
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