Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 22

Page 5

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What are they up to now??


Phil Millar.


Phil, pictured below right with Ron Cullen, both of whom were on 32 Appy which graduated in October 1980. After Radschool Phil went to 481Sqn in Williamstown where he worked on Matra R530 missiles for about 6 months before being posted to 478SQN Matra in Butterworth. Two and a half years later he returned to Australia and was posted to Darwin with 75SQN to work on the Cyrano RADAR, TACAN and general flight line stuff. His final 12 months in the RAAF were spent back at Willytown, at 481SQN again, this time in Radio Section working on Cyranos.


He was discharged in Laverton in 1987 and for the next 15 years worked in the IT industry as a PC hardware tech, a job that he came to loath. When the company he was working for at the time went belly up in 2001, he decided to check out the RAAF recruiting website for a laugh. They had put the joining age up to 45 and he was only 39 - SO!! They were after Airborne Electronic Analysts (AEAs). Why not. He did all the tests and boards and got back in. So it was off to 1RTU with people who were 17 and young enough to be his kids. Most had not been born the last time he had to do a "stand by your beds" inspection. He turned 40 while he was there and was being lapped by the young bucks on the 2.4km run, but as he said "no prizes were awarded for first, or last".


AEA course didn't go too well for him (technically fine, but practically...) and 6 months into it he was off to work in Tech Publications while they procrastinated over a security clearance so he could move on to a Sigs Op course. In the end he decided to give that a miss and got discharged. Again!!


After a short break on the dole, he was off to Tassie to work in the Premier's Dept on the IT Help Desk. While there he found a job as a TPO going at the School of Air Navigation at Sale and applied. His TPO exposure in Edinburgh put him in good stead and he got the job.


He spent about 18 months at SAN until a job came up working as an Avionics Technical Officer for a civvy company (now called Aquila Engineering) in Sale that subcontracts RAAF engineering work from Pilatus. 2 years of writing Modification Orders and RAAF Supplements for PC-9/A followed and when a liaison position at the Pilatus factory in Switzerland was offered he jumped at the chance.


Phil and his wife have been in Switzerland for a couple of months, and he reckons he's just about settled in and almost become used to driving on the wrong side of the road.



David Marr


David joined the RAAF in May 1960 and was sent to Rathmines to join 535 Rookies course. (The base at Rathmines, which was on Lake Macquarie near Newcastle, was formed in 1939 and during the war became one of the RAAF’s major flying boat bases. During it’s lifetime is was home to Nos 9, 11, 20, 40, 41, 43 and 107 Squadrons. In 1963 the base was purchased from the Commonwealth by Lake Macquarie Shire Council. Part of it was subdivided into home-sites, whilst the rest was reserved for recreational purposes.)


[Rathmines Airman's Mess at right]


After Rookies, David was sent to Ballarat (July 1960) to join 23 RadMechs course and left there in Jan 1961 to go to 77 Sqn in Butterworth. From there he was posted to 79 Sqn in Ubon, then early in 1962 it was back to 77 Sqn at Butterworth. In October 1962 they remembered him and sent him back to Laverton for his Tech conversion and after Laverton he was posted to Richmond to work on the old Neppies at 11 Sqn. Then in 1966, he got the big posting from 11 Sqn down the tarmac to 36 Sqn to work on the old A model Hercs where he stayed until he was given his final clearances sheet and took the walk to see Madam WRAAF. He says he took his D from Richmond after 6 years (loved the work and camaraderie, but hated the system) and went to work for IBM, with a 100% pay increase, which was also a significant factor


David reckons whenever he thinks of those days “Eddy McEvoy” always springs to mind – he reckons Ted was one of 36 Sqn’s characters. (G’day Macca, sounds like you are well and still firing on all four).


While based at Richmond, David, and his wife Sabina (Bina) lived in Penrith, and occasionally had the odd party or three where everyone had to toss in 2 bob so that Bina could buy enough mince and cabbage to knock-up a big pot of “chow mien” which was used to dilute the very rough red bought from the Toongabbie winery.


He spent 5 years with IBM which he says was more than enough for a country boy, so they moved to Glen Innes, to work in the family business of building, construction, ready mix concrete, stone crushing etc. Their two lovely daughters were born in Glen Innes (he says it must have been the water or cold climate or something) and there they were able to purchase their first home with the help of a “war service loan”. David says the war service loan was a wonderful lurk, 3.25% interest and $30 a month repayments (the war service loan is still going, though these days it's called the Defence Service Home Loan - and it's quite a bit different to what it used to be - the max amount you can borrow might just pay your deposit - see HERE - tb)


After seven years of cold weather in Glen Innes, they finally developed enough sense and money, to move to Beautiful, Warm, Sunny, Queensland. They bought a business (in partnership with a great mate), in Tewantin, near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. They had the business for 27 years, and it was good enough to provide them with a great lifestyle, though not a rich one. After selling, they and their partner are still great mates, so, as David says, “ I guess you could call that a great success all round.”


David and wife Bina on their might Hog - the Ultra Classic


Since retiring three years ago, they have been on the road a lot, looking at this great country of ours. Last year they did the “long trek” all the way round, and as David says, “What a great pity that I hadn’t got onto the Radschool Association before the trip. I would have loved to look up Macca and many other blokes that I knew all those years ago. In a year or two, we may do the trip in reverse and be able to meet then.” (You’ve been warned Ted – tb)


David went to a “back to Ballarat” Radschool reunion some years ago and he says “had a great time, meeting some old acquaintances, gargling the odd amber ale and telling a few lies. He says it’s too late to attend the reunion this year, but he looks forward to others in the future.”


A friend said.."When I was born, God gave me two choices: (1)  I could either have a good memory OR

(2)  I could be great in bed !!!   Damn!!! ...  
Now I forgot what I waz gunna tell ya!!!

If a man is standing in the middle of the bush, speaking, and there is no woman around

to hear him...

is he still wrong??

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