16 January 2009


New members joining us recently are:

Brian Kent, Carterton, UK

"After seeing so many familiar names in your newsletter I thought I had better get signed up!"

Ken MacCarl, Trenton, ON, Canada  

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Andrew Hine, Trenton, ON
Sent: 24 December 2008 00:18
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo #122408

Young Pte John Moss, 2 Air Movements Squadron Trenton, in a tight spot.

Great young mover, he's been many places for such a short time in.

Drew Hine

You are correct Drew! You can claim your prize from Squadron Admin, Trenton.

There are 7.5 miles of information on a standard DVD

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 28 December 2008 21:14
Subject: CAF Mystery Picture 122408


I'll take a shot at this photo, I think the young lad depicted is Pte. Gagnon, 2 AMS Trenton. I see he has a bumper strap already on the
vehicle, however, he should never have a tiedown chain attached to the bumper. The chain should be attached to a proper clevis with bracket on the bumper.

Have a Happy New Year!!!


Dash - missed again Steve! Keep trying though, maybe one day you'll get the prize!


From: Joe Colbert, Belper
Sent: 24 December 2008 10:11
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #122408

Hi Tony, Many thanks for the Christmas Old Bods Brief. I enjoy reading the Old Bods Brief even though I know very few of the people writing in.

I started in Air Movements at Northolt in Dec '58 after Kidbrooke. In Aug 1959 I sailed to Cyprus. In March '62 I left Nicosia and went to Lyneham until Sep '64 when I left for Kai-Tak. In Mar 67 I came back to Abingdon and left the RAF in Sep '67 when I joined Rolls-Royce. Had I known that Air Movements was going to become a trade on its own I would have most likely stayed in.

As it was I stayed at RR for 34 Years 4 Months and 27 Days in Shipping.

I hope you and your Family have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year. and the same to all the other Movers in the OBA

All the Best

Joe Colbert

Thanks Joe - I just bet you have some stories that would be of great interest!

World's highest navigable lake: Lake Titicaca (A useless fact - we just like saying "Titicaca").

From: Brian Kent, Carterton
Sent: 28 December 2008 12:18
Subject: New Member

I started in Movements on Operation Grapple at Hickham AFB in 1959 and finished at Brize Norton in July 1989; 30 good years with memorable friends which included being a team member setting up the Auxiliary Movements Squadron at Brize Norton in 1982 with Dave Bernard, Al Laker and Phil Horton. Belated thanks to Tim Newstead and the Movements School at the time for all the help.

Happy New Year to Chas Cormack, Dave Howley, Tim Newstead, Ian Berry, Charles Collier and the many retired Carterton Movers who I occasionally and happily bump into for a chat.

I wonder what the future holds for all Movers at Brize with Air Tanker Ltd., and the A400M when it arrives here in the next few years?

Regards to all,


Great to have you along Brian - welcome!


Falklands-UK airbridge fares “unaffordable”

The fare structure of the air bridge linking the Falkland Islands with Britain will not be reconsidered according to British officials. Falkland Islands Government (FIG) considers the price of seats as “unaffordable”.

FIG spokesperson, Mike Summers anticipated the news a week ago when he announced that there had been no progress on the issue of the air bridge fare structure. A day before and too late for consideration by the Falklands’ Executive Council, FIG heard from ministers at both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, that they would not reconsider the fare structure, which forms part of the new contract.

Councillor Summers said: “We are stuck with the position that the current seat selling price for the airbridge to the Falkland Islands Government is £1,498.00.” Explaining that FIG had some discretion in how they sold seats on to the public, Councillor Summers said that in order to be able to offer discounts to children or students, they would have to put up the price to other people. Fixing prices was an exercise that would now have to be gone through.

Although Mr. Summers said he hoped that recent falls in the global price of petroleum might allow some latitude in a renegotiation of the price of seats quoted by the MOD, Cllr Summers concluded, “It’s extremely disappointing that the UK Government did not take on board the degree to which the air bridge is still essential to social and economic development and are basically insisting on a price for seats that I regard as unaffordable.”

The Ministry of Defence Charter flight flies to the Falklands six times per month from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire and includes a percentage of seats for civilians.

MercoPress - South Atlantic News Agency

During one insanity attack, King George III of England ended every sentence with "peacock."

From: Graham Flanagan, Stafford
Sent: 31 December 2008 10:34
Subject: Happy New Year


I would like to wish you and yours a Happy New Year and all Movers worldwide, past and present, whatever their nationality.


Graham (Geordie)

Thanks Geordie - muchly appreciated!


From: Robert Taylor, Doncaster
Sent: 31 December 2008 18:06
To: Lots of individual Movers
Subject: New Year's Greetings!

Wishing you all the very best for 2009, hope to be meeting up with most of you this year.

Cheers Robbie

John Lennon's first girlfriend was Thelma Pickles.

From: Mick Maybery, Thumrait
Sent: 02 January 2009 09:45
Subject: RE: Happy New Year

Here's wishing you all a happy healthy and safe 2009 from deepest Thumrait in Oman, yes still here, be eight years on 10 Jan 09 and I only planned on 5 years!

Work on my old house in Spain is almost finished, just need to upgrade the kitchen, and price up putting in a pool. £/Euro is hurting me at the moment, as it is most expats, hopefully it will recover in the next year!

Due home to the UK in May this year to visit my five grandchildren and then over to Spain for a week or two.

Let me know of any meet ups, never know might make another one. The one in Peterborough was great!

Keep healthy, we're not getting any younger!

Best Wishes,



What if the Russians HAD invaded us?

Declassified papers, released this week, show that 30 years ago, at the height of the Cold War, Britain's defence system was so woefully inadequate that, had Russia launched an assault, we would have been incapable of protecting ourselves. As Prime Minister Jim Callaghan remarked at the time: 'Heaven help us if there is a war.' If Russia had attacked us, here is how one leading historian imagines events might have unfolded.

It hardly seems 30 years could have passed since the Anglo-Soviet War of January 1979, but the huge preparations to celebrate it - with vast Katyuschka rocket-launchers and T-90 tanks about to parade down the Mall from Admiralty Arch to Buckingham People's Palace - remind us that they have.

The seven-day war between the USSR and United Kingdom has gone down in history as one of the most decisive victories of all time. Even three decades later it seems astonishing that a modern sovereign nation such as Britain could have been defeated in such a short period.

To this day we still do not know who in the Ministry of Defence leaked the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) report of November 1978 that warned Jim Callaghan of Britain's weaknesses right across the armed services. It seems the key sentence that encouraged the Soviet Union to attack was: 'Stocks of air defence munitions would sustain operations for only two or three days.'

The rest of the report - which pointed out that there were only enough surface-to-air missiles to reload launchers once, that the RAF faced a 'crippling' shortage of pilots, and the Army would be overwhelmed before Britain was able to mobilise her reserves - only added to the Russians' certainty that the war would be over quickly. They were right.

The massive aerial attack by MiGs from Russia's 12 aircraft carriers off the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, coupled with the landing of 20 parachute brigades on key British aerodromes and a naval armada unloading 30 tank divisions into East Anglia, meant the JIC's stark assessment was put to the test only two months after it was made.

The British armed forces fought with superb bravery for a week, but the former of the Sixties and mid-to-late Seventies left them powerless to resist the Russian assaults.

Napoleon and Hitler had failed to bring Britain to her knees, but years of cheese-paring socialist defence reviews achieved it instead.

Jim Callaghan, a patriot who had served as a petty officer in World War II, had written 'Heaven help us if there is a war!' on the stark JIC assessment - and before he was imprisoned for 20 years for 'crimes against the proletariat' in May 1979, he blamed his predecessor Wilson's 'crazy' decisions over defence for the humiliating defeat.

With President Jimmy Carter of America unwilling to plunge the world into nuclear war over what was effectively a fait accompli, the British had to get on with life as best they could under the Russian boot.

For all the Soviet promises of 'peace, land, bread and solidarity', Britain - which was split up into the English, Scottish, Welsh and Ulster socialist republics of the USSR - did not thrive.

As satellite states of Moscow and members of the Warsaw Pact, they quickly discovered that life under communism was not the workers' paradise the sociology professors in polytechnics and universities had promised them.

The new chairman of the Praesidium of the English Soviet, Mr Arthur Scargill, formed a broad-based Politburo which covered the entire political spectrum, from Socialist Workers and Stalinists to extreme-Left Labourites.

With Ken Livingstone as mayor of London, George Galloway as chairman of the Anglo-Soviet Friendship Council and Derek Hatton as Commissar for Trade and Industry, only Tony Benn was missing from the grouping. He left for Paris when his beloved House of Commons was turned into the People's Duma and filled with stooges.

A General Election was held in May 1979, but since only members of the Communist Party were allowed onto the ballot, Scargill's 99.8 per cent victory was not widely considered legitimate.

Pravda, Izvestia, Tass, the Socialist Worker, Morning Star, The Mirror and, of course, the BBC all proclaimed the election valid, however, which - as they were the only permitted organs of opinion - silenced all criticism.

The hair's-breadth escape from Faslane naval base of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to Canada, and Prince Charles to New Zealand, further undermined the Scargill regime's legitimacy, but isolated incidents of resistance were ruthlessly crushed during what is today known to history as 'The Pacification'.

Terror was still the Kremlin's most potent weapon. The Gulag system, based in Swindon, but taking in much of Wiltshire - which now has 550,000 prisoners spread around 64 concentration camps - had reached its maximum capacity long ago. The use of psychiatric hospitals to imprison sane dissidents still continues and allows the authorities to use drugs on those it claims are mentally ill but who are, in fact, opponents of the Government.

The arrest, torture and execution by firing squad of the dissident conservative campaigner Damian Green just before Christmas is testament to the regime's continuing ruthlessness.

The collectivisation of agriculture, with centrally-directed Five-Year Plans setting quotas for every kind of produce, led to a collapse in food production that by the mid-Eighties saw hunger in some parts of the English socialist republic, especially when the advice of Robert Mugabe, new prime minister of Zimbabwe, was put into effect by the Agriculture Commissar.

The most obvious change to the British landscape of the Soviet Occupation - apart from the vast pictures of Leonid Brezhnev, Arthur Scargill and Andrei Gromyko in front of public buildings such as the People's Gallery in Trafalgar Square and the great Lenin and Stalin museums in South Kensington - was the turning over of all churches to the State.

Instead of 'superstitious acts of worship' - there are now Atheism exhibitions, Soviet Realist Art shows, ceremonies of the Red Star Boy Scout movement, chess championships, International Peace Conferences, celebrations of the Kalashnikov rifle and Katyuschka rocket, and compulsory Sunday schooling in the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism.

The dictatorship of the proletariat was forced through with fanaticism by the newly installed Politburo. On May Day 1979, all independent schools were abolished, creating chaos in the state sector which suddenly had to try to incorporate hundreds of thousands of pupils overnight.

Then every major industry was nationalised and even the once-mighty banks that financed them were brought under central control - a ploy that even the most Left-wing members of the old Labour Party had never dared to dream of - with the result that every economic decision, however small, had to be taken by the Treasury.

The gold under the Bank of England was removed to the Kremlin 'for safe keeping'. All private property was confiscated by the State, which became the sole employer.

And although President George W. Bush promised regime change in Europe, along the lines forced on it by the Allies after D-Day, it was not to be. Instead, weapons of mass destruction are to trundle down the Mall this weekend, in full view of a sorrowful world.

Thatcher has so far survived three assassination attempts: the first when the Willard Hotel in Washington, in which she was staying, was bombed by the KGB; another when radioactive polonium 210 was put into her tea; and the third when a poisoned umbrella tip was about to be shoved into her foot.

Margaret Thatcher's retirement in 2000 means that for nine years the British Resistance Movement has been effectively rudderless. Although she had little trouble in persuading Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger that Britain needed to be liberated, President Carter felt it his Christian duty not to antagonise the Russian bear.

The people of the former United Kingdom today rue the day they allowed the Labour Party to cut defence spending to the bone. The mistake made in the Twenties and Thirties, when the Treasury dominated the rest of Whitehall, nearly led to disaster in World War II.

In 1979, disaster is what actually happened. Money spent on aircraft carriers, a proper jet fighter, state-of-the-art tanks, night vision goggles, decent accommodation for soldiers and their families, properly protected vehicles, ammunition supplies lasting months rather than days, and so on, is what was necessary. But instead Labour got its spending priorities woefully wrong.

The result can be seen in the extinguishing of British liberty, as Russian veterans, their uniforms sagging with the weight of their medals and decorations, march through the centre of our capital city. Indeed, a new medal has been especially minted to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the victory. It has a Union Jack ribbon and displays the motif of a hammer and sickle atop Big Ben.


Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards listens to Mozart every day

From: John Newton, Richmond
Sent: 03 January 2009 04:59
Subject: David Howley’s Pictures

The guy in the rear of Load Control is Tony McHardy who spent most of his service career at Stafford I believe and left to work for British Gas as I recall; a bit like load control really.

Happy New Year to you all.



From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 06 January 2009 13:17

Hello Tony,

I thought I would tell you what we (Elaine & I) are doing in our spare time. We sponsor foreign students attending the Joint Services Command & Staff College (JSCSC) at Shrivenham.

The word sponsor is not in the monetary sense but in volunteering our friendship, knowledge of the local area and guidance about English life and the occasional visit to our home.

We receive regular invitations to visit JSCSC for briefings, cocktail parties and entertainment given by the foreign students themselves.

To date we have entertained an Omani Major and his family; then a French Canadian Major and his family. This year we’ve been looking after a Swiss Lt Col and his wife.

It is very interesting talking to these people who have experience in the current armed forces of their own nations and hearing what their problems are today. This can put into perspective whether we’ve moved on or not!

That’s all for now!


The first railway engine reached a top speed of only five miles per hour.

RAF homes plans move on

Plans for new defence accommodation at Carterton are being prepared as part of the development of RAF Brize Norton as the country’s strategic air transport centre.

The first part of the scheme is a three-storey block for 66 officers as part of the project to close RAF Lyneham, in Wiltshire, and base the entire RAF air-to-air refuelling and air transport fleets at Brize.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s lowlands planning sub-committee deferred a decision on the block, and is asking to see an overall master

Oxford Mail


From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey
Sent: 08 January 2009 10:39
Subject: Silver/Gold Jubilee Medal

Tony & John,

It is true that many people did not get either the silver or golden jubilee medal, especially the former because of the poor and parsimonious setting of qualifying criteria.

Can you publicise this petition to all our Association members who are on e-mail and also have it placed on the UKMAMS and the OBA websites so as to reach as many people as possible?

All it takes is filling in a few details at the website with the petition on it and confirming the vote by clicking on a confirmation e-mail that will be sent out to those who want to sign up.

There were far too few medals to recognise service between Suez and Gulf Wars and I strongly support this petition and have signed up to it.

Best regards to all for a successful New Year


Please note the deadline for this petition is today, 16th January 2009

The British are the world's biggest consumers of music, accounting for 7.2% of global sales.

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: 13 January 2009 16:38
Subject: NSRAF Cosford Branch Arthurs Story

Hi Chaps

At today's meeting our guest speaker was Arthur Jones who spends a little time working at Cosford museum with the chaps I mentioned a few briefs ago who were involved in the Arneham action. He was born in 1926 and got his call up papers in 1944. April that year, as an eighteen year old, found him learning to drive a Sherman tank at Catterick and in June landing on the beaches at Normandy driving a 25 pounder piece of artillery mounted on a Sherman tank chassis.

After a few days advancing toward Belgium one of the tracks came off the tank and so he and his mate had to abandon it and were ordered to wait for further orders.

As it turned out they were stuck there for 4 weeks and were invited by a young woman to shelter in the family house where they helped the family gather the necessities of life. Eventually they moved on and to keep a long story short they ended up in Germany and came home after Germany surrendered. After demob in 1947 he did try to trace the family who had sheltered them but with no luck

Early last year working at Cosford he got talking to a visitor who was English but lived in France and Arthur told him his story and the chap promised to see if he could find out anything for him and he was successful telling him that the reason why Arthur couldn't find them was because they had moved into Belgium.

A chap from ITV Central heard Arthur's story and thought he could make a documentary on it and so at the end of 2008 organised a trip for Arthur to the village where he was stuck for four weeks and took him to the house telling him to knock the door and to his joy the person who opened it was that same young woman of the family who had invited them to stay 64 years ago. There was a huge celebration and the whole story was filmed and featured on ITV Central last November.

In closing he told us that after his mother died he found amongst her belongings something he didn't ever know about. Whilst he was in France she wrote to the Queen asking if she could do anything to bring him home. He found a copy of this together with a reply from a Buck House. A Lady in Waiting told her because of the way things were with the situation and no way could she be involved at that time. I had a look around the room and could see quite a few members had tear-drops in their eyes and Arthur was a bit emotional as well.

I wondered could my old lady have written to the Queen when they sent me off on a two and half years tour of the Middle East trying to save the Empire !!!!




RAF transport aircraft delay

The Royal Air Force faces fresh delays to the delivery of much-needed new transport aircraft after EADS, the parent company of Airbus, said it did not know when the first of the planes would be ready and wanted to renegotiate its contract to build them.

EADS’s A400M aircraft was planned as a replacement for the Hercules, the transport workhorse of air forces worldwide. The RAF has bought 25 A400Ms to replace its ageing Hercules fleet. The new planes were to arrive in 2010, but may not now be delivered until 2012 or later. The A400M, a four-engine turbo-prop, has been plagued by delays and cost overruns since its inception, but Friday’s announcement is a serious blow. .

EADS said it would not now deliver the first aircraft until three years after the maiden flight. No date has yet been set for this, but sources at Airbus say it should take place in September

EADS said it had proposed to European governments that are buying the planes “a new programme approach . . . with the aim to find a way forward for this programme”.

Analysts say EADS wants to delay production until it is confident the aircraft is technically sound. It also wants to revisit some of the performance characteristics demanded by the European air forces that are buying it, with some sources at the company saying that the cost of achieving them would be prohibitive.

The new delays could prove costly to EADS, which has had to absorb multi-billion-euro bills from delays to its flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo. The company has already provided €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) against delays to the A400M, most of which it said were related to the aircraft’s engine and control software.

Analysts think that EADS could now be forced into making provisions of billions more against the programme – unless it is able to renegotiate the contract with the client governments.

Late delivery of the plane will mean a headache for the RAF. Its current transport fleet has been stretched by the demands of its campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In July the Commons public accounts committee warned that there were “significant risks” of a shortage of transport aircraft because of the age of the Hercules fleet and delays to its replacement.

Sunday Times

Turtles fart.

From: Mal Porter, London
Sent: 14 January 2009 11:25
Subject: Photos

I recently came across this photo of Air Movements Soccer Team RAF Changi 1970.

Did any of the 'wizards' pictured here move to MAMS once their tour in Singapore was over? The picture is taken on The Padang at Changi and (if my memory serves me correctly), consists of:-

Rear Row L to R Pete Mahon, Jim Kelly (ATLO), Mick Peard, Mal Porter, Taff Challingsworth, Keith ? (Army), Manager, Tom Marshall.
Front Row L to R George Elder, Mick Campbell, Bill Magin, Ken Goodman, 'Dusty' Miller (Movs MT I think) F/Sgt-er (can anyone help?)

I seem to recall we had just won the league and Jim Kelly had to look away as he could have been termed an Illegal player. Not exactly Liverpool FC but we did our best.

I was asking Pete Mahon yesterday (he's in the Changi picture) if he knew where Terry Titterington is these days-is he a member?

I have another gem. It's of myself and two other BAe 146 salesmen taken at Farnborough Air Show in 1990. I 'hired' a MAMS team for the whole period to illustrate the loading times of the 146STA. I have a sneaking suspicion that the MAMS team was a VR one-would that have been possible?

At the air show, the British Aerospace 146STA (Small Tactical Airlifter) was included in the line up of BAe aircraft.

In addition to gracing the static line up, we performed daily para drop sorties with the Army Red Devils Team.

Whilst on the ground, we demonstrated the ability of the STA to be loaded with pallets in minimum time. We did this by using the services of a MAMS team who are pictured here along with two members of BAe's Sales Support team, Mr Dennis Cody (extreme right) and Mr Simon Rowe (extreme Left) In the middle of picture is former RAF Air Mover and BAe's loadmaster, Mal Porter. (I should be grateful if anyone could put names to the members of the MAMS team.)

In the meantime, I am spending 25 hours a day trying to preserve the Guppy from the attentions of Steptoe and Son.


Mal Porter

Thanks Mal - does anyone know where Terry Titterington is?


(The following pertains to the UKMAMS Association based in Lyneham, UK, and does not directly affect the UKMAMS OBA)

Disbanding of the UKMAMS Association and Extraordinary General Meeting


The New UKMAMS Association after disbandment – vote for it and support it!

Following the AGM and contacts from many members, the Council has decided to propose a new form to the Association from next year.  This article is to tell you what we propose and to ask for you to send us your postal vote if you cannot join us for the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) which will be held in the Winch Inn (No 1 AMW) at RAF Lyneham starting at 1700 hrs on Saturday 7th February 2009.  The EGM will include free drinks and a curry to keep us warm whilst completing our affairs. 

Despite expressions of disappointment at the demise of the Squadron Association and much stronger support from the new OC 1 AMW, we have still been unable to find either new, young blood to join the Council, or a new Team Brief editor, or a surge in interest from those currently serving or retired. 

There has been a suggestion that a Trade-wide Movements Association could be formed.  Your present Council has told the authorities that they would almost certainly support such a move and recommend it to our Members but made it clear that a new Chairman and Committee would have to be formed by those serving and thereby embracing the geographical spread of the Trade today.  The Council has also been approached by the Movements Control Association to either join them or to be affiliated to them.  A straw poll showed little enthusiasm for direct membership but we are pursuing the possibility of affiliation of the reformed UKMAMS Association (detailed below) and we will report to the EGM with recommendations.  Such an affiliation would retain the name and membership of our current Association and the unique identity of UKMAMS would be preserved.

The “old” Council recognises the aspirations of many of you to preserve some form of the current Association and we have decided to recommend to you that we move to the UKMAMS “Lite” concept that we have discussed in recent weeks and at the AGM in September.  In effect, this means that we will formally disband the current Association, dispose of its remaining funds, close down the Bank account and terminate the Council’s constitutional responsibilities and formal duties (which must be sustained whilst we take your subscriptions)

In its place we propose to form a new Association, still called the “UKMAMS Association” (as there is no popular demand or reason to rename it) and maintain the following elements of the old Association: 

  • Collect no Subscriptions and ask Members to cancel their current Standing Orders.  Apart from some funds voted across to the new Association at the disbandment of the old one, the new Association would be largely self-supporting and survive by donations from members.

  • Ask for the donation of small sums from members to help pay for the website and the small administrative costs of maintaining contacts and keeping in touch (see below for those without e-mail or internet access)

  • Maintain the database as best we can.

  • Revamp and keep the website - to which the new editions of Team Brief will be posted - hopefully 3 or 4 times a year.

  • Produce the Team Brief as a smaller newsletter, but kept distinctive in style from the OBA Website, and send it to all members who are connected to the Internet.  A copy would be sent by e-mail direct to your address and also posted on the website for those who do not want to download it.

  • Make a simple printed and stapled version of the Team Brief available to members who do not have access to the Internet - subject to their payment, in advance, of £5 a year for postage and paper costs.

  • Continue to try and arrange “Meet and Greet” opportunities in the Swindon area and to organise a self-financing meal/ dinner/ ‘piss-up’ from time to time if members show interest in such an occasion.

If you agree to this proposal by voting for it at the EGM or by completing your postal vote sent with the special edition of Team Brief or voting online, all members of the current Council have agreed to carry on meeting as an informal group to keep the Association alive. If you have no interest in keeping the flame alive please tell us and we will fold the Association early next year.

Your vital support to the new Association will be as follows: 

  • Vote for it.

  • Send us your e-mail details because otherwise 70% of you will lose touch after this Team Brief.

  • If you do not have an e-mail address or want the slimmed-down Team Brief by post, tell us so and send a cheque for £5 addressed to “UKMAMS Association” before we close the account!

  • Send a donation to keep the new Association website running.

  • Download the Postal Vote fill it in and send to:

  • UKMAMS Association
    PO Box 3165
    SN15 9BJ

If a tuna stops swimming it sinks

Reviving the (Canadian) Air Force Club

The immediate past national president of the Air Force Association of Canada is interested in bringing a wing of the group to Pembroke, seven years after the 438 RCAF (Algonquin) Wing folded.

Pembroke resident Ted Mahood is testing the waters to see if there is any interest in bringing it back to the city.

He said he will be willing to help take the next step if enough people indicate to him they would be ready to get an AFAC wing started.

"If there are former members of 438 Wing out there, perhaps they will seriously consider coming back," Mr. Mahood said. "If enough interest is derived, then an information meeting will be scheduled in the very near future to determine what our next move will be."

The Royal Canadian Air Force Association was formed in 1948, and last year celebrated its 60th anniversary.

It currently has 66 wings across North America - 62 in Canada, three in the United States and one in Mexico.

In 1994, the organization was renamed the Air Force Association of Canada, as a means of attracting current air force personnel. The RCAF ceased to exist after 1968.

Pembroke's 438 Wing received its charter in 1956, and until it folded in 2002, it was the pillar of the community, being the sole supporter of 638 Air Cadet Squadron and a generous donor to many community events and organizations.

The wing's clubroom was first located at 84 Pembroke Street West, but a devastating fire in 1989 forced it to relocate to 268 Pembroke Street West.

There it stayed until 2002, when the wing made the fateful decision to purchase 133 Pembroke Street East, the building beside city hall, formally My Fair Lady and now the Saffron Bistro.

Mr. Mahood said in May 2002, due to unforeseen financial difficulties, the banks foreclosed on the mortgage, resulting in the wing losing its quarters and Camp Bon Val Ont, which served as the Air Cadet camp, the group's pride and joy. "Unable to recover from this devastating situation, 438 Wing was forced to stand down and surrender its charter to the AFAC national office," he said. "This proved to be a tremendous loss to the community."

Some members joined the 433 Wing in Renfrew, but for the majority who enjoyed the club, it is too far to go.

"People have approached me saying they miss the old club," he said. "The wing was a place to go for a cool one, for friendship, entertainment, sports events, and has been greatly missed by all whom once belonged."

Mr. Mahood said now is the former members' chance to let him know if they want to start again.

If anyone is interested in joining the AFAC and forming a wing in Pembroke, they should call Mr. Mahood at 613-735-5073. Leave your name, along with a phone number.

The Daily Observer


Featured Video

RNZAF C130 Hercules Display


Michael Caine's real name: Maurice Micklewhite

Joint RAF & CAF Mystery Photo #011609


RAAF Mystery Photo #011609

The world's largest democracy is India with 620 million voters

RNZAF Mystery Photo #011609

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!