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 has 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 teamto be part of, with a common goal to present a restored Catalina to the public at a Rathmines museum.


Barry Carr

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.

Warren Taylor



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

I don’t seem to have much spare time these days, but spend as much time as possible with Family between the Central Coast, Sydney and Canberra. I play lawn bowls and do some small woodworking projects and enjoy time in my garden.

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

I’ve toured a lot of Australia over the years. Standouts are north WA, around Broome and the Kimberley’s. There are so many outstanding places out there it’s really hard to favour any one though. Overseas travel has been Pacific Islands where I worked for 8 years in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, have been to New Zealand and have visited relatives in Hawaii and the USA west coast. It’s hard not to favour Hawaii.


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

I grew up in Cabramatta in the Sydney western suburbs, son of a hard-working market garden tomato grower and 4th child of 6. I was educated in Cabramatta and Parramatta. My family moved to the Central Coast when I was 16. Time away from there was in the 60s – 70s when I worked in the Solomon Islands and New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) for 8 years. I have 4 children and 8 grand children, who keep me busy and in line.

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

My secondary education included business subjects and manual arts, with the thought of employment in the building or metal working trades. However, I was influenced by family to be a ‘white collar’ worker, started in accountancy (not for me) and ended up in retail appliance and LP gas       sales and installation. Like most young men I played with car repairs, topped up with evening Tech courses in welding and spray painting.

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

My first contact was when attending the Rathmines Festival 5 years ago where I met some volunteers. Having been fascinated with planes since I was a lad, living near the Warwick Farm wartime base and watching the planes on training flights passing over our home. I have been hooked on old planes ever since. Business flights in later years on DC3’s, DC4’s & DC6B’s introduced me to the individual sound of radial engines, so the Catalina naturally attracted me.

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

My main role has been de-riveting, removing and replacing corroded panels, involving much face to face with rivets and related equipment. For a while I assisted our mechanic dismantling an engine. There is often a number of small tasks to help Team members with so it’s never boring. I work with a great bunch of fellows so it’s never an effort to get on the job. Involvement has introduced me to very interesting Catalina veterans and descendants, people associated withWW2 museums, Associations plus visitors who are like minded and supportive. We are included in a world of historical aviation which is very satisfying.



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

Born in Marrickville and lived my early life in and around the Marrickville/Undercliffe areas. Joined the Tempe scouts. I went to Marrickville Public School and the Sydney Technical Boys High School. My main sport was baseball which I played for about 20 seasons.

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

Like all young boys being a Steam Train Driver or a Fireman was the early appeal, my first serious consideration was to join Qantas as a Ground Engineer but, after a suggestion from my father, I decided to go into the motor industry as a motor mechanic.  I served an apprenticeship with Dominion Motors and on to become involved in motor racing, preparing a number of different race cars. I then joined the Petroleum Industry as a Fuel & Lubricants Engineer.

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

I saw an article in the Lakes Mail about the Catalina and the volunteer work-contacted Bill Anderson and signed up straight away.

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

Since joining the restoration team I have been involved with several general tasks but, lately I have been identifying and logging the smaller components onto the asset register prior to cleaning, painting and packing away until required.

My other role is to lead the Base Tours of the old Rathmines Air Base for the Association. Generally there are busloads of between 15 to 40 people on the tour with morning tea and lunch at the Rathmines Bowling Club, which during WWII was the Officers' Mess. 

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

Since retiring from full time work, I have continued an interest in motor racing and have restored and maintained several historic open-wheel and sports racing cars. I am also involved with Sailability, an organisation providing sailing activities for people with disabilities located at Kogarah Bay, Sydney. I also enjoy general sailing activities including organised club racing.

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

We enjoy travelling around Australia as there are so many great places to visit, all with their own interesting stories and history. The world is a big place, however the Scandinavian countries are spectacular, with a lifestyle similar to our own.


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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