By Bill Anderson
Hello everyone, this summer edition comes at a time of wildfire and stormy weather. I trust all of you have been safe and well during this hot and dry summer. Our thanks go to those volunteers from all services who have worked to keep our community safe.
To briefly recap on some of the 2019 highlights and events.
The AGM was held in October and the new committee members are listed on the website. Malcolm Burns and Ann Morris elected not to re-nominate. I thank them for their time and input during 2018-19. Welcome to Phil Priest and James Marshall, they bring to us individual skill sets that will be invaluable.
Phil has considerable experience in accounting and is the key to a succession plan with our Treasurer Mark Peters. James is employed with Centennial Coal and has been working with us for many months, his experience and contact list is huge.
Very well done Treasurer Mark who has now completed all his Uni exams and passed with exceptional results and will move to full time employment early in 2020…watch this space!
The new tooling is working well and saving us time with the volunteers able to process a lot of work on site. A recent donation of a forklift (that is now up and running after some TLC) is a welcome addition and saving a lot of grunting and improvisation. Donated by Gato Sales and Repairs of Maitland….thank you gentlemen.
Base Tours are gaining momentum. In calendar year 2019 we conducted 12 tours for 350 people. My thanks to guide Barry Carr who has continually rearranged his personal diary to be available. New member Ray Dodkins has put his hand up to share some of this work…thanks Ray. For 2020 we now have 7 tours logged in the diary. The work on the day is not huge but volunteers to assist in setting up and passing out meals from the servery is always needed…should you wish to contribute?
Social events have been a little quiet…other work load priorities. We had a very pleasant night at the Bowling Club on December 10 to celebrate the Centenary of the Vickers Vimy landing in Darwin to win the London to Darwin Air race in 1919. Thirty members and our special guest Mr Bob Cameron, the former Chairman of Centennial Coal enjoyed the evening.
Penny Furner and members Dianne Sykes and John Goldsborough have spent many months arranging a ‘Catalina Week’ in Canberra which was held at the Australian War Memorial over the week of Dec. 9th to 14th. It was a very successful week culminating in laying a wreath at the Friday ‘Last Post’ ceremony and a dinner at the Mercure Hotel, attended by 150 guests which included a number of our members.
Finally a few words on Park Management Plan progress and US! The Council process towards the Park Plan is extremely process driven, may I say frustratingly so. We had an on-site (at the park) meeting on Dec 5th…2 senior staff and 3 Councillors attended (no West Ward councillors) and I am advised to ‘wait until early in the new year’ to see what recommendation(s) came from this meeting. It was also suggested that whilst our case is logical/rational, a show of community support would be helpful….we have created an email address firstname.lastname@example.org and you could, please, take the time to send an email to me this would assist the cause. Just use some straight forward words eg I / We John and Sue Smith, post code_____ wholly support the RCA committee’s endeavours to have the concept of a hangar to house our Catalina, included in the Rathmines Park Management Plan.
Oh ! I have saved the best news for last. We received advice late in November that the RCA is now eligible to claim DGR status (DGR= Donor Gift Recipient). In easier terms, donations to the RCA are banked separately and are eligible as tax deduction for the donor.
I am always available to chat and answer questions 0418 770 400 or email@example.com
Best wishes and safe keeping Bill