Aircraft Life Support Fitter,
Safety Equipment Worker & Fabric Worker

2006 Newsletter No 8

Vol: 8

Date: 25 Jan 2006

Webmaster Welcome

Finally, another newsletter. Yes it's been 3 years since the last one so this one is pretty packed...

For those that didn't know, the site was taken offline for security reason due the the nature of some of the content within the site. The site content has been thoroughly reviewed and all suspect information removed. Accordingly, from now on there will only be historical news and information within the site.

Sorry about the size of this Newsletter, but I wanted to share with you the info I have received. I do have a little more which I didn't have time to include in this newsletter, but I will make every effort to include in another newsletter and publish it soon.

Also, for those that are interested, I will be running an online ALSFITT (NRL & AFL) Footy Tipping Competition again this year.If you would like to join contact the for details.

I'm interested to find out how many would purchase an ALSFITT Key Ring if I have them made? The pic below is a sample of what they would look like. As for price I am not sure, but I am guessing somewhere between $6.00 to $10.00. If you are interested, please contact the .


P.S. The webmaster reserves the right to edit articles of an extremely sensitive nature.

dear coly

Dear Coly is Back! In saying that, he has been a bit busy over the past three 3 years. After completing a 6 month stint at the Training School, and nearly being talked into rejoining full time, he then set off and re-married with a medieval styled wedding and honeymoon in Fiji. Also, whilst building himself a new house he had a few jobs that didn't work out until he started a new Lawn Mowing business which has been a great success despite the big drought we have just gone through. Now, even though Dear Coly has had some busy times, if you have any questions or queries about anything, why not ask .

This is a collection of info I have received over the past 3 years the site has been offline. I do apologise if some of the info seems outdated.


Memories came flooding back when I received this picture. Yes it's of my old `95 touch footy team at Willytown. Members in the pic are; Howie, Ocka, Boraso, Marto, Ball Boy Al, Thommo I, the legendary SWANY, Thommo II and Micko!

touch footy team


A few ALSFITT babies have been born over the past few years. Some them are; Darren & Tania's little Smiley, Jock & Lina's little Jock, Arnie's little Bulls (3 of them), Boner's young Lockie, Al's first granddaughter, then twins and Lol & Crokes' little Crokette. (Now I'm not 100% sure, but this could be the first `pure breed ALSFITT` born to serving ALSFITT members). Congratulations to all of you from all of us!


DISCHARGE - WOFF Raymond Peter (MILO) Millington retired on Monday 08 August 2005 after a career spanning 29 years 7 months. Well done Milo and all the best for the future!


Mrs Avril Gant is seeking the names of Safety Equipment Workers who were with her late husband, Raymond Gant (A217981), in Malaysia from 1958 to 1961. Mrs Gant thinks the Squadron at the time was "Base Squadron". She can be contacted through the !


One of our fellow members is trying to find out who these people are in the photo below. The only ones he has identified is; AC Brian McKenzie - Back row 1st right, AC Jock Lindsay - middle row 1st right, AC Andrew Willis - middle row 3rd right, SGT Gary Pritchard - front row 1st right, FSGT Phil Milde - front row 2nd right, SGT Nev Burgess - front row 2nd left. If you know these people and would like to help out a fellow member contact the .

alsfitt 1/91 course


Alice Gardener has remustered to Photographer.


After about ten years Paul Fromont jumped off the RAAF merry- go-round and worked for Airflight WA before venturing into this project. Click here!


Death in the Family

It is with great regret that I have to announce the death of the "Mighty Rodeo". The truck finally died it's last death last Friday and even Steve Austin's doctors could not have rebuilt it. I had the truck for 11 and a half years and we shared many adventures with you all, including:

  • Putting the truck on its side near Wee-Jasper. (JJ & Dave),
  • Smashing through the 12ft inner security gates at Willytown. ( Wonky Pete),
  • A mad dash across the Hay plain whilst high on No-Doze. (Pommy Williams),
  • Nearly sliding off a dam wall near Mt Kosciusko. (Jeremy Lester and Mick Bradley),
  • Drowning the truck in 1.8 meters of Croc infested river near Oenpelli, Northern territory. (Gazza and the Darwin Boys),
  • Nearly Driving off a 300ft cliff at the Barrington tops state Forrest. (Macca),
  • Burning out the clutch on Stockton Beach. (Dave Pye and the fishing club Boys),

This is the abbreviated list and I am sure you could all think of other adventures in the "Mighty Rodeo". Looking at the list I am surprised that the truck lasted as long as it did. This is the last Photo of the truck, just before it was towed away to the wreckers, (they said I could visit anytime). It was a sad day and I wrote many poems about the truck, the good times and the great friends we shared. I will not bore you with them but I have included a Haiku (17sylable Japanese poem) that I wrote.

Rodeo my Truck,
Together we were Utmost.
Apart, we remain.

Cheers and I hope to catch up with you all soon.


By the way, I bought a VX Commodore wagon to replace the Rodeo. It will still be my home away from home but I can't see me getting 11 years out of it!


A Blast From The Past. Whilst trying to convince the Army to purchase New Gunners Sweats for their Blackhawk Fleet, the member forgot to duck, resulting in a 6" gash to his bollard.

head gash


Have a look at what they now include in the parachute lessons.


DISCHARGE - As this is my last working day in the RAAF, I would like to take the opportunity to say thanks to all I have worked with and to all who have helped me get to where I am today. To those I haven't met, good luck with your future in the Life Support Trade. It's a great job with great mates so make the most of it. Anyway, I'm off to retire in sunny Townsville, so if you see me around say hello and I will surely do the same. Take care guys and girls.

Tony Gray


DISCHARGE - Well, it's that time of year again. Christmas is upon us and the silly session begins. For me, it's also the end of my time in the RAAF (at least the PAF). I will be discharging on the 16 Jan 06, and joining the ranks at Boeing Australia and also joining the Active Reserve. So I may see you around the traps from time to time. To all the great people I've met during the last 20 years (boy, where did it go), I say farewell and thanks for the great memories, cold beers and all fun we've had together. Thanks also to my supervisors, peers and subordinates for all the support and assistance you've given me during our time working together. I hope to catch up with a lot of you for a drink in the near future. So, to all of you folks and your families, have a great Christmas and a safe New Year.

Cheers Gaz Godfrey


I have been put in contact with Merle Grant. She was a parachute packer during WWII. I am very hopeful of finding out more information in the near future about the Fabric Worker trade during the 2nd war. I will post more info in the next newsletter as it comes to hand.


I have been contacted by Jerry Tyrer's son in QLD. He did indicate that Jerry is one of the blokes loading the Storepedo with carrots in one of the pictures in the picture galleries. . He does not have e-mail, but if you wish to contact Jerry please contact the .


This is a pic of the attendees of the 2004 ALSFITT Conference held a Adelaide.

alss conference


I wish to contact all players and officials of the 1965 and onwards Aussie rules football club from Williamtown that played in the Newcastle football league. The idea is to arrange a 40 year reunion, time and place to be advised. If you were there or you know someone who was, please pass on the word and contact

Here are a few names, do you know where they are?

  • Ray Williams,
  • Alan Blythe,
  • Ken Ball,
  • Tony Wish-Wilson,
  • Owen Jones,
  • "Speedy" Peterson,
  • Colin Collilough (SAS),
  • Baden Kenny,
  • Jim Vonk,
  • Jeff Barnes,
  • "Spanna" Knitski,
  • "Tubby" Zebba.

regards, Phil Marinich


Letter from afar...

Hi All, Well I got this email the other day telling me of this ALSFITT reunion coming up which for reasons I will explain in a minute I won’t be able to make. Anyway it prompted me to write these few words to let anyone that is interested know what I'm up to and to hear back from anyone that is interested in replying. Sorry to all those I don't know who receive this as I used the list from the original reunion email. Also could you please post this on the ALSFITT folder AL.

So firstly I'm living in London at the moment, that's the reason for not being able to make the reunion. Mind you a Sunday session at the Seaview in maybe 25c+ sounds very bloody appealing considering Britain is set for its coldest winter in 100 years. So I've been back over here for a couple of months now, I'm working as a Mechanical Engineer performing modifications on trains. I do a whole bunch of different engineering/fitting work, it’s a really good job and I'm working with a bunch of good lads so it’s all going well on the work front. I'll just explain something here, I did bend the truth a little to get the job in the first place but now I'm in the door it’s all worked out brilliantly and they want to keep me on past my visa if I want to stay on? God bless all the GSE sections I've spent time in and the tech/engineering officers ears I've bent.

On with the story, I got home from my first trip overseas in November last year. I left London on an around the world ticket because I knew I was coming back, so the plan was spend about nine months at home and then head back over to live in the UK. Which pretty well worked out, just one thing has changed and that's I'm a lone ranger this time around and I must admit loving every minute of it. From leaving Australia and the RAAF in 2002 to getting back home last year I had the pleasure of visiting many countries through Europe and Asia up around thirty in total. My return leg over here took me through South and North Island New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, America, Mexico and then back to London, so it's needless to say I love my traveling!!! I now have a number of new plans in the pipe work which include Africa, South America and a potential overland trip form the UK to Australia. I have no doubt I'll get around to all of them one day. And Turkey for ANZAC Day, I'm really excited about that. I think it's probably the most patriotic thing an Australian could do, 90 years on as well should make it an amazing experience.

Well that's pretty well me in a nut shell up to today, I have traveled far and had many an adventure and it's not looking like stopping anytime soon. I hope everyone is well back there in Oz and the RAAF. For those of you who are interested I would like to here back from you to let me know what your up to and how the families getting along and all that stuff. So take care and everyone have a good Christmas and New Year!!!





We've had a few guy's transfer from the RAAF to the ARMY as ALSFITT's. All the best Arnie & Macca!!


John O'Connor write a book on Aussie Military Para history. In the book he has included numerous images of parachute insignia. He is after information on the patch below. Have you ever seen the attached patch before? It is believed it comes from the 60's, maybe Willytown. If you know any thing about it please contact the !

para patch


I have been told by a fellow member that Arturo THOMAS is apparently living in the Launceston area of Tassy, working at the Waverly Woollen Mills! This has not been confirmed.


Peter Nash passed away from complications from cancer surgery on the 15 August 2005. His funeral was held at the Toowoomba Crematorium on the 22 August. Should anyone wish to pay their respects to Ruth and family please contact the and I will forward it on.


The photo below is of a Rigger course that was run by the RAAF at Richmond in 1967. Do you know how I could trace down the RAAF instructors that are in the photo? Any help appreciated. Please contact the if you have any info.

para course


Does anyone know anything about John K. LEPINATH listed in the deceased members area of the site? His daughter is trying to find information regarding the place, reference to his death, place of enlistment, service details or any family details. She also finds it intriguing as the only relative she has some info about is JAMES KEITH LEPINATH, the family records to date do not include a JOHN KEITH. If you have any info, please e-mail the and I will forward it on!

Assorted Pic's

These pics have been sent in by fellow members. If you have any details about them please contact the and in time to come I will add them to the picture galleries with details.


ALSFITT Reservists Search

I have been asked to search around and seek out all the ALSFITT Reservists. Once I get the names I will add a page within the site with all their names and hopefully E-Mail contacts as well. By having a list of Reservists and their contact, it will make it easier for anyone looking for someone to do some relief manning. So if you are a serving Reservists, or know of a serving Reservists, please contact the webmaster with the details.


This segment is designed to keep you informed of where your fellow trade members are now. This can either be 'retired members' or 'serving members'. If you know the whereabouts of your fellow members, drop me a line and I will include them in here.

The following members have made contact over the past few years:

  • Terry New, (Canberra)
  • Brian Waters, (Richmond)
  • Eddie Vanderzwan, (Adelaide)
  • Michael Adams, (Tassie)
  • Noel Stewart, (Canberra)
  • Allen Gill, (QLD)
  • Buck Buchanan, (Perth)
  • Dave Patch, (Sydney)
  • Ian `Horrie` Graham, (Gympie)
  • Ron Munro, (Adelaide)
  • Gary Hansberry, (Brisbane)
  • Alan Johnson, (Townsville [I think])
  • Dave White, (Sydney)
  • Gerry Laws, (VIC [I think])
  • Murray Griffin, (Townsville)
  • Adam Noble, (England)
  • Candice `Croc` Guildea, (Perth)
  • Noel Carter, (Newcastle)
  • Harry James, (Gosford)
  • Peter Lambert, (Oakey)
  • Les McMillian, (QLD)
  • Alex `Hoots` Houthuysen, (Adelaide)
  • Brian McKenzie, (NSW)
  • Merv Kroll, (QLD)
  • Bob Cowell, (Perth)
  • Peter Lewin, (Cooma)
  • Dave Holman, (Oakey)
  • Trevor May, (Cairns)