Community members gathered at Bundaberg Lions Remembrance Park to commemorate two anniversaries of the Royal Australia Air Force, including the significant milestone of 80 years of RAAF Bundaberg.
This month marks the 80th anniversary of the RAAF Bundaberg Station and earlier this year on 31 March the Royal Australian Air Force marked 100 years of service to Australia.
RAAF Association Bundaberg and District Branch president Michael Walker said it was important to commemorate the services from the very first unit, Number 12 Elementary Flying Training School which was established on 16 October 1941, right through to the last.
“We’re here for the men and women who served at the base, I have been told there was 13 units,” he said.
“We are lucky we have good support from organisations in the community, including the Army Cadets and the Air League Cadets.”
RAAF Association Bundaberg and District Branch secretary John Wilson OAM said each year they were fortunate to commemorate and celebrate the RAAF with a service.
John is one of the founding members of the Bundaberg Branch RAAF Association.
He said it was an honour to remember 100 years of remarkable achievements of the RAAF’s airmen and women, past and present, and he reflected on his long history of advocating for veterans and returned soldiers in the Bundaberg Region.
“This year is the 35th anniversary of Bundaberg Branch RAAF Association,” he said.
“I spent 28 years in the Royal Australian Air Force, so that is one reason why I hold this occasion so dear.
“The first service we held here was 11 years ago to the day, on 17 October 2010, so I think it’s very special.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey attended the service and laid a wreath on behalf of the community of the Bundaberg Region.
“From Training Group 12 over 80 years ago Bundaberg Airport, or as it was originally named Hinkler Airport, continues to be a training centre for emergency and service groups that keep Queenslanders safe and come to the community’s assistance in the times of need,” he said.
“The training continues, and we encourage the local youth to remember but also participate.”