The Association's Annual General Meeting was on Friday 28th...


The Australian War Memorial in Canberra once again reneges on...
Our Annual General Meeting took place on Friday 30th November 2012.

President Bob Martin has been in the role for almost four years and has decided not to stand for reelection. He gave his final report as President on the day.

The Association members were fully united in their grateful thanks for Bob's tireless efforts in performing the role.

As most of you would know by now, this will be my last “President’s Report”.   I was called on to take over following the untimely death of Norm Williams, whom I considered to be an excellent President doing a great job for the Association.   After almost four years in the chair, I decided it was time to hand on to others.
I do not intend today to go through in detail the happenings of the past year as our various functions have been sufficiently covered in our Newsletters, particularly the Sept/Oct issue and I compliment Yvonne on the way it was put together and distributed.
My term as President has been a steady one with nothing too dramatic, with each of our functions well run and well supported.   Naturally we have had losses, with particular reference to our original WW2 members, but we have held our Association together --- still with strong membership whilst so many similar organisations have been forced to close.
I do have some regrets as I look back over those four years and feel I was probably too weak to do what I felt should have been addressed.

Since I joined the Association back in the presidency of Blackjack Walker I was conscious of the emphasis always placed on the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, seemingly in my mind, to the exclusion of the efforts of our Squadron from 1942 till 1945 and those who were not available or called on for Bismarck but fought other battles (with 65 losing their lives).   Many of these other events should have been given more recognition and I should have done something about it.   Books have been written about Beaufighters in the Pacific and I must acknowledge the great effort being made by Jim Turner in his compiling of a huge document dealing with the history of 30 Squadron.
Another area of concern for me and my lack of action in that direction, is the promotion of flying, getting youngsters into air leagues, taking groups to air shows, involving groups with Air Force activities, air shows and the like.  I also wanted to go to Camden Museum and see their Beaufighter ---  Go as a group to join up with their working bees --- But I waited for someone else to arrange it and it didn’t happen.   I should have done it  myself.
But we seem to have concentrated on getting a Beaufighter into the Australian War Memorial with the money raised through Shane West’s  DVD going into that one project with no real hope of success in sight.   I question whether  we (me particularly) have been wasting a lot of time and money.   Two and a half million dollars for a plane at Duxford , England, will be hard to raise and way beyond our capacity.   Let us hope that somebody comes to the party.
I must thank the Committee for the assistance they have been and none more fitting for praise  has been my secretary throughout my tenure, Yvonne Holt.   I also give thanks to our Treasurer, Mollie Richmond, who has been great.   I must  say that if Fred happens to be elected, I will be very happy to hand over to him as President as I feel that no other member is so deserving of the role and honour of controlling the Battle of the Bismarck Sea 70th Anniversary than Mr 30 Squadron himself, Fred Cassidy.

In closing, I thank the speakers  and special guests, some of whom have travelled from afar.   A special thanks to Ken and Yvonne for their efforts in arranging today’s activities.    Thank you one and all for coming to make the day the success it is.   On behalf of the Committee I wish you all the compliments of the season and a kind New Year.
Bob  Martin.

Fred Cassidy, who has spent many years as the President of the Association, was elected to the position unopposed.  Unfortunately have no written record of his address as Fred spoke frankly and spontaneously without notes when he addressed the Association.  He thanked Bob for his tireless work on the committee and he made the point that Bob had no failings as a  President, but that his final report demonstrated that the Association has a lot of work ahead of it.

Fred will eventually write an opening welcome to the website and until then Bob Martin's welcome address will remain in place.