Our Life Member and good friend Alan died on 17 October at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He was 91 and had been in poor health for some time.
Alan contributed hugely to the Museum. He joined in 1998 and served on its Executive Committee from 2001 to 2008, including for five years as our Secretary. He founded our library soon after joining, with the gift of several hundred of his own books, and he founded the Museum’s History Group in 2005. He established a filing system in the library for historically significant documentation, and constantly added to it through his life-long fascination with aviation history and research. He was made a Life Member in 2015.
Alan’s aviation interests were much wider than just our Museum though. He was a founding member and was elected as Secretary of the Soaring Club of SA in 1943, when he was undergoing flight training with the RAAF. He established a distance gliding record with Harry Schneider in 1968. He served as Secretary of the Royal Aero Club of SA from 1949 until 1976. He received the Royal Aero Club Federation of Australia’s Federation Award in 1971 for his services to the aero club movement, and the Helmut Appitz Memorial Medal in 1973 for his services to the Adelaide Soaring Club. He was a long-term member of the RAAF Association and was presented with a Distinguished Service Award in 2013 for his services to the Mitcham Branch.
Unsurprisingly, given this life-long dedication to aviation and volunteerism, he was awarded an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.
Vale Alan – we are going to miss you.