Just to revisit a previous post on Max, 485 Sqn and the future of the Association -
Whilst Max Collett has been the stalwart secretary of the 485 (NZ) Sqn Association for many years now and is knowledgeable in all things ‘485’. As a result of needing to move into a retirement home and the continued care of his wife Noelene who is not well. He has recently relinquished his official role as Secretary of the Association and passed on all the information he had to HQ 485 Wing RNZAF for safekeeping and eventual use by whoever adopts the secretary role, be it another individual or the Wing itself?
The 485 (NZ) Sqn Association as it currently stands may not exist in the near future, as its member base (existing pilots) is reducing rapidly and as they are the glue that binds the Association it may not be viable for it to continue in its current form? That said, No 485 Wing RNZAF has indicated its desire to continue to recognise and honour the wartime Squadron from which it took its number, and proposes that on or about the 1st March each year, HQ 485 Wing personnel will hold a formal luncheon at RNZAF Whenuapai to which surviving 485 Sqn pilots and immediate family would be invited to attend. That would be followed by a service at the soon to be commissioned Spitfire Memorial and hopefully capped with an flypast of resident NZ Spitfires.
This passing of the mantle from the Sqn to the Wing is an inevitable but also appropriate transfer that maintains the linkages and acknowledgement from the past through to the current and secures the future recognition of No 485 Sqn and the Wing itself.
Perhaps Dave as a part of your wider NZ Fighter Pilots Association responsibilities you could also pick up the 485 (NZ) Sqn Association Secretary position…?? After all they were (are) ‘Fighter Pilots’ :-)