RAAF group fights for members
MEMBERS of the RAAF Association Ipswich believe their group should be the biggest in the state.
They have the biggest RAAF base in the country and a big population of ex-servicemen in their region.
However if membership keeps going the way it has in the past decade, they fear they may not be able to continue.
There is not one serving member on the association despite growth at RAAF Base Amberley.
The Ipswich branch of the RAAF Association started in 1945 with RAAF servicemen who were finishing their service at Amberley at the end of the war establishing the group.
Past president Peter Felton said the association had dropped from 80 to 45 members in the past 10 years.
"That's pathetic for the number of RAAF people out there. The town's full of them," Mr Felton said.
"Places like Nambour and Bli Bli, they've got membership in the hundreds.
"We run a reunion every year for people who worked at Amberley, which we get more than 250 people attend - we've had 500 attend."
Association secretary treasurer Chris Bohr said they had close to 800 names on their list for the reunion.
"We're not the only ones who are having problems getting membership in as far as ex-service organisations go," Mr Bohr said.
Deputy president John Hartigan said they were surprised when one of the Brisbane branches and the Gold Coast's branch were struggling to survive.
The RAAF Association has a dozen branches throughout the state and networks with support organisations along with the social side of the meetings.
RAAF Association Ipswich holds meetings at CSI, North Ipswich, every second Tuesday of the month.
The next meeting is on March 8. For further information on membership, contact 3201 7601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.