Tea Gardens Grange and Peter Sinclair Gardens War Veterans photographed

Honouring our World War II Veterans project is one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever undertaken in Australia.

Maxwell Bismire, Noela Bentley and Roy Day.
Maxwell Bismire, Noela Bentley and Roy Day.

Members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) aim to commemorate our unsung heroes of World War II in print.

The collection will provide a compelling pictorial record of returned servicemen and women living in Australia, reinforcing the ANZAC tradition, “We will remember them”.

Two local AIPP photographers, Stuart Marlin and Vivian Hayles visited Tea Gardens Grange and Peter Sinclair Gardens to capture images of local retired flying officers, electricians, transport drivers, corporals, majors and signallers.

Flying Officers Bill Richards and Alwyn Fripp jokingly disparaged each other’s aircraft, Bill flying Lancaster bombers while Alwyn flew Halifax bombers.

Bill remembers the stirring sight and sound of one memorable flight when 1104 Lancasters were deployed out of Britain.

Alwyn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his endeavours.

Betty Brandt (91) had a twinkle in her eyes as she fondly remembered her three years as a transport driver based at Rathmines.

She just loved driving; trucks, ambulances, anything that moved.

“My father would have skinned me alive if he’d known what we were up to,” she said.

Noella Bentley was a signaler in Townsville for three years.

She used the underwater cable to Papua New Guinea to transmit messages in Morse code.

Max Bismire was a signalman stationed for three years in Rabaul on the island of New Britain just north of New Guinea.

Both are active and sprightly, enjoying their retirement at Tea Gardens Grange.

Professional photographers across the country, accredited by the AIPP, are donating their time and talent in a unique ‘strictly no profit’ community project.

Photographer Vivian Hayles said, “What a privilege it is to be involved in this project.”

“These wonderful men and women are an important part of our history and the stories they have a

re fabulous. I like to think I captured a bit of history today.”

Stuart Marlin enjoyed seeing these veterans recalling the various ways they were involved in the war effort.

“They talked about the types of duties they undertook but more often the people they met and places they travelled to. None of them talked about the negative aspects of war,” he told Myall Coast News.

AIPP have partnered with the Australian War Memorial and the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) and all portraits will be gifted to the Australian War Memorial’s collection.

Each veteran will receive a complimentary Kodak printed portrait in a presentation folder to commemorate their service given some 75 years ago.

Anyone who served in World War II is encouraged to register for their free portrait at www.aippveterans.com/veterans.

For more information on the AIPP Reflections project and to register a veteran to be involved please visit www.aipp.com.au/about/the-aipp-reflections-project.

Myall Coast News would like to take the opportunity to thank photographers Stuart Marlin and Vivian Hayles who generously have given of their time for this great and important initiative.

All these photos were taken at their photo shoot.

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