After 55 years of service to Legacy, Dubbo’s Ray Winslow was humbled to receive the Pride of Australia Editor’s Award which honours outstanding community service.
Ray’s decision to become involved in Legacy stemmed from his time as an RAAF pilot in World War II stationed in England from 1944 to 1945.
“After an advanced flying course at Tern, Shropshire, another RAAF pilot and good friend Don Brims and I were sent to join a RAF Squadron based near Plymouth,” Ray told Dubbo Photo News.
It was one of many Aerial Defence of Great Britain (formerly Fighter Command) units.
“Our role along with a number of other pilots from the Empire was flying Hurricanes, and later Spitfires carrying out dummy fighter and torpedo attacks on ships and naval installations training anti-aircraft gunners, and being vectored over the Channel to calibrate radar operations.”
When the European conflict ended, the RAAF pilots serving in these squadrons were assembled at Fighter Command headquarters for repatriation to Australia.
“I was told to fly Mustangs in the war against Japan,” Ray explained.
Atomic bombs on Japan ended the Pacific War and put an end to any further flying.
“I was nearly 22 when I rejoined my civilian job and received a salary about a third less than what I was getting as a flying officer.”
Ray said that adapting to civilian life presented some difficulties but was made easier by the shared comradeship of others.
“Legacy was a field of service deserving the support of returned servicemen who were fortunate to come back home in good health.
“In the early days, widows with young children needed much help and guidance. Here in Dubbo, two of our serving Legatees, Bob Browne and Ivor Trapman, both lost their fathers in World War II and attest to the value of Legacy in their formative years.
“To receive the award was unexpected, but an honour not only to me but also to those many loyal Legatees I was privileged to serve with over the past 55 years.
“Community service has given me much satisfaction and the results, in hindsight, have been rewarding.
“I also owe so much to my late wife Helen for her unstinting support and her personal dedication to so many charities in the community, including the Torchbearers for Legacy,” Ray added.