TUESDAY 27th June 2018 at 1400 HRS.


PRESENT:        Gordon Ragg (Chairman)

Vern Reynolds (Acting Secretary) and  18 Members.( Refer attached list )

CO 5 Squadron. and. 22  5 Squadron serving members

The meeting was opened at 1400 Hrs.


5 Squadron Association 2017/18 Last Post.


1 March 2014                Doy                  William S

17 March 2016              Garner              Trevor

4 April 2017                   Munro               Donald I

12 June 2017                 Thompson         Harold B

12 August 2017              Scott                 Derek B

8 August 2017               Sanderson         A Graham

27 August 2017              Gray                 W R James

20 October 2017            Armiger               Colin R

28 October 2017            Penn                 William J

12 December 2017         Coory               Frank J

25 January 2018               Frecklington    Robert

30 January 2018               Robert             Harold

20 March 2018              Denholm           J Kevin

The members paid their respects to former companions by standing in silence for 1 minute.


Apologies were received from 81 members; (refer attached list)

A further 6 RSVPs were not able to show on the day

Motion: That apologies be accepted:                                 Moved: Peter Burch       

Seconded: Neil Wright   



Minutes of the 2017 AGM were distributed to the meeting.

Motion: That the minutes be accepted as a true and correct record.

                                                                                    Moved: Darrel Simpson   

Seconded: Keith Graham






Gordon Ragg, Chairman, reported the Sunderland float, restored by MOTAT and transported to Laucala Bay

by 40 Squadron, has been incorporated in the monument unveiled during the recent Laucala Bay commemorations


The maintenance of the Samoa graves of the Catalina crew is now under local management organised by Gregg Taylor.


The Sunderland at MOTAT has been moved into the display hall and final details are being completed including restoration of the turrents.

The Association has contributed a $5,000 donation towards the restoration of Sunderland NZ4115.








The Chairmanísí Message was presented and copies made available to the meeting  and pertinent points highlighted by the Chairman.

Motion: That the Chairmanís report be accepted.                 Moved: Gordon Ragg   

Seconded: Peter Burch   



ANNUAL ACCOUNTS. to 30 June 2017

The audited annual accounts for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 were  presented, copies distributed and commented on by the Acting Secretary/Treasurer.

Gordon Ragg explained the apparent gap of one year is due to the delay holding this AGM in order to coordnate with a squadron social day..

Vern Reynolds reported subsequent financial activity to date ( unaudited ) is $256.50 revenue from sales of Laucala Bay and Kiwi Orion books.


Motion: That the Accounts to the year ending 30 June 2017, as presented be accepted.

Moved: Don Bennington 

Seconded: Brian OíNeill 

SUBSCRIPTIONS.                                                                           Carried.


 Motion: That the Association subscription be set at $0 for the coming year.

Moved:  Vern. Reynolds

Seconded: Darrel Simpson



Motion: That Larry Mitchell be appointed Examiner of accounts  for a further year:

Moved: Gordon Ragg

Seconded: Darrel Simpson.                                                                                      


One nomination for each for  Chairman, Vice Chairman and Sec/Treasurer was received.   

Motion : That Gordon Ragg be elected as Chairman,  Darrell Simpson for Vice Chairman and Greg Taylor for Secretary/Treasurer for the ensuing year   

Moved: Brian OíNeil      

Seconded: Bob Moody   


The following confirmed nominations for committee members had been received:

Peter Burch,  Don Bennington, Vern Reynolds, Brian Grimwood, Roger Binney

There being no further nominations the Chairman declared those listed be elected.


Gordon Ragg thanked Neil Wright and Grant Dowie for their Committee service and noted Neil Wright has given stirling service for 8 years keeping the database up to date and will hand over the reins to a willing volunteer in Roger Binney.

CO 5 offered to appoint a serving member to the Committee and informed the meeting Flt Lt Andrew Day and crew 1 will be aligned with the Assn.



The Chairman has spoken with Air Cdre Gunton who sends his best wishes, and reports that he is in reasonably good health and willing to continue in the role of Patron.

Motion :That Air Cdre Mal Gunton OBE AFC (Retd) be invited to be Patron for a further year:

Moved: Gordon Ragg

Seconded:  Rodger Binny



Webmaster - Peter Culpan reported on the ongoing success of the website.

Regular hits are coming from NZ and globally.

Peter would appreciate  more input of reports from members, and the Squadron, to post on the website.

The Chairman thanked Peter for his fine efforts in maintaining a high qualiy site for the association and recommended regular visits by members to the comprehensive collection of records available,.


A programme of events at the Laucala Bay commemorations, and inveiling of the superb monument to the flying boat era on 23 March 2018,  was displayed to the meeting. The event was a highlight of the 50th Anniversary of the University of the South {acific.

Gordon Ragg informed the meeting that 26 Association Members had  travelled by RNZAF to attend the Commemorations and the  Fiji P.M. Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama, had expressed warm acknowledgement of New Zealandís contribution to Fiji and the people of theSouth Pacific during that era. 1942 Ė 1967, and ever since.  During the visit the New Zealand Minister of Defence, the Hon Ron Mark, announced increased comitments to defence and surveillance presence in Fijian waters.


Following discussion with 5 Squadron Darrell Simpson drafted revised terms of reference and admin procedures for the 5 Squadron Association Trophy.

Suggested changes and additions to the TORs:

The award will include a framed printed copy of the citation to be retained by the recipient.

Note: If, through time constraints the framed citation has not been produced at the time of the 5 Squadron Association AGM an unframed copy will be presented at the AGM followed by presentation of the framed copy on a subsequent appropriate occasion.

Administrative Procedure for Framed Citation.

1. Recipient selected by CO 5 Squadron.

2. 5 Squadron administration to prepare a high quality printed copy of citation.

3. 5 Squadron Association and CO 5 Squadron to agree on style of framing for citation.

4. 5 Squadron Association responsible for having citation framed.

5. 5 Squadron Association to pay invoice for framing.

6. Framed citation returned to CO 5 Squadron for presentation in conjunction with Association AGM.


Moved the revised Terms of Reference be accepted:

Proposed: Darrell Simpson.

Seconded: Keith Graham.




There being no further business the Chairman closed the AGM at 14:47 hrs.



CO 5 Squadron announced the 2018 winner of the 5 Squadron Association trophy.

Corporal Alex McLean AWS was chosen from 5 worthy nominations for his outstanding achievements on the Squadron.

CO 5 read out the citation and Gordon Ragg presented  the trophy to Corporal McLean.


CO 5 Squadron then presented his brief to the Association members on Squadron activities over the past year, including Operation Takapu in the Middle East, search and rescue operations, crew training demands and ASW capability exercises.

Other points mentioned covered the  high maintenance demands with aging aircraft and the Squadron push for an increase in people.

Wing Commander A.J. Young thanked Gordon Ragg and the Association for their driving part in ensuring the success of the Laucala Bay Monument unveiling.


The Association was informed a Government decision on a P8 Poseidon purchase was expected within weeks and if achieved the Squadron would move to Ohakea.

Members then adjourned to the Walker Lounge for afternoon tea with the current squadron members..




AGM 2018 Ė Attending

Neil Wright

Gordon Ragg

Aaron Young

Vern Reynolds & Louise Hudson

Bob Black

Peter Joyce

Brian OíNeill

John Pendreigh

Peter Bennet

Russell Simons

Barrie Irvine

Don Bennington

Roger Binney

Keith Graham

Don Straker

Darrel Simpson

Peter Burch

Bob Moody

Leon Fox

Peter Culpan




Graeme Munro

Jack Griffiths

Chris Poole

Greg Taylor

Darren Gillard

Hugh Francis

Les Allen

John Cross

Robert Cato

Tony Gainsford

Nick Green

Paul Radford

Des Gyde

Peter Gibson

Brian Bassett

Rick Bulger

Daniel Hunt

Murray Greenfield

Glen graham

Terry Gardiner

Barry Davis

Graeme Sims

John Thompson

Ian Walker

Ian Wright

Wally Plank

Wally Hughes

Carl Nixon

Bruce Bygate

Dave Lark

Peter (PJ) McKay

Mike Kilsby






Doug Wickland

John W Meredith

Rawiri Dave Hemi

Ace Edwards

Evan Wright

Brian Cloudesley

Paul Harrison

Ivor McKay

Keith Green

Brian Dooley

Richard Corry

Kimball Smith

Mike Somerville

Peter Griffin

Roger Thompson

Peter Hilliard

Trevor Healy

Geoff Hounsell

Ivan Toothill

Rex Lorigan

Dave Stromquist USN rtd

Michael Williams

Chris Woods

Chris Hurricks

John Fitch

Mike Wojdyla USN rtd

Brian Lowe

Jonathan Tulitt

Graeme McKay

Roger Longley

Stephen Sharp

Graeme Pleasants












Don Flemming

Doug Edgar

John Schollum

Noel Davie

Martin Passfield

Leon Crosse

Randy Stone

Dick Newlands

Alan White

Peter Weeks

Don Pawson

Mike Spring

Morris Waters

John Hart

Pete Paterson

Brian Grimwood

Ken Milne



RSVPs who were not able to show on the day;

Murray Ransfield

Paddy Kamieson

Glen Morati

Les Matthews

Robin McGrath

Duncan Turbull


5Squadron RNZAF Association

Chairmanís Message to 2018 AGM




Our website  5sqnassn.org.nz  has some coverage of the memorable occasion of the unveiling of an impressive monument at Laucala Bay to commemorate the Royal New Zealand Air Force flying boat era in the South Pacific.  The occasion also marked the 50th anniversary of the closing of RNZAF Station Lauthala Bay and the return to New Zealand of the last 5 Squadron Sunderland MR5. 

Over recent years 5 Squadron Associaton played a central role in bringing this event to fruition on 23 March 2018. This included arranging the supply of a Sunderland wing float for the body of the symbolic structure.  


Before he unveiled the monument Prime Minister Josiah Voreqe Bainimarama spoke warmly of his childhood memories of watching the Sunderlands, and of his warm acknowledgement of the importance of those 25 years of New Zealandís contribution to the welfare of Fiji and its island neighbours.

Included in the 60-strong air force contingent to Fiji were 26 association members, all but myself being Laucala Bay veterans.


In related vein, the membership donated $5,000 to assist the restoration of NZ4115 at MOTAT. The aircraft is now inside the main aviation display hall on Meola Road, fully repainted, and well on the way to full refurbishment.


The association was further acknowledged during Operation Te Auraki (the Return) when I was invited to be an official witness on 7th May to the formal repatriation of the bodily remains of two servicemen who had died during service in Fiji in the 1950s.


Since the 2017 AGM 5 Squadron has had a busy and eventful year of sterling service to the country.

July 2017 saw a change of command when Wg Cdr A J Young took over from Wg Cdr D J Hunt, the latter being promoted to Base Commander of Whenuapai.  In the same month the Minister of Defence, Hon Ron Mark, presented service medals to 18 personnel at a parade in the hangar to celebrate the return from Operation Takapu deployments in the Middle East. During these deployments the squadron earned international praise for the reliabilty, efficiency and effectiveness of its tasked missions.

Its updated sensor and communications fit has proved to be second to none and has transformed the P-3K2, with its mission support, into a true multi-mission platform, readily integrating with other friendly forces.


Equipped with six aircraft and, currently, four operational crews the unit has fulfilled a wide range of tasks including regular South pacific surveillance missions, allied anti-submarine exercising out of both Australia and Guam, international liaison, and support to NZ government agencies.   In addition it trained and graduated ten more aircrew and flew 182 hours on short-notice Search and Rescue tasks.


On your behalf I thank Peter Culpan for his sterling work as our webmaster and committee members Greg Taylor, Neil Wright, Vern Reynolds, Darrell Simpson, Don Bennington, Peter Burch, John Fitch, Brian Grimwood, Grant Dowie and Des Gyde for their willing service in the associationís interests whenever called upon. Neil, Des and Grant will not be standing for re-election this year and can feel well satisfied with the contributions they have each made.


Please let me, or any committee member, know if you become aware of a past member of the squadron who is in ill health or has passed away.  And of families or surviving spouses who might appreciate a call from the association.  Our Last Post page on the website is an important record for us to try to maintain and any input to correct, or add to, the detail will be gratefully received.

And, lastly, if you do not receive your regular monthly copy of  ďAir Force NewsĒ, the official magazine of the RNZAF, you may add your name to the distribution list by email to airforcenews.mil.nz or call the editor Rebecca Quilliam on 021 653 527.




Gordon Ragg AFC JP


Gordon.Ragg@xtra.co.nz                                                                               27 June 2018