Peter MacCormick’s life guard – Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and CareFlight

There was a wonderful attendance to listen to Peter MacCormick’s presentation on his time as a life guard in LA followed by his involvement in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and later with the creation of the CareFlight Service in May 1986 as Foundation President. It was obvious Peter had done an enormous amount of work in preparing for the evening including converting VHS rescue footage to DVD, and slides to photographs creating a PowerPoint show.

BBC Patron Tim Anderson introduced Peter Mac, his great friend since their teenage days. Tim spoke of Peter as one of life’s extraordinary characters and how Peter developed an interest in the saving of life. Tim had been looking over Peter’s shoulder whilst he compiled his presentation and was certain that his fabulous story would inspire everyone present. Tim was confident that due to Peter’s direct involvement with helicopter rescues hundreds of lives have been saved.

Peter spoke of his initial involvement with the Surf Life Saving Association with doing his surf Bronze Medallion at the Bilgola Surf Club with good pal Dick Morath in 1966. After a brief period of working in Sydney for 2 years with Kayser Lingerie as a trainee manager (sounds like the making of another story altogether) he decided that overseas beckoned and he managed to earn his keep on a German cargo freighter bound for Hawaii, suffered severe sea sickness and had an alteration with a drunk German boson who didn’t appreciate Peter “mentioning the War”! Continue reading

Ann Coleman nee Carter’s flying exploits

Ann Coleman nee CarterFirst time presenter Ann Coleman nee Carter entertained us all with her flying exploits, and what exploits they were. With some hard prompting about a year ago from friend Judith Pearson, Anne was nudged regularly to prepare a presentation for the Storytellers. Succumbing to the persistent reminders she began digging out the old diaries and dusting off the slide projector.

In 1968 British Motor Corporation wished to launch their new Morris 1100 car and thought what a great idea to have an around Australia marathon race, named the “Tortoise and the Hare”. They chose two very well-known rally racing drivers, Evan Green, BMC Castrol works driver, and Jack Murray, Castrol test driver. Jack had driven ten times around Australia. In 1954 he won the Redex Reliability Trial, covering the 10,000 miles around Australia in 14 days. He earned the nickname ‘Gelignite Jack’ through his habit of blowing up outback toilets, livening up his entrance to towns along the route.

st-AnnColemanNeeCarter-2Anne at that stage was only 22 years old, a flying instructor and charter pilot and was asked to fly a plane for Rex Aviation in the race. (Anne didn’t tell us she was also the winner of the 1967 Australian Woman Pilot of the Year). Continue reading