Mu­seum to be­come a cen­tre­piece

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

Aus­tralian Mu­ni­tions (Thales Aus­tralia) Mul­wala cel­e­brated its 75th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion last Fri­day, Novem­ber 2 which in­cluded the of­fi­cial open­ing of its pro­pel­lant man­u­fac­tur­ing mu­seum.

Past and present em­ploy­ees, and dig­ni­taries, wit­nessed the un­veil­ing of a plaque in re­spect of the mu­seum by the ex­plo­sives fac­tory’s long­est ever serv­ing em­ployee, John Crosth­waite.

Mr Crosth­waite, 72, re­tired in June af­ter 53.8 years on the job, the last 30-plus years as fore­man/team leader in pro­duc­tion’s First Stage Area. “It was un­ex­pected, but a great hon­our,” he told the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle about un­veil­ing the plaque.

“I was pleased to be able to be a part of it. I came here with­out any ex­pec­ta­tion.” Stand­ing along­side John was Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer, Sus­san Ley who then of­fi­cially opened the mu­seum by cut­ting the rib­bon.

Orig­i­nally com­mis­sioned dur­ing World need to be do­ing this here’ (not im­port­ing).” Ms Ley ex­pressed her plea­sure in the changed Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment at­ti­tude which led to a new $230 mil­lion ex­plo­sives fac­tory.

She was thrilled to of­fi­cially open the pro­pel­lant man­u­fac­tur­ing mu­seum, “to show­case what you have con­trib­uted”. “Let’s en­joy and cel­e­brate,” Ms Ley con­cluded.

Air Vice Mar­shall – Chief of Joint Ca­pa­bil­i­ties War­ren McDon­ald said the mile­stone 75th was “about peo­ple, mark­ing some­thing” and “sets a legacy”.

“Lega­cies are very im­por­tant, the em­bod­i­ment of hu­man en­deav­ours. Lega­cies show­case what can be done and what must be done,” he said. Mu­seum a cen­ter­piece

“Hope­fully, this mu­seum will be­come a cen­ter­piece for the in­cred­i­bly rich his­tory of the mil­i­tary in­dus­trial base in Aus­tralia,” Aus­tralian Mu­ni­tions Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Dion Hab­ner told the ap­prox­i­mate 300 peo­ple last Fri­day.

“The clo­sure at the end of last year of the were for­mally ac­knowl­edged and pre­sented with me­men­tos. Gen­eral Man­ager of the Mul­wala Fa­cil­ity Trevor Gunn made spe­cial men­tion of John Crosth­waite then gave a par­tic­u­larly spe­cial wel­come to the most se­nior per­son in at­ten­dance, 93-year-old for­mer Bill Mon­a­han.

“Bill was Man­ager of Fi­nance and Ad­min­is­tra­tion from 1963 to 1989. It’s great to see him here,” Mr Gunn said.

Spe­cial men­tion was also made of Dianne Ware, the long­est serv­ing fe­male em­ployee with 47 years. “Di passed away ear­lier this year and we never got to rec­og­nize her con- tri­b­u­tion to our busi­ness. Her hus­band, David, who was also a long serv­ing em­ployee, is here to­day.”

A per­ma­nent ac­knowl­edge­ment of both John Crosth­waite and Dianne Ware has been cre­ated in the mu­seum.

Tom Re­gener, who was As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor Spe­cial Projects at Mul­wala for the past five years in a De­fence ca­reer span­ning 46 years con­clud­ing last Fri­day, was thanked for his ser­vices and farewelled by his su­pe­ri­ors, Jim Simp­son, As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary De­fence Re­gional Ser­vices Syd­ney and Gen­eral Man­ager Op­er­a­tions An­drew Gehrig.

In the new mu­seum…Fin­ish­ing Area team leader Gerad Flana­gan ex­plains some pro­duced pro­pel­lants ready for sale to some cur­rent and past fi­nance per­son­nel: Bill Mon­a­han (who was in­volved at the fac­tory with the sale of com­mer­cial pro­pel­lants), nurse Geral­dine Meyer, Vicky Long, Dario Prighel, Greg Hope, Kath­eryn Brooks and San­dra O’Kane.

On the day of Mul­wala Ex­plo­sives Fac­tory’s 75 years of pro­pel­lant man­u­fac­ture last Fri­day, the fac­tory’s long­est ever serv­ing em­ployee, re­cently re­tired John Crosth­waite, un­veils the plaque of Mul­wala’s pro­pel­lant man­u­fac­tur­ing mu­seum – along­side, among oth­ers, Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley and Mayor of Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Pat Bourke.

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