Museum to become a centrepiece
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.