Service the start of many memories

BARBARA Muir was just 21 when she joined the Women's Australian Auxiliary Air Force.

She was eager to play her part for her country during World War II after growing up with a father who was a major in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

In 1942 Barbara moved from Murgon, where she grew up, to Sydney to become an air force storekeeper selling nuts and bolts.

After training she was posted to Sandgate where she remained for the rest of the war, until 1946.

She was not always a storekeeper, though. In 1943 she did an equipment course in Melbourne and became known as an equipment assistant. Barbara then moved into the clothing store issuing uniforms before reaching the rank of Non-commissioned Officer Flight Sergeant.

She describes the years from 1942 to 1946 as wonderful. She enjoyed meeting people from all over Australia, who she would otherwise have never met.

After the war, in 1957, she met Tom Muir, who she later married, in Brisbane. After holidaying for years at Tower Court in Hervey Bay the couple made plans to move to the Fraser Coast. When Tom died in 1982 Barbara kept their dream alive and moved to the Bay anyway.

She has remained for 27 years.

Twenty-five of those years Barbara has been a member of the Ex-Service Women's Association of Queensland Hervey Bay branch. She went to the first official meeting and a year later became treasurer, a position she still holds today.

She is one of 60 Bay members of the association which is for all ex-service women who served for Australia from WWII onwards.

Barbara will share her memories and hear about plenty of others this weekend as the Bay branch celebrates its 25-year anniversary.

Tonight a dinner is being held for ex-service women from as far as Townsville at Hervey Bay RSL. The women will then meet for a luncheon tomorrow before wrapping up celebrations with a Sunday breakfast.



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