RAAF Wagga Officers’ Mess; on the move!
Since 1940, the RAAF Wagga Officers’ Mess has opened its doors to many members and guests. As RAAF Wagga prepares for base redevelopment, the Officers’ Mess has relocated from Building 40 to the Sergeants Mess on 1 Jul 19. The Sergeants Mess has been renamed the Beaufighter Mess as a way of embracing the cohabitation of two messes’ in one facility. The former Officers’ Mess dining and lounge areas (including the fire place) will be retained as heritage rooms and will be known as the Beaufighter Annex.
To commemorate this significant milestone in RAAF Wagga history, a mixed dining in night was held on 20 Jun 19. During the evening, Honorary Mess members, AIRCDRE Lerve, Mr Taggart, Mr Kerr, Mr Wells and Dr Pinto, along with former PMCs AIRCDRE Rodgers, GPCAPTs Ratz, Ellison, Gibb, and WGCDRs Hall and Wennerbom regaled guests with many funny stories about times gone by, and prominent events in Mess history.
The current PMC, SQNLDR Rob Dias, recalled that, ‘the fireplace was a focal point of deep earnest discussion, banter and shenanigans over more than seventy years and that the walls in this mess could tell many a story.’
We are already confident the Beaufighter Mess will take its place in RAAF Wagga’s history 70 years from now.
by SQNLDR Rob Dias (PMC)
On the 01 July 2019, the RAAF Wagga SGTS Mess welcomed Officers into the building 79 years after it first opened its doors on 01 July 1940. The new Mess will be named the Beaufighter Mess and will be managed by joint Officer, SNCO committees.
A Mess Commemorative Dinner was held in the SGT’s Mess on 29 July 2019 to celebrate the life and times of the Mess. Previous CMCs and Life Honorary Members told stories of days gone by with dinning-in nights of 200 people, and epic mess balls requiring days to decorate the building. We were again reminded by Mr Dave Gill (Former CMC & Life Honorary) that the SGT’s Mess is not just about bricks and mortar, but the people who come together to socialise and provide support to each other. The evening was an event that will also be remembered in years to come.
The SNCOs at RAAF Base Wagga look forward to deepening already close ties with the officer fraternity through shared use of the Beaufighter Mess, including joint morning teas, raffles and functions. I’m sure it will take no time at all for the Beaufighter Mess to become so much more than, ‘bricks and mortar” for a new generation of Air Force leaders.
by WOFF Andrew Garnett (CMC)