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17 Intake Lizards 1963

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Intake Organisers: John Porter and Leigh Marshall 0438 110451. 

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152 of us including 5 Kiwis arrived at Forest Hill near Wagga Wagga on 15-19 January 1963 as an eager? group of 15 to 16-year-old boys. 

We were soon to meet the members of 15 (Beavers) and 16 (Arabs) intakes who performed the traditional “Rumble” greeting which lasted quite a few weeks - as well as floor cleaning and shoe polishing ceremonies. The 16 intake Arabs decided that we should be called Lizards, a name that we still identify with to this day.

We were soon divided into Flights, 1 to 6, and marched to ‘L’ group and supplied with our kit and then to Medical where we were inoculated against every disease known to man, or so it seemed. So began our first 6 months in Initial Training Squadron (ITS) where we learned how to march, salute, carry a rifle (a Lee Enfield 0.303) and become Airmen. Then it was on to learn Basic fitting, Welding, Blacksmithing, Carpentry and many other useful subjects.

After our first 6 months we were divided into our Aircraft Trades - Airframes, Engines, Electrical, Instruments and Armament, we had no Motor Transport on our Intake, we carried on with our training for the next 2 years.

137 of us graduated on 02 July 1965 and we were dispersed far and wide throughout the RAAF and thus began the remainder of our 15 Year initial sign on. Most of us carried on and completed at least a 20-year engagement, some quite a bit more. Some reached commissioned rank, but the majority finished as Flight Sergeants and Warrant Officers.

We have a network that enables us to keep in touch and we try to have a reunion every 2 years, we do not find it unusual that a bond still exists between us after all these years.

We marched and marched

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Graduating Apprentices

Our Apprenticeships were done

but the Friendships remain forever

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