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   John Riches


John Riches

Nickname: Rags
House: Grigg
Years: 1960-1963

My immediate memories of PoW were Freddy Hill DFC and the very attractive and seemingly very young dancing teacher. The former influenced my decision to become a career navigator in the RAAF (as opposed to a pilot much to the disappointment of my late father, a wartime Lancaster pilot, and my son a Navy/Army and now civilian aero medical/rescue helicopter pilot). The latter also had a profound and lasting influence on skills as a dancer, ie never being able to master much more than a shuffle!

Academically I was average and my sporting prowess was restricted to trailing Lamont around the cross country course, always being in the Schools’ second XI or XV but still managing to get my House colours.

After 34 years in the RAAF (highlights included chasing Soviet submarines in the southern ocean, a tour of Vietnam and finally command, as a navigator, of a fighter base) my wife, Elizabeth, and I moved onto her family farm in Central Victoria to raise fat lambs and become immersed in volunteer jobs.

Over the years I have met a number of Old Cambrians (and still keep in touch with some) including Ian McIver, Mike Lawrence–Brown (eminent Perth doctor), Mike Quinn (first as a survey assistant on the Dampier to Mount Tom Price railway line and then, much later, as an air traffic controller), Peter Willers (also ex-RAAF and now living in Caloundra, Queensland), Jim Caird (farming near Warwick, Queensland and a former major in the CMF) and, more recently, Keith Trowell in nearby Gisborne, Victoria.

(Registered - 24th July 2007)

If anyone wishes to contact John, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details