Royal Australian Air Force centenary commemorations have also ensured history is preserved, with funds generated from merchandise sales donated to RAAF heritage restorations.
CAPTION: CEO of The Air Force Shop Stephen Davie, left, Director General Air Force 2021 Air Commodore Andrew Elfverson and General Manager TLA Merchandise Terry Wilson at the presentation of funds raised through RAAF centenary merchandise sales. Story by Squadron Leader Bruce Chalmers.
During the centenary year, the AF2021 retail licensing program, headed by master licensee TLA Merchandise representing all the AF2021 partners, returned $138,796.
The cheque, presented to Director General Air Force 2021 Air Commodore Andrew Elfverson, represents a commitment by TLA, The Air Force Shop, Bausele Watches, Australia Post and all the centenary retail partners to support the restoration of heritage items critically important in maintaining past links with today’s Air Force.
“Throughout the centenary year, we have all had an opportunity to glimpse the past 100 years of our service in many formats,” Air Commodore Elfverson said.
“Whether that has been through our campaign on social media and the website, the 60 aircraft flypast over the Queen’s Colour Parade on March 31, a visit to any of the RAAF Aviation Heritage Centres or at any of the many base activities, we have all been exposed to our rich RAAF heritage.
“This generous amount reflects the amazing public response to the centenary from current and former Air Force members, their families and the wider Australian community.
“At the same time, we have established new partnerships and continued our enduring and valued relationship with The Air Force Shop.
“History and Heritage Branch will make good use of these funds so present and future generations can reflect on our contribution to Australia and the joint force throughout its history.”
The cheque presentation took place in front of one of the most significant products from the retail partnership, Drew Harrison’s official centenary tryptic painting Then. Now. Always.
The Air Force 2021 project continues until 31 March 2022, with more activities, including the Canberra Centenary Concert and dedication of the Centenary Memorial at Point Cook to be held next year.