Friday 21 September, 2018

World War II veterans honoured at RAFA luncheon

Diana Stewart (R) is presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Major General R.J Neish (L), on behalf of the Jamaica branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, for her generous donation that will allow Veteran James Croach to represent the Jamaica branch of the RAFA at the Centenary Service for the Royal Air Force in London.

Diana Stewart (R) is presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Major General R.J Neish (L), on behalf of the Jamaica branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, for her generous donation that will allow Veteran James Croach to represent the Jamaica branch of the RAFA at the Centenary Service for the Royal Air Force in London.

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Jamaica 580 Branch recently hosted its monthly veteran Luncheon in recognition of our Jamaican veterans at Curphey Place.

Along with veterans from World War II, the luncheon catered to widows, children and grandchildren of these veterans and provided a forum for them to interrelate and receive updates on the activities of RAFA. 

The luncheon also acknowledged Diana Stewart and John Greaves for their very generous contribution that allowed RAFA Jamaica the opportunity to be represented at the Royal Air Force Centenary ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London, in July.

The branch will be represented by James Croach who, at 93 years old, is one of the few remaining veterans who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and will represent the branch as Standard Bearer.

RAFA Jamaica was established on August 16, 1946 as a branch of the Royal Air Forces Association in England. Membership comprises retired and present servicemen and women of the Commonwealth air forces.

(L - R) John Greaves, Major General R.J Neish and Diana Stewart observe a moment of silence for recently fallen veterans.

The major mission of the RAFA is to provide comfort and aid for these men and women. A leading service charity, the RAFA provides, under its Royal Charter, a framework of comradeship and specialist care for serving personnel and their families, elderly and disabled ex-service personnel, RAFA pensioners, widows and widowers.  Support is not confined to members but to all who qualify by virtue of service.

“We strongly believe that it is absolutely essential to continue to provide support and assistance to our veterans, both those of World War II (most of whom are over ninety years old) and those from the JDF, in honour of their service to the nation and in fact, their contribution to the free world that we enjoy.  It is said that the Battle of Britain, which was fought by the Royal Air Force against the German Luftwaffe, was the decisive WWII battle which ‘won’ the war. Those men and women from Jamaica who served in the Royal Air Force during WWI and WWII must always be remembered for their bravery and sacrifice,” stated Major (Ret’d) Johanna Lewin, Chairman of RAFA Jamaica.

During the over seventy years of existence, RAFA Jamaica members have been involved in various aspects of nation building and the deeds of its members and their contributions to the Jamaican society span inter alia the fields of medicine, commerce, law, engineering, religion, diplomatic corps, politics and agriculture.  True to its motto, Non Nobis sed Vobis (Not for Ourselves Alone), RAFA is involved in welfare work not only among ex-service personnel, but also among the society as a whole.

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