Hawkesbury Regional Museum has acquired two RAAF uniforms worn by the former Governor of NSW, Professor the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir ADCVO. The uniforms comprise a ceremonial service jacket, trousers and tie; a winter mess dress jacket, long skirt and white dinner shirt; a pair of black leather lace-up shoes and two badges: the Rod of Caduceus and City of Sydney Squadron 22. The dress uniform has now been incorporated into the museum’s popular RAAF display.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford is delighted with the acquisition.
“The Office of Governor of New South Wales the oldest public office in Australia, dating from 1786 when Captain Arthur Phillip was issued a Commission appointing him Governor of the then colony of New South Wales,” Councillor Ford said.
“As well as this, in the Hawkesbury we also have a personal connection with Professor Bashir in that she opened the museum in 2008 and was our guest of honour at Council’s Macquarie 2010 celebrations.”
In her role as Governor from March 2001 to October 2014, Professor Bashir was awarded many distinctions including Honorary Air Commodore of 22 Squadron, which was formed at Richmond in April 1936. As a Citizen Air Force unit, it consisted of two-thirds reserve personnel and one-third permanent members. During World War II, the Squadron carried out anti-submarine and convoy escort patrols off the East Coast. It returned to Australia at the end of 1945, disbanding some eight months later.
The squadron reformed as a Reserve unit in 1948 and continued to provide support for Permanent Air Force activities in the Sydney region with RAAF Active Reserve, Specialist Reserve and Standby Reserve personnel. In July 2010, No. 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron became a Permanent Air Force Unit, reporting to Combat Support Group, and is now responsible for Air Base Management functions in addition to Combat Support duties, with a mix of Permanent and Reserve personnel.
Richmond RAAF has been involved with the museum since 1988, when members of Hawkesbury Historical Society and RAAF Richmond worked together on a display that become a real drawcard for visitors to the area, many of whom had worked for the RAAF over the years.
With this in mind, the museum was recently approached by Wing Commander David Glasson, the Governor’s Honorary Aide-de-Camp, who said “I believe it would be a fitting tribute to Her Excellency’s role as Honorary Air Commodore if the uniform was displayed in such a manner”.