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Vale Neville “Gus” WINEN. - Airframe Fitter.
11/12/46 - 14/06/2015.


 

Gus Winen has died at age 68, after a long illness, which he fought with courage and dignity.  He will be long-remembered by all who have known him.

Gus joined the RAAF at age 17 and married Maxine, his wife of 48 years.  I first met Gus at RAAF Williamtown in 1966; he was an Airframe Fitter, newly out of Wagga.  Gus looked exactly what he was, a young man from a small South Australian town with the big world in front of him and a new French aircraft to work on. 

Gus’s honesty, integrity and commitment were noticeable from a young age and those characteristics showed through in work and at play, with Gus being a top sportsman, Airframe Fitter and person.  He was small in size but huge in stature and from that young age you could tell he was going places.

He enjoyed life and he enjoyed people; Gus was comfortable in any company.  I know of no one that has heard a bad word said against Gus and, more importantly, I never heard Gus say a bad word about anyone. 

Whilst this is just about the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to write, it is also a privilege to be able to collate a good friend’s story and to remember some of the times I was able to share with Gus.  Like when I first arrived at Butterworth and was temporarily living at an officer’s resort for “Pommies” at Hillside, I think it might have been called ‘Sandhurst’.  The swimming pool was about bathtub size and when Gus, Maxine, my wife and I got in, the pool was full!  Many a good day was spent there whilst awaiting a house to become available.

Gus and Maxine took us under their wings and showed us around Penang, where I could have a quiet drink and where my good wife could shop. 

Gus received his discharge in 1993 (leaving the RAAF as a Squadron Leader) and was far removed from the young man and the little town where he grew up in South Australia.  His service and career in the RAAF epitomise the highest of standards and values of the Air Force.

During the past 10 years Gus has astounded everyone with the manner he has quietly “carried on” while fighting his own battle with his insidious illness.  With his wife Maxine alongside, Gus was always positive in his attitude and smiling in his appearance, never complaining with his ‘lot’ and conveying his friendly disposition of defiance against all of the odds.

Gus had numerous friends and I am proud to be one of many.               

…Gus, you will always be remembered.

Tribute by Jeff Latter.

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