3 Squadron LIFETIMES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search

(By Lew Ranger, November 1989.)


I am privileged to be able to say a few words about my friend and sparring partner of some 35 years.

Lawrie was an extremely capable and open-hearted person who was fortunate to have been posted to the Middle East and in particular to 3 Squadron in the Desert Air Force, in 1940.  I say fortunate because in those early days, when equipment and supplies were hard to come by, the Squadron depended on the initiative, resourcefulness and ability to make do by the airmen of all musterings if aircraft were to be kept airworthy so that the Squadron could fulfill its role in the war.  Lawrie's ability in this direction always existed but he honed and polished it to such a degree that when he entered the building industry after the war his enquiring and inquisitive mind, plus his vast reserve of energy and drive, made it a forgone conclusion that he would succeed as a Master Builder.

There are many structures in this city and in Canberra which pay tribute to his skill.  I like to believe that the Club-House at Asquith Golf Club will always remain a monument to his ability as a builder and to his long-term support for that Club.

Lawrie never neglected his family, his home or his business, yet because of his ongoing interest in people and particularly those in need he never refused a request for aid if at all possible.  In this context he gave freely of himself and his time, and many of us here can testify to this; I take this opportunity to assure Wilma that, as Lawrie gave so unselfishly to others, so she can call on us - his friends - should she need help or support at any time.

Those who had opportunity to spend extended time with Lawrie will know that from sunrise to sunset he was on the go.  He was not one to talk and dream of what might be, but rather be up and doing - not wasting one precious minute that could be better spent in service or learning.  Many people could not cope with his vibrant energy and that was their loss because life was never dull in his company.

Over the years, his good works were directed to the TOC-H movement, to Dr. Barnardo's Homes in this country and in 1970 he joined Sydney Legacy as a member of the Hornsby Group where his endeavours were of help to so many widows.  No problem arose in building or repair fields where the name of L. M. White was not the first to be raised and he will be a hard act to follow and sadly missed by all concerned with Legacy.

It was not unusual for Lawrie to attend a project in an assisting capacity only to find that his ability and enthusiasm would see him calling the tune or directing the traffic for the benefit of those involved.  It was this attitude of involvement and a desire for perfection which made him intolerant of procrastination, of unreliability and of insincerity.  The world has a glut of dreamers and thinkers but a great shortage of producers and doers.

Lawrie was a doer as opposed to a talker and because of this we are all the poorer for his passing.   I believe his epitaph should read -


- L. R.

3 Squadron LIFETIMES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search