For Valour – an account of Leonard Cheshire’s wartime experiences

The Ryder Cheshire Foundation was founded by Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire.  This article about Leonard’s wartime experience is reprinted with kind permission of the editor of the magazine 90 Flypast August 2016.

 With four tours and 102 ‘ops’, many people regard Leonard Cheshire as the RAF’s greatest bomber pilot. Graham Pitchfork profiles an outstanding man.

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During his time at Merton College, Oxford. Chester born Leonard Cheshire joined the famous University Air Squadron. Mobilized at the outbreak of war he trained as a bomber pilot, flying with the Whitley-equipped 102 Squadron.

On the night of November 12/13, 1940 his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Cologne, igniting a flare in the bomb bay. A fierce fire was put out by the crew and Cheshire managed to bring the crippled bomber and its wounded crew back to base. He was awarded an immediate DSO, a very rare honour for a pilot officer. Continue reading For Valour – an account of Leonard Cheshire’s wartime experiences

Liz and John

Our impression of Dehradun as we arrived at Jolly Grant Airport was of a verdant oasis with the picturesque Garhwal hills behind, signalling the mighty Himalayan peaks beyond. On arrival we found Raphael was a peaceful environment and the staff were most welcoming and informative, so we quickly felt “at home”.
As it was the school holidays for the first two weeks this gave us the opportunity to interact with the staff and residents of Ava Vihar, Shiv Sadan, the Little White House and the Chronic ward. The teachers discussed their comprehensive programs and there was much sharing of ideas and activities which the staff were eager to incorporate.

Nature walk with Ava Vihar Residents-resized to 50%We enjoyed interacting with the residents of Ava Vihar and the Little White House and joined in with the music and singing sessions which were a popular time.  We contributed new songs to their repertoire and joined their nature walks. Art activities and Physical activities were shared times also. John joined the boys from the Little White House for cricket in the sultry summer evenings and was impressed with their natural ability!

Continue reading Liz and John

Shared Love in East Timor

 

Fr Ted Burns is a retired priest of the Melbourne Archdiocese.  He has had a long association with Ryder-Cheshire and was instrumental many years ago in recruiting our current RCA President, Peter Newton AO.  Fr Burns recently visited Klibur Domin in company with Peter. He is the author of this article which is appearing in the Catholic magazine Annals Australasia and the text is reproduced here with kind permission of
Fr Burns and the publisher.

 

 SHARED LOVE IN EAST TIMOR

 RYDER-CHESHIRE IN ACTION ON AUSTRALIA’S DOORSTEP 

By Fr. Ted Burns PE

It’s not every day that a priest (especially one in his late 70s) gets such a sweet smile from a young lady. It happened to me recently at a small village in Ermera province, in the rugged mountains of Timor-Leste, better-known as East Timor.

The lady concerned was about 10 months old.  As she beamed at me from her mother’s arms, I realized, as her tiny face lit up, that she had virtually no upper lip. My immediate reaction was resolving to find help for her. Such cases are not unusual.

On this visit to East Timor, I had joined the mobile unit of a Community Based Rehabilitation team from Klibur Domin (KD) a Ryder-Cheshire (RCA) initiative sponsored by Australians and New Zealanders, and operated by about 40 local Timorese from their base at Tibar, 17 km west of Dili.

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Fr Burns with mothers and young patients

Klibur Domin is Timorese for Shared Love, and the Mobile Rehab team is just one arm of this wonderfully effective outfit. There is also a Mobile TB team. It too travels to remote villages, diagnosing and treating sufferers. Timor has one of the highest rates of TB in the world, and literally hundreds have been treated, thanks to the Clinic at  KD. Continue reading Shared Love in East Timor

Stuart and Jeanette

Recently we had the privilege of spending two weeks as volunteers   at Klibur Domin.  We were warmly welcomed into this eclectic community and were impressed by the wide range of programs operating out of KD.

We were happy to fit in where needed while we were there.

daw 1Stuart joined Barry (volunteer) in general maintenance around the place and in continuing to work on the kitchen garden established by Barry.  They also spent time sorting and repairing equipment stored in a container on the compound. We had taken Daw 4some medical supplies over with us and Stuart, a nurse, spent time with the clinic nurse going through the supplies and discussing how they could be used.  Stuart also had the opportunity to spend a day Daw 7with the immunisation team which was a highlight for him professionally.

Continue reading Stuart and Jeanette

The Story of the Red Feather

By Evelyn Petters

Editors past and present:

 Margaret Blaber 2000 Conf DinnerEvelyn Petters 2016

Margaret Blaber 1987 – 2001              Evelyn Petters 2003 – ongoing

At the Biennial Conference in April, Evelyn Petters, spoke about the history of our Newsletter, The Red Feather.  Here is an excerpt, starting with a letter written in 2001 by the former Editor, the late Margaret Blaber of Adelaide, SA.

“In mid-1987 I received a surprising phone call – would I be interested in organising a Newsletter for the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation?   There would be an honorarium.  …..  In half an hour a car arrived and I found myself at the home of Dame Roma Mitchell in East Terrace.  I was then introduced to Dame Roma, Leonard Cheshire and Sue Ryder.  Wow!  I was overawed at being “interviewed”.  Leonard offered me a cup of coffee and within a very short time I felt completely at ease.  I knew nothing about the Ryder-Cheshire organization, but I did know of Leonard Cheshire and his war time record.  It was a most unusual “interview”, more a conversation about what would be involved and an agreement that a monthly honorarium would be paid.   It never was.   It did not take me long to realise that the honorarium would be an expense that the organisation could ill-afford and the more I learned about Ryder-Cheshire the more I was happy to take on the task on a voluntary basis and did so for the next  15 years  …..  (and over 50 issues)” Continue reading The Story of the Red Feather