Mounting support to save museum

COMMUNITY support is soaring in the campaign to reopen the Wagga RAAF Museum.A petition to lobby the Federal Government to save the city’s aviation history has already attracted more than 800 signatures.The petition will appear in The Daily Advertiser for the remainder of this week and needs to be returned to our office by 5pm on October 6.President of AirCare, Geoff Auld, has also enlisted the support of newsagencies in The Marketplace, The Sturt Mall, and Hunter’s on Fitzmaurice Street as well as in Kooringal, Lake Albert, Tolland and Ashmont.The petition is also available to sign at these outlets.Seventy-year-old Bruce Wells has thrown his support behind the campaign because he wants the Japanese military rifle he donated in 1996 reinstated to a display in Wagga as well as his photographs.At 17, Mr Wells was conscripted to the National Service Training Scheme and trained as a pilot.Between 1983 and 1992, he was in the RAAF Active Reserve in Wagga where he became Commander of 28 Squadron Detachment A.“I donated that rifle because the 31 Squadron, which fought against the Japanese off the north coast of Australia between 1942 and 1945, was formed in Wagga during World War II. I wanted to rename the reserve unit in memory of that squadron,” he said.“In order to get the reopening of the museum, there needs to be the support and interest of the community – signing the petition will give that support and interest. The items are of significance to Wagga, not Point Cook and should be brought back.“We have sufficient numbers of interested people who would be willing to staff the museum.”According to signs outside the defunct Wagga RAAF Museum at Forest Hill, it has been “closed for refurbishment” since 2001.The Department of Defence has this month revealed it does not intend to reopen it as was promised to the community seven years ago.