← Articles24 April 2020

Park Lane resident Jim Gordon remembers his years in the RNZAF

Park Lane resident Jim Gordon remembers his years in the RNZAF

Many residents of Arvida’s communities around New Zealand served in the defence forces or have family members in active service. Anzac Day is an opportunity to share military stories, from both war and peace time.

Here’s reminiscence from Jim Gordon, a resident at Arvida’s Park Lane community. He is in the above photo (middle, unnamed) surrounded by his first wireless students.

MY LEARNING YEARS in the RNZAF by Corporal Jim Gordon

1918 saw the writing of an armistice agreement, following WW1. Twelve years later I entered the scene on this globe. Another 15 years later, WW2 came to an end – but the armed services would continue to have a major effect on my life.

I joined the RNZAF in 1950 - the same year I married Grace, my loving partner for 53 years and a wonderful mother to our four children.

While my schooling had been a time of only mediocre achievement, the Air Force gave me wonderful educational opportunities and I gained so much.

The Lower Education Test (L.E.T.), the Higher Education Test (H.E.T), then a mechanics course, followed by a fitters course (each of them of a one year length) were some of the learning experiences.

Sure, I found parades a ‘pain’ - in the early days, it was not unknown for me to earn a dose of ‘CC’ (confined to camp) for my sins - but that wonderful education assisted in my subsequent graduation with great results, and attaining NZCE (NZ Certificate in Engineering).

My final years of the 12 spent in the RNZAF saw me as an instructor at Wigram's Wireless School.