The SA Air Force Association (SAAFA) points out it has been “very much a junior partner” in maintaining the Air Force Memorial to ensure it is a fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
To this end Philip Weyers, currently national public affairs manager and a past national chairman of the Association, notes the Air Force Memorial is jointly owned by the SA Air Force (SAAF) and SAAFA.
“In terms of the agreement SAAFA may contribute to maintenance of the memorial. For manty years the greater bulk of the cost of necessary maintenance and upgrades has been borne by the SAAF with certain aspects financed by SAAF. Lieutenant General FZ Msimang, SAAF Chief, has graciously and generously seen fit to continue this arrangement.”
Weyers said the core objectives of SAAFA are camaraderie between serving and past SAAF members and other air forces; support to past SAAF members in need of assistance; remembrance of all those who did not return home; and support wherever possible of the SAAF.
“The most critical and the one which could, and does, often have life affecting consequences, is support to past SAAF members. This sees all of our many fund raising activities are centred primarily on this benevolent aspect of our operations.
“There is a dedicated fund for assisting the SAAF where possible with projects at the Air Force Memorial which has happened in the past and will doubtless happen again in the future, by mutual agreement with the Chief of the Air Force.
“Membership fees, or annual levies, service a number of cost and budgetary elements including benevolence, operational expenses, Remembrance Parade wreaths, sponsorship of certain SAAF trophies as well as provision for maintenance of the Air Force Memorial.
“Membership fees and levies are employed across a diverse range of operational imperatives, one of which is maintenance of the Air Force Memorial,” Weyers said.