An restored AP-3C Orion window is the new baptismal font for christening services thanks to a collaboration between RAAF Base Edinburgh chaplains and the William Kibby VC Veterans Shed.
Donated by No. 92 Wing to the chaplains in 2013, the treasured piece of Air Force memorabilia will be positioned on a wooden stand designed by the Glenelg North Veterans’ Shed.
The Air Warfare Centre (AWC) Information Warfare Directorate (IWD) Chaplain, Squadron Leader Robyn Kidd, discovered and breathed life back into this piece of Air Force history.
“When I first posted into Edinburgh, I found the window dusty and unfortunately not used very much,” Chaplain Kidd said.
“I soon recognised the significance of the window and went about preserving it. I washed it and placed a bag of rice inside so it wouldn’t break.
“The No. 92 Wing window was donated to the chaplains some years ago, in recognition of their strong relationship with the chaplains.
“A number of aircrew and others across the base have had their children baptised by Chaplain Rob Paget using the font.
“I reached out to a Veterans’ Shed to see if they wanted to work together to restore the window.”
Shed Founder and Coordinator of the Veteran’s Shed, Barry Heffernan, said they were thrilled to hear from Chaplain Kidd.
“We made a template to work out the best way we could make the Baptismal Font Cradle and drew up a design to scale to show Squadron Leader Kidd,” Mr Heffernan said.
“It has been built out of dressed pine and will be perfect to last the distance.”
The City of Holdfast Bay Council provided access to land owned by the council, adjacent to the North Glenelg Community Centre, for the Shed as a registered business part of the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
The Glenelg Vet Shed has an open-door policy to veterans from all walks of life, women in particular.
“We open every day and are trying to welcome more women veterans to get rid of the blokey image,” Mr Heffernan said.
“Even though I like to have all the boys in and they’re good blokes, we welcome all veterans.
“Most importantly, we are an alcohol and tobacco free place for our vets to share stories and connect.
“We appreciate the ongoing support and opportunities ADF provides the vets and look forward to a strong partnership for many more years to come.”