ORAFs - Old Rhodesian Air Force Sods

by Eddy Norris

 

I doubt if there is any living person who has not asked him/herself, "what is the purpose of my life." Unfortunately most of us come to the frustrating realisation that we are likely to end our days without having achieved anything by which to enjoy real self satisfaction or by which to be remembered.

Inventive people may leave a legacy of historic value such as Einstein for working out the theory of Relativity, Mitchell for the British fighter Spitfire, Barnes Wallace for his Dam Busting bombs and so on. Few writers ever succeed in the manner of say, William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemmingway or Winston Churchill and hundreds of politicians will be remembered for a long time, though few in a good light. Yet ordinary people of lesser intellect who have done good for their fellow man, as well as for those of generations to follow, will always be remembered. Such deceased people who come easily to mind in the recent African context are Colonel Baden-Powell for establishing the Boys Scouts movement and Emily Hobhouse for her courage and determination to save the lives of Boer women and children in British concentration camps.

Now turning to myself. My initial efforts in extending my interest and joy in using my PC and the e-mailing facility set me on the path for which I have become fairly well known. I started ORAFS in a small way by connecting some old Air Force buddies together. This worked well but then spread laterally from a small to a very large number of ORAFS adherents. With this came an ever increasing series of stories and question that all pointed to a wide interest by participants in Air Force and Rhodesian history. This had the compelling effect on me to retain whatever came into the ORAFS orbit in a manner that will be interesting and useful to generations to come. In no way am I competing with the formal records held in museums and the like. I am simply satisfying my new-found desire to capture and retain that special and amazing Rhodesian spirit which is the passion of my mind and soul.

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