Happy birthday to veteran Cyril Maurer who turned 100 last week.
Cyril was born in Lara, Victoria. In April 1942, Cyril enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force and served for six years. He was a leading aircraftman and served with several units such as 55 and 56 Operational Base Units, 8 Mobile Works Squadron and, later, 1 Stores Depot in Tottenham, Victoria.
While serving in the Northern Territory on the Gove Peninsula, all personnel were required to unload the supply ships as quickly as possible to minimise the threat of loss from potential Japanese air raids.
Cyril has some fond memories of his time serving – the comradeship, visiting new places, playing the card game 500, cricket and football.
His favourite memory was being a passenger in a Catalina seaplane during a water landing and take-off in Darwin Harbour.
Cyril was a shoe maker and provided safe and protective footwear for the Air Force. He was also responsible for ensuring the flying boots for the pilots and navigators did not have nails that would scratch the aircraft when they walked on the wings.
After the war, Cyril worked in a slipper factory. He later had jobs repairing shoes and delivering bread. He was an A-Grade billiard player in Geelong, and played and umpired cricket, pursuits he fitted in between raising two daughters who were hearing impaired.
Cyril credits his long life to walking, doing crosswords, an interest in documentaries, playing and watching sport and steering clear of ‘wild women’.
Courtesy Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester.