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Northern NSW : Winter 2011
It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of Ivor Durham on February 4th in a tragic helicopter accident at Cessnock airport which also took the life of another young pilot. Ivor flew as a casual pilot for the Ser vice in Newcastle from 2000 to During February the Service was also shocked by the sudden passing of Brian Birchall, former Tamwor th Westpac Bank Business Manger, New England North West Advisory Committee member for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, support crew member of the annual Mountain Bike Bash, Rotarian, husband, father and grandfather Brian’s passing was sudden and a shock to all that knew him. A memorial service was held in the new hangar of the Tamworth Helicopter Base in his honour. Brian is survived by his wife Jan, Mathew, Michael, Karen , Kerry and their families. 2007 and was universally liked and admired for his quiet professional manner, his sense of humor and his love of flying. Despite several attempts to lure him to a full-time position with the Service Ivor chose to pursue his own flying school and charter business which has grown to become one of the premier operations in the state. Ivor was known throughout the helicopter industry in Australia as one of the most decent and honest blokes you could ever encounter. His loss is keenly felt by all who knew him. Ivor pictured here being visited during a quiet moment by his son Jack whilst on duty at the Newcastle base. Brian Birchall, pictured, on the Barossa Valley to Tamworth Bike Ride in March 2010. Ivor Durham Brian “Birch” Birchall Sad news for service Rescue Story: Norm Jones Norm Jones established the Denman Suppor t Group because he knew how much the people of the Upper Hunter valued the work of the Service. In May 2009 the helicopter, crew and Ambulance Paramedics arrived at his Denman property and transported him to the John Hunter Hospital to receive specialist care following a heart attack. “ T his really is the most important community service we have and we need the community’s support to keep it going. It doesn’t matter if its $1 or $10 – it will always help someone,” Norm said. Nor m in 2011 resumed his position as Chair of the Denman Volunteer Suppor t Group. Norm’s son Ian Jones is a senior employee in the open cut operations at Coal & Allied’s Bengalla Mine near Muswellbrook. Like most of his colleagues at Bengalla, Ian supports the Service through the employee giving program by donating to the Ser vice each pay. Coal & Allied is a long term Logo Rights Sponsor of the Service and supporter of many of the Ser vice’s events in the Upper Hunter. Norm, granddaughter Emily and son Ian visiting the Boradmeadow Base. Page 4 Westpac Rescue Helicopter Ser vice - Rescue Winter 2011