By Amn Tebogo
E. Kekana, AD ASTRA Magazine, photos by F Sgt Lebo Vaarland,
(5ASU), F Sgt David Nomtshongwana, WO2 Christo Crous.
History was made when CAF, Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano officially
commissioned seven engineers at the annual Stanley Walters
award-giving ceremony that was held at the Officer’s mess,
AFB Waterkloof on the 23 January 2009.
The annual Stanley Walters formal dinner for student
engineers was initiated in 1993 by the SAAF Association with
the aim of giving recognition to the student who achieved
the best overall academic percentage during his/her full
time studies for Bachelor of Science (Engineering) while at
University. This event was a celebration dedicated to the
seven students who recently completed their studies at
University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch.
The CAF addressed the students saying, “You are privileged
to have had the chance to study full time at state expense”.
He further informed the students of the changes that are
taking place in the Department of Defence and the SAAF; he
also informed them of the projects that are to be launched
in the near future. He stressed that balance is required in
any lifestyle; fitness needs to be retained as it
strengthens the mind and that makes it easier to study.
Phillip Weyers (SAAFA) addressed the students telling them
that they should not stop studying engineering just because
they are now graduates but they should keep on working and
studying. He shared a bit about the life of the late Lt Col
Stanley Walters before handing the floating trophy to 2Lt
B.J. Blom, who achieved the best overall academic percentage
for his studies at the University of Stellenbosch.
2Lt Blom started his career in the SA Air Force in January
2003 and successfully completed his Basic Military Training
then progressed to officer’s forming course. He then
registered for Introduction to Engineering programme at the
University of Pretoria. In 2003 he enrolled for BSc
(Industrial Engineering degree) at University of
Stellenbosch. In 2005 he requested that his study direction
be changed from Industrial to Electronic Engineering.
These awards (Stanley Walters) are named after an ace pilot
who was involved in both World War I and II. He left the
Union Defence Force in 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel, and then remained a reservist until 1956. He
further continued to pursue a career in the aviation
environment where he became a pioneer of the African routes.
In his last will he left an amount of money to the
Johannesburg Air Force Association. Those funds are the ones
that help in making this prestige awards possible.
Among the guests were Maj Gen M.M.M. Mangethe (GOC Air
Command), Maj Gen H.T. Paine (CDFP), Col L. Ramcharan
(Acting Director Technical Support Services), Col T.P.
Sehlare (OC 68 Air School), Col E. Phale (SSO Technical
Developing), Col H.J Steyn (SSO Engineering Services),
Phillip Weyers (SAAFA National President), Ken Snowball
(SAAFA Designated National President) and Mr Dan Johnson
(SAAFA Chairman of Johannesburg Branch).
The following students were commissioned :( not in any
2Lt B.J. Blom
2Lt N.D. Lottering
2Lt S.A. Tire
2Lt E. Sibanda
2Lt S.N. Kolisi
2Lt D.A. Tselane
CO J Cronje