A heart-warming article, detailing the 50 year reunion of MAF-AIR Ballarat, has been written in this month's edition of "NewLife".
MAF-AIR Sevices was a training and engineering base at Ballarat Airport. Their operation was simple: they would perform commercial aircraft maintenance and use the proceeds to be a self-supporting training ground for engineers, and later, pilots, who would qualify for service on a mission field.
Earle Greeves, former admin officer at MAF air, recounts the extraordinary (and humble) beginnings:
"It was back in late 1961 that the first four Christian engineers, formerly of Aerial Missions, moved into the hangar and huts that has just been vacated by the R.A.A.F.
Missionary Aviation Fellowship Home Council had been looking for a suitable location to set up an engineering and training base close to the Headquarters in Melbourne, and the facilities at Ballarat were very suitable. Also, just at that time, a farmer and his wife in New Zealand responded to the prompting of the Lord to sell their farm and give the proceeds to M.A.F for an unknown new project, thus providing the initial capital. The Secretary of M.A.F. in New Zealand, Alex Jardine, accepted a Call from God to move with his family to Ballarat to take up the position of Manager of this fledgling company. All this was evidence of the Divine tapestry and timing that was being wrought to bring about this vital development."
In 2002, after 40 years of operation, M.A.F relocated the Engineering Home Base to Mareeba in North Queensland, and the Head Office to Cairns, in order to be closer to Field operations.
The reunion was a wonderful time of fellowship and reminiscing as over 120 people from all around Australia and New Zealand gathered to celebrate the milestone.