The Sir Alan Cobham Memorial Award

Awarded for meritorious service to the Company.
(formerly the Award of Merit)

2023 awarded to:  Reverend Dr Richard Waugh QSM

For the last 25 years, the Honorary Chaplain to the New Zealand Region, the Rev Dr Richard Waugh, has provided pastoral care to a large number of bereaved family members of the victims of aviation accidents and the wider community connected to those accidents; this is in addition to his normal chaplaincy work. He has facilitated public memorial services to commemorate every major New Zealand air accident. It would be fair to say that in doing so he has raised the public profile of the Hon Company more than any other person in the Region.

Richard Waugh is a well-known aviation historian in New Zealand who was invited in 1998 by the then visiting Master to become the Honorary Chaplain to the NZ Region.  Despite holding a number of important positions including being the National Superintendent of the WAUGH Richard2Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand, and the Chairperson of the New Zealand National Church Leaders Meeting (all denominations), Richard accepted the challenge. Richard has carried out his duties in an extremely innovative way by organising public commemoration services at appropriate times, normally near the site of each accident. The most recent one, the 60th anniversary of the Kaimai Range crash in which 23 people lost their lives, was held on 3 July this year with a large attendance.

Undoubtably, his greatest achievement in the aviation field was to persuade the New Zealand government to finance and build a memorial to commemorate the crash of a DC10 on Mt Erebus, Antarctica in 1979 at which 257 souls perished. Starting in 2016, a small group of Air Pilot and family members advised and supported Richard with this project. He continues to liaise with bereaved family members regularly, with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and the local Iwi (tribe), who own the land on which any memorial would be built. This is still a work in progress as the proposed site has now been found to be geologically unsuitable for the planned memorial, and another site will have to be found.

For his inspirational pastoral care, his work in raising the public profile of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and his services to all members and the wider community, Richard Waugh is a worthy recipient of the Sir Alan Cobham Memorial Award.

Previous Winners:

... of the Award of Merit

1959/60   E B Trubshaw Esq

1960/61   Wg Cdr C E F Arthur AFC

1961/62   awarded twice:
      C L Pashley Esq MBE AFC
      Gp Capt H A Purvis DFC AFC

1964/65   C A Nepean Bishop Esq

1965/66   Miss Sheila Scott

1966/67   C C H Dash Esq

1968 - 1970  not wardeded

1970/71   Mrs V Dowling

1971/72   E Day Esq

1973   not awarded

1973/74  awarded twice:
      Lt Col R Smith ERD
     Sir Frederick Tymms KCIE MC

1974/75  awarded twice:
       L A Wingfield Esq MC DFC
      Captain J E Futcher

1975/76   Captain R E Gillman DFC

1976/77   A P W Cane Esq

1977/78   J L B Cowan Esq

1979 - 1980   not awarded

1980/81   Captain Brian Powell

1981/82   Captain Jack Nicholl

1982/83   Robert Pooley Esq

1984   not awarded

1984/85   W T F Rossiter Esq

1986   not awarded

1986/87   Captain Charles A Owens LVO

1987/88   Captain John D Mackellar

1988/89   Cyril (Ray) Jeffs Esq OBE

1989/90   Captain Neville Grady

1991   not awarded

1991/92   Captain Maurice R Aries

1993 - 1994  not awarded

1994/95   Raymond Baxter Esq

1995/96   The late Ronald D Campbell Esq MBE

1996/97   Dr Michael Bagshaw

1997/98   Past Master Fred S Stringer

1998/99   Hugh O Field Esq

1999/2000   Captain Ray Heiniger

2000/01   Captain Clive E Elton

2001/02   Captain Jack G L Smith 

2002/03   Captain C L Hodgkinson

2003/04   Captain John B Robinson

2004/05   Captain John Mason

2005/06   Michael J A Glover

2006/07  Captain David Martin

2007/08   John W Kessey

2008/09  Captain Richard (Dick) Felix

2009/10  Captain Ian Frow

2011  not awarded

2011/12  John Stuart Burley Esq OBE FRAeS

2013  not awarded

2014  Ronald Price

2015  not awarded

... of the Sir Alan Cobham Memorial Award

2016   not awarded

2017  awarded twice:
      David C Curgenven
      Peter Adrian Bird

2018  awarded twice:
      Donna Farquhar
      Captain Barry Mitchell

2019  Ruth M Cundy

2020  Will Wright and Becky Kwo

2021  not awarded

2022  Past Master Captain Peter L Buggé 

2023  Reverend Dr Richard Waugh QSM