Alan Wren has had a lifelong association with the aviation industry, starting out as an instrument maker with the Royal Australian Airforce in 1954, and ending up as a general manager in civil aviation.
Despite his civil aviation background, it’s his community work that really gives Alan wings.
For 40 years, he has been a member of Kiwanis – an international volunteer organisation that looks after the needs of young people and children. He’s served as both President and Secretary of his branch.
We do practical things, like building ramps to make life easier for people. We helped build the Kevin Heinze Garden Centre now called ‘Grow’ for young adults with special needs and did a lot at the Belmore School for children with special needs, says Alan.
He’s also a ‘Senior’ Kiwanis member, where a big part of his work was as a first responder, helping out people in need. The part of community work that Alan enjoys the most is mentoring others.
One of the things you notice going into civilian life from being a serviceman is the extra technical knowledge you have that others don’t always know. I find it rewarding to pass on information, and not see it go to waste.
Alan is devoted to his wife Ivy, whom he met in the mid‑1950s at a dance hall where she was a dancing teacher. He and his best mate Warren who was also in the RAAF – started going out with two of the girls from dancing – unbeknownst to them, the two were sisters and Alan and Warren ended up brothers-in-law.
Ivy and Alan are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary next year. They both love music and Alan is a life member of the Robert Stolz Viennese Music Society. Asked about the secret to living a good life, Alan says it’s all about getting involved.
Keep mentally stimulated, and have empathy for other people, he says.