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Lois Pitman (1919-2014)
April 28, 2019
Lois Pitman and her friend, acclaimed Olympic athlete and military woman, Doris Carter, had much in common, including friendship, military life and Rushall Park, where they both lived in their latter years.
Born in Australia in 1919, Lois was partially educated in the USA, and was also an Arts graduate of the University of Melbourne. She joined the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force in1942 as a Section Officer. Her first position after the end of the war was with the Department of Post War Reconstruction, providing information to ex-service women about the opportunities available to them. She went on to train as a social worker and worked first with the Red Cross as a welfare officer and then as a medical social worker at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.
The Women’s Royal Australian Air Force was set up in 1950 and Lois was among the first four WRAAF officers, along with others who had been in the WAAAF.
In 1955/6 she took leave to be a psychiatric social worker at St Thomas’ Hospital London, but returned to Australia where she became the director of the WRAAF in 1960 staying in that position until her retirement in 1972 when she was in her mid-50s. Lois succeeded her friend, Doris Carter, in this position.
While director, she studied psychology at the Australian National University. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empirein the military list in 1968. Her final rank was Group Officer, the highest available in the WRAAF.
Lois lived at Rushall Park between 1994 and 2012. She moved to Leith Park where she died in 2014. Lois is remembered by some Rushall Park residents as active in the Residents’ Association, gracious but private and a great supporter of the OCAV.
Photo: Doris Carter and Lois Pitman.