Australia's first airmail flight successfully re-enacted at its first stop.CHALPAT SONTI July 16, 2014 3:46am
One final thrill - those assembled at Mangalore Airport got a buzz (literally) from Benalla pilot Mark Carr in the Winjeel.
It’s not every day you celebrate the 100th anniversary of Australia’s first airmail flight, so when it happens, it is great to see it done in style.
Back in 1914 Frenchman Maurice Guillaux did exactly that as he showed off his newfangled Bleriot monoplane to thousands of people between Melbourne and Sydney en route to delivering the first consignment of airmail in our nation’s history.
Fast forward 100 years (almost) to Saturday morning and the monoplane wasn’t there, but the style remained.
The route had to be changed slightly — the first stop moved to Mangalore Airport rather than the original paddock where Seymour College now stands.
There were a handful of planes too. None were really vintage, but they more than recreated the feel of what it might have been like, and were admired by the 20 or so people who saw the bitter weather beaten back to a sunny, if chilly, morning.
The weather on Friday meant at least one plane couldn’t be flown down from NSW to the start at Essendon, but that didn’t stop the show from going on.
The key plane was the Owen Zupp-piloted Jabiru, representing the Bleriot, which had on board 1785 postcards, the same number of items that Guillaux had on his flight.
It did an orbit of Seymour to tip the hat to the original landing spot before heading to Mangalore.
There was the presentation to Mitchell Shire mayor Rodney Parker, echoing a similar event when Guillaux landed in Seymour.
And another of grateful thanks to Lyn Bradbury of Avenel for helping the Syndey-based organisers out.
Then the handover of the Australia Post consignment of mail and the planes were off again.
Those on the ground might have wished for another echo of 1914 when a bottle of ‘‘red-top’’ was passed around and drunk — on Saturday it might have kept away the chill as much as anything — but they got one final thrill when Benalla pilot Mark Carr buzzed them in his Winjeel.
Organiser Tom Lockley, secretary of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia (NSW) Airmail Centenary Commemoration Group, said the re-enactment had been a year in the making.
‘‘It’s been a huge effort,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s been more than 100 people involved, they have been just so enthusiastic.
‘‘It’s just unbelievable to feel it’s actually happening after all this work.’’
And while all that sounded impressive, he reckoned it wasn’t a patch on 1914.
‘‘Back then they started planning on July 2 and did the trip 14 days later,’’ he said.
‘‘They had to establish four new flying grounds as well, including in Seymour.
‘‘Tell me about the modern-day benfits of internet and mobile phones — I don’t think so .
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
TRUCKtalk magazine all the rage with local truck drivers.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
An unknown sum of money was stolen from Benalla Golf Club this morning after thieves broke into its gaming room.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.