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 .
Police have arrested a man who allegedly escaped Dhurringile prison on Tuesday.
After building his form in a consistent effort during the past 12 months, Mulwala double trap shooter James Willett has staked his claim on possible Olympic gold after taking out the ISSF World Cup last week.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
SUNDAY will be a day of mixed emotions as Kristy Serpell remembers her son Jordan.
ROCHESTER V/Line travellers can now buy tickets in their home town again.
Lions Club charity money was stolen from a Kyabram barbershop Tuesday morning.
Seymour suffers disappointing loss to Euroa
Barooga transport owner-operator Glen Kearney says he is relieved the Federal Government has abolished the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
he success of the 2015 Barooga Sports Classic Pairs event has made the organisers the worthy recipient of the Berrigan Shire’s Event Management award at the Berrigan Shire Business and Environment Awards.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
Australian Dairy Farmers Limited has expressed disappointment at the announcement made by Murray Goulburn Co-operative about their revised opening milk price.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.