After ten years of lobbying, Lawrence Hargrave has been granted a place in a new aviation museum planned for the Illawarra.
The Stanwell Park-based Lawrence Hargrave Centre has become the Lawrence Hargrave Society. As part of the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame, they will be the driving force behind a massive Lawrence Hargrave display planned for HARS at Albion Park, dedicated to Australian aviation history.
Society president Rob Deacon says the Society has been chipping away for 10 years to have the work of Lawrence Hargrave recognised in the Northern Illawarra, so this is a huge win!
“Lawrence Hargrave was the first person to achieve ‘heavier-than-air’ vertical lift-off,” says Rob, “It was an event of world significance that opened the door for the Smith brothers and Kingsford Smith.
“Lawrence Hargrave was a great aviation pioneer. His contribution was of enormous significance to the development of the first flying machine, and it all happened at Stanwell Park, here in the Northern Illawarra.
“That’s why it’s so significant this display will be installed at HARS.”
Rob says there will be box kites suspended from the ceiling of the massive hanger, which will welcome visits from schools and the general public.
“It will be like the Powerhouse in scale and quality of display,” he says.
A teacher, Rob has been running the school’s Kite Day at Stanwell Park for seventeen years.
“The local memorial was vandalised so I thought we needed to educate local kids about what actually happened, so they would respect the memorial. We started the event in 2001, and the event is still running today,” he says.
“It’s important people recognise this incredible aviation milestone that happened in our area.”
Rob says Part B of the campaign is to have Sydney’s Second International Airport named “The Lawrence Hargrave International Airport ” and the Domestic Terminals named in honour of Nancy-Bird Walton.