GAYNDAH AIRFIELD RENAMED
North Burnett honours the memory of pilot Ted Kirk
RAAF Secondworldwar hero Ted Kirk’s name was immortalised at the weekend with the Gayndah Aerodrome officially renamed in his honour.
Mr Kirk died last year and family and friends felt it would be a fitting tribute to honour him through his decades long love of flying.
Mr Kirk’s widow Grace Kirk and extended family were on site for the opening.
“I’m very proud to be here and very humble for Ted’s sake,” Mrs Kirk said.
“He would have been so thrilled to be here today and to see all these different planes.
“It’s amazed me how many people have turned up, Ted was 92 when he passed and for the last 20 years we haven’t been terribly active and I really didn’t expect to see so many people.”
Mr Kirk fell in love with flying when he joined the RAAF and he carried that love with him for the rest of his life.
A large contingent of community members and pilots from around the state flew in to celebrate the renaming including RAAF Wing Commander Guy Thomas Burton.
Mr Burton never got the chance to meet Ted Kirk personally, however his name is recognised in the RAAF even today so he did some research on his fellow airman.
“On behalf of the Chief of the Air Force thank you for inviting the Royal Australian Air Force to be part of this special occasion,” Mr Burton said.
“I did a bit of reading in the past few weeks and through my discussions with Grace and the Kirk family, Ted was clearly a man who displayed a great number of admirable attributes and was known as a bit of a character.”
“Ted’s attributes of selflessness and courage shine through in the reading, in many ways Ted displayed the values and character that we find in a lot or our air force personal even today.”
While the air force has changed immensely since the days of the Second Worldwar Mr Burton believes there is still some things that will never change.
“Many of them are exactly like a young Ted Kirk of over 70 years ago,” Mr Burton said.
“I think Ted would recognise those sorts of attributes in our people.”
Mrs Kirk was emotional as she unveiled the new plaque which honours the life of her late husband.