North Bur­nett hon­ours the mem­ory of pi­lot Ted Kirk

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Adam McCleery

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.

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