Event hon­ours avi­a­tor’s St Marys vis­its

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

He was awarded the Air Force Cross and ap­pointed honorary squadron leader of the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force.

Shortly af­ter his record­break­ing jour­ney, the pas­sion­ate avi­a­tor be­gan vis­it­ing the St Marys dis­trict to give joy flights for 10 shillings each as a way of earn­ing more money for him, his wife and son.

At 38, Sir Kings­ford-Smith, de­ter­mined to show the world the fu­ture of travel lay in avi­a­tion, em­barked on what would be his fi­nal history-mak­ing at­tempt.

He and his co-pi­lot JT Pethy­bridge took off from Eng­land on Novem­ber 6, 1935 and were never seen again. It is be­lieved the plane crashed off the coast of Myan­mar while fly­ing at night on the way to Sin­ga­pore.

Coun­try singer Jon­nie Rus­sell is or­gan­is­ing the con­cert in St Marys to com­mem­o­rate the 80th an­niver­sary of the iconic Aus­tralian’s death.

The con­cert line-up will see the likes of Owen Blun­dell, Lynda Barnes, Freddy Bowen join Jon­nie Rus­sell on stage.

Rus­sell said it was im­por­tant to hon­our Sir Kings­fordSmith’s work in the area.

“Peo­ple would come from miles (to take the flights),” he said. “I’ve been talk­ing to the Pen­rith Coun­cil and St Marys His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety to get some­thing erected there.”

The con­cert will be held at The Band Club from 8pm on Satur­day. Tick­ets are avail­able at the door for $15 and $10 for pen­sion­ers. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 9625 0289.

Main pic­ture cour­tesy of St Marys His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety

Sir Charles Kings­ford-Smith (above) of­ten vis­ited the St Marys area (left) to give joy flights for 10 shillings each, as a way of earn­ing money for his fam­ily.

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