Sunset over a century commemorations concludes at Derby Airport

Published on Thursday, 23 September 2021 at 7:37:27 AM

The flight was in recognition of the achievements of a great Western Australian, Sir Norman Brearley, who founded Western Australian Airways; and all early aviators and their crew; and the regional towns and stations involved in the early years of the aviation industry.

Shire President Geoff Haerewa said 23 planes flew in from the Royal Aero Club of WA after recreating the historic flight departing from Perth, Geraldton, Onslow, Broome and finally on to Derby.


“The welcome reception at the Derby Airport terminal, which was proudly sponsored by the Shire and open to all in the community, included a historic aviation display inside the terminal, providing plenty of interest while wandering through and enjoying canapés and refreshments,” Cr Haerewa said.


“Outside those braving the hot weather, could make the most the opportunity to have a guided tour on the ground around the planes that had made the commemorative flight, including a vintage Stinson Reliant built in 1935.


“Before the official welcome and unveiling of a commemorative plaque, guests were treated to a performance by the Mowanjum dancers at sunset.


“One of the highlights during the official proceedings, was a video message and letter from the Governor of WA, His Excellency the Honourable Kim Beazley; and a speech from Simon Bennison, the grandson of aviation pioneer Sir Norman Brearley. Sally Bennison, Sir Norman’s granddaughter, was also a very special guest.


“The Shire was delighted with the event and the opportunity to sponsor $25,000 towards these significant Sunset over a Century commemorations.


“We would also like to recognise the contribution of all the staff and Shire councillors who contributed to the event and to thank these sponsors in particular who all worked together to help make this event happen:

  • Australia’s Northwest             
  • Peter Leutenegger
  • Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation
  • Elders
  • Elders Insurance
  • Horizontal Falls Seaplanes
  • Derby Visitors Centre


“Finally, I would also like to thank all our special guests who flew in from the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, and those representing the RAAF Curtin Squadron.”







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