PREVIEW: Re-enactment of 1st sanctioned Airmail flight
MANY people are unaware that the first sanctioned airmail flight took off from a paddock in Lismore.
This coming weekend, after four years of planning, vice-president of the RRPS and descendant of Lismore’s second postmaster, Geoff Wotherspoon is excited that the re-enactment is coming together.
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“We were going to get Greg Challinor from Murwillumbah because he has a Tiger Moth, but he had an illness and referred us to Bill (Finlen).
“Bill said ‘What’s it about?’ and we told him and he said ‘I’m in!’
“The fact that Bill has done this for us, free of charge, is incredible.”
Northern Rivers Aero Club is housing Mr Finlen’s one-of-a-kind Moth Major DH60M111 which will be flying the historical route with a bag of official per airmail letters to mark the centenary.
In a letter to accompany the event, Bill McDermott noted that the Lynn brothers had placed an ad in the Northern Star on the 25th June with instruction to add “Per Lynn Bros. Aerial mail” on their envelopes. The men insisted the letters must be endorsed with those words and is possibly the only time in history where words of an individual family or company were allowed to be used on official Royal Mail.
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Even though the Postmaster General changed these words immediately many letters had already gone out and therefore were official mail on that flight.
Great-grandson to Walter Lynn, Luke McDermott explained the importance of the flight:
“A sanctioned flight means the post office take responsibility for the mail and make sure the mail was in fact delivered.
“Delivering the mail was serious business back in the day,” he said.
“The Lynn brothers had to ensure it was properly done.”
Due to COVID-19 this weekend’s re-enactment will be filmed and live-streamed through the Facebook page produced by Luke McDermott: “Australia’s 1st Sanctioned Air Mail: Lismore Casino Tenterfield”.
Peter Harris, of Tenterfield Historical Society will be making a documentary of the event afterwards.
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