This is our final edition for the year and I take the opportunity to wish every member season’s greetings and best wishes for a bright new year in 2019.
Just exactly which year I first visited Rongotai airfield I'm unsure, but it would have been around 1950. My family lived in Wellington's eastern suburbs and my father Joseph, who lived there all his life, had witnessed with enthusiasm the birth of aviation in the capital. He was just sixteen when the first Avro 504’s landed at Lyall Bay recreation ground and, a keen amateur photographer, he recorded this early flying activity and continued to do so, visiting Rongotai aerodrome regularly on weekends, until it closed for redevelopment in 1958.
Stirling BK77and Alexander’s Ragtime Crew.
This year, 2018, marks the centenary of the Armistice which ended the Great War. It also records another important anniversary: 80 years ago since the first flying training course was conducted by the new Royal New Zealand Air Force at Wigram, Christchurch. There were many important identities on the course, not the least of whom was Pilot Officer Sidney Weetman Rochford Hughes.
Graham Stewart is one of New Zealand’s foremost publishers His Grantham House label has produced several fine books including aviation subjects. He is best-known for his exhaustive knowledge of railway matters. In an earlier life he was first a very good newspaper photographer then illustrations editor for the esteemed New Zealand Herald when it was owned by Wilson & Horton Limited. From his library he has provided some fine illustrations of flying boats from the fleet of Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL).