Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and the his plane, the Southern Cross (these days on display near Brisbane airport) at Toowoomba. Members of the Ballina Aero Club has chosen the anniversary of Sir Charles' Ballina landing - June 7, 1928 - for the dedication of their new clubhouse.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and the his plane, the Southern Cross (these days on display near Brisbane airport) at Toowoomba. Members of the Ballina Aero Club has chosen the anniversary of Sir Charles' Ballina landing - June 7, 1928 - for the dedication of their new clubhouse.

Clubhouse for Ballina flying enthusiasts is set for launch

MEMBERS of Ballina Aero Club were forced out of Ballina Airport due to security crackdowns after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but soon the club will crack open the door to its new clubhouse.

On June 7, the club of flight fanatics will open a $100,000 clubhouse on the outskirts of Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, which will feature a specialised entry to eliminate security concerns.

President Gary Faulks said the new premises, measuring roughly 100sq m, would boost morale and provide facilities for club members and visiting pilots.

"In 2010 we decided to get started on the new clubhouse, so we've been waiting for over three years," he said.

"It will provide a place for us to meet, to have a barbecue, and for pilots to rest and relax."

Mr Faulks said the money for the clubhouse was raised through generous member and sponsor donations and voluntary labour.

The date of the opening, June 7, coincides with the 1928 Ballina landing anniversary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew after their flight across the Pacific.

It was the first Pacific Ocean flight from America to Australia. That year also marked the establishment of the aero club.

A plaque dedicated in 1968 by the Ballina and District Chamber of Commerce will be rededicated on the day.

Ballina Aero Club, which amalgamated with the Ballina Ultralight Flying Club in 2003, is calling for past members to attend the opening at 210 Southern Cross Dr.

Anyone interested in joining the club can email Mr Faulks at ballinaaeroclub@bigpond.com.


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