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First Official Air RacePrint Page Print this page

First Official Aerial Derby
First Official Aerial Derby

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

In 1920, Serpentine was chosen as the starting point of Australia`s first official air race in which four airmen all of whom had served in the Australian Flying Corps in World War One competed, to promote the Second Peace Loan.

Planes were to fly to St. Kilda, circle above the spire of the Christ Church and then proceed to the General Post Office (GPO) in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. The announcement that the planes would carry aerial mail brought a flood of letters to Serpentine.

A large crowd assembled at the `winning post` , the Melbourne Town Hall to Treloar win taking 1 hour 15 minutes and 17 seconds, and the second and third place getters arriving two minutes later, only 8 seconds apart.

The suggestion to erect the marker came from a public meeting called by the Sire of East Loddon to arange Australia Day celebrations in 1983.    The monument is 1.5 metres high wall which supports a propellor of the type used in the race. Other side has a plaque and a map of Australia

Location

Address:Loddon Valley Highway, T. J. Rudkins Park, Serpentine, 3517
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.413889
Long: 143.979722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Sub-Theme:Sport
Actual Event STart Date:27-August-1920
Actual Event End Date:27-August-1920

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 26th January, 1983
Front Inscription

This marker commemorates the start for Serpentine of Australia`s first official air-race on 27th August 1920.

Competitors : Lieut. W.H. Treloar (winner) Capt. R.W. McKenzie M.C. Capt. C.C. Matheson Lieut. E.A. Mustrad D.F.C.

Unveiled by Janette Ireson, Daughter of Lieut. W.H. Treloar on 26th January 1983

Source: MA,RUMV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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