Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith Print Page
The Kingsford Smith Memorial Park commemorates aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935). The park's first name, in 1935, was Jubilee Park to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. This however was changed only a year later to Kingsford Smith Memorial Park and Playground, in honour of the pioneer Australian aviator.
On 7 March 1938, Lord Wakehurst, Governor of NSW, dedicated the entrance pavilion with a slate plaque, the lintel bearing the words Kingsford Smith Memorial Park. This was topped with a hemispherical metal dome showing a relief map of Australia, with a two foot scale model of Southern Cross, constructed by Mr Evan Cork of Randwick, mounted above it . In 1939 Katoomba Council constructed the band rotunda and public lavatories at a cost of ₤329 in time for the official opening on 1 January 1940, by the Hon. L. O. Martin, KCMG, Minister for Works and Local Government, a brass plaque on the pavilion commemorates this.
In 1928, Kingsford Smith, in the aircraft Southern Cross, with co-pilot Charles Ulm, and navigation crew Harry Lyon and Jim Warner, had made the first trans-pacific flight from San Francisco to Brisbane, with refuelling stops at Hawaii and Fiji. Leaving Oakland Field on 31 May, they crossed the coast over Ballina at dawn on 8 June and turned north along the coast for Brisbane to refuel, landing at Eagle Farm. They then flew south to Sydney on the same day, where they were welcomed by a crowd of 300,000 people at Mascot. Smith and Ulm had spent over 83 hours in the air in an open cockpit, numbed by cold and lashed by storms, without sleep and deafened for several days after the flight by the engine noise. Being unable to hear, the only way they could communicate with each other and with Lyon and Walker in the cabin behind was via pencilled notes passed between them, these jottings on scap paper are now preserved in the State Library of New South Wales.
On 8 November 1935, Smithy, at the age of only 38, was killed when he crashed into the sea near Aye Island in the Bay of Bengal, while making an attempt on the England-Australia speed record in the Lady Southern Cross, only the nose wheel of the plane was recovered.
|Address:||Gang Gang & Lurline Streets, Kingsford-Smith Memorial Park, Katoomba, 2780|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.712467|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Monument Designer:||Evan Cork (Southern Cross)|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Monday 7th March, 1938|
WAS OFFICIALLY OPENED
HON. L.O.MARTIN M.L.A.
MINISTER FOR WORKS
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
1st JANUARY 1940
THIS TABLET WAS UNVEILED BY HIS EXCELLENCY The Governor of New South Wales THE LORD WAKEHURST K.C.M.G.
On 7th March 1938 in appreciation of the outstanding service rendered by AIR COMMODORE SIR CHARLES KINGSFORD SMITH M.C., D.F.C. In the cause of aviation and as a tribute to his great skill and courage