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First Official Aerial Derby
First Official Aerial Derby

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The monument commemorates the starting point of Australia's first official air race in 1920. 

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

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.



Address:34 Peppercorn Way (Loddon Valley Highway), T. J. Rudkins Reserve, Serpentine, 3517
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.410122
Long: 143.974172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:27-August-1920
Actual Event End Date:27-August-1920


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

This marker commemorates the start from 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. Mustard 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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