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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

An airport terminal building commemorates Paul McGinness , who was a former resident of Framlingham, a decorated World War One pilot and helped to establish the QANTAS airline with his business partner Hudson Fysh.

He served in Palestine, landed at Gallipoli, flew on dozens of missions in rudimentary aeroplanes and shot down at least seven enemy aircraft.

One of Australia's unsung heroes, Paul McGinness, has been honoured with the unveiling of a terminal building at Warrnambool regional airport named after him. The former Framlingham resident was a decorated World War I hero and helped establish Qantas airline, but died a lonely man. He served in Palestine, landed at Gallipoli, flew on dozens of missions in rudimentary aeroplanes and shot down at least seven enemy aircraft.

Long-overdue recognition is finally beginning to flow and more will come next year in a documentary and a new book recognising the centenary of the Gallipoli landing. Yesterday proud relatives and Qantas celebrated the official unveiling of two name plaques which will remind visitors of the pioneer’s contributions.

Granddaughters Leah Hanson and Robynne Nardini travelled from Perth for the occasion and revealed a little more about the man their late mother wrote about in a book entitled The man Australia forgot. 

Qantas representative Tim O’Callaghan said it was a fitting tribute to the man who, with business partner Hudson Fysh, helped establish the national carrier before going his own way.

“Mr Fysh later referred to his former colleague as the first spark of Qantas whose energy and drive was pivotal in securing the 1922 airmail contract that led to the first regular passenger air services,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“On behalf of Qantas I’d like to thank Warrnambool council for its vision to make such an appropriate move to ensure Paul McGinness is not forgotten.”

Ms Hanson said her grandfather had great ideas, but was not so good in relationships. “After the First World War he was still swept away with the camaraderie, excitement and adventure, but when it came down to the nitty gritty of holding the airline together, he couldn’t cope with that,” she said. “I think he had post-traumatic stress disorder. He was married twice — to our grandmother and another lady and that didn’t last either. His father died when he was 11 and the will said that when he was 21 Framlingham was to be sold and the money divided up. He used his money to start Qantas.”

Ms Hanson’s mother Pauline died in 2010 at the age of 82, sadly unable to see the book published. She didn’t see her father for most of her life. He left when she was young and didn’t return to see her until 1951, shortly before his death in 1955 at the age of 58.

Warrnambool resident Jim McCarthy was also recognised yesterday for his contribution, along with the late Gwen Cole, in pushing for recognition of Mr McGinness.
The Standard (VIC), November 21, 2014


Address:Mailors Flat – Koroit Road, Warrnambool Regional Airport, Mailors Flat, 3275
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.299322
Long: 142.449292
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 21st November, 2014
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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