The story of Rockdale's Daredevil Dairyman to be remembered

Rockdale dairyman Reginald Annabel was a daredevil.

One of the original pioneer aviators, his legend is being remembered as part of the Centenary of Sydney Airport celebrations.

In the space of a few short years he flew around Australia, under the Harbour Bridge and even built his own plane in his backyard

Reg Annabel was born July 14, 1902 and gained his pilots licence in 1929 at the age of 26. He built his own plane at his workshop at James Street, Brighton-le-Sands, a Gipsy Moth he christened "Spirit of Fun Junior" and which he few at many country airshows.

A year after he gained his pilot's licence, in 1930 he flew a then rare round-Australia flight covering 9,000 miles in 17 days.

For that trip Reg Annabel flew out of Mascot in a plane called Miss Australia, accompanied by two other Gipsy Moths, Miss Cronulla piloted by Ken Wedgwood and The Gay Caballero piloted by Frank Bardsley.

During the journey, the pilots were refused permission to fly to Tasmania as the machines were deemed by the then Director of Civil Aviation, Colonel Brinsmead as unsuitable for flying over water.

Undeterred they continued on their journey and made it safely back to Mascot to be greeted by hundreds of people.

For their efforts they were called "the beaut young blokes in flying machines".

Reg Annabel went to to do more daring feats including flying through a willy willy over the outback and through a gale over the Bass Strait when he finally made his flight to Hobart.

He was killed at Mascot Aerodrome when The Spirit of Fun Junior stalled in a loop about 300 ft above the ground, diving the earth with terrific force and exploding into flames.

His obituary described him as one of Australia's most daring and intrepid airmen.

Heritage librarian at Mascot Library, Jenny MacRitchie will give a talk on the story of Reg Annabel as part of the Sydney Airport centenary exhibition People and Planes: a community view of Sydney Airport, running at Mascot Library until January 2020.

Exhibition: Mascot Library, closes Friday 31 January 2020.

HISTORY TALK: The Daredevil Dairyman

Saturday, 27 July

2:30 pm - 4pm

Mascot Library and George Hanna Memorial Museum

2 Hatfield Street, Mascot

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