Fascinating story of 1930s Rockdale aviator to be told at historical society's meeting

Rockdale aviator Reginald Annabel. Picture: supplied
Rockdale aviator Reginald Annabel. Picture: supplied

The fascinating story of Rockdale aviator Reginald Annabel will be told at the monthly meeting of Sutherland Shire Historical Society'on Saturday May 15.

Guest speaker, librarian Jenny MacRitchie has dubbed Annabel the Daredevil Dairyman.

Annabel was born in 1902 and gained his pilots licence in 1929 at the age of 26. He built his own plane, a Gipsy Moth, at his workshop at James Street, Brighton-Le-Sands.

He visited many country airshows and, on one occasion, flew under the Harbour Bridge.

A year after he gained his pilot's licence, he flew another aircraft on a rare round-Australia flight covering 9000 miles in 17 days.

Sadly, while still only in his 30s, Annabel was killed in a fiery crash at Mascot in 1934.

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

Historical society president Pauline Curby said Ms MacRitchie, a local studies librarian, researcher and writer, was passionate about discovering and sharing the remarkable achievements of lesser known characters.

"She has spent a number of years researching the World War I experiences of hundreds of Sydney soldiers and nurses, and loves to share their stories," Ms Curby said.

"She is co-author of Postings from the Front: the City of Botany Bay and World War I, which was short-listed for a National Trust Heritage Award in 2017."

All are welcome to attend the meeting to be held at 1.30 on Saturday May 15 at Stapleton Centre, 3A Stapleton Avenue Sutherland - just a short walk from Sutherland station.

Those planning to attend are asked to reserve a place at the COVID-safe event by registering at shirehistory@gmail.com