FLYING HIGH: Aviation enthusiasts mark aerodrome anniversary
FOR three years volunteers from around Warwick gave up their weekends to pull down trees and blow up stumps to make way for an important piece of infrastructure that's still thriving today.
About 100 people gathered at the Warwick and District War Memorial Aerodrome this morning to mark the 60th birthday of the airstrip, now used by the Warwick Aero Club, Warwick Gliding Club, Royal Australian Air Force and flying schools.
Queensland Recreational Aircraft Association and Warwick Aero Club president Dr Phil Goyne said the aerodrome started as a forest, but the hard work of volunteers transformed the space into an airstrip.
"The community got very excited about it and drove in from town," he said.
"When it was opened in 1958, 5000 people came and there was a marching band."
Dr Goyne said volunteers worked for three years on the aerodrome, bringing tools and offering their own manual labour to clear the trees for the aerodrome.
The council also donated equipment to assist the cause.
Dr Goyne said without the hard work of volunteers, it would have taken much longer for an aerodrome to be built.
"Commercially it makes a lot of difference and I think it's only going to grow," he said.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud attended the ceremony this morning to unveil a plaque marking the anniversary of the aerodrome.
Former Southern Downs Mayor and aviation enthusiast Ron Bellingham shared his memories of the aerodrome with descendants of the aerodrome volunteers who were in the crowd.