HISTORY OF CENTRAL HAWKES BAY AERO CLUB (INC.)
The Central Hawkes Bay Aero Club was set up on Thursday 4th April 1935 when a meeting of 19 citizens of the district was held to outline the activities and efforts to bring about the formation of an Aero Club.
Mr H.B.W. (Brian) Boys moved, seconded Mr Brathwaite that “those present form an Aero Club to be named the Central Hawkes Bay Aero Club”.
Before the meeting was held the Club had the benefit of the advice of Sir Leonard Isitt, (then Squadron Leader and Chairman of New Zealand National Airways) and Wing Commander E.A. Gibson, (then Aerodrome Engineer, Public Works Department and Director of Civil Aviation), who approved of the area afterwards purchased.
Funds to purchase the aerodrome were subscribed by way of loan by prominent citizens of Central Hawkes Bay, many of whom donated their loans to the Club.
The first committee set up in April 1935 consisted of:
- A.W. Parsons, Esq. - Patron
- B.W. Parsons, Esq. - President
- Messrs A.E. Jull, C. Raymond, R. McLean and J.W. Harding - Vice Presidents
- C.R. Watson - Secretary and Treasurer
- Messrs J. Paton, C.M. Williamson, R.W. Carpenter, E.R. Perkins and J.L. Brathwaite - Committee
- I.W.N. Mackie, Esq. - Hon Solicitor
At the same time Messrs P.F. Wall, C. Pattison, H.P. Hole, J.W. Harding, J.D. Todd and B.W. Boys were elected as trustees for the Club.
After purchase of the area the Club was assisted most generously by the government in the leveling and drainage of the area under the direction of the Public Works Department. Up to 1944 the aerodrome was leased for grazing. In that year the Club bought its own stock.
In December 1938, Mr B.W. Boys retired from the office of President and Mr C.L. Monckton took up office. Mr Monckton, being on the reserve of the Royal Air Force, re-entered service and was replaced by Mr J.R. Franklin.
About this period, Mr P Murphy was elected as Club Captain. His enthusiasm did much to promote the welfare of the Club. Also in 1939, owing to enlistments, the active membership of the Club ceased to exist. In 1945 the Club commenced active operations again. A noteable act of encouragement occurred in September 1946 when Mr Franklin donated to the Club the Tiger Moth, ZK-ANL.
Back in 1947 with the support of the public of Central Hawkes Bay, particularly in the direction of membership and the interest of the young men of the district who had an inclination towards aviation, the Central Hawkes Bay Aero Club had high hopes of a prosperous and useful future.
(Information taken from the Golden Jubilee book published in 1985).