Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Aviator's place in history is finally airborne

By SARAH ALLELYNovember 9, 2006

BOB and Dick Hargrave grew up knowing their great-great uncle could fly, even if many people overseas were sceptical. But when they were contacted by the United States' Library of Congress, the brothers knew absolute proof was close.

The US had never acknowledged that Lawrence Hargrave wrote extensively to the Wright brothers in the years between his 1894 box-kite flight at Stanwell Park and their 1903 successful flight. So when the Library of Congress wanted the Hargraves to sign over copyright to the letters several years ago, Dick did so in the hope Lawrence would finally get the recognition he deserved.

Today, many of the Hargrave clan will gather at Stanwell Park for a tribute to Lawrence and Eric Waite, the man responsible for making sure the Illawarra's aviation history was not forgotten.

Dick drove from Victoria with a mock aircraft made from old plane and car parts, to Bob's home in Thirroul this week.

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