The late Stanley Burrows was perhaps the prime mover in the formation of the club and was no doubt its principal mentor during the formative years.Stan Burrows provided facilities for members to meet and repair damaged equipment, was a tower of strength to beginners and seasoned modellers alike and was on hand each flying day with a stock of essential bits and pieces which he provided at minimum cost. Pictured here are Stan on the left and Bill Edwards on the right at a control line venue in the early 70's.
The late Bill Edwards was born 22nd September, 1921 at Paddington in New South Wales, Australia. He claimed that he couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in aeroplanes. He lived from age 3 at Waverley with Queen’s Park as a playground and a proving ground for model planes. First success was with a kit put out by "The Women’s Weekly" for 2/6 about 1934.
Bill joined the Air League in 1936 with whom he had his first flight in a full-sized plane with Goya Henry in a Genairco biplane in that year. It cost him 2/6 for one circuit. Continued building models without much success, interrupted by sport and girls!
He joined the RAAF in 1941 as ground staff (clerical). Several attempts to transfer to aircrew were unsuccessful until 1943 when he gained a posting to 2ITS (Initial Training School) at Bradfield Park. After initial training he was posted to 11EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) at Benalla for pilot training on Tiger Moths. Further training in Canada ( Empire Air Training Scheme) at 3 SFTS at Calgary, Alberta flying Cessna Cranes and Avro Ansons. He graduated on 7th April, 1944 as Pilot Officer and posted to UK, landing in Scotland on 6th May, 1944.
Because of short stature (less than 5’7") unsuitable for bomber flying and was used as Staff Pilot at 2 Radio School, Yatesbury, Wiltshire, flying Percival Proctors. Repatriated home in November, 1945 and discharged in February, 1946 with the rank of Flying Officer.
Bill flew briefly with the Royal Flying Club in 1947, revisited England in 1949 and was married in 1950.
He continued building models (rubber powered) and joined Cronulla Model Aero Club (CMAC) about 1960, with his main interest being scale modelling. Some competition success was forthcoming with control-line models, including—
First Place in NSW Scale Championships flying a Curtiss Hawk P6E
Second Place (Twice) in NSW Scale Championships
Third Place (Three Times) in NSW Scale Championships
Third Place in Australian National Championships flying a Fokker Southern Cross.
Elected Treasurer of CMAC in 1966 and held the position for more than 20 years.
Was honoured with Life Membership of CMAC in 1977.
Bill Edwards was a modeller for more than 60 years and progressed, with technology, from free-flight to "Galloping Ghost" single channel radio (in 1969) to Digital Proportional radio in 1972.
A year or two before his death Bill had the pleasure of joining a Qantas 747 flight to Antarctica which he considered to be one of his most outstanding memories.
As a lasting tribute to the esteem in which he was held, members of the Cronulla Model Aero Club agreed in 1994 to name the club’s flying field at Menai "The Bill Edwards Memorial Field".
The late Allan and his two eldest sons joined the Cronulla Model Aero Club in the early 70's after flying control-line aircraft on the local football field for some time. After a year or so flying control-line models, a radio set and trainer kit was purchased and the journey into R/C flying was commenced.
Alan and his two eldest sons joined the Cronulla Model Aero Club in the early 70's after flying control-line aircraft on the local football field for some time. After a year or so flying control-line models, a radio set and trainer kit was purchased and the journey into R/C flying was commenced.
Allan's sons later left the club for the usual teenage testosterone-induced pursuits, but Allan continued his hobby and his association with the club which includes a term of over 30 years as the Secretary of CMAC.
Allan is also responsible for commissioning both the clubs first website, and a computerised membership system that keeps track of CMAC members.
Allan has a well-earned reputation for lampooning any unfortunate who manages to publiclly shoot themselves in the foot. A typical example is the commissioning of the Red Baron Trophy 'honouring' the pilot who 'shot down' a fellow member's model by flying through the same piece of sky... In Allan's defense (there's a pun here - wait for it...) the first recipient of the Red Baron trophy previously presented Alan with 'the Boundary Fence Award' when Allan strained his model through the field's new fencing after musing out loud about "which fool will be the first to hit that...".
Allan was honoured with Life Membership of the club in 2004.
Don Bentley joined the Cronulla Model Aero Club about 1975 (he’s not really sure but his "VH" number supports that contention). He is one of only two life member of the club and he gained that honour (despite his protestations) simply because his peers saw him as the linchpin of our organisation. Don was Senior Vice President of the club for more than 20 years.
Don is a toolmaker by trade but his expertise doesn’t rest there. There is little doubt that most members have his skill and ingenuity to thank for a myriad of miracles which have kept them in the air. It is to his well-equipped workshop that all sorts of disasters are taken and nursed back to health in circumstances where, without him, they would have ended on the scrap heap.
His dedication to the progress of the club does not end there. He is the "curator" of our field and it is to him that our members owe a huge debt of gratitude for his work over the years which has provided us with an excellent flying venue. Everything about the place has "DB" stamped on it….The roller for the strip; the shelter shed; the gates and fencing; the toilet facilities; the list is endless. Maintenance of our facility is carried out by working bees of members as circumstances decree……and guess who organises them? Most members turn up with a rake or a shovel or the like…..Don arrives with a trailer load of gear, including a generator, a welder, a chainsaw and enough hand tools to put Bunnings in the shade! Add to that the wherewithal for morning tea and you might have the picture.
It has been said that no man is indispensable but you will not get any argument from CMAC members that Don Bentley puts that adage to the ultimate test.