Thursday, July 25, 2024

Ex-serviceman returns to the skies

More than 50 years since his last chopper ride over the Great Barrier Reef, Bolton Clarke
Farnorha aged care resident, Don Thomson, has fulfilled his goal to take to the skies again.

The ex-serviceman says the flight brought back memories of his first trip in the 1970s during the late Queen Elizabeth II’s North Queensland visit.

“I saw the reef when I was in the Army way back when the Queen was out,” Don says.

“I was stationed here in Cairns and they said they wanted me to go up and attend to the flag for her visit.

“A C120 RAAF plane called in here, picked me up and flew me up to Cooktown and we flew
low over the reef, so I had a pretty good look at that time.”

Don’s daughter-in-law, Jenny Thomson says a recent Farnorha day trip to Nautalis Aviation
and inspired the flight.

“So she said to me ‘righto, we are going to go for a ride now’ and off we went,” Don said.

“It was a beautiful ride out over the reef, we went over Green Island and Michaelmas Cay.
“Flying up over the reef was the number one thing I wanted to do – we used helicopters a lot so just sitting in the chopper brought back a lot of memories of my Army days.

“Apart from four years I spent down in Adelaide with the Army, I have lived my whole life in Cairns because I just love it so much and this trip has reminded me of the reasons why!”

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