23 July, 2021
Lifesaving plane immortalised
Sandy Kidd's Cessna Plane to come home.
THE Cessna plane of western legend Sandy Kidd will receive a hangar in Windorah within the next two months.
The hangar will be 150 metres squared and will sit across from the museum, on Albert St, with other attractions such as the old courthouse (which will also be preserved), an old windmill, and a “big ol’” wagon.
These attractions will be situated on a block owned by the Windorah Development Association — the block is to be dubbed “Pioneers Park” and will commemorate local legends, artefacts, and heritage.
The plane’s significance to the region cannot be underrated, Mr Kidd along with his wife Anne saved many lives all around the Central West.
Mr Kidd would fly to sick or injured people, and Mrs Kidd, who was a trained nurse, would look after them.
He would also do food and supply runs when the region flooded.
Their work was unpaid and voluntary.
The Windorah Development Association, through rigorous fundraising, was able to purchase the plane at a discounted price, as the owners wished to see the plane return to its place of origin.
The plane cost the Windorah Development Association $10,000, and the shed and hangar costed $55,000.
The Development Association come up a little bit short with funding, but construction company Henney and Co (owned by Joel Henney, grandson of Sandy and Anne), were willing to erect the hangar at a discounted price.
Windorah Development Board President Marilyn Simpson said the plane, and the legacy of Sandy and Anne is a vital part of the region’s history.
“There was one story that happened in Yaraka where a gentleman was very unwell - Ken Ballinger - and he needed a nurse, so they flew Anne in and saved him,” she said.
She said the plane, along with the rest of Pioneers Park, will be bigger in concept and size to the Windorah Museum.
“We would like to turn it into a major tourist attraction; this will include creating a digitalised version of the history, which will also be costly,” she said.
“The [Barcoo Shire] Council have supported us through processing the application, and they didn’t charge us [the council waived a $1000 development fee].”
The hangar will be put up within the next few months, with an opening for Pioneers Park by the end of the year.
Ms Simpson said they plan to continue adding to the park over the years.
She also thanked everyone who has helped and given their time to the project, voluntarily or funded.