I do like a good museum and often you’ll find stories that really explain the culture of a region. One of my favourites is the Katherine Museum and the story of its flying doctor. Another is Cooktown with its impressive collection from each era of its past including Captain Cook’s unexpected layover here when the Endeavour was holed on the Great Barrier Reef. Port Hedland Historical Society too, has a ripper little museum and it is there that I read this story:
“Local aviator Len Taplin was once stuck in Broome and, desperate to get back to Hedland to keep a date with a young lady, Smithy (Charles Kingsford Smith) offered him a lift in his plane. Because there was no room for him in the cockpit, Taplin donned goggles and a flight jacket, was strapped to a strut and rode all the way from Broome to Port Hedland on the wing of the biplane. He was able to keep his date with the young lady, Ms Eileen Kane, whom he later married.”
Gee, I hope he had time to scrub the dust off before the date.
Footnotes: Broome to Port Hedland is roughly 460kms by air and 612kms by road.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith pioneer aviator. “In 1928, he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. He also made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States; and, also, made a flight from Australia to London, setting a new record of 10.5 days.” Source Wikipedia.