This was going to be an account for May 2019 but a dearth of real news prompted me to put things off a bit...........well, actually a lot, so I've pushed the News out to July 31st.  What follows is hardly going to be a labrinthine account of what has happened (or not) during this interval but it will all help.

So:  The posting of this newsletter needed a photo that wasn't a glider.   I'd run out of ideas but after waiting several days today (15th August) dawned with a crisp clear sky and the mountain looked just like this.  A short time later, cloud moved across and I've not seen it since.


Saturday 18th:  A day of hard work attending to flights for members of No. 48 Squadron Stratford ATC and members of the local SCout Troop.  Sixteen Flights for them and a couple for TGC members.  Peter Cook towed to 5000ft in his Discus but did not any lift that might prevail against gravity.   A good lot of hard work by members though.  Worthy to note also, the local Stratford weather was fine enough but cloudy and drizzly rain at times from New Plymouth northwards.  4hrs 57m glder time and everyone happy.

Sunday 30th:  A day for the flyable glders.  40m for Dennis in TE and 4hrs 48m for the private owners.  Some good ties for them, John Tullett topping the list with 2hrs.  A tow out from Manganingi for Tim who also took the last tow and flew back home.

Midwinter dinner at Midhirst on the evening of July 29th with about a dozen attending.  In early August, a party including my own family attended an evening production by the Cue Theatre in Inglewood of 'the 'Importance of Being Ernest'.  Most enjoyable and a pointer to attendance at similar events by the club unwashed. 

During late June and early July in due course various gliders were rigged and the hangar returned from looking like an abbatoir to a more tidy state.  As far as I know, there were no major problems found.  All back to normal but after a tranquil early winter its now a pity about the weather since then and maybe for another week to come.

So why not have a read of this from times past

Louis Trichard was a GP at Hawera and flew as often as he could and very well.  He and Bob Struthers made several trips to Australian sites and made some excellent distance flights.  A most likeable man and we were very sorry to see him and family move to Australia.

Louis Trichard's account of a Gold C height gain at Masterton.


My height gain was an exciting event on my calendar- wave flight- and as the poet and flier, John Magee put it

-- "Up, up, up the long delerious burning blue
I topped the wind swept heights, with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew."

Or so it seemed up there at 18000ft.

The feature which struck me the most was the preparation needed, and for this you need friends. The oxygen bottle had to be filled, forms filled in, Wellington Traffic Control notified of intentions and many other small jobs had to be done. It was a team effort and I am a rookie at these problems, so thanks to all you guys at Masterton.

The take-off went well and I was virtually hurled off the end of the rope at 2800ft in six knots lift. Pulled the brake to notch the barograph and spiralled up to 7000 and then 14000ft. At this height, I struggled for about two hours before contacting a strong smooth ride to about 18400ft but could manage no more.

I still had one knot on the vario, but oxygen was getting low, ice had covered up the canopy completely except for a peephole up front, the controls had become quite stiff and the tension level had started to build so I decided to call it a day.

I clearly saw both coasts, Wellington, the Hutt Valley, the Kaikouras --wonderful sight for a beginner -- clouds to the north -- you pros have seen it all.

Below 6000ft the ride was very rough, but the DG 100 handled beautifully which it did at all times. A magnificent machine in excellent condition and a tribute to the club.

So, by the Grace of God and many friends, I managed my height gain. Whether I was successful in proving it, remains to be seen.
Louis Trichard.

February 1987


Fifty Years Back:

May 1987:  Bob Struthers, Harry Smith and Colin Gould now B-Cat Instructors.  Ivan Chinnery-Brown steps down as CFI.  Harry Smith now CFI.  The raffle going well.  So too is the new grass on the German Hill Airfield. Clive Sherman and Geoff Croy convert to the Olympia.

June 1987:  Caterpillar D4 Bulldozer purchased with raffle proceeds.  Hangar timber being sourced from the Fertiliser Works.  NZGA loan applied for. (Was unsuccessful).

July 1987:  Flying transferred to NP Airport.  No radios in gliders which were flying as the Friendships came and went.  An hours flight for Clive Sherman in the Olympia - as Friendships came and went.  A Rural Aviation hangar used for club aircraft.  An end meanwhile to the daily rigging and derigging of the gliders at Stratford.

Twentyfive Years Back: 

May !994:  Lowering cloud caught out Mike Gibson and Max Benton.  A very swift return to the airfield.  They did eighty minutes the week after so honour was restored.  Newly drained area settling down well.

June 1994:  A plea for pilots to get to field earlier during winter month and not turn up late expecting to fly there and then.  Airfield getting a bit wet.  Chris Griffin, a B-Cat instructor resigns due to work and family reasons.  He got back to gliding after moving to Australia.

July 1994:   Too wet to use German Hill airfield.  The tractor now runs better with a new set of plugs.  The towplane's wing struts cleaned up and repainted.

And so that is that.


And why not this bit of trivia?

Subject:  Kilroy Was Here








He is engraved in stone in the National War

Memorial in Washington, DC, back in a small

alcove where very few people have seen it.

For the WWII generation,
this will bring back memories.

For you younger folks, it's a bit of trivia

that is a part of our American history.


Anyone born in 1913 to

about 1950, is familiar with Kilroy.


No one knew why he was so well known,
but everybody seemed to get into it.

So who was



In 1946 the American Transit Association,

through its radio program, "Speak to America,"

sponsored a nationwide contest to find the real Kilroy,
offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person

who could prove himself to be the genuine article.

Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim,

but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts,

had evidence of his identity.


'Kilroy' was a 46-year old shipyard worker

during the war who worked as a checker

at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.


His job was to go around and check on the
number of rivets completed.


Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet.


He would count a block of rivets and
put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk,

so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice.

When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters
would erase the mark.

Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through

and count the rivets a second time, resulting in
double pay for the riveters.


One day Kilroy's boss called
him into his office.

The foreman was upset about all

the wages being paid to riveters,

and asked him to investigate.


It was then he realized what had

been going on.


The tight spaces he had to crawl in to

check the rivets didn't lend
themselves to lugging around a paint

can and brush, so Kilroy
decided to stick with the waxy chalk.


He continued to put his check
mark on each job he inspected, but


in king-sized letters next to the check,

and eventually added the sketch of
the chap with the long nose peering

over the fence and that became

part of the Kilroy message.


Once he did that, the riveters

stopped trying to wipe away his marks.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks

would have been covered up with paint.

With the war on, however, ships were leaving

the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn't

time to paint them.


As a result, Kilroy's inspection "trademark"
was seen by thousands of servicemen who

boarded the troopships the yard produced.


His message apparently rang a bell with the

servicemen, because they picked it up and

spread it all over Europe and the South Pacific.


Before war's end, "Kilroy" had been here, there,
and everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin and Tokyo.

To the troops outbound in those ships, however,
he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure

was that someone named Kilroy had
"been there first."

As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti
wherever they landed, claiming it was already there

when they arrived.


Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had

always "already been" wherever GIs went. 


It became a challenge to place the logo in
the most unlikely places imaginable.


It is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty,
the underside of the Arc de Triomphe, and

even scrawled in the dust on the moon.


As the war went on, the legend grew.


Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked
ashore on Japanese-held Islands in the Pacific to map
the terrain for coming invasions by U.S. troops

(and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there).

On one occasion, however, they reported seeing
enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!


In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive

use of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill at the

Potsdam conference.

Its' first occupant was Stalin, who emerged and
asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?"


To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy
brought along officials from the shipyard and

some of the riveters.


He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children

as a Christmas gift and set it up as a playhouse in

the Kilroy yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.


And The Tradition Continues...



EVEN Outside Osama Bin Laden's House!!!