MEMBERS of Loughshinny and Rush Historical Society have collected two prestigious awards which recognise the effort and determination of the group in organising a centenary celebration of the Harry Hawker flight.
The group won awards for the Best Overall Event and Most Innovative Event for its Heritage Week 2013 event, 'Centenary Commemoration of the crash in Loughshinny Bay of renowned pioneer aviator Harry Hawker.'
The society re-created Hawker's epic flight around the British Isles on August 28, 1913, by fellow Australian Jeff Boyling, in a 1943 Catalina Flying Boat.
This plane, having circled England and Scotland, arrived over Loughshinny and flew around the bay on Saturday, August 24. On Sunday, August 25, an aerial gymnastics display by two modern light aircraft was held over the bay during the commemoration to demonstrate how aviation has progressed since the early years.
A model of Hawker's 1913 seaplane, made by members of the historical society, was also on display.
A plaque commemorating Hawker's achievements was unveiled by the First Secretary of the Australian Embassy.
The National Heritage Week Events Awards are hosted by the Heritage Council, in recognition of those who organise events during Historical Week.
Speaking about the winners, Michael Starrett, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council said: 'These awards are an opportunity for National Heritage Week Event organisers to be recognised for the tremendous work they do in organising and running events which increases the educational and heritage value of the week.'