independent

Thursday 18 October 2018

Joy over cash boost for flight sculpture

PORTMARNOCK Community School is well on the way to realising the ultimate millennium project, a plan to erect a sculpture to commemorate one of the first ever trans-Atlantic flights from the Velvet Strand in 1930.

Art teacher Donal Higgins last week picked up a cheque for the significant sum of £4,000 from the Irish Aviation Authority, which has weighed in with support for the unique venture.

The funds will part fund the building of the sculpture to commemorate the flight of the Southern Cross.

‘The Southern Cross departed from Portmarnock beach on June 24 1930,’ explains the IAA.

‘Its first leg was from Ireland to America and later it went on to Australia. The flight was captained by Australian, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and the navigator was Capt. Paddy Saul who went on to become Chief Air Traffic Control Officer for Ireland.

‘The event was world news when the four-man crew were given a rapturous welcome in New York’s City Hall on Independence Day, July 4 1930.’

Kingsford Smith became a hero in his home country and Sydney’s international airport is named after him. The aviator also founded Australian National Airways, the first-ever commercial airline.

‘This donation by the Irish Aviation Authority is as a result of our Millennium Projects initiative in which staff were invited to propose projects to be supported by the authority in order to celebrate the new millennium.’

Portmarnock Community School is no doubt delighted with the boost to its project.

The school is designing a sculpture to grace the Southern Cross, which was last year incorporated into the school emblem, at Portmarnock Beach.

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