Monday, December 8, 2014


The shameful neglect of  a  rare connection with Australia's aviation history  in  Darwin continues . It consists   of  the  names of  pioneering aviators  scratched into the  wall of  The  Victoria  Hotel, where they  stayed  after long and dangerous  flights , with an associated  pictorial  display . The  scratchings   are  in a  glass case  in  which  gecko droppings and  spider webs are  visible, and  have  been  for  years . Little Darwin  drew  attention to this  unsatisfactory situation  years  ago.  At the  time  it also  pointed out gross spelling errors  in  the names of countries  in  Darwin's  war  memorial and the incorrect  reference to the United Nations .  Slow on  the uptake government  and civic  leaders and  a  sleepy media  took a  longtime  to respond before  the  glaring  cenotaph  errors were  corrected . However, the unsatisfactory  situation  still  exists  in respect of  the  faint, decaying   aviators  marks  inside  the glass case.  If spiders and geckos   can get in , so too can the air, contributing to the powdering  of  those  messages and signatures  left behind  by men who turned Darwin into the  gateway to Australia. An SOS  should  be sent to President  Obama   asking him if he  can arrange for the next detachment of Marines that fly in to  come armed with  experts who can   help  advise on how to  protect  this  most important link-  not  only with  Australian aviation- but that of  the globe.  Darwin clearly aint  up  to  the  job.  NEXT : Aviation souvenirs from Darwin's past .