25th Anniversary Celebrations (1959)

During the week leading up to the 25th anniversary of the the MacRobertson Trophy Air Race a special “Uiver Festival” was held at Albury to commemorate the Uiver landing on the Albury Racecourse.

October 1959 was also the 40th anniversary of the founding of KLM, the Royal Dutch Air Lines. Captain Parmentier’s first officer, Commodore Jan Moll was at that time was “Advisor for Special Services” at KLM in the Netherlands. He came to Australia especially for the festival.

On Tuesday 20 October the Albury Racing Club held a "Special Dutch Race Meeting". The program for the day, for which £350 in prizes were provided, included the Holland Maiden Handicap, the Parmentier Flying Handicap, the Commodore Moll Improvers Handicap, the KLM Progressive Handicap and the Uiver Improvers Handicap. The main race of the program was the Wilhelmina Handicap. As prizes for the Wilhelmina Handicap, KLM provided a Delft Blue vase and two Delft Blue plates. which were presented by the general manager of KLM in Australia, Colonel A. Berts.

On Friday, October 23 students from Albury schools gave a dramatic performance of the Uiver landing and a morning tea was held in the Albury Botanic Gardens with Commodore Jan Moll as the special guest.

Jan Moll at Albury 1959

Jan Mol (R) with Albury mayor Cleaver Bunton (L) at the civic reception in Dean Square, Albury.

Jan Moll at Albury 1959

Jan Moll (R) meets R.G. Comans (L) from Lavington, a former member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, at the Albury Botanic Gardens.

Mayor of Albury, alderman Cleaver Bunton welcomed guests at a civic reception at the Albury Town Hall which was followed by a large naturalisation ceremony in Dean Square. That evening the Albury Lions Club held a ball at the Royal Palais in Kiewa Street and the Netherlands Society in Albury, De Uiver, decorated the hall in Dutch style, complete with windmills. In addition to Jan Moll, other official guests at the Uiver festivities included the Ambassador to the Netherlands A. H. J. Lovink, and from KLM, general manager for Australasia, C. A. Berts and Mr Brian Williams.

At 3:00 pm that afternoon the ABC broadcast a special a 20-minute radio program about the Uiver flight to the whole of Australia. On Saturday evening, local ABC radio 2CO listeners heard a short live interview with Commodore Moll in the local ABC program ’Standing at the Corner'.

Listen to Jan Moll interviewed for Standing at the Corner by Tom Roberts for ABC Radio 2CO.

(1 min, 40 seconds) 379 KB, MP3


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