Elaine's on cloud nine after successful aero club reunion

Gloucester Aero Club celebrates its 500th meeting with a gathering of former and current members. Photo Sally Maslen

Gloucester Aero Club celebrates its 500th meeting with a gathering of former and current members. Photo Sally Maslen

The wet weather may have dampened the prospect of many light aircraft flying in for Gloucester Aero Club's 500th meeting, but it didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.

Long-time aero club member, Elaine Maslen is brimming with excitement after the very successful event held on Sunday, February 21.

According to Elaine, it may have been called a meeting, but it was more like a reunion - a family reunion.

"The place has been built with love," Elaine said.

The Gloucester Aero Club's original fuel station. Photo supplied

The Gloucester Aero Club's original fuel station. Photo supplied

The mere existence of the club was due to her late husband, Gordon's passion for flying and desire to be able to fly in and out of Gloucester. And everything that sits on the property, from the landing strip to the clubhouse, has been off the back of many devoted volunteers.

Many of whom attended the 500th meeting.

"We had the original president, John Moore, instructor Harvey Else, and our early flyers, Terry Green, Bob Lamb and Kevin Adams," Elaine said.

"One member came down from Brisbane, Peter Westley. He was the only recipient of a $400 scholarship awarded by the Ladies Auxiliary."

Elaine said there were about 50 people there, with some not attending due to the inclement weather.

Not to mention the extremely damp runway after many days of heavy rainfall. It was enough to prompt the club to send out an email advising people not to fly in on the day.

But despite the lack of aircraft at the event, it was a joyful day of reminiscing.

The Gloucester Aero Club's original clubhouse built in 1965. Photo supplied

The Gloucester Aero Club's original clubhouse built in 1965. Photo supplied

"I got kisses all day. I'm still on cloud nine," she smiled.

The day came with a huge sigh of relief for many of the past and current members as the future of the club had been in doubt over the past several years.

The club is located in the heart of where the Rocky Hill Coal Mine project was proposed, and until recently, Gloucester Resources Limited owned the land.

"The club has been waiting to see what happened with the mine," Elaine said.

To help kick off the celebration, club president Chris Maslen made an important announcement.

"Chris opened the gathering by telling people the mine wasn't going ahead and that the aero club was safe."