Arriiving at the Nancy Bird Terminal Friday 17th March 2000

Nancy Bird

Nancy Bird was born near Port Macquarie, NSW in 1915. She was keen on flying from a very early age and took her first lesson with Charles Kingsford Smith. Nancy gained her commercial license at the age of nineteen and was the youngest woman in the commonwealth at that time, to hold such a licence.

In 1939, with help from her dad and Aunty Annie, Nancy had saved enough money to buy her first plane - a beautiful Gipsey Moth for just 400 pounds.

The Shell Company was extremely helpful to Nancy in arranging publicity and finding suitable paddocks to land in. There were a few aerodromes in those days and certainly none out west.

Similarly there were very early maps for aviators, and these were only strip maps that left a pilot lost if they strayed from the printed area. So when Nancy flew west of the Darling River, she used a 40 mile to the inch road map and followed the rivers , roads, telegraph lines and even the dingo fence to find her way.

When Nancy met Stanley Drummond, founder of the Far West Children's Health Scheme, he asked her to use her plane for a scheme in Bourke. She flew Sister Webb, a former Australian Army Nurse, on her visits to remote outback families. For the next nine months Nancy lived in Bourke and the Central Darling Shires. In almost three years of service, Nancy chalked up almost 50 flying hours with an enviable unblemished safety record; though many an interesting "close call". Her contribution to health care of people in this region is incalculable.

For more information please contact the Back O' Bourke Information and Exhibition Centre

Kidman Way, Bourke NSW 2840

02 6872 1321