Australian Aviation Pioneer 1874 R.
G. Carey (1874 1959)Edith Martin, daughter of Bertha Harvey (nee Carey) forwarded this synopsis of the wonderful new book 'A Message from the Clouds', launched at Point Cook RAAF Museum on November 8th, 2004. Shortly after this flight, Guillaux crashed the Bleriot and spent some time in hospital with serious injuries. In his haste to return and take up his Reserve Commission in the French Aviation Corps in 1914, Guillaux left the machine on a Sydney wharf, crated and ready for shipment after him. It is understood that this information was relayed through his friendship with a young English pilot, Edwin Prosser, then living in Ballarat. Prosser is believed to have said to Carey: "We ought to buy that." And [we] did! They caught the train to Sydney and made a deal with the Sydney manager for the Messageries Maritime Shipping Company, to offset the holding charges on the crated machine. In need of extensive repairs, the battered Bleriot was transported in its wooden crate by ship from Sydney to Melbourne, then overland to Ballarat. There, Carey induced Edwin T. Prosser, who held R Ae C Certificate No 526, to teach him how to fly. The early adventures of 'rookie' pilot Carey (aka RGC) in the frail Bleriot under Prosser's instruction provides fascinating reading. It was in the time of flying by the seat of your pants' with minimum instrumentation, absence of airfields meant landing in country areas where farmers and the population had their first sight of an aeroplane. Certainly, cattle, horses and sheep were frightened as the huge 'bird' alighted in their paddocks, but passengers and observers spoke excitedly about their experiences, which have been preserved in the birdman's massive scrapbook. He had also become well known to the staff and members of the Central Flying School at Point Cook. His two Central Flying School examiners had the power invested in them by the Royal Aero Club outlet oakley sunglasses of Great Britain to pass student pilots for the Australian Flying Corps and also for civilian operations. The result was a foregone conclusion. RGC flew home the proud possessor of the Australian Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 34 as granted to him on that date, signed by Lieutenant Eric Harrison. He also opened the Ballarat Flying School with Edwin Prosser as its Chief Instructor, a position he took over himself at a later date. The flying school must rate as probably the first of its kind in Victoria. Besides the training of pilots, activities included barnstorming, advertising ventures, aerial photography and the transport of mail, freight and passengers. In all of these Carey offered expertise, for indeed he was an undisputed Australian trailblazer in Civil Aviation during and after World War I. Considered too old for war service, he was refused admission to the Australian Flying Corps; notwithstanding, Carey gave of his time and talents unstintingly to promote wartime appeals and charities. In 1916, newspaper accounts report Carey's flight in the tiny Bleriot over Adelaide during a fierce storm on an Army Nurses' Day event to boost the war effort. RGC distributed 'a Message from the Clouds' in war bond and enlistment dodgers while piloting his Bleriot. In November 1917, Carey flew his Bleriot with the first Airmail from Adelaide to Gawler and in 1957 was able to attend the re enactment in South Australia at its 40th Anniversary, aged 83. RGC purchased a church hall and had it transported from Brighton to his private aerodrome, on leased Crown land beside the Port Melbourne Rifle Range. He located the hall next to the fence line beside the Rifle Range Clubhouse buildings well back from Williamstown Road. He considered stunting to be the purlieus of the fighter pilot and saw no reason to include it during his commercial aviation activities. Arthur Fenton, purchased four obsolete Maurice Farman Shorthorn biplanes from the Department of Defence (Point Cook). Carey dubbed them 'Carey's Chickens', which he had derived from the legendary Stormy Petrels, known as 'Mother Carey's Chickens'. RGC's application of this name to his aircraft at the time of their delivery to Port Melbourne arose from references to Carey as 'The Stormy Petrel' because of his storm defying flight over Adelaide in the Bleriot, October 1917. Part of the Farman acquisition deal was a conversion course to fly Farmans for the purchasing pilot with Lieutenant WH Treloar to be the instructor. A quiet achiever, Harold Treloar was one of the AFC's most experienced pilots who had been posted during WWI to the Mesopotamian Half Flight. Forced down by a faulty engine, he and his Indian Army observer were captured and given a rough time by the Arabs and Turks as prisoners of war. RGC and Treloar became good friends during Carey's instruction on operation and maintenance of the Farmans. A huge gale blew across Hobson's Bay and struck the aerodrome causing damage to all the Farmans, two were hit so badly that they were reduced to spare parts. The other two were fully restored and later registered as G AUCW and G AUBC. Notwithstanding his news making aerial delivery of Easter Hot Cross Buns to Philip Island, he flew avid race goers to country meetings, promoted community events and carried such cargo as 'Pals' boys' magazines to name just a few of his ventures. RGC continually used his planes for advertising with painted signage on the underside of both lower and upper wings as well as the rudders and nacelle. Carey's extensive 'Message from the Clouds' promotion records cover War and Peace Loan flyers, Vacuum Oil Company, Wangaratta Woollen Mills, charity and sporting oakley twitch events, various traders' association shop locally campaigns, Palm and Cubitt brand cars and Velvet Soap. Dodgers (leaflets) were scattered from the plane overhead as a novel marketing device similar to that of towing aerial banners or sky writing objectives today. Mindful of promoting his own aviation and motoring business, Carey periodically included huge captions on his planes such as 'Carey's Chickens', 'Melbourne Air Service' or 'Carey's Auctions'. Carey's most publicised and ambitious aerial advertising campaigns for the Herald and Weekly times 'Pals' magazine was announced in the Melbourne Herald, on Wednesday, September 22, 1920. oakley glasses store The front page story, with a five column picture of the 'Pals Plane' with the Carey family in front of it, declared that RGC would begin an epic journey from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the coming week. Sub titles announced ''Pals' Aeroplane To Cross Australia', and ''Pals' Aeroplane Carries Message To Australian Boys'. Around the Farman narcelle was painted the word 'Pals', and clearly visible as the plane flew overhead, the message: 'Boys' and 'Read Pals' emblazoned across the wingspan. The tour was discontinued at Forbes however, probably due to problems with supply and finance. A journal by Miss Maisie Carey and her mother provides insight into the difficult conditions encountered during long distance motor travel in the late 1920s. The 'Pals' slogan later became 'Palm' during Carey's comprehensive air tour for the Palm cars company. Various slogans graced the Farman wingspan during Melbourne Air Service years as Carey drew more and more attention from his advertising ventures. Subsequently, Carey and his Farmans advertised Cubitt brand cars and then Velvet Soap, followed by various promotions for Progress Associations that were keen to see the Farman slogan 'Shop Locally' over their particular district. Carey was kept busy with Melbourne Air Service activities, developing Melbourne Flying School, grasping every opportunity to offer 'joy' flights throughout Victoria and border towns, passionate to enthuse all contacts with the thrill oakley wallet of the air. He was a capable and enthusiastic public speaker and as such was invited to speak on aviation matters at state and federal government levels, motoring associations and schools while continuing to manage his motoring business and partake in numerous long distance car rallies. RGC was born in Warrnambool, Victoria and moved with his family to Melbourne when he was 5 years old. At the tender age of 10 began his first business venture carrying wood and coal by wheelbarrow as well as selling newspapers in Port Melbourne. In 1894, aged 20 Carey was the sole proprietor of a carrying firm in Heath Street, Port Melbourne and by 1900 he registered the Port Melbourne Livery Stables in association with his existing hay and corn store. Meanwhile Carey had married Edith Gilchrist in 1899 and built up his team of fine horses and carriages for hire to include a taxi and motor hire service. In 1912 the Carey family moved to Ballarat where he built up a very successful motoring business, learnt to fly his Bleriot, and in 1919 returned to the Port Melbourne district again to further his aviation passion. With wife Edith, and 6 children, Carey not only ran a thriving business but also involved himself in numerous civic interests. A life member of the Australian Natives Association, belonged to the Ancient Order of Druids, and was awarded a Life Governor membership for services with the Freemason's Homes of Victoria Citizen's Lodge. Carey was among the first members of the RACV and the VACC with many magazine articles applauding his motoring and aviation ventures published in early club magazines. Melbourne and country newspapers constantly found his activities newsworthy and these records have provided a marvelous source of additional information for the RGC biography. Carey (63) last piloted a plane, flying one of his Farmans from Port Melbourne on the Coronation Day of King George V1th, May 12, 1937. About this time RGC and family decided to concentrate their efforts on the motor trade. Carey aged 82 years. This Farman is now proudly displayed in the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottowa. Civilian aviator Carey would have been overwhelmingly grateful to witness this tribute to the Maurice Farman S11 Shorthorns, home to roost at historical Point Cook. Robert Graham Carey, the man who learnt to fly in a Bleriot XI monoplane, had lived through two world wars to see the advent of space exploration, with aircraft being invented that a decade later would enable men to walk on the moon. Although modern aviators in the jet age of electronic space machines may claim center stage over Carey, he was indeed a major player in Australian aviation history and his spirit shines in the stars. No record of the early flying days would be complete without the inclusion of this colorful personality. G. Carey and the Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn One of R. G. Carey's Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorns at Moorabbin Airport in Victoria, Australia, 1956. This machine is believed to be the same as now restored and displayed in the Canadian National Museum of Aviation Ottawa, CanadaImage: courtesy the Hearn Family In 1916, the Australian Flying Corps(AFC) introduced the Maurice Farman Shorthorn into service as a trainer at Point Cook. CFS 15 was the first of type into service, and until replacement by more modern trainers in 1919, was used to train pilots in the AFC for service both at home and overseas. In 1919, Mr R.
G. Carey of Port Melbourne purchased CFS 15 for use in advertising, joyflights and barnstorming, now registered as G AUBC. Carey flew the aircraft until the 1930s, after which it was stored.
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