A new memorial plaque was unveiled on Port Macquarie’s North Shore to honour the inspiring contributions of the man responsible for the town’s first air service.
On what would have been his 92nd birthday, family, friends and officials gathered on August 12 to celebrate the late Roger Knyvett Dulhunty (1925–2003) with a plaque located on Plomer Road.
Formerly owned by Roger, the land is marked to become the entrance to an extension of the Limeburner’s Creek National Park.
Responsible for a milestone in Port Macquarie’s history as a blossoming tourist destination, Roger and his brother Philip Wellesley Dulhunty introduced the first regular air service between Sydney and Port Macquarie in 1949.
A Sunderland flying boat nicknamed The Port Macquarie Clipper, the aircraft flew weekly between Rose Bay and Port Macquarie costing passengers four pounds 18 shillings and sixpence per trip.
“I am incredibly proud to be standing here today acknowledging the invaluable contributions my brother made to the town he loved so dearly,” said Philip Wellesley Dulhunty.
“Roger will be remembered as a man with great passion and foresight for the Hastings area and I hope this tribute will preserve his memory for generations to come,” he said.
Philip said the early flights were great fun.
“We had mannequin parades on the flights, lovely models wearing the latest swimwear, and they would get out when we landed and crowds came to see us and cheered,” he recalled.
“Roger and I were like twins. We went through life together,” said the 93-year-old.
Roger’s daughter, Maggie Wolk said the day had been a long time coming.
“It’s amazing to be here, and have so many friends and family to celebrate. My father made a huge difference to Port Macquarie and it’s great that he’s going to be commemorated,” added Mrs Wolk.
Together with his father, Robert Venour Dulhunty, who was the town’s first surveyor, Roger Dulhunty developed many well-known residential areas of the town such as Clifton, the North Shore, Transit Hill, Bellevue Hill, Macquarie Heights, Shelley Beach and Lighthouse Beach estates among others. He also played a key role in the development of Settlement Shores.
In the early 1960’s, Roger acquired several large parcels of land on the North Shore with a view to the growth of the town to the north.
He developed the Coorilla and Queen’s Grant sections in the 1960’s and 1970’s before the environmental significance of the balance of the land was recognised.
Many will remember Roger, who apart from his real estate and development activities, was also involved in the local surf lifesaving, golf and football clubs.
He was also instrumental in the establishment of the original Port Macquarie Rotary Club, serving as club president in 1961 and as Rotary District Governor in 1969.
Known for his affability and sense of fair play, Roger was a well-respected member of the Port Macquarie community.
He will be forever remembered as a man dedicated to Port Macquarie and the Hastings area.