First time presenter Ann Coleman nee Carter entertained us all with her flying exploits, and what exploits they were. With some hard prompting about a year ago from friend Judith Pearson, Anne was nudged regularly to prepare a presentation for the Storytellers. Succumbing to the persistent reminders she began digging out the old diaries and dusting off the slide projector.
In 1968 British Motor Corporation wished to launch their new Morris 1100 car and thought what a great idea to have an around Australia marathon race, named the “Tortoise and the Hare”. They chose two very well-known rally racing drivers, Evan Green, BMC Castrol works driver, and Jack Murray, Castrol test driver. Jack had driven ten times around Australia. In 1954 he won the Redex Reliability Trial, covering the 10,000 miles around Australia in 14 days. He earned the nickname ‘Gelignite Jack’ through his habit of blowing up outback toilets, livening up his entrance to towns along the route.
Anne at that stage was only 22 years old, a flying instructor and charter pilot and was asked to fly a plane for Rex Aviation in the race. (Anne didn’t tell us she was also the winner of the 1967 Australian Woman Pilot of the Year). Continue reading