Festival's big take-off

The joy of flight was plain to see on the face of every kid who held tight to the string of a kite at yesterday's Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Kite Day.More than 1000 school students converged on Stanwell Park Beach to celebrate the 114th anniversary of aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave's historic box kite flight on November 12, 1894.With their backs to a gusty north-easterly wind, primary school students flew kites of every shape and size imaginable.The magic of the box kite had enthralled yet another generation of young inventors. Even the low-level manoeuvres of Connie, the flagship of the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society's presence during the annual Eric Waite-Lawrence Hargrave Memorial Flyover, failed to distract them.Bulli Public School students Serena Boyd, Christopher Johnston and Michael Hale were so inspired by Hargrave's work they built their own kites."It is pretty amazing that Lawrence Hargrave managed to fly at a time when other people were still jumping off barns with big sheets of cardboard," Christopher said.Hargrave's grandson Dick Hargrave drove up from Victoria for the occasion and said it was wonderful to see children so interested in the history that happened in their own backyard.

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