Celebrating South Australia


2 June 1929 First airmail to Perth

 2 June 1929   First airmail to Perth

On Sunday 2 June 1929 a De Havilland Hercules bi-plane took off from Parafield Aerodrome bound for Perth. This was to be the inaugural service between the two cities. Unfortunately strong head winds of 70 mph, and clouds of dust forced the plane to turn back shortly after passing Port Wakefield.

On the previous day over 15,000 people flocked to Parafield to watch an aerial pageant and to see the wife of the Governor, Lady Hore-Ruthven, christen the aircraft 'City of Adelaide' which, together with a sister aircraft, 'City of Perth', was to be used by Western Australian Airways Ltd to service the route. The Governor described the service as 'an epoch making event'.

The journey could be completed in 30 hours in complete comfort, including a stop at Ceduna, a twelve hour rest at Forrest in Western Australia, and a further stop at Kalgoorlie. To commemorate the event a special stamp was designed for airmail. Mail for Europe was to be airlifted to Perth for loading on a ship at Fremantle. On the return journey mail from Europe would be able to reach the eastern states, by plane from Perth, three to four days earlier than by other means of transport. Passenger fares were £18 each way.

After the initial disappointment the aircraft finally left Parafield at 7.15 a.m. on the morning of 4 June with nine passengers and the mail.

The Advertiser, 3 June 1929, pp. 9 & 11, 5 June 1929 p. 11.
The Personal Touch A Look at South Australia's Postal History from Proclamation to Present Day, Australia Post, 1986, pp. 26-27.