Flying boat doco will be made with or without help

AVIATION writer Gordon Lowe's disappointment in Clarence Valley Council's refusal to give funding for an historical documentary about the Flying Boats on the Clarence River, may be unfounded, with his second request for help under consideration by council.

Last year The Daily Examiner published a 12-week editorial special on the born and bred Grafton man's extensive coverage of the history of the flying boats in the Valley.

The feature was Mr Lowe's gift to the people of Grafton - and they loved it.

Older residents sent in photos from their private collections as did the Grafton Historical Society for Mr Lowe to use in his self-funded documentary, which is now well underway.

The National Film and Sound Archive also provided him with home video footage of the maiden flight of a VH AKO, which took off from Rose Bay in Sydney and landed in Grafton in 1948.

Mr Lowe asked council for $20,000 to finish the project which he says will “make it recession-proof”, citing the professionals needed to make such a film, however council replied that although they applauded his endeavours, there was no funds available for his project.

Council's general manager, Stuart McPherson said council had already committed $40,000 to compiling an official history of Grafton when Mr Lowe asked help for the film, which he had already begun.

“We simply don't have the funds,” Mr McPherson said, although he acknowledged that once finished the film could be a valuable record.

However, in light of Mr Lowe's recent request for “any level of contribution”, the prospect of some financial assistance has been raised.

“I will finish it,” Mr Lowe said adding, “and with Grafton celebrating its 150th birthday this year, it's the perfect time to release it.”

“Clarence

Valley Council must be interested enough to make a small contribution”

- Gordon Lowe.


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