Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre a tribute to training base

THE new Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre will officially open on Friday.

The $400,000 centre will house an Avro Anson aeroplane, along with memorabilia from the Second World War when the Nhill Aerodrome was used as a training base.

Committee member John Deckert said the centre had been in the pipeline for more than five years.

"We had our first meeting about it in November 2008," he said.

Mr Deckert said the committee was pleased it was all coming together.

"We have been working pretty solidly on this for a long time," he said.

"For people who don't have anything to do with it, it probably doesn't appear that we have done much since the building went up, but it's been a long, hard effort."

Mr Deckert said everything was ready for the opening.

"We kept adding more information and bits and pieces, but we are now at a stage where all we have to do is lay the chairs out," he said.

The 30-metre by 25-metre centre is on the same site as the aerodrome's original Bellman Hangar.

President Rob Lynch said the centre would be an important tribute to the people, including navigators and radio operators, who trained at Nhill.

"Not many people realise there were so many 18-to-22-year-old kids who trained here and then went away to war," he said.

"There were more than 10,000. Many of them would have perished - this is a memorial for those people.

"Until now there has been little recognition of the fact that they were trained here, but people are starting to realise that these kids deserve recognition."

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