THE community and social media have been scathing after reports of the theft of the bronze sculptural plaque off the ‘Father of Flight’ statue on Bald Hill at Stanwell Park.
Police are investigating how the 1.8m plaque, depicting Australian pioneer of flight Lawrence Hargrave, was stolen. A crow bar was reportedly found beside the statue on Thursday.
The statue was erected in the 1940s and commemorates the achievements of Hargrave, who experimented with box kites on Stanwell Park beach early in the 20th century and lived at Stanwell Park for a period of time. His heritage listed home still remains in the beachside hamlet.
President of the Lawrence Hargrave Centre Rob Deacon says it is disappointing and the statue is one of the few memorials that represents what he did.
“It’s very sad,” he said.
Mr Deacon believes not much can be done to stop thieves targeting the ‘Father of Flight’ statue.
The name plaque below the sculptural park has been stolen twice before but never the bronze plaque of Hargrave.
Wollongong Council is responsible for replacing the bronze plaque.
A spokesman says the council is investigating and will have more information next week.