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Hargrave memorial vandalised… again.

The vandalised Lawrence Hargrave monument at Stanwell Tops.

The vandalised Lawrence Hargrave monument at Stanwell Tops.

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.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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