MEMORIES TO PONDER

CONNAIR AND WRONG POINT OF DISEMBARKATION

Once a week there was a round robin flight from Darwin to Darwin flown by Connair that included every port on the Arnhem circuit . Included in this once weekly flight was Borroloola and also Numbulwar. The route was from Borroloola to Numbulwar.

There was some capital works needing to be done at Numbulwar. We were expecting two tradesmen on that flight. The plane arrived, but not the tradesmen.

A follow-up telegram revealed that the two men had gotten off the plane at Borroloola, thinking Borroloola was Numbulwar. They did not discover their mistake until the plane had left.

The following week, the tradesmen arrived in Numbulwar. Seemingly they found the fishing in the intervening week to be both relaxing and rewarding!! How they justified that to the boss of the company, I am not sure.

When out in communities one could never be sure if the plane was going to be on time or whether it was going to be delayed. The one thing you could generally be sure about was it if the plane was due to arrive on a particular day, it would arrive on that day. Occasionally there was a blip in that regard but not too frequently.

An issue at times was the worry people had if they were using Connair to get to Darwin, Katherine, Groote Eylandt or Nhulunbuy in order to connect with another plane. For the most part however things did work and pretty reasonably.

Connair was an important and vital lifeline for us during years of poor (if any) outback road connection and during years preceeding telephone and internet connections that these days keep people linked.

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