We all see her as we drive around Lae going about our business; she is worthy of a glance and perhaps a sad sigh at her current state. Sitting in the Southwest corner of the Botanical Gardens, the DC3 plane is looking a little worse for wear these days. The RAAF DC3 is an important member of the Lae community and representative of the part played by PNG in WWII, it is high time she was given the attention she deserves.
Thanks to the efforts of many people and businesses, the National Botanic Gardens Lae Advancement Program is at full throttle, and we are pleased to announce the establishment of a DC3 steering committee that is joined by members of the Lae community, businesses and plane enthusiasts to give our DC-3 the proper treatment, with the first meeting taking place on the 20th August, 2015.
A love of planes is not the only thing that has bought this committee together; it is also a passion for the growth of Lae through business networks, infrastructure development and tourism. It also provides an excellent opportunity to capture the history of the plane and the operations and events of WWII in this region, not to mention an added attraction for people to see when the gardens re-open later this year.
The inaugural meeting led to many great outcomes including the formation of four working groups within the committee to look after the key areas of Technical Advice to ensure accuracy in the restoration of the plane; Plane Covering to coordinate the building of a shelter to protect the plane from the elements; Plane History to collate and document information on the plane, itâ€™s history and use during WWII and Documentation of plans, archival footage and the process of restoration.
The committee is made up of several interested individuals and businesses including the Friends of the Lae Botanic Gardens, PNGFRI, Swire Shipping, Trans Marine, Northbuild PNG, AHI Hope Foundation, Riback, Unitech and Coca Cola Amatil (CCA). Other companies that may be involved in this restoration include; Dulux Paint, Digicel, Defence, Lae Builders & Contractors (LBC).
This treasured RAAF DC-3 is in good hands with a bright future ahead of her, and if you or your business is interested in contributing to the restoration, or the wider Lae Botanic Garden Advancement Program, please contact the Curator, Michael Lovave at the PNG Forestry Research Institute on 472 1041 or 472 4188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.