Model planes helping firies

Raising funds: Glenys Campbell and Alan Murphy from the Diamond Beach RFS showed off the aeroplanes at the Black Head bazaar last month.

Raising funds: Glenys Campbell and Alan Murphy from the Diamond Beach RFS showed off the aeroplanes at the Black Head bazaar last month.

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If you attended the Black Head bazaar last month, you might have seen the Diamond Beach Rural Fire Service (RFS) displaying some unique model aeroplanes.

These are the product of Hallidays Point resident Graham Nicholson who has been crafting the aeroplanes out of used drink cans for the past 12 years.

Starting out as a project for his own grandchildren, Graham found the idea on the internet before refining the method to make a unique design.

From there, Graham asked the Diamond Beach crew to collect cans and wash them out for him, with the idea of creating planes for the brigade to sell.

The final products have been displayed at several community markets, such as the Black Head bazaar, with an asking price of $20 for a large plane and $10 for a small plane.

All proceeds from the sale of Graham’s planes are put towards providing new fire fighting equipment for the brigade.

After originally taking up to three hours to create one plane, Graham said he can now put one together in under an hour.

“It takes 20 cans to make a big one and 10 for the small.

“It’s put together with wire, rivets and a lot of cutting and folding,” Graham said.

Graham said he has lost count of how many planes he has made.

All he knows is they are a hit at the markets.

“At the last market, 17 small ones got sold.

“Seven of the large went as well,” Graham said.

He also has donated the models to fundraising efforts for cancer research.

Graham was a long-serving member of the Taree Volunteer Rescue Association, spending 17 years with the group.

He remains focused on donating his time and effort in a way that didn’t involve fighting fires with the Diamond Beach crew. 

“Anything for charity,” Graham said. 

Community Engagement Officer and deputy captain of Diamond Beach RFS Leo Fransen said it is a credit to Graham for making a contribution to the brigade.

Graham’s works will be on display at next month’s Relay for Life event in Taree.

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