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From the front page of The Cape Hawke Advocate, Thursday January 24:
SEVEN years of work to secure a commuter air license between Forster Tuncurry and Sydney came to fruition on Friday January 18, 1980.
The first morning flight from Sydney arrived at Wallis Island at 8am and minutes later was taking the first Forster passengers to the big smoke.
The then pilot and director of Air Great Lakes Ian Allen, said the introduction of the service was a tribute to the tenacity of the people and organisations of the area who had given both himself and local area manager Ian Darwin unfailing support over the years.
Sydney shareholder Dudley Dunn of Davey Air Services said at the time he felt the service would be most successful catering not only for the people of the Great Lakes area but also those of Sydney and southern centres wishing to travel north.
Mr Darwin said the response to the service had been far in excess of what was anticipated with some flights entirely booked out already.
One of the first passengers on Air Great Lakes inaugural flight to Sydney was Glad Bassler (pictured in gallery above).