Commemorative badge created in 1934 as a souvenir of the Melbourne Centenary Air Race which was held in October that year.

The air race was one of the more ambitious celebratory events held during Melbourne's centenary year. It saw 20 aeroplanes set out from Mildenhall near London for Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. The event, proposed by Melbourne's Lord Mayor Harold Gengoult-Smith in 1930, was to demonstrate Australia's close link with England. A sponsor was sought and found in the chocolate manufacturer and self-promoter Sir Macpherson Robertson. He stipulated that the race be named after him and that it 'be organised to be as safe as possible'. The race route covered 18,240 km (11,330 miles) from England to Australia. All competitors were required to land at Baghdad, Allabad, Singapore, Darwin and Charleville. Prizes for the race included 10,000 pounds and a gold cup for the overall winner. English team C.W.A. Scott and T. Campbell Black were the eventual winners, flying through pylons at Flemington Racecourse in front of 40,000 spectators. Eight planes failed to finish the race; Gilman and Baines were killed when their Fairey Fox crashed near Foggia, Italy.

Physical Description

Gilt badge in the shape of an aeroplane, with a map of Australia (without Tasmania) attached by a suspension loop from the wheel of the aeroplane. The design features simple etched lines to illustrate details of the aeroplane, and to inscribe the map of Australia with lettering. A pin is attached to the back of the aeroplane.

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