THE annual Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular, famous for being the largest modern day ANZAC re-enactment in the Southern hemisphere, has received $30,000 from Events Queensland in the latest round of the Regional Development Program funding, ensuring that next year's event will be the most impressive yet.
The extra funding was welcome good news for staff at Emu Gully, who are still recovering from the shock loss of Director and Spectacular co-founder Terry Kronk, whose hand-built Mustang P51 crashed shortly after takeoff earlier this month.
After long deliberations and a great deal of community support, Emu Gully staff only recently confirmed they will continue with the popular celebration of Australia's military history and hold the event next year in Terry's honour, with friends and family saying he had devoted most of his life to the creation of living history.
"Terry was a major supporter and organiser of the Spectacular, he poured his heart and soul into it every year, so when we suddenly lost him, we seriously considered calling off the event," said Emu Gully director Barry Rodgers.
"However we decided that cancelling it is not what Terry would have wanted, and that instead we would hold the Spectacular as a tribute to him, so when we got the news that we had been awarded the funding it seemed like a sign that we had made the right choice," he said.
The annual Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular, to be held in Helidon next year on May 18 and 19, is a trip back in time with the country's largest collection of tanks, troops and planes battling out key historic battles with simulated explosions and gunfire.
The event also features an extensive parade of animals from Australia's war history including camels, pack mules, Simpson and his donkey, as well as dogs and pigeons, along with recreations of Australian, Vietnamese and German war camps, making it an action-packed day for people of all ages.
"Terry wasn't interested in planes and tanks that sat still and grew dusty in museums," Mr Rodgers said.
"He wanted the planes to fly, the tanks to roll, and the guns to shoot, and that is what the Air and Land Spectacular is all about. So Terry will be in our thoughts a lot while we put the next event together, and we plan to make him proud."
More information can be found at www.landandairshow.com.au.