Bundy man inspired by our famous aviator
BUNDABERG-born Keith Russell Hansen has died at the Freemason's Home in Lindisfarne, Tasmania, aged 98.
The late Mr Hansen was born in Bundaberg in 1919 and resided there until 1940 when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force.
Prior to that, he was in the RAAF reserve and had been saving to undertake a pilot's course after being inspired by Bundaberg's son, Bert Hinkler.
As a child Mr Hansen was lucky enough to see the famous aviator land in Bundaberg and took a short flight with him.
Mr Hansen was in the first group called up to the Empire Air Training Scheme on the April 29, 1940.
He trained at Ballarat, Victoria, where he met his future wife, Mildred.
After training he served in the Middle East, East Africa and New Guinea.
After being discharged in November 1945 he joined the Civil Aviation Department as an air traffic controller and served with the department in Melbourne, Rockhampton, Launceston and Hobart. Before retiring in 1981, Mr Hansen was acting airport director.
Mr Hansen was predeceased by wife Mildred in 2008 and one daughter, Nadene, and one grandchild, Timothy.
He leaves behind two daughters, Janet Stephens and Heather Cerutty, and their husbands, six grandchildren, Claire, Amy, Michael, Iain Christopher and Fiona, and nine great-grandchildren.