HIGH FLYERS: New social kite group to form in Hervey Bay
A HERVEY Bay man who has a passion for flying kites wants to share his hobby with the community by starting a social kite group in the region.
Mal White stumbled across the art of making and flying kites about 10 years ago after trying to make one "just for the heck of it" on his wife's sewing machine.
After getting a taste for the hobby, the 64-year-old joined the Redcliffe Kite Club and the rest is history.
The club is well known Australia-wide for the members' dedication of fostering the age-old arts of kite flying and kite making, with some of their most prized kites spanning 60-70 metres.
"I made a kite and it was a disaster but every time I make one now I am improving," Mr White said.
"Some did fly and some did not fly", he laughed, explaining that it's all a matter of trial and error.
"Since I've been here in Hervey Bay and getting involved with the Redcliffe Kite Club and getting to know people, I took note of how they do things and how they build them; some of them have been building kites for 30 years or more.
"I've gone to that next level but I still don't know everything ... some people take it very, very seriously."
The retiree has a collection of more 100 colourful kites, many from the Redcliffe Club, and he wants to share them with like-minded kite flyers.
After gaining council approval and checking the tide chart, the first get together has been arranged for Saturday, May 18 on the right side of the Urangan Pier from noon.
"In an area this big there has to be people beside myself that like to fly a kite," he said.
"My idea is not a club, just a social thing every three or four weeks.
"We put it on Facebook and say we can meet here at this day and this time and just have a social thing."
Mr White said the gathering would be ideal for adults who would love to fly kites but have a fear of being judged.
"You will find that a lot grown men and women are probably thinking, 'I wouldn't mind having a fly of a kite', but it's too embarrassing or they feel like people are looking at them.
"But when I take mine down the beach, people actually pull up, take photos and have a chat.
"Hopefully from now on they will have an opportunity to come down to the beach, meet us all and we can have social days."
He said residents who already fly kites but want to get more serious about the hobby could also benefit from the social group.
"The ordinary Jo Bloggs family man just wants to take little John and Betty to fly a kite but there is a lot of people around that are more serious about it ... people actually travel the world to fly kites," Mr White said.
"So if people come along and want to go further and join a club I will refer them to Redcliffe Club."
For those who don't want to invest in buying a kite before giving it a go, Mr White is happy to lend a kite or sell one of the club's kites at a reduced cost.
There's everything from small stunt kites to world champion kites ready to be flown. Children are welcome to come along but they must be supervised by an adult.
To find out more, phone Mr White on 0412308710.
LEARN TO FLY A KITE
- When: Saturday, May 18, from noon.
- Where: On the right-hand side of the Urangan Pier.
- Cost: Free. Bring your own kite or borrow or buy one off Mal White.