The ACT Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association (ACTHPA) promulgates its decision to award Life Membership to Wesley Kilham, known variously as Wes, the Flying Fossil, Grandpa or Santa Claus. Among several Club appointments, Wes served as Club Secretary for five years from 2017 up to 2021.

It has been apparent to all, from the outset, that Wes’ participation is characterised by a generous spirit and with contributions to all aspects of the sport. Wes has and continues to, inter alia, provide rides up the hill, volunteer for all club activities, provide poetic reflections of days on the hill for all to appreciate, and generally assisting all in multifarious ways.

Wes nurtures and encourages new pilots, and in so doing he inspires confidence, demonstrating by fine example compassion for the sport, its incumbents, and engendering its unique philosophy. Wes’ robust but disciplined approach to flying is an exemplar to all. His soldierly determination inspires all of us to contemplate how to improve our flying and ourselves.

As such, it is only fitting that due to his exceptional example Wes be given life membership of the ACTHPA.

Ah, appealing to the heart of the pilot
Never needing good reason
To fly with the drift of the air
And yielding with dignity to the season
Always dispersing with grace
Wes acts thus, with a nod to good reason