the 21st July 2000, the Government of the Australian Capital Territory
decided to honour several Australian sportsmen and sportswomen with
the naming of streets in the Division of Gordon, A.C.T. Included
amongst the new street names was Van Praag Place (formerly Van Praag
Circuit). This honour was well deserved, given that Lionel had been
the inaugural World Speedway Champion in 1936.
During an update to Lionel's biography page, it occurred to your
webmaster that the page should include a photo of the street sign
from Van Praag Place. It didn't take long to deduce that the best
person to obtain such a photograph would be former Adastra Hudson
pilot, Rick Geary, who currently lives in the A.C.T. But did Rick
live anywhere near Van Praag Place? A quick email to Rick brought
the following response:
"I live about five minutes walk from it and I often say G'day
Lionel to him when I go for a walk. The dead are only really
gone when they're forgotten. I may well be the only local who knows
to whom the sign refers. Certainly, I'd be the only one who worked
and flew with him".
latter realisation further inspired Rick to print Lionel's biography
page from our website and place a copy in every letterbox in Van
Praag Place. Good one Rick!
Rick has supplied the following photos of Lionel's street (all are
linked to larger versions).
"I had a great deal of trouble taking the pictures because
the sun is so low to the north at this time of the year (July),
so I decided to send these for the time being. I'll try again in
summer. Van Praag Place is only about about 18 months old and because
of this, many of the gardens are still being established. To tell
it like it is, Van Praag Place is high upon a hill and populated
with very, very nice houses, mostly two storey with magnificent
views of the countryside. It's very 'Australian' in outlook. The
surrounding streets are named after sportsmen and sportswomen. Personally,
I think it's a most appropriate tribute".