Kevin O'Reilly's - Flyers of Time

Pioneer Aviation History

About Kevin Michael O'Reilly

CHARLES PRATT
of Belmont Common

Kevin Michael O'Reilly
Born 1936 at Yanac, Victoria.

Kevin`s grandparents were early settlers at Bleak House, a district to the west of Nhill. At the time of his birth his parents ran the general store at Yanac, but with the illness of his father, the family moved to Nhill in 1938.

With the outbreak of WW2, two older brothers joined the army & another the RAAF at the new Nhill RAAF base. Several clandestine visits to the base hidden under a blanket on the floor of the family car would stimulate an interest in all things to do with aviation and the Air Force.

After an education at Nhill, and joining the Commercial Bank, he moved to Melbourne in 1953, and completed his National Service training as a radio technician at the Ballarat RAAF School of Radio in 1955. He studied sales and marketing and became a partner in a building materials supply company in Melbourne and although living in Melbourne, always felt a citizen of Nhill. Kevin is a widower since losing his wife Jill in 2013, with three children, and has pursued a lifelong love of tennis and golf, both of which he still plays.

On retirement, he was able to research both family genealogy and his love of our Australian Heritage. Being concerned that few records were known of the Nhill RAAF base in WW2 and that many personnel of that base had passed on, Kevin set out to record what was left for future generations and ensure that the town of Nhill would embrace its heritage. This resulted in the successful book published in 2009 - “In Just Five Years - The RAAF and Nhill in WW2.”

The intense interest shown by readers after this served to uncover further stories of our aviation past which needed to be recorded, lest these also be lost in the mists of time. Much of “Flyers of Time” is a direct result of that enthusiasm.

He is proud to maintain membership of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia, the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre, a number of Victorian Historical Societies, the RAAF Association, and the Returned and Servicemens League.