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Place Names Register Extract

Meyering Road

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Name Meyering
Type Designation Road
Place Id 25065
Place Type Road
Status Registered
Date Registered 22 August 2022
Locality / Suburb  
Local Government Area  
  Darwin City Council
History/Origin Kath Meyering was born Jeanne Kathleen Lawrence on 23 March 1929 in the Perth suburb of Subiaco, Western Australia. Her parents were English emigrants, who had recently arrived in search of employment opportunities. Little is known of Kath's father, but in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression, Kath's homesick mother Lucy (better known as Lou) took her young children on an outing to Fremantle to view the Jervis Bay before it sailed for England. Having inveigled her way on board for a closer look, Lou impulsively seized her opportunity when the ship readied for departure and the family became stowaways.

Sometime later in the 1930s, the family arrived in Darwin, where Kath's mother remarried and would become the town's well-known local champion of the underdog, Lou Stewart. The family were evacuated south for a period during World War II, but returned soon afterwards. Kath, now a young woman, described Darwin just after the war as 'scarred and bullet ridden', yet with '21 men to each girl' she always had a dancing partner. In the early years, Kath worked as a waitress in Darwin cafes.

In 1960, she married Dutch immigrant and farm worker, Ralph Meyering (or Roelof Meijering), in Darwin's United Church. The pair raised their young family while working their dairy farm; Kath taking on the role of truck driver. In 1976, her children now teenagers, a 46 year old Kath, inspired by an uncle that flew, acted on her long held desire to fly. In Kath's words: 'I drove into the airport and said: "Am I too old to learn to fly?" They said: "Never." A whole new world opened up to me. It's the freedom of it.'

Kath became one of the Territory's first female pilots. In 1982, she took up flying ultralight aircraft and over the next 35 years became the recognised matriarch of ultralight aviation in the Territory. In 1980, Kath and her husband Ralph built, owned and operated the Emkaytee (MKT) Airfield - the region's second busiest airstrip and the home of the Top End Flying Club. Kath herself was a founding member and patron of the Club, as well as a member of the Australian Women Pilots Association. She also operated her business Gulf Air Charter from MKT.

Kath was nevertheless a strong supporter of 'grass roots' aviation, and successfully lobbied for the airspace around MKT to be rezoned to open access for a greater variety of recreational aircraft. Through her activities, she encouraged many an aspiring pilot, including her brother and Alice Springs identity Max Stewart. From 2000, Kath and Ralph supported a new generation of young Territorians to experience flying through the donating the use of the MKT Airfield for the Essington School's annual two day student flying program.

Kath Meyering was an avid aviatrix who flew from Darwin to Papua New Guinea, as well as on trips in Europe and America. When she stopped flying at age 75, she had clocked approximately 15,000 flying hours. Kath Meyering passed away in Darwin on 8 August 2017, aged 88.

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
22/08/2022 Certified Plan S2022/037
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