Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney celebrated by Google Doodle

GOOGLE has honoured the memory of Maude “Lores” Bonney with a Doodle.

Here’s the story of the famous female aviator.


Google has honoured the memory of Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney with a Doodle

Who was Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney?

Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney was the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England.

She started her ten-week, 12,000-mile trip in April 1933, hoping to beat Amy Johnson’s record of 19½ days which had been set flying the same route but in the opposite direction three years earlier.

From a record-breaking point of view, her attempt to beat the record was doomed almost from the start but her courage was undeniable.

She faced headwinds, monsoons, crash landings and food poisoning all of which installed her firmly in the public imagination and ensured for her the lasting admiration of her fellow aviators.

Born Maude Rose Rubens in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1897, her family moved around a great deal when she was a child and she was educated in Melbourne and at finishing school in Frankfurt, where she changed her name to Dolores (shortened to Lores).

Afterwards she returned to Australia, where her family had settled, and married Harry Bonney, a leather goods manufacturer.

Introduced to her husband’s cousin, the airman Bert Hinkler (who set his own record in 1931 by flying from New York to London via South America and the South Atlantic), Lores Bonney was inspired to take flying lessons, which she did at the weekends while her husband was playing golf.

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She took her licence in 1930 and bought for Pounds 800 a De Havilland DH60 Moth with a four-cylinder Gypsy engine.

Two years later she became the first woman to fly around Australia and then she attempted the big trip.

 Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney was the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England.


Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney was the first woman to fly solo from Australia to England.Credit: Alamy

What happened on Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney’s solo flight to the UK?

Her first words to reporters when she landed in Croydon on June 21, 1933, told the whole story: “There have been two bright days in my adventure from Australia to here, the first and the last.”

She set off from Brisbane on April 10, and was well inside Amy Johnson’s record time until she reached Singapore, where she suffered a bout of food poisoning.

Then, over Thailand, she struck a monsoon and was forced to make a crash landing in the sea.

She was pulled to safety by the locals but her aircraft had to be dismantled to get it back to the shore.

After surviving on frugal rations in a jungle village for two days, she was picked up by an RAF flying boat which had been sent from Singapore to look for her.

Her plane, considered a write-off, was dispatched to Calcutta to be patched up.

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Five weeks later she set off again.

When she reached Karachi she decided to try her hand at another record for a light-engined flight by covering the distance to London in under five days.

But from the moment she started, she encountered high winds which slowed her right down.

Finally, just as Croydon’s airport authorities were set to give her a heroine’s welcome on June 12, Bonney went missing altogether.

She had been forced down by a bad weather report in Cologne, and only read about the concern she was causing in London some days later from The Daily Telegraph.

She wired an apologetic telegram ahead saying: “I did not know any interest was being taken in my flight in England’.

She arrived in Croydon on June 21.

Both her father and her husband refused to let her make the return flight to Australia, though she was convinced she could beat Amy Johnson’s record at the second attempt.

She died in 1994 aged 97.

What does her Doodle show?

Artist Matt Cruickshank created Lores’ Doodle to remember her achievements on her 122nd birthday.

He said about hsi creation: “Australia is East of the UK, so adding in both countries visually left me with the simple task of connecting Bonney’s journey using animation.

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“Far easier than how she achieved the task.”

He included a map of Australia on the “e” and a Britain on the first “o”, connecting them with an arrow.

On the second “o” of Google he added a portrait and an animation of her journey.

What is a Google Doodle?

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

Google kicked off 2019 with an animated Doodle of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

And on February 5, 2019, the Chinese New Year was celebrated with a hand animation transforming into a pig.

St Patrick’s Day on March 17 was remembered with a Celtic Google Doodle.

And on March 21, Google Doodle used AI for the first time in a tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach.

The Doodle allowed users to create their own tune.

And Google also celebrated the Women’s World Cup with Doodles for each participating team.

The history of the Google Doodle

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