Lisa (“Lace’) Maxwell,
an experienced ‘wing-walker’, and her friend Robert
Copas are remembered in these pages not because of
any connection they might have had with the pioneer
families of God’s Acre but because of a monument to
their memory that has been erected in these grounds.
They died on 1 May 1994 shortly after their vintage
Tiger Moth biplane had taken off from Luskintyre
Airfield in the Hunter Valley. It nosedived to the
ground and exploded about 4 km north-west of Lochinvar,
near Maitland, in New South Wales.
Bob Copas, a master pilot, and Lace Maxwell, ‘a
vivacious fun-loving person’, ‘had been wing-walking
many times before’. On this tragic occasion they were
carrying out an acrobatic stunt routine for about 40
members and relatives of CanTeen (Australian Teenage
Cancer Patients Society). Their ages are given in a
newspaper report as 40 and 31 respectively. The
traumatised youngsters had been camping in a hangar over
the weekend and had taken joyrides in the 1931-designed
Lace Maxwell was cremated at the Northern Suburbs
Crematorium after a service in St Swithun’s Anglican
Church in the Sydney suburb of Pymble on the afternoon
of 6 May 1994.