THE Northern Echo's editor Peter Barron paid tribute to all the readers who supported the campaign for a permanent memorial to Andrew Mynarski to be placed at Middleton St George.
At a service to begin the Lancaster celebration day, Mr Barron spoke of the passion shown by readers such as Betty Amlin whose letter to The Northern Echo a decade ago launched the campaign to have a lasting tribute to Mynarski placed at the site.
Mrs Amlin suggested that the then Teesside Airport should be renamed in honour of Mynarski and although the authorities had already decided on Durham Tees Valley Airport, such was the support for Mrs Amlin’s sentiment that donations soon came flooding in.
A chance meeting on a train between Mr Barron and an executive from the Heritage Lottery Fund bolstered the Forgotten Hero campaign and Echo readers helped raise the £40,000 needed to place a statue of Mynarski in the grounds of the St George Hotel – the former RCAF officers mess.
Mr Barron laid a wreath at the statue on behalf of n Echo readers, and Betty Amlin’s son, Edsel, said the whole occasion was a proud moment for his family.
He said: “My mum was quite instrumental in the campaign and today has been very emotional.
“My dad was an RCAF standard bearer and as he got older I got myself a blazer asked if I could take over.
“He said he was glad that I’d asked, and now my son is continuing it so there will be three generations of the Edsel family carrying the standard.
“My dad would have been emotional about today; he came after Mynarski died, but as time went on he was very proud to have served in the same service as Andrew Mynarski.”