Ballina High School students Sharnie Flanagan-Boyd and Michael Loomes arrive at their Year 12 formal at Ballina RSL club by helicopter.
Ballina High School students Sharnie Flanagan-Boyd and Michael Loomes arrive at their Year 12 formal at Ballina RSL club by helicopter. Jay Cronan

Students fly to school formal

IT WAS the night of nights for Ballina High School’s Year 12 students and many arrived to their much anticipated school formal in grand style.

Ballina ranger Des Bolt and a mate delivered Kay Elliott and Teniel Taunton to the Ballina RSL Club on the back of their prized Harley ‘hogs’.

Shay Corbett arrived riding side-saddle on an Arab gelding with her boyfriend James Orlowski.

And let’s not forget the roar of the 6.2 litre, V-12 gull-wing Lamborghini, which delivering Ashleigh Campbell and Mitchell Oke.

But nothing compared to the clapping round of thunder, the blowing of leaves off trees, when a Bell 47 chopper dropped Michael Loomes and Sharnie Flanagan-Boyd at the RSL Cenotaph.

“I wanted to make a statement,” admitted Michael, of Lennox Head, who paid the $300 air fare out of his own wad of hard earned cash.

“Anyone can rev an engine in front of the step, or ring the Gold coast and get a Hummer and driver. I wanted something different.”

For Sharnie, of Wardell, the 20 minute joy flight over the coast and up the river was certainly a novelty.

“I was a little bit scared at first,” she admitted. “My stomach did flip flops when we were taking off.”

The highlight of the evening was well organised, with Michael making arrangements at the start of the year. And it will be something for the pair to remember, when they start university next year.

For other students, less was more.

Tynka Breen and Max Von Neumann, waddled up in a cardboard car. Dean Parker and Elizabeth Hughes came on their grandparents’ electric scooter.

But there was honour in Cassie Fleming and Mitchell Hamer’s arrival.

Their driver was Olivia Visser, a graduate of last year’s class, who chauffeured the couple behind the wheel of her late father’s prized BMW.

“My dad, Robert Visser, passed away during the year,” she said.

“He loved his car. He would have been proud to see the way it arrived.”



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