About the book

In 1930, Oscar Garden, a young man aged just 27 year old and with only 39 hour flying experience walked into an aerodrome in the South of England, climbed into the open cockpit of a second hand Gypsy Moth aeroplane and decided to fly to Australia. After eighteen days he landed at Wyndham Aerodrome in Western Australia. The flight was not without drama with several spectacular forced landings along the way.

As if this was not enough accolade for one man, Oscar Garden went on to become a commercial pilot and then later in life in New Zealand he became chief pilot and operations manager for the fledgling Tasman Empire Airways.

Sundowner of the Skies is part memoir and part biographical from the daughter of this remarkable man. It tells of Mary’s life growing up with this little known aviator and the history she uncovers when embarking on writing about his life.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781760790936
Format: Paperback
Extent: 192 pages
Book Size: 240 x 165 mm


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About the author

Mary Garden is a freelance writer and has a PhD in journalism. Her first book The Serpent Rising: a journey of spiritual seduction (1988; 2003) is a memoir of her years in India in the 1970s where she fell under the spell of various self-appointed ‘god-men’. It was one of the first books to shine a light on the danger of the guru-disciple relationship, especially for naive Westerners.

In 2005 she wrote a long-form feature on her father’s epic flight that was published in the Australian Financial Review. The huge response to this from readers all over the world led her on a journey to research his life and write his remarkable story.


Sample chapter