Desmond McAnelly (1930-2001)

Des McAnelly's modeling activities started in the late 1930's as an impressionable teenager carving solid scale models of wartime aircraft. He started work in 1947 and joined and became a very active member of the newly reformed Southland Model Aero Club.

Des could wall paper a room with all the tickets and pennants awarded for his contest flying. He was perhaps best known for his Class B Team Racing in the 1960,s and early 70's. Son's Peter, Nigel and Stephen were all part of the McAnelly team. Des also specialised in C/L Speed. He represented NZ at TT level in 76, 80, 83, 91, and 95. He flew in the World C/L Champs in 84 and was manager of the C/L TT team in 1985.
Des flew FF F1C for NZ at Lost Hills in California as well in1993.

Through those years Des was active in administration, chairing at least two separate South Island Association's, as well as being instrumental in hosting the Southland Nationals in 1978. He has also served as Chairman of both C/L and FF tech committees at different times.

Always the gentleman, Des was honored with Life Membership of the Southland Model Aero Club in the 1980's.

Des met and married soul-mate Alvena, who predeceased him on 5th April 2001 after 48 years together. No contest in the South Island or a Nationals would be complete without the McAnelly family and caravan. Alvena was very supportive and, not one to be left at the camp made certain that the van arrived each day at the field, a facility not lost on the rest of the competitors especially in inclement weather. In latter years the family aspect changed almost seamlessly to Grandchildren instead. It certainly did not do the Southland MAC points tally any harm.

The family business in the 70's was The Southland Foundry where Des learned the casting trade. From the earliest days he cast his own pans for team racers and speed models. This hobby developed into a business that supplied pans and engine mounts to the modelling trade. It also expanded into other lines, motoring accessories etc and soon out grew his garage and was taken over as McAnelly Castings by his daughter Maryanne and son-in-law Wayne Renton.

Back to top