The October 20-24, 1934 flight of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Uiver from Mildenhall to Melbourne was designed to test the feasibility of an air service from Europe to Australia in heavy, all-metal monoplanes.
Despite the hiccup of an emergency landing in Albury, the flight proved that such a service could be successfully established.
Back then, Australia was a semi-independent nation whose citizens were British - not Australian.
Its government resolutely refused to grant a licence to KLM or KNILM (Royal Netherlands Indies Airlines) to establish a scheduled air service from Europe to Australia because they were not part of the British Empire.
Instead, Imperial Airways-Qantas Empire Airways were subsidised to fly to Australia.
The first scheduled Qantas Empire Airways flight to Australia (Singapore to Brisbane) carrying passengers was made April 22-25, 1935 using a wood and fabric de Havilland DH86 aircraft.
On December 13, 1934, a Netherlands East Indies delegation, led by merchant navy Captain H Sluiter, arrived in Albury and gave lavish presents to those who had saved the Uiver.
He returned to Java on SS Nieuw Holland with Albury mayor Alderman Alfred Waugh, where Waugh expressed Albury's thanks for the gifts from the people of NEI.
The Imperial Airways and Qantas Empire Airways air service using antiquated de Havilland DH86 aircraft was much inferior to the one which the Dutch could have established using American Douglas aircraft.
Australia's participation in the proposed Short flying-boat Empire Air Mail Service (EAMS) was in doubt, when in January 1937, the Dutch renewed their request to establish a Batavia (now Jakarta) to Sydney air service.
The Australian government, in the face of mounting public pressure, could not politically hold out on both the Dutch and the EAMS.
In April 1937, the government announced that it would indeed allow KNILM to fly a scheduled Batavia to Sydney passenger service, which connected with a KLM Amsterdam to Batavia service.
The inaugural flight in a Lockheed 14 PK-AFM departed Batavia on July 3, 1938 and arrived at Mascot, Sydney on July 5, 1938 carrying four crew and four passengers.
With this flight, KNILM became the first foreign airline corporation to establish a scheduled passenger service to Australia.
A souvenir mini-clog was issued with the KNILM logo on its top side.
Mayor Waugh received a souvenir clog, probably from Captain Sluiter.
The clog is now held by the Albury Library Museum and reminds us of a significant event in Australia's aviation history.