Since Rosemary discovered the dragonfly was her ‘totem’ early in 2002, so many of her dreams have become reality, dreams to which she had placed no hope of ever being possible. She found herself retrenched after 17 years in desktop publishing, so planned to reinvent herself with the aim to get back into the workforce, by pursuing education along two avenues, giving her credentials with letters after her name, e.g. BAv, CMC. Another miracle had happened, when after those same 17 years Rosemary renewed her Commercial Pilot’s Licences, by proving she could pass the stringent aviation medical examinations, and finding she could still fly at commercial standard. Amazing.
For the first time in her life she was accepted into University. This dream had previously been taken from her when her parents forced her to leave school at age 15. Then she won the University Western Sydney $2,000 scholarship “for the female aviation student who had successfully overcome significant challenges in academic and flying studies.” She completed her degree in 18 months, then a week after her final exam results she became a university lecturer on the subject “Aviation Issues: an Historical Perspective”, with 82 students. Curriculum emphasis was on gender issues, about which Rosemary knew a great deal, having struggled for employment as a woman helicopter pilot since 1967.
Rosemary actually graduated twice in 2004 – first from University of Western Sydney (UWS) as a Bachelor of Aviation; then at a Graduation Ceremony for Civil Marriage Celebrants, at the University of Melbourne, graduating with Distinctions from the International College of Celebrancy.
There had been two tough years of struggle with redtape too, in a bid to launch her 20 year old dream – the Chapel in the Sky, offering airborne ceremonies, in a helicopter.
It is interesting to know, that the early helicopter design was called The Dragonfly, and some current models are even named “Dragonfly”. The dragonfly is the world’s earliest known insect, and there are more than 500,000 species. They are revered in most countries being symbolic for good fortune, fertility, and representing communications and a joyous spirit. There is even a dragonfly sanctuary in the Japanese city of Nakamura, named “Tonbo Shizen Kouen”. There it is known as the typhoon fly (tonbo) for it is believed to bring the heavy rains, of benefit to the crops.
Rosemary feels she has great affinity with the dragonfly and loves the inspiration it brings to her life. She has even chosen to have her first tattoo – yes, a dragonfly!