“Jean you are a very naughty girl and really I think you want a good spanking for giving us such a terribly anxious time.” Auckland mayor, Ernest Davis condescendingly said to Jean Batten at a ceremony to celebrate her record breaking 11 day solo flight from England to New Zealand.

Jean Batten at Auckland Ceremony (nzhistory.govt.nz)

It was 1936, and Jean Batten was one of the most famous females in the world.

Jean Batten (nzhistory.govt.nz)


When Jean was a baby, it is said her ambitious mother, Ellen, pinned a photo of Frenchman, Louis Bleriot to the wall at the side of her cot. Bleriot had made the first flight across the English Channel and Ellen regarded his image as a symbol of the new world her daughter had been born into. The headstrong woman wanted Jean to reach for the sky. read more