Left to right Velma Olivier, Roland Rodgers, Don Olivier

Don & Velma Olivier: Birthday is a time for giving... to Murals of SP

July 27, 2007
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesDon Olivier believes a birthday without presents is no birthday at all, so Don and his wife Velma decided to celebrate by making a generous donation to the Murals of Santa Paula. Don, a longtime Santa Paula resident and a Santa Clara Valley Bank founder and Velma - a city native - presented the donation to Murals of Santa Paula Treasurer Roland Rogers at Mupu Grill on June 20, where Don asked friends to join him for his birthday celebration.Although Don had stipulated “no presents,” that didn’t mean that he and his wife Velma couldn’t give a present of their own to the latest mural depicting Santa Paula Airport. “I want to thank Don and Velma for their wonderful, generous gift,” said Rogers, who said that the latest mural would be dedicated August 11.Don said that the gift reflects his and Velma’s affection for the airport, as well as her family relationship to an early aviator. “Velma’s sister Wilma was part of the beginning of the airport, and we thought it would be a nice thing to give a donation to the murals project” as $5,000 Founders, said Don.Located on the west wall of the Santa Paula Travel Agency on East Main Street, the mural is the ninth in the Murals of Santa Paula project. The Oliviers made the donation in memory and honor of Wendel Fletcher and Velma’s sister Wilma, who was married to Wendel.
The Fletcher brothers, Wendel and Frank, lived in Santa Paula in the 1920s and 1930s, building airplanes in a local garage when the “Santa Paula airport became a reality” in 1930. “The Fletcher brothers moved their operation into one of the original hangars, and continued to build airplanes for sale until their operation grew too big and they moved to the Burbank/Glendale area.” Fletcher Aviation Co. “became very successful, and it started in Santa Paula... one of the first businesses at the Santa Paula Airport,” said Don.“The airport means a lot to the city... it still has a lot of businesses. That’s good for any small town to have small businesses,” noted Don. “And it draws a lot of people... it’s one of the tourist attractions that helps the city, brings people from all over. Through the years I think the airport has been a real asset to the community, I really do.”The Murals of Santa Paula, aside from depicting the rich history and people of the city, “are another tourist attraction... anything that helps the local economy is good for our town,” said Don. “Velma’s sister Wilma was a part of the beginning of the airport, and we thought it would be a nice thing to give a donation to the Murals of Santa Paula” to honor both family and the world famous airport.

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