Loyalty is rare. If you find it, keep it.
Something new; I’m going to digress before I start rambling on, but don’t get too excited, this could turn out to be a very boring tale.
Reg Ansett was an honourable man, couldn’t help himself; he always had been and always was; how else could he earn the respect, love and loyalty, of those who worked for him. And we all did!
Back in the 1930’s when he started his airline, things didn’t run smoothly for Reg, most of the time. I suppose the Great Depression didn’t help much; and there were times that he didn’t have the money to pay the men, working for him. Some left, but there were many that stayed, they liked Reg and had faith in him.
Reg promised these men, that as long as he had an airline, they’d have a job for life, no matter what!
Then along came WWII, which helped him, and his business. He cancelled all his operations save one.
The Hamilton/Melbourne/Hamilton flight, it operated every day. Never missed.
A week or so ago I assailed you with a post entitled “£19/5/5d”, and those that haven’t read that, and have no idea what I’m going on about, have nobody to blame but themselves; for those that did, I’ll continue with the first day, and then hopefully knock off the next couple of years, in a few paragraphs.
It must have taken Jerry, my mentor, all of 20 – 30 minutes to teach me all I’d need to know, sitting behind the one-way window, which separated the “Traffic Office’ from the ‘Check-in Counter”; not that it was much of an office. More of a corridor really, with a long bench attached to the wall beneath the one-way window, which acted as the desk, along which was a few telephones with a few seats for the T/o’s to plant themselves on whilst doing the little paper work involved. Which really when I think about it was surprisingly little. Then again I’d come from Insurance where papers ruled.
The back wall of the corridor, come office, was one long window looking out onto the tarmac, and all the lovely little aeroplanes, didn’t take long to be straightened out there, they were aircraft or planes. An area that was crowded and buzzing most of the time there were flights due in, or due out. Plus there were the luggage porters and air-hostesses filling any spare space. The porters wanting to know where to stow the luggage, the hostesses wanting to know how many and who was an XV and anything else pertaining to the passengers. All very logical. It was a busy corridor.
I was to be stuck behind the one-way window, which I loved; for a few days, except for the brief sorties I’d have to make, 45 minutes before each flight was scheduled to depart. What for you should be asking /wondering.
In 1960, my first year in the airline industry, it was all very civil, polite; and compared to the cattle round up at todays air terminals; very elegant. Not a scruffy passenger to be seen;. Anywhere! Hope our eldest gets to read that bit! Here I go again wandering off, so back to the 45 minute bit.
Forty five minutes before flight boarding time a coach/bus would leave Ansett’s city terminal in Swanston Street, with the passengers that had checked in there; it was about a 35 – 40 minute trip out to Essendon, and at that time it was my job to go out to the main check-in counter, take the ‘Passenger Waybill” in back, ring my opposite number in Swanston Street and he would tell me, the passengers that had checked in, the pieces and weight of the baggage that they’d checked. I’d write all this info on the waybill and return it to the T/o handling the flight. If he happened to have any check-ins whilst I was getting the myzpt info, he’d just pop back where I was working and enter his passengers details.
Don’t forget that I’m talking about aircraft the largest of which carried 81 passengers, so there was no hurry or panic, and I wont say civilized again, it’s been used enough.
I was also learning a completely new and alien language.
The ‘Check-in counter’ wasn’t as long as the bench come desk in the corridor. would you believe. Not sure now whether it was 5 or 6 sets of scales, the first set was always for the major flights; the Melbourne/Sydney. Melbourne /Perth, the ‘big’ ones the ‘Electra’s’, of which we had three, WOW, Romeo Mikes, Alpha Bravo & Charlie, maximum pax 33t/48f.
Believe me it was exciting for a bloke who’d spent the previous ten years working in an insurance office.
I had intended to write more regarding the opening blurb, but I’m going to have to leave that up in the air, which is a good place for this codswallop to be under the circumstances, as I have to be up early tomorrow, have an appointment at the RPAH Clinic, getting something fitted. So you’ll have to wait for my next dollop of ykw!