Time to straighten up, and fly right.

As per usual I drifted off course, those damned crosswinds, in that last little blurb, I’d intended to write more on the loyalty bit.So you’re going to have to suffer a bit longer whilst I get that out of my system.

In 1960 there were still several of those old blokes that had stayed with Reg through the bad times.They were untouchable, they could never be fired or, disciplined Reg had given them his word.

Surprisingly there was one old bloke who abused that ‘honour/privilege; he ‘worked’ in the city office as a t/o, if he didn’t feel like attending passengers he just told them to move on to someone else, he was busy. reading the paper  as a rule. Anyone else would have been shown the door; quick smart. Reg deserved better!

Out at Essendon we had a half a dozen or so STO’s; Senior Traffic Officers. These were the blokes that really did keep the airline flying, and we had one old bloke, probably the oldest bloke I ever worked with, nearly said under.

His name was Stu. Cockerill,  little bloke, must have ben born in the 1890’s, always looked as if he carried Ansett ANA on his old shoulders, I got to love the old fella, straight as a die, and you probably guessed it, one of Reg’s originals. Never abused the privilege, never mentioned or spoke of the ‘bad old days’, and the only one permitted to call Reg, ‘Reg’, I never saw them together, so I don’t know if he did, somehow I think not, Stuey wasn’t that sort of bloke.

One of the STO’s called him Reg, prefixed by Uncle, wasn’t a bad bloke Reg’s nephew Barry Pascoe, never played on the family bit, had a fair resemblance to his uncle. Around my age a few years older but not by much. We got on well.

Okay; I’ll leave the other four or five, but if I continue this saga;  then you can expect to have more thrown at you. As I said the STO’s were ‘IT’!, Well as far as I could see.

We had an Airport Manager, Jock Balding,  who knew figures not much else, an Assistant Airport manager, Ted Sutton, who knew less, and Mr Butler the Traffic Manager (the bloke who gave me the job) who didn’t have a clue. But they were treated with respect, then again it may well have been pity.

The main check in counter I mentioned in the previous rant, besides having the weigh-in spots there was a slightly raised section manned by a ground hostess, as opposed to a flight hostess. At busy times there’d be two of ‘em, and sharing their space was the T/o on the cashier shift.

We actually issued real tickets back then, and the passengers would pay by cash or cheque, most of the XV’s used credit cards, or had them charged to their company accounts. Naturally there were free loaders travelled FOC or managed an NCV ticket, one step up. Passengers on all aircraft were issued with and obliged to have real tickets before being allowed to board, none of this boarding pass will do. The tickets were also an Insurance policy of sorts.

My initial duties were easily learned, and after a few shifts, Mr Butler advised me that I was satisfactory, and issued me with an order for a uniform, and all accoutrements, and directed me to the tailor, wear I was measured, told to come back in a couple of days for fitting, and within a week I was rigged out, looking very sharp.

The only mistake in my uniform was in the cap, I was issued an “Air-crew” cap; these differed from a Traffic Officer cap, and it wasn’t spotted for a couple of years; by which time I was firmly established and nobody gave a ‘tinkers’.

In under three weeks I’d gone from a  trainee in mufti, to a fully fledged T/o; sort of. I had yet to front up on the check-in counter and actually handle the passengers but I was now ready to ‘go’.

Whilst all this was going on, life on the home front was going from bad to worse. I suppose in all fairness, I should write the not so good times, that were going on at the same time as the good, and which were entirely of my doing.

Me first! As my sister once stated in a comment, I was always about me.

I’m going to have to sleep on it!



20 thoughts on “Time to straighten up, and fly right.

  1. Looking forward to the next part already! 🙂


    1. Not sure when that will be Sue, not the best at present.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really sorry to hear that Brian, I hope you begin to feel better soon. 🙂


  2. Your reference to the old bloke who abused that ‘honour/privilege is unfortunately all too common in many areas. Your alluding to the total honesty of Reg makes the old bloke’s abuse even more terrible.


    1. Not so much in the 60’s , which made it more noticeable, nowadays it seems acceptable for reasons best know to the ignorant.
      Reg was an amazing man. Killed off by rupert murdock and peter abeles, and his carcass was feasted on by the kiwi’s

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds as if the “Air-crew” cap was a step above the “Traffic-officer” cap, with more status, perhaps. In that case, you did well to keep it, and not bring attention to it. Just a guess!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed it was Diane and you’re the only one to spot it;
      The pilots caps badge was topped with a ‘Crown, as they were flying aircraft that at that time carried ‘Royal Mail” as such they were entitled to the crown, I wasn’t, but I kept my ‘Pilots Cap” 🙂


  4. It’s good to write about a variety to times…good and not-so-good.
    It’s very meaningful to read about this time in your life…I feel honored. Thank you!
    Hope you feel better soon.
    I’ve been busy with family gatherings and such, but I’m not feel well. One of my health issues has been acting up the past four days. 😦


    1. That’s not good news Carolyn, I hope it’s nothing too serious. My tickers giving me some problems I see the cardiologist Thursday. The War Office says she coming, so she must be taking it seriously for once.
      Take it easy and take care Carolyn,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much, Brian!
        Another not-so-good day today. But I got the things done I needed to get done.
        Will be thinking of you on Thursday. Please let me know how it goes. You’re in my thoughts for healing and good health. Cooper sends his love, too! 🙂


        1. I am sorry to hear that Carolyn, You’re a bit of a worry, I’ll wager Coop is feeling it too, I know Coco feels it when I’m not the best, they seem to know. I’ll drop you an email let you know, in the interim I think I’ll try and do a post on my airline time.
          Give Coop a hug and kiss from me and Coco. I don’t mind giving dogs a kiss netter than some humans I know.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Thank you! I’m feeling a bit better tonight!

          Yes, Coop stays close to me normally…and when I’m in pain he seems to know and stays even closer.

          Yes, please email and let me know how you are doing.

          I will! Give Coco hugs and kisses from me! I kiss my doggie friends on the top of their heads! 🙂


        3. (((HUGS))) for today! 🙂


  5. It’s been so long since I’ve heard that phrase of you title. Used to be sternly said – and paid attention to.
    We live near what started out as a small regional airport – and were near one at our last house. Those airports are a whole different world even today. Love this post – Reg sounds super (you do a great job of creating solid impressions of people/characters in your stories – so real we could almost smile and shake their hands if we ever met them)
    Love the fact that a you were capped and “crowned”. Probably deserved it in retrospect?
    Hope you feel better – and your Dr visit is reassuring and helpful. Take care – we’ll always fly with you when. you’re ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reg was a fair dinkum great Australian,he’s still fling and drops in on Dallas Texas now and then, in fact he was there just a couple of days ago to help you celebrate Independence Day, 4th July.
      He came in the guise of a QANTAS Airbus A380 VH-OQH.
      QANTAS like to name their flagships and this one is named Reginald Ansett.
      The A380 that I’ve placed at the top of my page is the Reg Ansett.


  6. I saw what you wrote on Derrick’s blog, Beari. Smarter than the average bear, eh? haha If that were only true!!! ah-well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and beari GP don’t forget that 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You gave me big old smile that’s for sure!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You might like to know Jock Balding just died aged 93 he was a great man and a real asset to Ansett not a dope or slouch and was loved by many !!!!!!!!


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Nan's Farm

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