Its been a busy life but sooner or later one has to think about slowing down – or at least changing focus – to a different approach to the daily grind. My career at Sydney airport had been the busiest and perhaps the most complex and challenging. It seemed to me that I was considerably older than most I was working with and it perhaps time to consider a change of pace.
This is what happened to me after going at it with focus and dedication for some 45 years. But how best to commemorate such a change of lifestyle and a slowing down after all these years?
It was a celebration evening of the finest type – the room was packed with government, airport and airline representatives, service suppliers, friends, and a special bonus my 3 children and my partner.
The venue had a commanding view over the airport and airfield – the place of my focus for 12.5 years. I had given and it had taken – now it was time to reminisce with friends.
It was a delight for me to have the Chairman of the Sydney Airport Corporation Board come along together with the CEO and Executive Director of Aviation for the airport.
Some of my team even got to come along to what turned out to be a fun packed night with about 100 guests.
There were guest speakers or as it turned out, roasters – to say a few final humorous remarks about me and my careers, that worked a treat. Thanks to Qantas, the AFP, Air Services Australia, Airport Council International and others for your presentation gifts of memorabilia to cherish.
The commentary and jesting were interspersed with a wonderful meal served with great wines that were hosted by Sydney Airport.
Everyone got great laughs out of it, at my expense. As appropriate, I also got to say a few words in rebuttal to top of the evening. I had earlier prepared a video presentation of my life and career to culminate my speech with. I had often watched a funeral or memorials some wonderful reviews of someone life and I thought that I wouldn’t wait for my passing but to do it now while I could enjoy it with friends and associates. It was a great finally to a fantastic evening.
The Board Chairman remarked that myself and MC should be on stage..he seemed to enjoy the night.
The master of ceremonies for the evening was my great colleague Michael Miller who did a fantastic job – he as the gift of speech and presentation as an ex-teacher.
I had a separate function with my airport team and staff from the airport on my final day at work. We took a bus to a great restaurant venue on the Georges River that was followed by after work celebrations at an airport bar where further and final presentations and farewell were made.
I worked with many wonderful and talented people both in my team and across the wider airport.
A special thanks go out to my longtime administrative assistant Debbie who was such great support and friend to me. It was a great send off and good times to say goodbye.
There were fond memories of the challenges and high-pressure environment over nearly 13 years – but it was time for a change. So up, up and away – as they say!