Date of Passing:
The loss of Charlie to pancreatic cancer saddened all his former MELQF colleagues. He fought, oh how he pugnaciously fought, this insipid disease with a trademark smile, congeniality coupled with intense bellicosity. It was anomalous he departed so soon after arriving at Perth International Airport (ex JNB) to take up residence in Tasmania.
In early ‘70’s Charlie joined Qantas Hobart before transferring to Melbourne. He was a welcomed resource to Qantas’ 230 Collins Street Sales Office. Progressively he grew from the role of Agency Sales Representative, to Ticket Office Manager then Agency Sales Manager Victoria. Following on, he was appointed Agency Sales Manager NSW based Sydney. Later he moved with his family to Harare (Zimbabwe) working for his wife’s family business. He however remained in contact with his broad circle of Australian based industry colleagues which was maintained for decades thereafter.
Agonizingly matters took a turn for the worse as Zimbabwe’s economy went into free-fall and industry badly faltered causing Charlie to review his options. This culminated in re-location to Australia where the plan was for the family to follow after gaining work. He was appointed to Walshes World’s GSA Division as South African Airways Sales Manager Victoria based Melbourne. However, the family did not follow and that was a massive blow.
After several years he returned to Africa – chiefly Harare and at one stage re-joined Qantas as Manager South Africa based Johannesburg. He however found the Qantas of then was nothing like he had previously relished and left. True to character he would quip “….I worked for a South African airline in Australia and an Australian airline in South Africa...”
Without any qualification his greatest joy were his four children. He was devoted. They meant everything to him. What came second was his deep love of Africa happily sharing it with his three boys and daughter whenever he could. His pride in their development made him glow and was never happier just to be with them.
Those of us will remember Charlie’s infectious laugh that followed his telling of a litany of stories or jokes. Work was fun; not one to become laboured nor stressful. He was, inherently, good value to be with.
Charlie possessed a combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important - the simplicity of living a life with those you love. I have learnt he finally closed his eyes peacefully to the sounds of The Beatles ‘White Album surrounded by people he loved and who loved him back, and he was not in any pain.
It’s safe to say the world has lost a little bit of its magic.
Ex Qantas Melbourne