Engineering and Marketing Training
Date of Passing:
The following is an extract from an email sent by Andrew Leithhead, detailing from memory the history of his father, Peter's time, with both Qantas and the Qantas Staff Credit Union.
My understanding of Dad’s QF service chronology is as follows:
Joined 1950 as apprentice ground engineer (airframe maintenance), completed his apprenticeship and worked on multiple aircraft types. His favourite was the Lockheed Supe Constellation ‘1049’.
Left QF in the late 1950’s to increase his experience and knowledge
Rejoined on 06 February 1961, I believe initially in Production Planning
Later moved into various ground training roles, including in customer service. This included in 1971 becoming the Manager Marketing Training based in Underwood House in the City.
Was then appointed as Head of Engineering Technical & Apprentice Training, including the apprentice training school, from which he had graduated in the early 1950’s - a nice symmetry
In the Tech Training role Dad was also closely involved in developing the engineering knowledge of the emerging Bangladesh Biman airline, and building a commercial relationship to train ground engineers for All Nippon Airways.
He also acted as relieving manager for the QF team in Mauritius for about 3 months in late 1974, early 1975 while the permanent incumbent was on leave. The dates here are easy to remember, as we were in Mauritius when Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974
Dad retired from QF on 07 February 1983 following a ‘reorganisation’ of technical training, which ultimately led to the closure of the apprentice training school – later much lamented. I believe Dad was a vigorous advocate against this idea, which may have had something to do with his leaving the company.
All up I think Dad had close to 30 years total service to QF
In the Qantas Staff Credit Union:
Dad joined the Board of the QSCU on 11th March 1970
He was elected Chairman on 29th September, 1971
He stepped down as Chair on 30th September 2000
And ultimately retired from the QSCU Board on 31st January, 2001
The following is an extract from an email received from Ken Groves, about his involvement with Peter:
Thanks for letting us know about the passing of Peter Leithhead.
After a period of time at QF London ( early 70's I guess?)..first in reservations and the ticket office on Piccadilly then at the QF " desk" in Australia House I was selected to be the first locally employed res/ ticketing training officer in the UK.
I was immediately dispatched to Mascot ( via the Wentworth hotel!) to undergo a basic "train the trainer" course under the guidance of Peter Leithhead along side the likes of Mike Culpan, Guy Huntley, Jon Morgan, Bill Bryant etc. etc.
Peter was a quiet gentleman of deep convictions and made me both very welcome ( along with Jack Castor who had been appointed to a similar role in San Francisco ) and really instilled in me the training/teacher ethic which I still carry with me today ( alas no students any more!!!)
I remember him with great fondness and respect....and my thanks!
Vale dear Peter.