top of page


John Fysh


Red Tail Road to 100 Foundation Committee confirms
John Fysh as Worldwide Patron

John Fysh letter.png

John Fysh

John Fysh, the son of our co-founder Sir Hudson Fysh has a wonderful anecdote about his earliest days as a child in Longreach, explaining how, at age four, and as a joke, the mechanics passed him a broom and put him to 'work' sweeping the hangar floor.

In 1930, the family moved to Brisbane when the Qantas Head Office was relocated there on the extension of the Qantas service to Brisbane.

Hudson Fysh worked in the city from Monday to Saturday lunchtime. Tennis on Saturday afternoon, and spent all day Sunday at Archerfield aerodrome. John spent the day with him at Archerfield, sometimes given the job of trying - unsuccessfully - to sell tickets on taxi-flights. Otherwise HF paid 2/- for a local farmer's horse for him to ride about the open surrounding country.

What was to follow years later was a long career in aviation, beginning with joining the RAAF as a trainee pilot in 1944, achieving 120 hours on Tiger Moths but with the war winding down and a surplus of pilots, he was discharged before his training was completed.

His subsequent attempts to gain a commercial pilot’s license were defeated by an eye defect so he joined Qantas in 1945 as a Junior Booking Officer--Accommodation and Interline-- at the original Shell House, Sydney.

After several months in Singapore working with Mansfield and Company, the airline's handling agents there, he continued on a Qantas career which included service at Rose Bay Flying Boat Base, at Mascot, and stints with BOAC, London, and TWA in the USA, before returning to Sydney in 1952.

On his return to Sydney, he spent two years in the Freight and then Traffic Departments in senior positions, before an appointment as Manager Japan, followed by, in quick succession, relieving manager in Fiji and then a return to the USA as Manager San Francisco.

Back in Sydney again, between 1959 and 1968 he was First Deputy Manager Western Division under Bill Crowther, then manager Tasman and Pacific Islands, a time of intense route negotiations between Australia and New Zealand.

From 1968 until his retirement ten years later he was Customer Services manager, a role which covered Cabin Crew, Catering, Traffic handling worldwide during a period which saw the challenges of the introduction of the Boeing 747 into Qantas service.

Upon his retirement he bred cattle on the NSW mid-north coast before finally settling on the NSW Central Coast. 

bottom of page