Where it all Began : The Spirits of Ansett

As a reward for achieving 25 years of continual service (and later 40 years) Ansett invited these staff to an annual dinner where new inductees were presented with silver platters or clocks suitably inscribed.

Originally 25/40 year achievers who later retired where still invited back to the dinners, but over the years the invites were issued on a roster basis until they finally ceased for retirees in June 1985.

As a result Bob Haseldine (Airport Traffic), John Joyes (City Sales) & Terri Panizza ( Switchboard Adelaide) called a meeting of interested parties on the 29th of August 1985 and as a result "Spirits of Ansett" was born and became the vehicle for retirees and long serving staff to meet and discuss old times over lunch and an ale.

South Australia was the first state to have such a luncheon reunion.

The name was the inspiration of John Joyes and was to reflect the spirit within the Ansett organization since its inception, that of achieving goals, sometimes at impossible odds. It was described by Bob Haseldine:-


All luncheons have been at the Grange Golf Club, Seaton. The first on Wednesday 2nd October 1985 was attended by 106 guests (60 retirees, 39 partners & 7 members of the 25 year club).

Jim Parkinson, Manager S.A. & N.T - Ansett Airlines of Australia gave a short update of the present equipment, loadings & revenues & capital employed compared to that of 10 years ago.

Special guest speaker was Keith Maynard (click here for the Kieth Maynard Speech) from Launceston who reminisced on Australian National Airways in the early 1930's and wrote the first passenger airline ticket for Holyman Bros. for a Launceston to Ulverston flight carrying just 3 passengers.

Our first luncheon, 3 courses cost $12.50 and the latest in 2001 was $21.40 plus GST.

Attendances have been in the vicinity of 100, but 2001 is the record at 131. One BBQ was held at the Aviation Institute, Adelaide Airport in March 1986 but was discontinued.

The original Committee comprised Bob Haseldine, John Joyes, Terri Panizza, Reg Chilman, Clayton Bray, Trevor Howard, Doug Jordan and Rod Short.

Over the years Committee Members included Pat Haseldine, Marge Bell, Gwen Short, Glynis Birks, Jim & Elaine White, Trevor Thredgold and is currently under the care of Bob (Charlie) Birks, Trevor Tilley, John (Sarge) Schulze, Geoff Horan, Bob Gardiner and Jim White.

Guests have travelled to Adelaide from rural S.A., interstate including Perth, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Melbourne and even the U.K.

Guest Speakers have included Jim Parkinson, Nan Witcomb (Down to Earth Club), Jim Schofield (Chairman of Southern Cross Museum), Jan Springett (Madam Travel), George Vallance ( Airport Manager) - Update on present operations, Trevor Thredgold, (Airline updates), Paul Harrison (the disaster of Sept 2001),

Door prize donors have been Ansett Airlines, Members Aust Credit Union (Formerly Outlook Credit Union), Robert Birks (Ex Adelaide Sales) & Trevor Thredgold.

The 1994 lunch was dedicated to the memory of Bob Haseldine who passed away in June 1994 and the 1998 lunch was dedicated to the memory of Rod Short who passed away in November 1997 after succeeding Bob in running the show.

The official photographer, Lee Chapman has helped for several years.

Compares over the years have been Bob Haseldine, John Joyes, Rod Short and Jim White.

Over the years Bob Haseldines vision has been kept alive by your active participation and financial support.
Please don't let that vision die and be lost forever.

Our History is a culmination of anecdotes and fact written by the people that actually helped to build a great Airline !

We currently have 2 contributors - however I know there are hundreds of stories out there - please help us to capture some of those anecdotes for all time...

Our thanks to:
Fred Niven
Jim Haynes
A Brief History of ASA
for their valuable contribution.