Old Friends

Please use this page as a place to leave comments.  You could leave a comment to try and contact someone who might have worked for TEAL years ago.



13 thoughts on “Old Friends

  1. This is a comment left by Hilton Cook. I (the web editor )have reposted it here so it is more easily found.
    If you would like Hilton’s contact email, please post a comment.

    I joined TEAL as an apprentice 27 April 1954, (aircraft intruments), I loved the job and was lucky enough to be sent to work as a ground engineer in Suva during the last year of the Coral Route. I am now 74yrs and miss my life and excitement at that time. I have lived in the UK since 1963 and worked many years in Africa, SA & Malaw, mainly as a Mining Engineer. My life has been full of adventure, but still think about my youth with TEAL.
    Would dearly love to have contact with any from those days or join any organisation to talk about old wonderful days.

    • hi, try and contact brian bobo olsen he was a senior with teal and also air nz.he lives in titirangi west auckland this man was a legend and a true gentleman. take care rob allen.

  2. Hi Hilton-nice of you to make contact. We are delighted with the website that has been established by Bill Le Couter-you will well remember Captain Cliff.
    I did my OE in UK and Canada 1956-1960 so obviously we did make contact during your apprentice years. You probably worked in Fiji with the late Bill Freeman-a close friend of mine.
    As you will note we have a Get Together every six months and we would like you to join us if you are down here at the time -details of the next one probably in April will be published on the Web.
    We have a very keen Group and they enjoy getting together for a reminisce.
    We will continue to give progress reports on ZK-AMO on the Web.
    Best Regards Keep in touch Don Olliff.

  3. Hi all – i am Ricky Shephard (son of Capt Jack (Joe) Shephard. I was just reading over the stories That Capt McGreal posted and although i was young at the time (1950’s in Suva) i remember a lot of the happenings, people etc. We lived in Suva from 1954 – 1960 to return on the lasy flying boat service (International) to Auckalnd. i joined Air NZ as a Commercial Trainee in Feb 1970 and stayed until 1992. My good friend Roger Poulton joined the same day and is still there after 42 years. He is Vice President Americas based in Los Angeles and retires in Feb 2013. My father died in Nov 1987. My brother Alastair (Ali) lives in Auckland after spending about 12 years in Japan as a Professor at Fukuoka University. I was good friends with John McGreal in Suva and Bryan Dawson (son of “Digger” Dawson). I have a number of Dad’s TEAL memerobilia which i will offer to MOTAT one day including his TEAL Logbooks.

    • Hi Ricky–Captain Joe was a Legend.I served my engineering apprenticeship on the Solent and have many fond memories of those days.
      For some years I have been coordinator for the Friends of the Solent and you will see from the Restoration Newsletters that the rework is well under way.
      Part of the Restoration programme is to complete an historical document and collate memorabillia for display to compliment the Solent Display.
      We have a very skilled and enthusiastic Conservator at MoTaT and he very keen to use any material available that you may have on Joe’s career.His logbook would be of immense value.
      You can be assured that any material you can provide will be in safe hands and be used appropriately.
      I look forward to making contact with you or Alastair to discuss obtaining your
      Sadly we lost Mauri McGreal recently-he was a valued Friend and his Presentations to our Group are on this site under McGreals Tales.
      Bill LeCouter-Cliff’s son is the workhorse for our Blog.
      IRegards and thanks Don Olliff

  4. Hello Don,
    Konnichiwa from Auckland!
    I knew of this site several years ago when I returned to NZ after 14 years working in Japan. And I see that my younger brother (Rick), residing in Perth, has already been in touch with you.
    I don’t know if you know that about 21 yrs ago (as a mature student), I completed my MA history degree (at Auck Univ) with a thesis on TEAL’s Coral Route, entitled “The Coral Route Story”, a copy of which was formally deposited with the Walsh Library.
    Having now retired as a professor at a Japanese university, over the last year ( on and off ) here in Auckland have been quietly but steadily reworking the thesis into a more general read which may eventually be published.The work has already expanded by a couple more chapters. I plan to include both photos and illustrations in the book, and will soon revisit the Walsh library to peruse photos, etc.
    I don’t know if the Society would be interested in a copy or two when finally published (probably later this year), but in the meanwhile thought it appropriate to keep you informed.
    Alastair Shephard.

  5. Hi I am Peter Layne. My father Brian Layne flew from England to New Zealand in 1944 in one of the Sunderland flying-boats along with Joe Shephard who commanded another of the four Sunderlands. My father kept an extensive diary of that trip which was published in Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand Journals in 1990. This may be of particular interest to Alistair and Ricky. Dad passed away in 2004 and I have all his logbooks. Joe’s name features in Dad’s logbook in the early stages of the 6 week journey. Our fathers first met in New Zealand in 1940 at 2 EFTS New Plymouth and evidently kept in touch during the war years. Brian served in 201 Squadron mainly on Sunderlands but sometimes on Catalinas. His time in 201 was quite active and included engagement with 4 U Boats and a Ju 88 plus some German motor vessels.

    • Hi Peter
      I do not remember my father mentioning your father. Regarding the Logbook, it sounds as if these relate to the RAF, in which case a good thing (if you do not intend to give them to family) to do with them is to donate them to a relevant museum.

  6. Hi (Alistair?) Thanks for the reply. Our fathers had a lot to do together on the trip and particularly so on the last leg off the Hen and Chicken Islands following the collision with a Lodestar. Apparently when Dad found out the four Sunderlands were coming to NZ he arranged to come as a passenger on your father’s aircraft ML794. Don Baird damaged his elbow while still in England so Dad took over ML792 until Don caught up with the group in the USA. After the collision, ML793 and ML795 continued to Auckland whereas ML792 stayed with the downed Sunderland until a boat, the St George, skippered by Tony Devcich went to tow it to Bream Bay. Dad’s logbooks extend from 1935, through early war service in the RNZAF, RAF secondment in 1941, RNZAF 1944 to 1947 then to NAC (still on Sunderlands) till 1950. His logbooks contain much historic stuff over 9 years on Sunderlands and will be kept in the family. Dad introduced me to your Dad at Meola Road on the occasion the Solent was hauled up out of the creek. Changing the subject slightly but still on flying-boats, I was in Rarotonga in August 2010 looking through the museum and saw the extensive display about the Coral Route. Noting it was one month short of the 50th anniversary of the cessation of the service I high tailed it round to the Cook Island News and finished up writing a feature article for them, which they sent to me on publication. If you are interested in seeing copies of the publications please let me know.

  7. Hi there Looking at the symbols I now rather suspect that the message I have just replied to is from Bill Le Couteur. Although Dad did not fly with Cliff or Phil Le Couteur he knew both of them well as fellow pilots.

  8. Hello All,

    My father, Denny (Dennick) Stirling was a pilot instructor for TEAL at Mechanics Bay. He would no doubt have known or known off all the people mentioned herein. Remember playing in the Link Trainers in the school holidays. From memory the NAC one was next to it. When I got bored with that I could go across the road and watch the steam locomotives do their thing. Was a small airline in those days 50’s and 60’s everyone seemed to know each other. Have great memories of that time and the kids Christmas party in the big hanger and so on. Still get a thrill when I take my grand sons to MOTAT and show them the Solent flying boat. We lived on Stanley Point so saw them take off many a time in a cloud of spray, great sight and sound, sadly, probably gone for ever.

    Kind regards,

    Clive Stirling.

  9. For those who are interested I have recently helped Sam St Pierre publish his autobiography which includes his period flying as a first officer on the Coral Route. The book is available on Kindle and I hope soon to have it on other e-Book formats.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s