John Joyce

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In 1971 I left my job at the bank and moved to Port Macquarie, getting a job at the airport and selling travel at Port Macquarie Travel. I started as a domestic consultant and went on to become an international consultant.

Port Macquarie Travel held the contract for East West Airlines (later becoming QantasLink) to service their flights. In 1981 I had the opportunity to buy into the business, and since then, I have been a director of the company. Things have changed since then – in the early days, we didn’t have any computers. Everything at the airport was manual – including check-in. Originally we only had four staff at the airport – we now have nine staff and service around 34 flights per week.

I’ve enjoyed my job for 48 years, and every day can be different. Sometimes my day can be starting at 5 am at the airport and finishing at 5:30 in the afternoon. Or, I can have a shorter day – depending on flights, weather and staff, as I often fill in for people who are off sick or on holidays. And don’t forget my favourite job — the grandkids. When I am not at the airport or the office, I am normally running around helping look after one or more of the kids (including triplets!)

And I am not retired yet (much to my wife’s disgust) because where else can you have a job where every day is different, you meet so many interesting people, and I still love going to work 48 years later! The staff at the airport are very good – they carry me a little bit (I don’t handle nearly as many bags as I used to) and I mostly just look after the wheelchairs, unaccompanied kids and oversee everything these days — and if you ask the staff, I talk too much.

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