View Full Version : Vale Terry O’Connell

Dark Knight
7th Oct 2012, 23:35
It is with sad regret the passing of Terry O’Connell is advised; Terry passed away last evening.

Terry was Executive Director of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots for over 30 years; regardless of how dire a situation may have been representing pilots, Terry always had a smile, sound advice and good word to ease the way forward.

Australian pilots, indeed as pilots around the globe, have much to be grateful for Terry’s loyal service for them.

7th Oct 2012, 23:55
Many there be throughout the wide brown land who have good reason to be ever truly thankful for the legal/industrial skills of the dear departed. None
more than former RFDS pilot Dave Munns, whose story typifies what perhaps hundreds under the pump, one way or another, can now look back upon and say a quiet, heartfelt, "Thank you Terry".

The Gardener's Son
David G. Munns

Born into the ravages of the war years, after much disorientation, the author finds his fulfillment in aviation and serving the outback communities of Australia.

Despite being raised under the restrictive dictates of a religious sect, by living opposite the US Catalina base at Crawley on the Swan River in Perth, this became the foundation upon which his future life would be moulded.
Although not being a scholarly individual, after much disorientation in his early life, he found his niche in aviation through his employment as an Airport Fireman.
After completing his flying training, which augmented his academic training at school, he ultimately found fulfillment as a pilot with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
He served the people of the outback in north-western Australia for thirty five and a half years, prior to his retirement.
This story is one of happiness and tragedy; of danger and daring; at times unbelievable. Yet, throughout the work, he traces the controlling hand of God in his life, despite there being times when he has felt abandoned by God.
Having come from very humble beginnings, both socially, academically and financially, he has shown how he has lifted himself up by his own bootstraps to find satisfaction in providing for the medical needs of the people of the remote parts of Western Australia.


During the course of 1981, the General Manager asked me to participate in making a movie which to publicise the work of the RFDS and its operations. It was to be made at Meekatharra, Milgun Station – which is north of Meekatharra – and each base receiving some exposure over the course of the movie.

I readily agreed, thinking that this is my big chance to break into the movie business and to become a ‘star.’ We spent our time posing in and around Meekatharra and Milgun for a week, performing in the aircraft both in the air and on the ground. My flight nurse for the action shots was Robin Robins. She is a wonderful person, with a unique ability to overcome a disability in order to achieve her life’s goals. She only has one leg! As the result of cancer at the age of sixteen, her leg had been amputated and was fitted with a prosthetic leg. In spite of this, she could move around as well as the rest of us and with such a beautiful spirit of graciousness. All who encountered her loved her. It was Robin’s caring, sympathetic support for my mother at the time of dad’s passing, which won her a permanent place of esteem in my mother’s heart and mum has never forgotten her.

We began to believe that we really were movie stars. After about a month, the final shots had to be taken at Jandakot and I was again to be found in the limelight. No one person could be described as having had the leading role, as most were interviewed within and relating to, their own professional domain. However, the story line which was woven into the movie, featured Robin and me prominently. I had a wonderful time performing miraculous feats of rescue and displays of formation flying. Looking at this movie today makes me cringe, as we all look so young in the fashions of the day. It all looks so artificial.

Up until this time, I held a Commercial Pilot’s License. Some of the other pilots were in the process of studying for their Senior Commercial Pilot’s License / Airline Transport Pilot’s License, so I thought I would join the action. After being sent to Meekatharra to relieve for three weeks, I decided to spend every spare moment studying a correspondence course which I had enrolled in and try to gain my qualification before them. It took all of those three weeks, during which I completed the course and two sets of examinations in order to complete the theory requirements. After this came the flying test to complete the licensing process. Later, the Senior Commercial Pilot’s License would be abolished and replaced with the Airline Transport Pilot’s License. Those who already held the former were granted an automatic transfer to the new license.

1983 saw me reach the pinnacle of my profession. Some of those with whom I had competed, dragged along at a later date, whilst others have not yet completed their studies, having fallen by the wayside.

Sometimes, during the course of one’s life, situations occur which require decisions that are not only difficult, but having made that decision, accountability requires that one has to justify that decision. The decision is easier to make when the law has laid down the parameters within which the decision must be made. Nonetheless, the basis of that decision-making must be tested, even though the timeframe allowed to weigh up the facts against the options available for making that decision may be miniscule. Subsequent events can often cause doubts to arise in one’s own decision-making ability, despite being tried and found to be correct. The night shift of 12 July 1985 was one such occasion.

It was a cold but clear night; however, before I could sit down and relax in front of the TV, the phone rang. It was John Radford, the duty co-ordinator at Jandakot, “I have a flight for you to Albany,” he said. Then after telling me which aircraft to use, I hung up and prepared to change into my uniform. My nurse that night was Ashleigh Richardson. We completed the flight to Albany, returning to Jandakot at about 11.30 pm. On final approach into Jandakot, I encountered some low levels of fog, but it was clear on the ground. I could not but wonder whether fog would develop later during the night, as there was no wind, with the temperature and humidity readings equal, these were the conditions that are conducive to the formation of fog.

At about that time, I heard another of our pilots, Glen Pearce – who was on his way down from Geraldton – declaring a ‘Mercy Flight’, because he was going to exceed his maximum duty hours for the day, by the time he reached Jandakot. By taking this action, it would protect him from any breaches of the law that he might encounter. However, by so doing he would have to justify such a declaration in writing to the Civil Aviation Authority within 48 hours. I was particularly interested in Glen’s arrival time, as he was the partner of my nurse Ashleigh at the time. Since there were no further flight requirements, I went home and climbed into bed.

At 2.00 am the phone rang, it was John again, “I have a neo-natal flight to Carnarvon for you.” A baby had been delivered and was having difficulty breathing. Consequently, the staff there were having to ‘bag’ the baby (hand ventilate it, by squeezing a rubber bladder attached to a mask, thereby helping it to breath).

“Is there any fog out there?” I asked.

“No, I can’t see any!” he replied.

“OK, I’ll come out!” I said.

I put my clothes back on, climbed into my car and drove the four kilometres to the airport, arriving there fifteen minutes later, only to find that the airport was shrouded in thick fog. It was so thick that I drove my car out onto the runway threshold to count the number of runway lights that I could see, thereby judging the visibility distance that was available. It was clear that the flight could not proceed under those conditions. Therefore, I dutifully informed the co-ordinator of the situation. I then suggested to him that he should advise the doctor, who was coming from King Edward Memorial Hospital, that we would not be able to carry out the flight at that time due to the fog. Nevertheless, he should wait until he heard from us in case there was any improvement in the weather conditions.

An hour and a half later and there had been no change to the conditions, so John decided to ring the Medical Director, Steve Langford, who became very angry that we could not take off. I was equally frustrated because there was nothing that I could do about it. John rang the Check and Training pilot, who suggested that I declare a ‘Mercy Flight’ and go. I was not prepared to do that for two reasons. Firstly, I had already logged about 8 ½ hours for the duty period, out of a maximum allowable by law of 12 hours. To adopt that approach to the problem would mean that by the time I returned the next day, I would have logged nearly 19 hours of duty. Therefore, I considered that to do the flight on that basis would have been knowingly and negligently dangerous.

Secondly, by now I was beginning to feel the effects of fatigue, despite drinking a number of cups of coffee. I looked at the nurse and the co-ordinator who, at 3.45 am, were also looking rather droopy. I thought that this was not going to achieve anything by sitting here. Previous experience with fog at Jandakot was that it did not clear until about 8.00 or 9.00 am, so after one last check, I told John that there was nothing more that I could do and that I was going home. With that, I got into my car, which was parked outside his window and drove home.

Two days later, I arrived at Jandakot for the ‘Day Shift’ and was told that I had been suspended from duty, pending an investigation into my inability to carry out the Carnarvon flight. I was informed that the Check and Training Pilot had come out and flown to Carnarvon later on the morning of the 12th, but that the baby had died before they could get to Carnarvon. The question as to why he chose not to carry out the flight earlier in the night, considering my lack of available duty time, was never tested.

I contacted the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, of which I was a member, to seek advice as to how to deal with my situation. I was bewildered. I did not know what to think. What had I done wrong? I wondered! Nobody would talk to me, least of all the other pilots, to enlighten me; I had complied with regulatory requirements to the letter; I went home stupefied and bewildered. The AFAP swung into action immediately and put me in contact with the West Australian branch chairman who, together with another pilot representative from Ansett W.A., organized a conference with the RFDS management to try to resolve the issue, without proceeding to a legal situation.

The conference was organized for the following Wednesday afternoon when we met with the General Manager Terry Jorgenson, the Check and Training Pilot and the RFDS solicitor. On our side of the table were the local AFAP Chairman Kevin Hoy; the pilot representative from Ansett W.A. John Murdoch; the AFAP solicitor and myself. I had written a brief report for the management and a detailed report for the AFAP. When the management discovered this, they were not at all happy that they were not in possession of the detailed report and demanded that we hand over our copy, which we declined to do.

The argument went back and forth, until it became apparent that neither side was going to give in, so the question was put as to what action we intended to take if they did not re-instate me immediately. The AFAP solicitor thumped his fist on the table and said, “We will take immediate industrial action and call everyone out.” That was like waving a red rag to a bull for the General Manager, who immediately called the meeting to a close without any resolution of the situation.

We all walked slowly across the lawn to the car park discussing our options. We decided that the next move would have to come from them and that it must be in writing.

“But what do I do in the mean time?” I asked.

“Go fishing!” was the reply.

Well, I could not do that, as I was too anxious about my future.

A few days later, I arrived home, Ailsa had come to visit and peered around the front door post as I collected the mail from the mailbox. There was one from the RFDS. My heart was now in my mouth, I could not talk as I opened the envelope. I can’t recall what most of it said, but the last paragraph remains firmly fixed in my mind, “Your services are no longer required and you are therefore subsequently terminated from the employ of the RFDS.”

As Ailsa watched and waited, she did not have to ask, my face said it all.

I called the AFAP and informed them, to which their response was, “OK, we’ll now arrange a court hearing.” I was asked to gather as much evidence as I could, from where ever I could; anybody who may have been working nearby at that time of the morning, weather forecasts, anything. Over the next eight weeks, I stalked nearby factory sites where shift workers might have been able to verify my claim of the presence of fog on that night. Because the RFDS management refused to believe that there was any fog existing that night.

By now, I was totally and utterly perplexed as to why this event should overtake me in such a vitriolic manner. However, in recognition of God’s hand, I was again driven to my knees before the Throne of Grace. So convinced was I that God was trying to teach me something in this travesty that I did not pray for myself, but I prayed for those who were my accusers. It was my prayer that God would reach them in His great mercy and forgive them, thereby drawing them to Himself. Psalm 37 was an inspiration for me during those testing times and provided me with constant reassurance that God was in control.

It was when I went to the Perth Meteorological Office and spoke to Mr Ed Green that I had the important break-through. Two of their forecasters who lived near Jandakot Airport and had been travelling to work along the freeway – which ran behind the airport – at exactly the time I was claiming the presence of fog. They voluntarily and individually, made submissions in ‘Statutory Declarations’ to the court, to say that they had encountered fog, which had reduced the visibility along the freeway to 800 meters.

I had also discovered a copy of a letter to the General Manager, giving reasons why the writer thought that I should be terminated. This letter, as it turned out, was the basis on which the management’s case against me revolved. As I learned some years later, the writer of this document had been canvassing the rest of the pilot body with false stories about what I had done. This resulted in all of the members of the pilot body, except one, who was a witness on my behalf, turning against me. The management subsequently used this in their case, saying, that the pilot body could not work with me. My source for this information later came to me with his humblest apologies, seeking my forgiveness for having believed the stories that had been officially communicated to the staff, thus defaming me in their eyes.

The day of the court hearing arrived and I arranged to meet the AFAP Industrial Officer, Terry O’Connell, in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel. We went through our case as to what I would say, how to address the Commissioner and I was told not to get angry when I was posed with ‘heater’ questions which were designed to ‘rattle’ me. I had memorized most of the detailed report that I had written for the AFAP. Despite being nervous, we left for the courtroom where we met the other witnesses for my case, who were Barry Hallett, the pilot who stood by me and Dr Dicks. It is interesting to note that Dr Dicks could not tolerate unions, but he felt that because such a severe injustice had been perpetrated, that he had to testify on my behalf.

The hearing opened and both parties outlined their cases, after which I was the first person called to give testimony regarding what had happened and why I had arrived at the decision that I did. It became quite apparent very early in the proceedings that their case hinged on their belief that there was no fog and, assuming that there was, why I did not declare a ‘Mercy Flight’ and go anyway. To do so would have contradicted all of their training programs and checking requirements, as well as their insistence on the strict adherence to the Air Navigation Orders and the Aeronautical Information Publications. These are the regulatory documents governing aviation operations. In short, the Training and Checking Captain, by virtue of his suggestion that I declare a ‘Mercy Flight’ and go, was actually encouraging me to break the law. Their argument for this line of reasoning was, that acceptance of ‘moral obligation’ superseded all other obligations. However, such argument presupposes that there has been some degree of training or guidance as to when this ‘moral obligation’ should be applied. Yet there never has been such training or guidance, nor is there any intention to introduce such training.

My cross-examination by their solicitor was not aggressive, nor probing to any great extent, but rather the questions were framed in a hypothetical scenarios, which as proposed, may have elicited a completely different decision had they existed at the time. Therefore, by their very nature, they were irrelevant to the case in question.

When their witnesses were called, they proved to be rather unreliable. John Radford, the co-ordinator on the night, was not sure of the sequence of events as they happened and kept looking at me for confirmation. At one point even asking me outright from the witness box if what he recalled was correct. Chris Beattie went to the stand and was questioned about the operation of the RFDS by their solicitor, but then was asked the question about his opinion as to whether I could ever work in harmony with the other pilots if I was re-instated. He answered “No!”

Terry was then able to cross-examine him and in doing so was able to confuse him in such a way that Chris was unable to answer the questions. Either he did not understand the question and required two or three attempts at clarification, or he simply did not know the answer. Ultimately, when Terry saw that he was not going to get a coherent answer, he just finished his questioning, believing that Chris had demonstrated by his own inadequacies that he was unreliable and incapable of justifying their case.

The witness who sabotaged their case was Glen Pearce, the pilot who had declared a ‘Mercy Flight’ on his way back from Geraldton. Terry O’Connell, in endeavouring to establish that the practise of declaring a ‘Mercy Flight’ to circumnavigate the law, was a standard operating procedure with the RFDS, asked Glen whether he had declared a ‘Mercy Flight’ that night, on his return from Geraldton.

“No!” said Glen.

Terry replied, “I ask you again, did you declare a ‘Mercy Flight’ on your way back from Geraldton?”

“No!” said Glen.

“Are you sure that you did not?” asked Terry. “I ask you to think carefully, before you answer.”

“No, I did not!” said Glen.

Terry paused for a long pregnant minute, before continuing, “I ask you for the last time and I can subpoena the tapes from the Civil Aviation Authority to verify your answer if necessary, did you declare a ‘Mercy Flight’ to cover your excessive duty hours on the night of 12 July?”

Glen dropped his head onto his chest and shamefacedly muttered “Yes!”

“No further questions”, said Terry and sat down.

I was flabbergasted; I almost expected the Commissioner to ask for Glen’s arrest for perjury, or contempt of court, but nothing happened. I asked Terry after-wards what would be the outcome of his perjury. He indicated that nothing would happen, but the fact that he did, would severely damage their case.

We adjourned for lunch, when Terry expressed his concern that it was all going too well and suspected that they had something else up their sleeve. I racked my brain and I could not think of anything.

We returned to the courtroom for the final addresses by both the defence and prosecuting teams. After completing their final submissions, the Commissioner declared that we undoubtedly would not have been there if the baby had not died. He would not make his decision then, but would reserve his decision to a later date. He then adjourned the hearing. I left, still unsure of where I stood, but satisfied with the conduct of the hearing and reassured that there would be a positive outcome.

Two weeks later the Commissioner handed down his decision, recommending that I be re-instated without loss of salary, seniority, or privileges. He said ever so succinctly, that he thought “…that the cure was worse than the complaint.”

There was some delay before my re-instatement and not before a meeting was convened with the management, at which Terry Jorgenson declared that he was “not unhappy with the decision” and that as far as he was concerned, “it would not be spoken of again.” In hindsight, he has kept his word and he has never ever used this sad incident against me in either word or deed.

It was with fear and trepidation that I presented myself for work again; in reality I had no need to worry, as so many of my colleagues came to congratulate me on my victory. Others however, avoided me out of embarrassment. Now, with the outcome of my case made known, they did not know what to think. Those whom they trusted had betrayed them. From their point of view, the stand that they had taken against me, and the grounds upon which they based their opposition, were now exposed and proven to be false. Thus, their embarrassment was understandable.

Nevertheless, the stress of the past three months now took its toll. On returning from a training flight in the Cessna 421, I could not hold it in any more. I broke down in tears right there in the cockpit and wept uncontrollably in front of an embarrassed Glen Pearce.

8th Oct 2012, 00:34
Wow- was this death sudden or was it a long time coming?
I've got no more respect for many gentlemen than I do for Terry. I loved his work.
In a more recent EBA battle, I was always so bewildered by his ability to put people on the spot - even the most hard headed, b!tchy, pompous, rude HR managers and CEO's... Terry had a way of asking them to justify themselves and their answers which would end up in a conference call full of people enduring the most awkward silence one has ever experienced!

Thanks for being a great "voice" Terry. You leave big shoes to fill.

8th Oct 2012, 02:08
I too need acknowledge Terry's assistance during an unfair dismissal case.
Sad news indeed.

8th Oct 2012, 03:50
What a sad day and a great loss. I have fought many a battle with Terry by my side. He was never afraid of a good fight.

Such a shame. My feeling go out to his family.

Right to the end his thoughts were of the AFAP.

I'll miss having a beer with you.

RIP Terry.

Captain Sherm
8th Oct 2012, 04:26
A sad piece of news indeed.

My world is diminished and so too the worlds of those who live better flying lives because of Terry's leadership and hard work.

RIP comrade

8th Oct 2012, 05:35
RIP Terry.

It's come as a surprise, how old was he?

8th Oct 2012, 08:54
I met Terry on a couple of occasions at NZALPA conferences... always seemed a straight up kind of guy, and obviously well respected by his colleagues. A sad loss.

8th Oct 2012, 10:10
RIP Terry.

Captain Sherm
8th Oct 2012, 11:22
And as this thread will no doubt be read by many who don't understand, or can't, or indeed maybe never will....

I have only slight paraphrased the following eulogy given by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons upon the passing of Neville Chamberlain.

The controversies which hung around him in former times were hushed by the news of his illness and are silenced by his death. In paying a tribute of respect and of regard to an eminent man who has been taken from us, no one is obliged to alter the opinions which he has formed or expressed upon issues which have become a part of history; but at the Lychgate we may all pass our own conduct and our own judgments under a searching review. It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events. In one phase men seem to have been right, in another they seem to have been wrong. Then again, a few years later, when the perspective of time has lengthened, all stands in a different setting. There is a new proportion. There is another scale of values. History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this? The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

It fell to Terry in one of the supreme crises of Australia's industrial world to be contradicted by events, to be disappointed in his hopes, and to be deceived and cheated by wicked men. But what were these hopes in which he was disappointed? What were these wishes in which he was frustrated? What was that faith that was abused? They were surely among the most noble and benevolent instincts of the human heart-the love of peace, the toil for peace, the strife for peace, the pursuit of peace, even at great peril, and certainly to the utter disdain of popularity or clamour. Whatever else history may or may not say about these terrible, tremendous years, we can be sure that Terry acted with perfect sincerity according to his lights and strove to the utmost of his capacity, authority and commitment, to ensure the AFAP and its members survived the awful, devastating struggle in which it became engaged. This alone will stand him in good stead as far as what is called the verdict of history is concerned.

I hope this helps

8th Oct 2012, 12:44
Very Sad News

RIP Terry

Capn Bloggs
8th Oct 2012, 12:49
Nice work, Sherm. :ok:

Glide Landing
8th Oct 2012, 17:04
As a past pilots' union exec I knew Terry professionally and since retiring have known him socially. Terry cared for people and their profession. He was commited to working for others and did so with remarkable skill. It was a pleasure to have known him. Alonmg with many others, I will miss him.

8th Oct 2012, 20:34
I am so sad to hear of Terry's. So many in Australian aviation (including a lot of non-members of the AFAP) owe a debt of gratitude to Terry for his work fighting for the rights of pilots. I am one of those and will never forget his efforts on my behalf and for all Australian pilots over many years. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

8th Oct 2012, 22:41
Nice bit of substitution there Sherm. Can imagine though what Terry would have thought had he read it. The Churchillian intonation, the high-flown phrasings, while brilliant rhetoric, do not quite strike the note in the change of context.

The momentous turmoil in Europe in 1939 I'm certain you do not compare in any sense at all with our late local industrial conflicts, many fought so well with Terry's input and guidance. More to the point, it may well be that the personalities and convictions of Neville Chamberlain and Terry O'Connell could stand up to some comparison. Then again, he would more likely have been a Churchill man, at least in wartime. (Or with them Sinn Feiners?)

We can be sure that Terry, in the strength of his convictions, in his unflagging support for the industrial rights of all those pilot members he so steadfastly represented, , and in his shining armour, would gladly have fought 'them' on the beaches, fought 'them' in the streets. In another age. Perhaps in any age.

8th Oct 2012, 22:50
Terry was truly one of the most reasonable union guys I have ever dealt with. I had one occasion as a management representative dealing with a situation by a group of pilots (I think it was some quite unreasonable demand over seniority), that had the situation continued would have led to the closure of the business.

The pilots called in the AFAP.... Management and pilots presented for the mediation.... However before the mediation got under way Terry came and saw us and asked if we minded going home for the day.... "trust me" he said!

24 hours later the problem was sorted. To this day I don't know what happened or what was said, but the problem was fixed and never reappeared.

A truly remarkable man!

8th Oct 2012, 23:34
Something like a Hall of Fame would not be out of place.

AFAP management certainly attracted some memorable blokes.

The late Don Grey of the Chandos Street, Sydney office is another deserving of a degree of immortalisation, in the annals anyway. Don's send-off coincided with an executive meeting. At an evening fairly informal function, Dick Holt presented Don with the gold watch. Next morning at 0900 the exec got underway, but no Don. His chair at the top table was unfilled till about 0930.

Don walked into the room, stood behind his chair and made his apology to the chair. Doing so he shook his wrist vigorously, held his new watch up to his ear, saying. "I am sorry Mr Chairman. Seems this damn watch is running slow."

And going way way back to the origins of the pilots' efforts to band together and have an organisied say in disputes with airline bosses, you'll find names like Harry Purvis, on the very first committee in Melbourne, when F/Os were without a windscreen wiper due to to the tight arsedness of Ivan Holyman. Read all about it in Harry's book 'Outback Airman'.

9th Oct 2012, 09:31
The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

This is a beautiful quote.

Hearing continually of all the Snakes in Suits screwing Aviation its inspiring and essential to hear of men like this.

Godspeed Terry.

9th Oct 2012, 09:39
Quiet and fond recollections of Terry.

He helped me out on a few occasions and I considered myself privileged to have counted him among my acquaintances and colleagues.

Sherm's (John ?) recollections are echoed.

10th Oct 2012, 02:30
Tulla John, PM sent, Donder!!!!

10th Oct 2012, 03:58
Hope to catch you next week, D.

10th Oct 2012, 05:01
Terry was the AFAP negotiator and I ended up as the General Aviation Association's negotiator representing the Industry when it was decided to integrate 2 awards together with 4 different payscales into one award with one payscale incorporating all pilots work values relative to each other. As a pilot I had the advantage of the practical side and the negotiations included on site visits together with the Arbitration Commissioner which I flew them on the interstate visits. The negotiations went well and in reality when we argued our cases before the commission the awards was basically a consent award. Terry was true gentleman and when I last spoke to him about 3 months ago I reminded him that the awards are still basically as we had negotiated he replied "We did good work there" You certainly did Terry!
Rest in Peace

Dark Knight
10th Oct 2012, 23:26
Terry O’Connell

The funeral details are:

1000 hours,Monday 15 October 2012
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
116 Cotham Road

No Flowers by request. Donations may be made to Eastern Palliative Care.

Al E. Vator
11th Oct 2012, 00:08
A very nice man who had to deftly help manoeuver policy and IR strategies around people with often inflexible attitudes and massive egos.
That takes great diplomacy, tact and skill.
Australian IR is still in need of gentlemen/gentlepeople like Terry O'Connell (on both sides of the fence).

15th Oct 2012, 08:28
.. and, if the measure of a man's standing has something to do with the numbers at his funeral, Terry was a man well regarded.

My guess is that the standing room only event attracted possibly 1300 ?

A man of dignity and compassion.

15th Oct 2012, 11:11
I have never seen so many at a funeral. It just goes to show what sort of a guy terry was and how well respected and liked the man was as well.

It's a shame to learn so much about a person from eulogies at a funeral. Who knew he was so involved in so much both inside and out of aviation.

The aviation turn out was fantastic but equally matched by non pilots alike.

The speech by his 18 year old son was most heart warming. He did so well to make it to the end.