View Full Version : An East West mate prepares for for departure.

Eastwest Loco
4th Apr 2003, 13:05
I have received a request from an ex East West friend and Pilot to post this in here.

Many of you will know Bill Hobday as I certainly do from the halcyon days of East-West.

Text from Bill Mitton and Peter Smith follows:

As you may or may not know, Captain Bill Hobday, ex East-West Airlines (1989) has for the past several years been fighting cancer.

Bill's fight is now coming to an end and regretfully he has only days left on this Earth.

Financial difficulties have beset the family throughout his demise, the gravity of which have only now become apparent.

The immediate difficulties faced by Bill's family could be greatly relieved if the burden of his funeral and associated costs could be borne through external support.

To this end, we have set a target of $10,000 to meet these immediate needs.

We approached Mr Terry O'Connell of the AFAP who generously offered us full use of it's good offices and facilities for this endeavour.

If you have it in your heart to assist in this matter, no matter what the size of your contribution, could you please forward a cheque payable to the AFAP.

Address is:

Level 6 - 132-136 Albert Road
South Melbourne
VIC 3205
Phone is 03 9699 4200)

Please include and accompanying note marked "For the Hobday Family Fund".

Unfortunately for those who knew Bill well, he is past the stage of accepting phone calls or visits, but the family wish their appreciation in this matter to be known.

Yours sincerely

Bill Mitton 0427 341774
Peter Smith 0412 407810

I have had the pleasure of working with Bill in our time at East-West Airlines, and I am sure this situation saddens everyone.

Best wishes to Bill and family - clear on one mate.


Ron Knight

Capt OverUnder
5th Apr 2003, 08:15
I agree EWL , Bill a true professional , best wishes to Bill and all in the family

5th Apr 2003, 15:39
Bill got into flying as a young bloke the hard way. Two things stood out. He was a natural aviator from day one, and a good bloke.

Sad to hear this news.

6th Apr 2003, 08:31
Thanks to whoever made this a sticky. PPRuNe at its best.

Money is coming in and the ex EWA fraternity are coming to the fore. Please keep it coming.

I just wish it could fix Bill up. One of the best blokes there ever was.

Eastwest Loco
6th Apr 2003, 13:52
Damded right bonvol.

He is a great airman and an even better bloke.

This should not happen to our mates. It is as unfair as it gets.

I asked Woomera to make it sticky, and have not as yet thanked him.

Thanks for that Woomera mate!!

All of us are priveleged to have had our lives touched by Commercial Aviation in some shape or form and the guys and girls that make it a special place to be, like our Bill.

A few of us have been blessed to have worked with the likes of Bill and may other fine Airmen in the family that was East-West Airlines. It was and always will be the finest of times.

We were living on the razor's edge, trying to touch the sun.

Now Bill is going to do that for us all.

Godspeed mate.



6th Apr 2003, 20:32
Oh Dear! Learnt to fly with Bill at Royal Vic back in the '60's before he went off to airlines and I went elsewhere. Yes a true gent and a good buddy. Have only seen him once since some 7 or 8 years ago when he was DC3ing out of SYD and he passed thru but like good friends we just picked up where you left off last time.

A real good guy and a lovely family who used to look after his pilot mates at Moorabbin after a long day etc.

Will send something to the Feds for you Bill.

cheers and beers

9th Apr 2003, 07:48
I am deeply sadden to learn of Bill's illness. I worked with Bill as an instructor at the RVAC in the early 70's. Having lost contact with him after '89. I pray that he is not suffering as his final days here. Bill was one of life'd gentlemen and a Pilots Pilot.

We have all benefited from Bill's presence and he will be sorely missed.

Back Seat Driver
9th Apr 2003, 13:54
Godspeed Bill.

11th Apr 2003, 22:27
"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.



Eastwest Loco
16th Apr 2003, 19:08
At 2040 tonight 16 April 2003 I received the inevitable call from Peter Smith to advise that our mate Bill Hobday has departed.

Thank you to all those who have sought to make life easier after Bill for his family.

It is indeed a sad day and he will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to those left behind.

Yet another integral part of the fabric that was commercial aviation has been torn.

The roar of Darts has died down again
And they've dimmed the Terminal globes
A Friendship claws into the the night once more
Down a long, well travelled road
Climbing past normal airways
With a hint of of Green and Gold
Another mate and airman fine and true
Joins legends of old.

God bless you Bill - and thank you for being a mate and part of my life. I and everyone I know that worked with you knew you as a true gentleman and a damned fine airman and human being.

Fly on Bill. Touch the sun for your East-West mates, and we will ride with you forever.


Ron Knight

16th Apr 2003, 20:52
To all that posted I thankyou on behalf of Bills family

I am a B777 Capt today because of Bill. He was my Uncle.

He took me flying on the jumpseat of the old Fokker at an early age and got me hooked on aviation. He was an inspiration to me and all that flew with him.

In my career I have worked all over the world, flown with many nationalities and it never ceased to amaze me how many people Bill had touched through out his career. It is a very small world and an even smaller industry.

I always looked to him as a roll model and he will be sadly missed by all.

God speed Uncle Bull

Rick Manley

Capt B777

16th Apr 2003, 22:16
It is a privilege for us to have beeen able to host these thoughts for our Brother in Aviation.

God Speed and Fly Safe, Capt Bill.

2nd May 2005, 17:43
Just like the late Les Mikey, ('An Old Aviator'), Bill was that rarity, a man who touched those with half a soul, and by his warmth, his grace, his humility and true sense of mateship lit many a flame. Sure, he had some fairly significant warts, but as he'd have said "Listen mate, show me the bloke who's never slipped and I'll show you the Lord Jesus Christ".

Having come to this website only of late I knew nothing of these tributes and posts, though I was pretty close to Bill and Cath and their fine three offspring as Bill slipped away and to a greater extent, before that. All of us who flew, worked or otherwise came in contact with that dear man knew well his unfailling good humour, courtesy and optimism, even when, as some of us discovered later, he'd been dealt a few crook hands that would have soured others on the receiving end.

If I were to come up with a belated eulogy to our Will it'd be along the lines of -

On the shores of Port Phillip Bay there grew and flourished a bonny lad, who if ever he had a malicious thought in all his life, it was determinedly supressed. He said he had no need of church or gospel for once aloft and in the element where he found inspiration, it was there he said he felt in touch with all life and all truths.

At many a going down of the sun, and in it's glorious rising, we remember him.