I have met along the way ................................ and where some are today
Neil Aird: Beaver Historian who lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He has a massive website with full histories, photos and everything else related to Beavers. Also has Otters and other types too. Neil's Beaver Site Attended the Lawson Field Reunion in Gisborne, October 2010.
Bruce Aitken: Pilot. Started with Wanganui Aerowork 1953 on Tiger Moths, also worked for Fieldair and had his own business Farmers Aviation.
Last known to be living in Taupo.
Bob Allen: Pilot. Hired by Lawson Field 20th December 1951. Bob flew Tigers, Beavers, Lodestars & DC3's for Fieldair and Airland. He was Fieldair's Chief Heavy Pilot when he converted to Lodestars in 1955. He ended up being based at Napier with DC3 APK and converted many pilots to the type. His last flight with Fieldair was in APK from Napier on the 27th of September 1975. Lived in Cooroy, Queensland, Australia for 20 years and is now in Loganholme, Brisbane with wife Eileen. Bob will be 92 in February 2016 and Eileen will be 90 in April 2016.
Sy Allsep: Owner of Australian Beaver VH-SYS and also a Twin Pioneer, based at Wedderburn, South of Sydney. I met Sy at Bankstown a few times, a very passionate man towards his beloved Beaver.
Sadly Sy passed away 27th January 2015 after a long battle with Cancer.
Campbell Anderson: Loader Driver Gisborne 1985-86. I met Campbell when I started with Fieldair in Gisborne, January 1985 and he showed me the ropes.
I believe he has returned to Gisborne after several years living in Sydney. May be working for Leader Brand?
John Anderson: John is a photographer who took many photos of NZ aircraft. He lived at Rongotai when a youngster and got many Beaver photos at the Wellington Airport. He also has many other topdressing photos of all types.
John is living in Whenuapai, Auckland.
Peter Andrew: I have known Peter since school days at Makauri. Peter flew for James Aviation based in Gisborne for many years. He owned Makiri Station up in the Waimata Valley, Gisborne. He now lives in Ormond.
Wayne Ashworth: Helicopter Pilot/Operator. Wayne runs Ashworth Helicopters out of Gisborne. He put on a display for the Lawson Field Reunion in 2010.
Rex Ballard: Rex is the son of Dave Ballard who flew for Manawatu Aerial Topdressing. Dave was tragically killed in the EP-9 BDP 19th February 1958. I have known Rex since 1974 when we played together in a Cabaret/Dance Band in Gisborne. We recently met up at a Band reunion in Gisborne to celebrate 40 years since we got together. Dave Ballard pictured 2nd from the left in the photo when the EP-9 was being assembled.
Rex and wife Betty are living in Warnbro, near Perth, Australia.
John & Penny Bargh: I met John and Penny at the Masterton Ag Reunion in May 2009. They flew up to Gisborne from Featherston in their Air Tractor ZK-PCC and John put on a mighty display at the Lawson Field Reunion.
Operating their Topdressing firm from Hukanui Road, Featherston.
Lenn Bayliss: Master Photographer. Lenn & I have been corresponding for many years now regarding Beaver photos. I finally met Lenn at Armidale 6th October 2009 when we set off to photograph Beaver WOZ operating near Guyra on the last Beaver to Topdress in Australia Day!! He is a master at photography. Works for the ADF and lives in Toowoomba when not based at Amberley or other parts of the Country.
Bill Beard: Bill is involved in the syndicate of the Warbirds Beaver CKH at Ardmore. I contacted Bill and asked if he could arrange for the Beaver to be available for the Lawson Field Reunion. He flew it down for the weekend and was kind enough to take Bruce Thompson and family for a fly in CKH.
Bill runs Avsure, an Aviation Insurance Company in Auckland.
Wayne Beattie: Through social media, I have made contact with Wayne who is the son of Dick Beattie. Dick flew Beavers for Fieldair back in the 1960's, based at Napier. The first photo in Janic Geelen's book The Topdressers is of Dick flying CMU near Taradale around 1966.
Wayne is living in Brisbane.
John Bracken: I met John back in 1987 when I started work at McDonalds Restaurant in Gisborne. John was in charge of Maintenance there and he showed me the ins and outs of the equipment.
John and wife Margaret have taken over the family farm at Te Wera, near Matawai and have recently bought a neighbouring property as well.
Myles Briant: I met Myles back in 1985 when Fieldair worked off his "Homebrook" strip near Matawai. Myles now owns the first GMC Loader Truck that Fieldair had back in the early 1950's. He went to great expense to have it on show at the Lawson Field Reunion.
Myles is now living in Whitianga.
Peter Brown: Photographer. Peter lives in Dalby, Queensland, a few miles from Lenn Bayliss. Peter is also a photographer and has given me many photos, especially of Beaver WOZ.
Gilbert Bull: Now retired, Gil was originally a Loader Driver for Fieldair, starting with the firm around 1950. He went on to be the Gisborne Area Rep for many years and then to Manager of the Gisborne branch. I have known Gil all my life as he had a farm next door to ours in Makauri, just out of Gisborne. Dad grew Maize and other crops with Gil and also baled his hay. He called in many times and shared many stories of incidents that occurred along the way. Gil was the Loader-Driver on the day that AZB did it's first topdressing job off Gisborne Airport in March 1952 when flown by Gerry Oman. He went for a ride on the last load.
Gil has just moved in to Tauranga after many years living in Te Puke.
Harley Cadwallader: Pilot. Harley was a Beaver and DC3 pilot for Fieldair, starting out in 1966 and finishing up in Napier in June of 1979. Harley was based in Masterton and had CPZ when the Wahine Storm struck in 1968. The storm severely damaged the Beaver, breaking off an undercarriage leg and causing other significant damage. He flew CMU for a while as well. He later went on to the DC3 and flew APK out of Napier after Bob Allen left.
Harley and Juliette now live in Napier and are heavily involved in the Vintage Car Club.
Gisborne is my home town on the East Coast of the North Island in New Zealand.
Beaver WOZ refers to Fieldair's first Beaver ZK-AZB