When you start a little project like this, it is easy to look at all the bits and bobs that you are compiling with rose-tinted glasses. It is tempting to gloss over some things, that actually might have made a difference to how things actually were… reading through this blog you will more than likely get the sense that I am an amateur historian at best!
I wrote in my post from Fiji that my Dad would have left for Samoa from Mechanics Bay… the sentimental notion that Dad went up to the islands on a flying boat evokes a long-lost sense of adventure that mass-travel has taken away from us… There is a famous old journey that the TEAL flying boats would take called the Coral Route and by the time Dad left for Samoa, the first leg to Nadi would be on a DC6 or a Lockheed Electra leaving Whenuapai. This only serves to take the gloss off my imaginations SLIGHTLY as the rest of the journey was on a Short Solent IV (Which flew the route until the end of 1960). The EXACT flying boat that Dad would have made this trip on is now housed at MOTAT in Auckland, so I must make a point of heading there soon.
I found this on the TEAL Website I linked to above and it tickled my fancy…
Flying over the boundless blue Pacific in the 1950s still had a touch of daring, swashbuckling allure, especially when you were low enough to see the sharks. Pilots were demigods in Ray Bans. hostesses were angels in nifty uniforms.
So the dream I had of Dad heading up on a flying boat, was not quite on the money, but still – he DID get to fly from Suva on a Flying boat… 50/50 eh?
As much as I am hoping to make discoveries on this project that tell me things I never knew… I have to be prepared for things that I thought I knew, being wrong or only partially right. When I bear in mind that it is 50 years this year SINCE dad left for Samoa – a few things are going to be cloudy – I just hope that I can be a tad impartial when need be! 🙂
Flying Boat passengers would stat at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva – I took a pic of that when I was there last year!