[3ZB reports on inaugural Qantas flight arriving at new Christchurch International Airport]

Media type
Ask about this item

Ask to use material, get more information or tell us about an item

Media type
Children's radio programs
Radio plays
Radio programs
Sound recordings
RNZ Collection
Green, Grace Winifred, 1907-1976, Reporter
Stannage, John Stanley Warburton, fl. 1929-1952, Reporter
Jackson, Ken G., Interviewee
GREEN, Ken, Interviewee
3ZB (Radio station : Christchurch, N.Z.), Broadcaster
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster
Qantas Airways
3ZC (Radio station : Timaru, N.Z.)
3ZM (Radio station : Christchurch, N.Z.)

Unedited reports from 3ZB radio announcer Grace Green, recorded 16-18 December 1950.

She reports from on board a flight in the Qantas Empire Airways Constellation aircraft, "Harry Hawker," which arrived in Christchurch the previous day, to help celebrate the Canterbury Centennial (and the opening of the new Christcurch International Airport.)

She describes the exterior and interior facilities of the aircraft, which is skippered by Captain Jackson. The flight is passing over the Southern Alps, which she also describes.

Fellow broadcaster John Stannage comments about the Constellation and notes Qantas recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Grace then interviews the unnamed Chief Navigator of the flight. He has been with the airline for six and a half years. He comments on the flight from Australia to Christchurch the previous day and says the new Christchurch aerodrome is very good, with clear approaches in all directions.

John Stannage introduces Captain Jackson, who is then interviewed by Grace Green. He has been flying for 17 years. He speaks about the specifications of the Constellation. There are 40 passengers and 10 crew on today's flight.

Back on the ground in Christchurch, Miss Stacey (?) the foremost flight hostess for Qantas, is interviewed in the Constellation galley. She talks about the training for hostesses, including the requirement for them to 'look pleasant.'
Harold Smith, senior flight steward and Mr Penn (?) are interviewed about how meals are provided onboard and give a run-down of the menu and drinks, including dry or sweet sherry.
The stewards show Grace the frozen food in the galley freezer which is discussed as something of a novelty.

In the next cut, 3ZB announcer Grace Green records commentary from the new Christchurch Harewood International Airport following the arrival of the inaugural flight from Australia of a Qantas Constellation. (Aircraft noise in the background.)
Some 40-50,000 people came out to Harewood Airport to welcome "the great glorious silver denizen of the air."

The flight brought many athletes arriving for the Canterbury Centennial Games. Passengers are now clearing Customs and Immigration.
She describes arrangements to cater for the large crowds who have come out to witness the "very big day for Christchurch." The Centennial procession took place in the city this morning.

Grace Green lists some of the VIP passengers, including Australian media and aviation representatives. She then interviews her brother Ken Green, who is a representative of a Melbourne newspaper and was on the flight. They left Sydney at 7am local time and the flight took four hours 20 minutes. They were racing the British Commonwealth Pacific airways (BCPA) DC-6 aircraft to see who could reach Christchurch first. He comments on the excellent Qantas service.

The BCPA DC-6 is heard arriving and Ken describes the facilities on board it and the Constellation. He says noted pilots Keith Thiele and Sir Keith Smith were on board the Qantas flight.

The recording then cuts to commentary of the Canterbury Centennial procession in Lyttelton. Grace Green and a male announcer describe floats representing South Island Māori, Plunket Society, the Addington Workshop band, a hockey club, various Lyttelton floats, Highland bands and marching girls, the Harbour Board, children in fancy dress. The Governor-General Sir Bernard and Lady Freyberg are present.