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Fitting farewell for Bill

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Friday, January 12, 2018

A dream, most probably a childhood one can only be achieved when the mind-set is fully focused on achieving it.

And working towards achieving this dream required a lot of dedication, hard work, commitment and faith.

William Gardiner spent most of his childhood days in Nadi despite being born in Suva as his father was a post master back in the days at the Nadi Post Office.

Like any other young boy, he loved to explore so many new things when he had the opportunity to accompany his father to the post office.

It was in one of those random post office journeys that he discovered his lifetime career to be an airline pilot.

He never gave up; he worked hard as he had always wanted to travel the world and started off as a fresh kid on the Fiji Airways block at the age of 20.

His pilot career began with domestic flights to Matei on Taveuni, Savusavu and Labasa before going regional and he later joined the big guys for international flights.

It was an awesome yet a learning experience for him because despite having to enjoy travelling to many new places, he also had to ensure living a disciplined life which required a lot of healthy living and maintaining a good health as they went through medical fitness tests to ensure their fitness was up to par.

On December 21 last year, Captain Gardiner finally retired from Fiji Airways after 45 years with the company.

It was a remarkable yet a sad journey for him because at 65 years of age, he can now finally find time to spend with his lovely family and his seven children while his wife, Lorraine still flies on Fiji Airways as a cabin crew member.

Bill, as he is commonly known among his circle of friends, is a simple man and lives a simple life.

He is one of those familiar faces at the Lautoka market on a random Saturday morning and will even be the strolling the streets of Lautoka on a hot day without being noticed at all that he was one of those to pilot international Fiji Airways flights.

His message, though, is quite simple; live a disciplined life and you will achieve anything you want in life.

Read more in this week's The Sunday Times!

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