This photo is one of the many iconic Qantas photos. The young boy in the photo is Peter Ashley. Peter is a member of the Qantas Foundation Memorial (parent company of Qantas Founders Museum) and so we asked him what the story behind the photo was and this is what he told us:
“My father, Alf Ashley, flew the first Commonwealth air mail service from Camooweal to Daly Waters for three years from 1930 through 1932 . Alf replaced Frank Neale who was the original pilot but who was recalled after a couple of months for another project . My father met numerous Qantas pilots over those three years as Qantas delivered the mail to Camooweal . When the contractor supplying the Camooweal to Daly Waters service failed, my father joined Qantas as the resident pilot in Longreach from December 1934 to 1938 .
You might say that Qantas got two for the price of one because my father was also a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and serviced his aircraft. The earlier Qantas staff had moved to Brisbane by that time. I was born at Longreach in September 1935 and the photo of myself in helmet and goggles and standing on the wing of the Qantas De Havilland Fox Moth was taken by my father in 1937 when I was two years old. That photo of myself with the Qantas hangar in the background was from my father’s extensive aviation album and became the picture used on the entry card to Stage 2 of the Qantas Founders Museum in 2002.
My now distant Longreach beginning was the catalyst for a life time passion for aviation. I inherited my father’s aviation talents and over the past thirty years I personally built two aircraft and flew all over Australia. Numerous times have I flown myself to Longreach “to take myself home “.
This year the museum used the photo of Peter Ashley with a number of other photos and images for a new shirt called the ‘Founders Shirt’ which is sold in the museum’s Founders Store. Peter was so excited about the shirt, he had to buy one for himself! The photos below show him wearing the new shirt proudly. You look great Peter!
If you would like to buy the ‘Founders Shirt’, please go to our Founders Store.