HomeWelcomeUpdatesCompanyAircraftPeopleProjectsEquipmentOperationsPhoto AlbumGuest BookSearchAdastrianaQuestions


by Kevin Pavlich

Larger Image

Kevin Pavlich with Catalina VH-AGB at Roma in 1959
Photo: Kevin Pavlich Collection
(click for a larger image)
I paid off (as a photographer) from the Fleet Air Arm in April 1956 after just over 6 years; I was fortunate being a photographer in the sense that as a "Birdie" I served on a Survey ship (sloop) HMAS Warrego for 18 months doing 3 survey seasons, Spencers Gulf, Exmouth Gulf and Bass Strait (about 6 months in each season); "Birdies" were generally drafted to carriers! I served on the HMAS Sydney in Korea but most of my shore time was at HMAS Albatross at Nowra. I was only out less than 2 weeks and I was employed by World Wide Aerial Surveys towards the end of April 1956 with my first flight being in VH-SMM May 29 with Max Garroway as the skipper and Dudley Wright as the Nav. Noel Notley as the engnr. (or his brother), I was camera op. I was with them up to the end of February 1957; in the interim we flew VH-SMM until the end of July 1956, and started in the Mossie N1597V, with Garroway still as skip and Ken Rowlands as Nav (waiting to check out with license to fly the type) and Max Singleton as engineer; we did this up to the end of October when Max Garroway left to join Adastra. We were back in VH-SMM for 3 flights in November and back to the Mossie under oz rego as VH-WWS in December 1956 with various navs, my operation position as camera op was in the fuse down near the tail. We flew WWS until mid February 1957 when Ken Rowlands left and I a few days after. I guess we found the flying OK but the administration not so hot.

I joined Adastra in March 1957 with my first flight in the Aggy VH-AGA with Allen Motteram as the Skip and Edge Adams as nav/engnr. plus myself as camera op; I trained and commenced navigating in August 1957. I was with many crews in all the current Adastra aircraft flying all types of contracts for various government and civil bodies. I left Adastra in Pt. Moresby New Guinea July 1963 when we were doing an APR job for the Army flying VH-AGX with Keith Cooper as the Skip, Doug Scott (from Canada) as the APR operator, Tony Burgess as camera-op, Des Hardy as engineer (and leaving Adastra as well finishing up with DCA) and myself as Nav.

After I left Adastra I did a couple of fill in jobs to keep my wife and 3 children in food until I joined a Company, P.Rowe International Pty. Limited in February 1965, Jack Townsend of Adastra recommended me to them!; the "Int" side was for Dupont products, my section was Photo Products, which was all Cronar. I initially sold Cronar Aerial Film mainly to Adastra but Adastra also bought other products such as 42" rolls of "Cronaflex" drafting film, sensitised drafting surface Contact film and sensitised drafting surface Projection film. I had only been at Rowe a couple of months when Adastra asked them could I be given 10 days off to do and urgent contract based at Weipa Q., Rowe said OK if they purchased some extra Aerial film etc.! It was the DC3 VH-AGU with Miles Lewis as Skip, L.Clutchfield as 2nd Pilot, tech was "Bluebeard" and I can't remember his proper name, nor the engnr at the moment, I was Nav. It was a RAYDIST navigation mag survey over the Gulf with the Red (radio) station at Duifken Pt. and the Green at Aurukun Mission (Les Sheffield's son was manning this, have to find out his name!) this was in May 1965, I was away 2 weeks. Later in P.Rowe I moved on to Graphic arts pre-press consumables and equipment where I had to go to Munich Germany, London England, and Aurora Missouri, Palo Alto California, Plantation Florida to train for installing equipment in newspapers and pre-press shops. We later took on computer pre-press equipment, which my ability did not cover the installation and operational side, but I had to go to Herzalia, Israel to secure the agency in 1980. We also had gone into the picture communication side of equipment for newspapers supplied initially by Muirhead in England with Associated Press of America getting into the equipment side. That side of P.Rowe Pty.Ltd. wound up in 1986 and I started my own Company called Graphax Pty.Ltd. I was actually tied to Associated Press of America who gave me New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia as sole agent for their newspaper equipment (consumables from 3M but through AP). I (at my own expense) had to bring in demonstration picture transmitters and photo printers (initially analog) then AP (like every major) went digital with the major gains and shocking losses in consequence. I had to visit the Newspaper Shows in USA where the annual circuit was Las Vegas 2 years in a row, once up in Atlanta, then once up in New Orleans, then back to Las Vegas; I also had to go to conference each time I was there at AP in New York. I also attended newspaper shows in Europe, Barcelona, Cork and Geneva, plus Hong Kong and Tokyo. When I was hit with the combination AP/Nikon/Kodak 35mm Press Camera in 1994 at a huge landed cost I could see what the future was going to bring to such a small Company and after a trip in early 1995 to deliver and install "Picture Desks" in Lismore, Maroochydore and Toowoomba, I closed up shop and semi retired, I visited children and grand children, and met with old acquaintances, having a jug or two, and possibly telling a few lies and apart from one scare on the medical side I am now healthy and happy--amen!

5th February 2003