Ian H. Grabowsky
Ian Grab Grabowsky - Extracts from Syd's Last Pirate
Syd renewed his acquaintance with John - later Pinky -Wawn who, with George Peter Hoskins had taken flying lessons with them. With their B Licences allowing them to fly for hire or reward de Kantzow and Wawn applied for a job with the New South Wales based Southern Airlines and Freighters Limited, the former Intercity Airways. The Managing Director was the fabled Ian H. Grabowsky or Grab to his legion of mates.
Grab made them co-pilots on the then modern giant Codock, and its derivative the Tugan Gannet, disrespectfully dubbed Pregnant Percys. In my callow youth I thought it a monstrosity dreamed up by designers in the grip of the grape, but they were exceptional aeroplanes for the period. The Codock derived its name from the unlikely place of its birth -Cockatoo Island Dockyard facing Sydney Harbour, a yard renowned for its ships. My hero Sir Charles Kingsford Smith made its initial test flight on the 6 March 1934.
In a Mascot hangar the gifted aeronautical engineers, Leo Turl and Frank Gannon evolved the Codock design into the Tugan Gannet. Their hangar, previously occupied by the General Aircraft Company, bore the name Tugan Aircraft Limited a word play on the partners’ surnames.
The details showed Cathay Pacific would be taken over for the value of its assets with no consideration for goodwill. On his part, de Kantzow agreed to accept the asset valuation established by Mr Ian Herman Grab Grabowksy of Australian National Airways. Further, de Kantzow would retain a ten per cent holding and management of the company with a seat on the Board. Ten per cent was divided among his American partners. Butterfield and Swire would hold the booking agency, and John Swire and Sons and China Navigation Company would have the right to appoint the Chairman and Managing Director. Presented with these terms Skyways and Far Eastern refused to ratify and dropped out of the negotiations. After further discussions in Melbourne the agreement was ratified on 1 June and operations began a month later.
The company was registered on 18 October 1948 with a nominal capital of $HK 10,000,000 and an issued capital of $HK 3,000,000. Mr. Charles Collingwood Roberts became the Chairman and Mr. Mount Stephen Cumming the Managing Director. The other directors were Mr. J.K. Swire, Captain Ivan Neil Holyman, Mr. I.E. Grabowsky and Captain Sydney Hugh de Kantzow.