30 October 2010
Noelene Johnstone has always had a thing about airports.
“It came from my father,” says the Auckland Airport Bluecoat who recently marked 15 years of service with the volunteer organisation.
“Whenever we went somewhere we went to the airport or the train station and it was something we enjoyed.”
The Bluecoats, who are also known as hospitality ambassadors, have assisted travellers and answered queries at the airport since 1995. Noelene says she enjoys the role because the airport is such an exciting place and she gets to meet lots of people.
She does two shifts a week and says you have to be a bit forward. “There is no use being a shrinking violet because you can see by people’s faces that they are lost so you have to ask if you can help them.”
Noelene says the work keeps her young and up-to-date. But at 71, she is by no means the youngest member of the team.
Les Tibby recently celebrated his 90th birthday and has no intention of giving up his role with the Bluecoats.
Les coordinates two teams of Bluecoats and he looks after the coffee cart in the baggage hall, keeping it well stocked and ready for the people who pass through. “You would never believe he is that age,” says Noelene. “He strides along and stands tall. He is a real gentleman and a very popular person.”
Many of the Bluecoats have a wealth of experience at their fingertips, due to years of dedicated service. Congratulations to the following Bluecoats who have clocked up 15 years or more: Les Featherstone, Carol Neill, Noelene Johnstone, John Pettersen, John Johnson, Lenore Kent, Kathryn Tilby, Doreen Coldicutt, Muriel Walton, Les Tibby, Marge McGehan, Ian Martin, Kathleen McMullan, Jill Aspley, Bert Wickington.