Trans Island Airways to hold reunion in Nassau
Feb 9, 2014
On March 15th, 2014 former employees of Trans Island Airways will gather at Watlings Distillery in Nassau for a reunion of the charter airline with the distinctive yellow tail that served the Bahama Islands so effectively for some twenty years.
A call back to days-gone-by is certainly in the making. This will be for many, a walk down memory lane, of those days when flying was so much easier and air travel was still fun.
A steering committee, of former Trans Island Airways staff, has been planning this reunion for some time. Former Chief mechanic Sherman Johnson chairs the committee, assisted by Edison Joffre (Secretary), Linda Aranha, Captain Gail Saunders (Treasurer), Captain, Ed Hanna, Joanne Aranha, Willie Clarke, and Capt Charles Munroe.
Captain Paul Aranha who managed the airline from 1974 and became owner in 1977 is also part of the organizing committee and told us that he is really looking forward to seeing all the former employees. “Many of today’s Bahamasair pilots got their start at Trans Island Airways. One such pilot Captain Gail Saunders is our treasurer and an organizer of the reunion.”
Joanne Aranha of Island Purveyors, and daughter of Captain Paul Aranha, is putting the menu and decorations together. The event at Watlins Distillery (the old Buena Vista restaurant on Delancy Street) will feature a barbecue with many Bahamian side dishes. “It is important to have Bahamian dishes for those coming from out of town who remember the Bahamian food fondly,” the organizers told us. Former employees from as far away as Europe and Canada are planning to attend.
“Many of our former employees have gone on to have very prestigious positions all over the world,” Captain Paul Aranha said. “It makes my heart feel good to see how far they have gone in their careers, and how well they are doing.”
For an airline that closed down 21 years ago, it is with nostalgia that it’s owner looks back at those golden years of flying. Recently, Captain Paul Aranha’s son, also a pilot, Paul Francis Aranha re-established Trans Island Airways with the familiar sunburst, but with a twist…blue is now the colour of TIA.
Captain Aranha Sr. told us how the re-launching of TIA was kept a secret until Christmas when his son revealed the surprise. “I wear the new blue TIA t-shirt with great pride,” Capt. Aranha Sr. said.
All former employees are invited to contact 242 535 8586 (Sherman Johnson) or 702 4158 (Edison Joffre), Captain Gail Saunders at Bahamasair in order to purchase tickets for the event. Tickets are also available at Executive Flight Support, on the Coral Harbour Road,
Tickets are $60.00 per person, inclusive of all food and drinks, door prizes and dancing. Event starts at 7:00pm -1:00am on March 15th. The organizing committee is also looking for any old photographs or memorabilia that former employees may have to share. Persons with items of interest are asked to contact Captain Aranha’s wife, Kim Aranha at 357 4318 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org