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Early 1985, I needed a job, and after travelling extensively decided that maybe a job as a Travel Agent may keep me grounded and in touch with the travelling world. I door knocked all the travel agencies in Rotorua, one being Galaxy Travel which the girls at A.T.A. (Pam Turner) encouraged me to try. I had not heard of Galaxy Travel and thought my chances slim.

But chance it was, as I spoke with Patricia Geddis, one of the owners. Patricia had just returned from a trip to India, and I had just completed an Overland Adventure from London to Kathmandu, which meant about three weeks in India. So we had something to talk about which worked in my favour!

That night, I received a call from Elspeth Burrell, The other owner of Galaxy Travel, offering me a job! She had been listening to me talking with Patricia, and decided if I could talk with such passion, I should be good in travel. And so my career began, and my association with Galaxy.

Elspeth and her husband Ian, an accountant, gave me the very best training. Thorough, Inventive, clever, accurate, and we had a lot of fun along the way. I loved my new career, and thrived in the stimulating, challenging environment.

In 1996, chance played its card again, and gave Craig and I the opportunity to buy Galaxy Travel, and take it on into the future.

Elspeth and Patricia formed Galaxy Travel in 1980 out of a current dress shop on Tutanekai Street. Elspeth, like me, an avid traveller, and wanting to get into the industry, teamed up with a good friend, Patricia, who was in the travel industry already. The office was typically Elspeth. Plush red velvet consultant chairs, chrome cylindrical lights hanging over the desks. A sheepskin covered retro couch. The window displays were artistic and simple. Quite stunning!.

Elspeth and Patricia started from scratch. Their legacy is still sending travellers throughout the world, 33 years later.

Elspeth died on Thursday. She was very special to me. She was firm, and fun, and very elegant.

She taught me my trade and gave me a future.


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