Writing about Peter Lamy in this issue
came with the sad news that his father Don Lamy, a major factor in U.S.
cargo for many years died of leukemia on March 11, 2021 at age 84.
In addition to his son Peter and daughter
Susan, Don leaves his two grandchildren Don Lamy and Keith Lamy.
Don was born in Guernsey Channel Islands,
United Kingdom May 30, 1936.
He recalled living as a young boy under
German Occupation during WWII. The Channel Islands were the only portion
of the United Kingdom under German occupation.
In 1963 Don immigrated to the USA where
he immediately began a memorable career in air cargo.
Truth be told, Don was a force of nature
when we knew him as top man in the U.S. at Air New Zealand, the airline
he served and became famous for building Air New Zealand Cargo USA.
From Los Angeles, Don had that cargo operation
humming and punching way above its weight for decades.
Don was also a major force in organized
cargo, in fact he was quite instrumental in sponsoring and giving his
time toward the betterment of our industry through his efforts, that included
early CNS Partnership Conferences and organizing and supporting the fledgling
Los Angeles Air Cargo Association (LAACA) at LAX.
Today both organizations continue as major
forces for good in air cargo.
Don was a big guy who walked into a room
and you knew he was there.
He was a take-charge individual and was
inclusive. But he did not suffer fools and always had a great penchant
for rallying people to a cause of getting things accomplished together.
Also not to be overlooked was Don’s
appetite for good food and drink.
For years a rite of passage at LAX was the
annual ANZ BBQ staff and customer event that was held outside in a small
parklike area between office buildings at the airport, featuring succulent
New Zealand lamb and other goodies at a festive networking event.
The story that Sal Sanfilippo who served
as ANZ Director of Cargo the Americas, tells about the barbecue was typical
“Don started it," Sal said.
“The story is that a big load of fish
missed a connection back at a time when the reefer situation is not nearly
what it is today, and the decision was taken to cook up the fish, have
a party and invite our staff and customers in.
“We have been holding our employee
annual barbecue ever since,” Sal said in 2005.
Lamy’s son Peter who today heads up Intelligent Supply Chain Management
(iSCM) and American Worldwide Agencies (AWA) noted that his Dad was talking
air cargo right up to the end of his life.
“I learned logistics from a great
man, a dreamer and a doer, who was full of love for life and was talking
Air Cargo and Air New Zealand with ideas right up until the end.
“We plan to round up some of his mates
and family and have a memorial service October 8 aboard Ned Wallace’s
boat,” Peter said.
Never very self-centered or seeking the
spotlight, Don opened up his Facebook page prior to his departure from
this dimension and wrote some simple words in a poignantly sentimental
goodbye dated March 3, 2021 celebrating life as he approached the gates
“Good morning friends and family,”
“This is my goodbye to you all as
I peacefully passed on in my sleep this morning.
“I have spent some quality time with
Sue and Peter the last two weeks as my mind so kindly let me visit friends
past and present, going to places like Guernsey and New Zealand all from
“Life was a great journey with some
“With that I bid you farewell.”
Last words come from Don’s friend
Haig Barsegian, who recalled:
“Don and I spent a lot of time together
as Sales Reps for Flying Tiger Line. We had adjacent sales territories
and would often meet up for lunch. Great sense of humor. Never saw him
get angry. Later on when he was with Air New Zealand, he would contribute
kegs of beer at the annual Los Angeles Air Cargo Association bash in Palm
“Don will be missed!”
As mentioned, Ned Wallace will sail off
on a sentimental journey with some other Lamy stalwarts to honor the great
man October 8th.
“Dad was always very low key,”
son Peter said.
“Toward the end we talked about life
and Dad said during that conversation:
“‘If someone had a notion to
do something for me after I’m gone,’” he said, ‘might
be nice to plant a tree,’” Peter recalled.
Works for us.
Happy Landings and thanks for the memories,
Big Don Lamy.