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Aidney Was A Mentor, A Pragmatic Person, Active In Private Sector: Nesbitt Hazelman

He was, amongst many roles, the former Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) president, and founder and former president of Road Haulage Association.
12 Jan 2022 15:45
Aidney Was A Mentor, A Pragmatic Person, Active In Private Sector: Nesbitt Hazelman

 

Businessman and former managing director for Williams and Gosling, David Aidney, died yesterday in New Zealand, at the age of 65.

Mr Aidney was a longtime business leader.

He was, amongst many roles, the former Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) president, and founder and former president of Road Haulage Association.

 

Nesbitt Hazelman

FCEF former chief executive Nesbitt Hazelman said Mr Aidney was a very active member of Fiji’s private sector.

“He had served on many statutory and Government Boards,” Mr Hazelman said.

“Dave was a very active member of The Fiji Employers Federation from the 80s through to 2011 both as an ordinary member and board member and as its president after which he took on an advisory role to many of us.

“Williams and Gosling was very much a key founding member of the Federation in the 60s.

“Dave was a very friendly and pragmatic person.

“He would always offer his views on issues supported by possible solutions.

“He was a great mentor to those who were close to him and we all gained from this valuable experience in many business related issues that we would confront from time to time.

“Dave had empathy for all he was able to sit and have a bowl of kava and be just one of the boys when he needed to.”

Mr Hazelman reminisced on Mr Aidney’s passion for FCEF was largely based on its engagement with the tripartite partners.

“He was keen to educate those on how businesses are run and the conducive environment that needs to be in place to allow it to operate efficiently and effectively, he was an advocate of getting the simple things right.

“Dave’s pet hate was bureaucracy and red tape, duplication of process all of which in his view was unnecessary and added to the unnecessary cost of doing business.

“Dave led the federation at a critical point  at the beginning of its transition, he was part of the pioneers the others being the Late Mr Dixon Seeto, Harvie Probert and Howard Politini,  that lay the foundations of where the federation is today.

“I was fortunate to have worked under Dave’s leadership both as the Chairman of FDB from 2003 and then with FCEF.”

 

Mark Halabe

Mark One Apparel managing director, Mark Halabe, his lifelong friend from their first encounter in 1987, said Mr Aidney would be remembered as an outstanding leader.

“His forthright advice and help in establishing a new business were invaluable,” Mr Halabe said.

“We became lifelong friends since that day.”

He also served on the Prime Ministers Think Tank, and the Fiji Australia Business Council, where his hands-on experience was recognised for how it offered enlightenment.

“Dave was no-nonsense, practical and chose his words very carefully with razor-sharp intensity,” Mr Halabe said.

“Like his father, the late Don Aidney, Dave was fiercely loyal to Fiji and never strayed from living and working within the letter of the laws of his beloved country.”

Mr Aidney left for New Zealand  late last year when he was  not feeling well, and needed further medical investigation.

He retired two years ago as head of Williams and Gosling, but retained Board membership.

“To his wife Sue, his daughters and his granddaughter, their grief will be shared by many,” Mr Halabe said.

 

Royal Suva Yacht Club

Mr Aidney was a long term serving member of the Royal Suva Yacht Club.

In it’s social media post, the club paid tribute to his life as a trustee.

According to the club notice, Mr Aidney had battled cancer for a while.

 

Williams and Gosling history

Ninety years ago, a partnership was forged in Suva by two seafaring captains that brought Williams and Gosling into business, providing pilot boat services at Fiji’s ports.

The company was incorporated in 1936.

In 1949, the Aidney family purchased Williams & Gosling Ltd.

The family had already made their mark providing accounting and management for over a decade.

The company was poised to become the top logistics company in Fiji.

As Fiji’s leading freight forwarder and Customs broker, Williams and Gosling now offers a comprehensive worldwide logistics air and sea freight door-to-door service, for both importers and exporters.

The company, according its website, employs an estimated 300 people in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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