Travel and airline industry celebrity, Bill ‘Rain Man’ McNamara, the nation’s best ever networker, celebrated his 70th birthday bash, on Tuesday 8 March, by drawing on his infallible memory, to introduce more than 40 invited dinner guests, by name, title and a mini-bio of their professional achievements – a feat unequalled in an ever changing leisure sector!
In true Billy Mac style, the birthday celebration took over his favourite Chinese nosh spot, Bambusia, at Bondi Junction, which quickly turned into a noisy affair, as guests tried to out-do each other with ‘war stories’, others might refer to as reminisces of hilarious indiscretions. These included the story of Phil O’Connell, ex MAS, stumbling with his lovely lady friend, into a Berowra pie shop frequented by bikies, wearing his infamous pink shorts – before beating a hasty retreat.
Randall Lui flew in for the special night and Peking duck, from his base in Shanghai. Being International Women’s Day, Bill’s representatives included ever popular Travel Club CEO Sue Frances, Jill Zukerman, Carole Parsons and a swag of wives, partners, lovers aka girlfriends. Close mate of 44 years and former British Caledonian Airways colleague, Roger Henning, migrated to the Eastern Suburbs for the occasion. ‘Hollywood Bob’ Chambers, an ex QF spruiker turned property developer, still looked the epitome of a matinee idol, replete with a touch of grey.
Margot Christie had to endure the public outing of an infamous HKG/SYD First Class CX flight, her husband Paul shared with Bill, ending with both being sent to the naughty corner for being inebriated and in need of care, to get home. Sydney – Hobart winner Bob Steel and wife Lee, turned up minus their latest yacht, left at its mooring. Highly successful hoteliers and mini casino operatives, former CX Cargo Super Star, Michael Courtney and wife Bobby, rolled up without a single poker machine in toe. Joey Brown remained in full flight all night, while Armidale- educated Peter Forsyth, didn’t plug his passion for cruising – a personal first for someone who could sell pork rolls to a vegetarian.