Sir Reginald Myles (RM) Ansett (1909-1981) is perhaps best known as being an aviator, founding Ansett Airlines which operated between 1937 and 2001.
His philanthropy was not as widely known, but as his daughter Janet Richards clearly remembers he was, “a generous, warm-hearted and good human being”.
In 1981, when her father died, his estate was valued at around $8 million. More than half of this amount was either bequeathed to his wife and daughters or held in trust for their benefit. The remaining money was placed in a trust named after him with the aim of “helping young people take their place in life”. Read more about the Ansett Trust here.
Janet recalls her mother, Lady Ansett, welcoming Equity Trustees into her home, in Gunyong Valley in the 1980s. Janet remembers regular visits by the company and that she “always held Mr (Milton) Johnston, (Equity Trustees’ General Manager) in the highest regard.”
Another legacy left by the Ansetts is that of 30-year-old Silver the horse. Familiar to people in Mt. Eliza, Silver, an ex-racing horse, is living out his days in a paddock on the old Ansett land where he has become a bit of an icon.
Silver is occasionally ridden by Sir Reginald’s great granddaughter Lily, and continues to entertain school children on their way to and from school, who feed and play with him.
Today, Janet and her sisters Jane and Jillian still benefit from the Ansett Trust. We are delighted to continue to have a connection with Sir Reginald’s descendants – still with Equity Trustees – decades on.