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Stefan Bartkowiak

I was born in Wandsworth in 1955, and moved to the Chichester area in 1962. I grew up in a market garden helping my mum and dad produce mainly lettuce, celery and tomatoes, (up to 3 tonnes a day!) I started as a boarder at St John's in 1967 and went through to the upper 6th. I played for the college in Football, basketball, Chess, Rugby. Also representing my house (Woodleigh [Yellow}) in many sports including 1000m 500m Shot, Javelin, and more. I wasn't a good academic but managed 9 O levels and 3 A levels. I thrived in the ATC (Air Training Corps) and rose to the top cadet rank of Cadet Warrant Officer. I got my first wings, going solo in gliding at Tangmere (1972) and then won a flying scholarship where I got my private pilot's licence at Goodwood (1974.)

After another academic false start at Hull university (where I also joined the Yorkshire University Air Squadron [1976],) I left after 4 semesters and scratched around looking for a career. I built up my hours and became a flying instructor in 1979.

I went on to get my commercial flying licences and spent the next 9 years flying various roles in general aviation (Freight, air ambulance, air taxi, Airship test pilot and many more,) also developing my engineering skills. In 1988 I started as a first officer with British Airways on B737's at Gatwick and in 1999 got my first command as captain on Classic B747's at Heathrow. I retired from aviation in 2015 after 43 years and 21500 flying hours.

In the meantime I was married to Frances in June 1982 and with her I have 3 children (Alexander, Christina and Lucy.)

I am currently a keen gardener and sail my boat (Sadler 26 yacht) solo along the south coast. An area from the Scillies to Ramsgate.

I have been a member of the Old Johannian Association committee since the late 1990's serving in every role until I was voted chairperson for the OJA centenary year in 2018/19.

I have served on countless committees and currently look after the Land & Fabric at my local church (St. Peter's RC church, East Wittering.) I have cycled and hiked including the Camino de Santiago, Loire valley and other European destinations living for weeks at a time under canvas carrying my home and clothes with me in rucksacks or panniers.

I am now currently the OJA editor responsible for the OJA newsletter, OJA Facebook group and the OJA web site.

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