Tom began his journalism career in 1955 as a news cadet with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Within four years was promoted to the position of news editor in Durban.
At the age of 22, he became the youngest person ever to have held this position. It was during this time that he began training as an airline pilot. After he obtained his commercial pilot’s licence and then his airline transport pilot licence, Tom left journalism in 1960 and began a 12 year career in flying. Skip to 1972 and with a young family growing up and his flying duties requiring him to be away from home for long periods of time, Tom decided to resume his journalism career. He was appointed Senior Reporter for the Natal Mercury in Durban.
Very soon after this he decided to marry his two loves – aviation and journalism – and launched an aviation journal – World Airnews in March 1973. The magazine circulated throughout Africa and the Middle East and was ranked among the 10 best monthly aviation publications in the world.
In 1981 – as World Airnews went from strength to strength and so he and his wife Joan began to branch out up with 13 titles at one stage. Included in these were African Air Transport, Defence Africa, Defence Latin America, Wings over Africa, Weekend Workshop, SA Boarding, Hobbies and Crafts and 50% share in Man Magnum. As the years went on some titles were sold and today parts of others remain. The company also dabbled in corporate production responsible for the printing and publishing of Beechcraft’s in-house Hangar Talk, Airborne the Durban Wings Club magazine and a newspaper called Sports Aviation. In 2016 the magazine underwent a new ‘clean’ look and went digital in 2017. Now in its 45th years of publication World Airnews remains the longest running aviation journal in and around Africa.