Der­mot Meaney

Alpine Observer - - News -

What do you do?

I’m retired now. I started out life as a car­pen­ter in Eng­land where I grew up af­ter mi­grat­ing from Ire­land and then moved out to Aus­tralia were I mainly worked as a car­pen­ter. I later got into build­ing de­sign when my wife and I moved to Al­bury for her work. I had a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence do­ing my own draft­ing and got a job with an Al­bury ar­chi­tect.

When did you come to Aus­tralia?

I came to Aus­tralia when I was 21. My brother and sis­ter who are quite a bit older than me where al­ready here. My brother was in Ade­laide, so I moved there to live with him but moved around a bit as a young lad. I first came to Bright in to hang glide in the mid-1970s and ended up work­ing for Steve Ruf­fles’ fly­ing school for a cou­ple of sum­mers be­cause it was too hot in Ade­laide for me. Af­ter the first sum­mer here, I went back to Ade­laide to work and then the next year stayed here and got some work build­ing at Falls Creek. I met my wife in Mt Beauty and we later be­gan life in Bright.

What do you spend your time do­ing these days?

Jeanette and I do a bit of trav­el­ling. When we both retired and moved back to Bright in 2015 the first thing we did was a four-month cy­cling trip through Europe. We rode from Oslo in Norway to Athens in Greece, stop­ping at places like Swe­den, Ger­many, and coun­tries in Eastern Euro­pean. My wife’s just gone walk­ing on the Lara­p­inta Trail along the West MacDon­nell Ranges in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory while I had planned to go to Ja­pan. I was sup­posed to fly out last Mon­day but af­ter Sap­poro and Osaka were hit by earthquakes and ty­phoons I can­celled my trip. I was go­ing to be there for four weeks and was go­ing to ride about 1300 kilo­me­tres from Sap­poro to Osaka.

I see you’re in SES?

Yes, I’ve been a mem­ber for two and a half or three years now. When I retired I thought I’d try and give some­thing back to the com­mu­nity. I’m the com­mu­nity en­gage­ment li­ai­son with the unit. Cur­rently we’re try­ing to get some in­for­ma­tion out to the com­mu­nity about what we do be­cause I think we’re some­times over­shad­owed by the CFA. There is the North East Victoria Emer­gency Ser­vices Expo on at Moyhu in Oc­to­ber so we’re pre­par­ing for that too. We’re al­ways look­ing for new mem­bers, Bright is get­ting big­ger and busier but where not re­ally grow­ing with it. We’ve had more women join in the past 12 months. You don’t have to be an ac­tive per­son to join we do need peo­ple for ra­dio and com­mu­ni­ca­tion roles, and main­te­nance, we’ve got a shed with a lot of equip­ment.

Is there any­thing else you do in your spare time?

I cy­cle a lot and am rea­son­ably in­volved with the Alpine Cy­cling Club. I don’t hang glide any­more but when I did I com­peted in a few events in­clud­ing the World Cham­pi­onships that were held in Bright in 1988 and also over­seas in Aus­tria and Ja­pan.

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