Peace and quiet are Mike’s pre­rog­a­tive, but not fish­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

GREAT ROLE: Mike Kelly is lov­ing life as the new Ca­nia Fish Stock­ing As­so­ci­a­tion care­taker. YOU would think by now, Mike Kelly might know a thing or two about fish.

But de­spite be­ing the Ca­nia Fish Stock­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s new care­taker and living on a boat for 20 years, Mr Kelly said he did not know any­thing about un­der­wa­ter crea­tures.

In­stead, it was the peace and quiet living in a car­a­van at Ca­nia Dam that at­tracted him to the job.

“Most jobs I have had meant I got to get out on my own,” Mr Kelly said.

“When some­thing breaks, I have to fix it. It means you have to fore­cast what might hap­pen and not rely on any­one else and I like that.”

Mr Kelly had only put his feet prop­erly on the land again af­ter living for two decades on a boat by Strad­broke Is­land.

“You’re a bit of a prisoner on a boat. And when it’s pour­ing with rain and it’s rocking and rolling, it can get a bit stress­ful,” he said.

“I just got sick of it so lashed out and bought a car and made my­self a camp­ing trailer.

“I said to my two poo­dles, ‘let’s go for a drive’.”

The three came up to see a friend in Monto, and within a cou­ple of days he had landed him­self the care­taker job.

But be­fore living on the boat, which Mr Kelly “misses ab­so­lutely noth­ing about”, he made way for plenty of other ad­ven­tures.

“I went over to the Farn­bor­ough Air Show in Eng­land, it’s the big­gest in the world, a cou­ple of years ago,” he said.

“One night we were sit­ting in the pub hav­ing a beer and the pi­lot of a Lan­caster bomber asked if I would like to go up for a ride the next morn­ing.

“There’s only two of those air­craft left in the world.

“Never in my wildest dreams could I have con­ceived be­ing able to do that.”

He also spent a bit of time look­ing af­ter gold shows around Ather­ton.

“Con­trac­tors go in and dig up creek beds and col­lect all the al­lu­vial gold,” he said. “I was in charge of the nugget boxes – they are the most valu­able pieces.

“I used to drive in to Ather­ton with two or three ki­los of gold in a pa­per bag un­der the front seat.

“That’s at least a mil­lion dol­lars worth.”

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

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