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