Great Scot he’s now an Aussie

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JARED LOUGHNAN

As an 11 year old Glasgow boy liv­ing on the wrong side of town in the 1960s John Pat­ti­son con­sid­ers him­self one of the lucky ones.

His un­cle spon­sored his fam­ily in 1964 to move to Aus­tralia from Scot­land to set­tle and he has never looked back.

Al­though this was more than 50 years ago John fi­nally be­came one of our newest Aus­tralian cit­i­zens at a spe­cial cer­e­mony in Co­bram on Aus­tralia Day.

“Dur­ing the 1960s in Scot­land there wasn’t much to smile about,” John said.

“As an eleven year old grow­ing up in a very rough part of Glasgow the fu­ture looked grim.”

John’s fa­ther Ken was a pro­fes­sional soc­cer player for Kil­marnock Foot­ball Club and was even in­vited to play for Leeds and Celtic but his fam­ily did not al­low the move. He worked hard at the lo­cal power sta­tion but knew the move to Aus­tralia would be good for the fam­ily.

John, his brother Ken and mother Patty, and soon af­ter his fa­ther, took the leap of faith and moved to Aus­tralia. His older sis­ter Di­ane re­mained in Scot­land but also moved to Aus­tralia some years later.

“I re­mem­ber we caught the overnight train to Lon­don and we then trav­elled over two nights by air to get to Mel­bourne,” John said.

“My first im­pres­sion of Aus­tralia was fright­en­ing. We had stopped in Dar­win and a big bloke got on the plane. He was in a kahki shirt and shorts and be­gan spray­ing a sub­stance down the aisle of the plane.

“We then landed at the Essendon air­port and lived in Essendon for sev­eral years.

“Dad be­came Essendon Lions Soc­cer Club Man­ager and soon found a job at TAA.”

John, now a mad Essendon foot­ball club sup­porter, fin­ished his school­ing at Broad­mead­ows Tech and soon af­ter started work­ing at the Na­tional Bank of Aus­tralia.

Af­ter three years at the bank he moved back to Scot­land for 12 months to as­sist in treat­ing a chronic asthma prob­lem.

He re­turned to Aus­tralia and worked for CBC Bank where he met his now wife Chris. The pair were mar­ried in 1979 and in 1995 moved with their two chil­dren, Laura and Dale, to Yar­ra­wonga where John be­came loans man­ager at the Yar­ra­wonga Credit Union (now Cen­tral Mur­ray Credit Union).

John soon be­came Gen­eral Man­ager and has held the po­si­tion to this very day.

John com­mented on how proud he is to this very day the way the lo­cal credit union has grown and the sup­port the com­mu­nity has given the or­gan­i­sa­tion over the years.

“It’s a won­der­ful com­mu­nity to work in,” he said.

“But I don’t know why I haven’t be­come an Aussie. I have al­ways re­garded my­self as an Aussie. But in re­cent years I have had two grand­kids, (Brax and Abby) and with the re- cent po­lit­i­cal dra­mas around cit­i­zen­ship I thought I should do it.

“I love this coun­try and es­pe­cially love Yar­ra­wonga so I sup­pose it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

John jok­ingly con­firmed he will not be run­ning for any seat in pol­i­tics.

John Pat­ti­son pic­tured with Moira Shire Mayor Li­bro Mus­tica at a spe­cial Aus­tralia Day cer­e­mony in Co­bram on Aus­tralia Day.

John and older brother Ken pic­tured in Scot­land be­fore their move to Aus­tralia.

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