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.