Quick trip, now it’s home

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - Front Page - By ABBEY FLANAGAN

Martin Wilmshurst never thought he would spend 45 years in Aus­tralia when he ar­rived in Septem­ber 1973.

His plan was to spend three months vis­it­ing his sis­ter Gill who had ar­rived a few months ear­lier, and their un­cle Bob Bark who man­aged Cal­imo East Sta­tion just out­side De­niliquin.

Much to his sur­prise, Mr Wilmshurst found him­self in love with the land­scape and de­cided to ex­tend his hol­i­day to 12 months.

‘‘My fam­ily and I had al­ways moved around be­cause my fa­ther was in the Bri­tish Colo­nial Po­lice. We moved to Sin­ga­pore in 1946 and then my par­ents were trans­ferred to Nige­ria in Africa 10 years later,’’ Mr Wilmshurst said.

He stayed at board­ing school in Eng­land, then spent 10 years as a purser in the Navy, trav­el­ling around the Mediter­ranean.

‘‘I left be­cause mer­chant ship­ping was chang­ing. It went from smaller ships car­ry­ing a lot of cargo, to large ships with big con­tain­ers and less staff needed.’’

While in De­niliquin he started work at Mac’s Mo­tors in End St, then af­ter stints with other busi­nesses was ap­pointed sec­re­tary of the Pas­tures Pro­tec­tion Board which looked af­ter stock routes.

Mr Wilmshurst said he en­joyed it but af­ter a num­ber of years ‘‘ you tend to won­der what’s next?’’

His fo­cus shifted to the in­dus­trial cater­ing in­dus­try at fly-in and fly-out lo­ca­tions be­fore mov­ing back over­seas in 1981.

‘‘I worked as a cater­ing and ac­com­mo­da­tion man­ager in Saudi Ara­bia and Colom­bia in South Amer­ica where I met my wife Rita.

‘‘We re­turned to De­niliquin in 1987, where we got mar­ried and bought the old In­cred­i­ble Edi­bles Res­tau­rant, which we ran un­til we sold the busi­ness af­ter hav­ing our three chil­dren (Ri­cardo, Nevil and Is­abel).’’

They moved to East Gipp­s­land for three years, had stints in Queens­land and West­ern Aus­tralia, then re­turned to Queens­land in the cater­ing in­dus­try.

In 2011 the op­por­tu­nity arose for fur­ther over­seas travel.

‘‘I worked in Siberia, Kaza­khstan, Pa­pua New Guinea, Africa, South East Asia and Taiwan be­fore re­tir­ing back to De­niliquin,’’ Mr Wilmshurst said.

‘‘When you get there and set­tle into places you see so many dif­fer­ent things, and I’m for­tu­nate to have had the op­por­tu­nity to be all around the world; but the only place that stuck was De­niliquin.

‘‘My mother Peggy came here in 1977 and stayed un­til she passed away in 2007, so it re­ally be­came our home and we felt a part of the town.

‘‘Of all the places I’ve been to, I’m not say­ing De­niliquin is the crown­ing jewel, but it’s a very vi­brant town. And wher­ever you go, ev­ery­one seems to know about Deni; you just think how lucky you are.’’

Since be­ing back Mr Wilmshurst again took a keen in­ter­est in the com­mu­nity, join­ing Ro­tary of which he was pres­i­dent for two years.

‘‘I also es­tab­lished the De­niliquin Mul­ti­cul­tural Group with three suc­cess­ful food fes­ti­vals.

‘‘I’ve also been group Scout mas­ter, swim in­struc­tor, pres­i­dent of the Lions Club, pres­i­dent of the Dra­matic So­ci­ety, sec­re­tary and trea­surer of Cham­ber of Com­merce, and Youth Club as­sis­tant,’’ he said.

To mark his jour­ney and time spent in Aus­tralia, Mr Wilmshurst has writ­ten an anec­do­tal book about his life since he left Eng­land.

It is ti­tled ‘In­cred­i­ble Edi­bles’ and con­tains sto­ries based on his trav­els through­out the world, cou­pled with recipes he has sourced dur­ing his time in the cater­ing in­dus­try.

Martin Wilmshurst wants to share his in­cred­i­ble world jour­neys.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.