Our Peo­ple - Bill Copley

Af­ter mov­ing from the hus­tle and bus­tle of city life Bill Copley is still man­ag­ing to keep him­self busy

Mansfield Courier - - Front Page - By SAM ROUGET

LOOK­ING for a qui­eter re­tired m the hus­tle and bus-Bill Copley moved to 2016. "Mov­ing here has been re­ally good," Bill said.

"Peo­ple think that when you move to a coun­try town, you don't be­come a lo­cal for 20 years — but it's been a very wel­com­ing com­mu­nity."

To­day, Bill can be found at the Mans­field Men's Shed (MMS).

When Bill made the move, he un­know­ingly shifted next-door to a mem­ber of MMS — and now, he is pres­i­dent.

Shortly af­ter mov­ing to Mans-field, Bill fell very ill; end­ing up in in­ten­sive care with blood poi­son­ing, which led to right-side heart fail­ure. While this time was tough for him, he got by with a lit­tle help from the men at MMS.

"I re­ally came to ap­pre­ci­ate the val-ue of the shed and the friend­ship and mate­ship that was there," Bill said.

"It gave me an op­por­tu­nity to get out of the house, grab a cof­fee and have a yarn — which I think is espe-cially im­por­tant dur­ing tough times."

Since com­ing into his role as pres­i­dent, he has been the driv­ing force of many projects, and has big plans for MMS — in­clud­ing hopes to re­fur­bish the kitchen and re­place the lights in the shed.

Bill hopes that by do­ing this, it will make more peo­ple en­joy the space more. "I want to take the shed for­ward in terms of its ca­pa­bil­ity and func­tion-al­ity," Bill said. "I want to make it a wann and invit­ing en­vi­ron­ment for men of all ages."

While Bill loves his life in Mans-field, he has en­joyed liv­ing in many other parts of Aus­tralia — and even over­seas.

At the age of 12, Bill and his fam-ily packed up his life and moved to Syd­ney in 1967.

In the late 80s, Bill moved to Mel-bourne where he com­menced work in com­puter and IT sales.

How­ever, Bill didn't grow up in Aus­tralia; but en­joyed a child­hood full of ex­plor­ing and play­ing out-doors in Pa­pua New Guinea.

For 12 years, Bill lived in a small vil­lage called Yan­goru in Pa­pua New Guinea, where his fa­ther was one of many men who took on the chal­lenge to forge ca­reers as pa­trol of­fi­cers, or Ki­aps.

In a 10,000 square mile area, Bill's fa­ther would take on a range of roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties — in­clud­ing the po-lice of­fi­cer, pros­e­cu­tor, de­fence lawyer, weather man, part-time den­tist, cen­sus taker and me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal recorder.

Look­ing back on his child­hood, Bill fondly re­mem­bers bush­walk­ing and swim­ming.

How­ever, it was quite dan­ger­ous for Bill and his sib­lings to be out and about; so as his fa­ther was in charge of the lo­cal po­lice sta­tion, he and his sib­lings each had a po­lice con­sta­ble watch­ing over them at all times.

"We'd go down to the river with our po­lice con­sta­bles — who would be car­ry­ing their 303 ri­fles or a bow and ar­row," Bill said. "I have never been back though, un­for­tu­nately — I liked it, but it is very dan­ger­ous over there."

For that very rea­son, he has never taken his kids back to Pa­pua New Guinea; but he one day hopes to take them on a cruise to show them some of the trop­i­cal as­pects of the coastal coun­try.

Bill has two chil­dren, who he sees once a month. "They love it up here," Bill said. "That's one of the rea­sons I chose Mans­field.

How­ever, Bill also chose Mans-field be­cause it re­minded him of Pa­pua New Guinea a lit­tle.

"I love Mans­field — it has such nice views, open space and bush-land," said Bill. "It's such a nice place to live."

HELP­ING HAND: Last Mon­day was In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day; a day where the needs and achieve­ments of men like Bill Copley (pic­tured) are recog­nised and ac­knowl­edged.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.