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