Community Q&A: Passing on his knowledge
Suburb of residence: Sandy and I found Laidley just over 10 years ago whilst we were younger "grey nomads' on the road after 30 years living in the NT.
Occupation: I began teaching in a one-teacher school in western South Australia in 1967 as a 19-year-old, and taught in remote SA and NT until 2002.
Age: I am now a grey-haired 70-year-old.
Marital status: I am happily married with three sons and seven grandchildren.
What have you enjoyed most about joining the Masonic Lodge? I joined Masonry in Alice Springs in 1976. Its fellowship and principles allowed me to meet and grow among men and families who shared the values I did and it made meeting people a lot easier.
Why did you decide to join in the first place? Mainly out of curiosity knowing that family members and other people I respected were Masons.
Have you met anyone famous, who and when?
Over the years I have met a number of people who well known and famous. I met Prince Charles in Alice Springs, the SA Governor, and administrators of the NT. I also was privileged to meet several leading educators who came to the NT.
What is your greatest accomplishment in life? I have been lucky to do some challenging things. On a practical level, I was one of a small party that found and recovered a lost Wackett aircraft from the Western Desert in 1972. On a personal level as a teacher and principal, I hope I have helped the kids in the remote parts of Australia set and achieve personal goals in their lives.
What's the best advice you've ever received? Life has taught me heaps. The best lesson was to have faith and not do anything you would later regret, and consider others who are less fortunate than you. My church life has provided lots of good advice.
What is the one thing you would like to change in the world? We are more fortunate than we realise. There are many who are physically, mentally and socially worse off than we are. Society needs to acknowledge this and act more charitably.
Notwithstanding the number, how old do you feel and why? Wow! What a question! I am 70 now and realise that life has given me knowledge and abilities which I can still share to help others. Doing things with and for others keeps me wanting the clock to go backwards.
What is your favourite hobby or recreation, and why? I sing with several choirs in Laidley, Ipswich and Brisbane because I love singing and it's very good for my health. I have a great workshop and work with timber because I wanted to be a carpenter but was forbidden to be one when it came to jobs. We camp a lot because there is a wonderful world out there.
What is your happiest childhood memory? My childhood was marred by the death of my father and the financial strain on Mum, but my brother and I spent good time in Scouts and being outdoors a lot.
What is your favourite place to visit in the district? Depending on the mood of the day , the Lockyer Valley has some great places. The Forest Hill cafes are great for coffee and a snack, Laidley main street buildings and Pioneer Village are a good history background if we have visitors, and the view from home. I could add quite a few more to the list.
What would you do if you won the Lotto? After some thought, I think we would do some personal / home things, but I think most of it would go to give the kids and grandchildren opportunities reach goals in life. Charity would gain a bit too.
Who are the people you most admire - dead or living? On the top, I admire my late parents who adopted me as a sick and dying baby and raised myself and my adopted brother. My mother, who had a very challenging time giving us the best she could. I also admire a couple of uncles who were genuinely interested in helping us to grow. But above all this, I thank God who has been there all the way.
So, who are you really? Why not tell us about yourself and be part of the Gatton Star's Q&A? Just answer 10 simple questions about yourself and send a couple of relevant photos. Want to get involved? Email email@example.com and we will send you some questions.