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Back: Andrew, Kristie, Chrishan, Margo. Front: Julia, Kalem, Tahnee.
I promised Brett that I would write my bio on a rainy day. So no more excuses; it's a horrible day out there. But first I thought I'd check out the bios on the website. Great fun, especially the personal stories ... more than the CVs. Three hours later ... here goes.
As I said in an email to Danielle a couple of months ago, I have mixed feelings about my time at Telopea. Great school; great teachers; great times. But. I always felt like a fringe dweller - not smart enough for the intelligentsia; not sporting enough to make any teams; not cool enough. It's a shame that the sexes were segregated at that time, I would have spent my time with the girls rather than the boys. When I think hard about it, I did like the school work and did well enough to get into the ANU.
My career started as a research assistant in the economics department at the ANU. That didn't work. Neither did my first attempt at research with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in 1975. But I was fortunate to stumble across the publishing area at the BAE when trying to decide on a future career path.
I started as a subeditor in 1976 and within a few years became editor then publishing manager. I stayed for 32 years, retiring in 2008. With the changes in technology in that time, my team dropped from about 25 to five.
And we handled pretty much the same volume of work at the end ... but much faster. There were many highlights, including never missing a publishing deadline, working directly to some really amazing executive directors ...
That's the boring CV bit. The best bits of my life, like everyone else's I guess, have been my marriage and family. I was introduced to my now wife, Margo, by an old girlfriend at the Tangerine Teapot in 1967. Then, on 18 February 1968, after a drunken night in Weston Park, hooning around in Johnnie Owens's souped up morrie minor, a group of us gatecrashed the YMCA yacht club dance at Yarralumla bay. Margo tapped me on the shoulder ... and that was that. I love her as much today as I did 43 years ago.
After hitchhiking around New Zealand with Brett and then travelling with him to the UK to do the ubiquitous VW camper van holiday in 1972, I returned home early to marry Margo. In January 1973.
Our kids have been nothing but joy for us. We never had any of the horrible stages that so many parents talk about. Tahnee is now 34 and is holidaying in Europe at the moment with her Greek partner. They live in Melbourne and plan to marry next year. Chrishan (now 32) married a country girl in 2007.
They live on a little farm near Harden and he commutes to work in Canberra.
Kalem (29) gets married the week after the reunion. He remains an enigma to us. Very laid back but very successful as a geologist with BHP, riding high on the mining boom. So far no grandkids.
That's it about the family. Margo and I plan to continue our travels that we started when Tahnee lived in London for six years. We hope to actually live in London for a year next year. We have never lived anywhere other than Canberra.
My passions apart from family and travel are 1950s' cars and architecture. We now live in a gorgeous 1950s'modernist house backing Mt Ainslie that gives us great joy every day. The car remains a dream. I avidly read classic car magazines ... but have fought off the urge to own one (being not mechanically skilled). Stan Bakker, an old neighbour from Yarralumla and my best man, sends almost daily links to classic car websites. My poor ten-year-old laptop struggles with the 2Mb files! Clearly, we old yarradinga boys are all classic car nuts.