From my thread, “Growing up days” you may begin to suspect that I was a bit of a wild boy in my younger days. When my mates would tell their parents that they were going swimming, fishing, or camping the inevitable question from them was (nearly) always “Is John going as well?”
Trouble just seemed to find me! LOL!
I have no regrets, however, as I led a full life growing up and had some wonderful mates. The image below was taken at the wedding of my best mate and all the guys in it were all part of a very best friends group and we remain so today, even if geographically separated.
(That's me on the far left at my mate's wedding and those were the group that were known as the 'Four Horseman')
I was the one who would always be ready to lend a hand – like the time I called on Kevin with the intention of going out on the town. He was stuck concreting for his Dad (and making heavy weather of it too) so I just jumped in and gave him a hand. We soon had the job done and were able to head out.
Sometimes I would just take off for a month or so – go fishing – or borrow a shack near the water and do very little but lie in the sun. I was every mother’s worry as a bad example for her boys! Me? I was just finding my way in the world and along the way found some nice companions.
This is the guy who matured to become a top Mental Health Nurse and a specialist Occupational Health practitioner, pictured here in my capacity as Chairperson of the South Eastern Risk Management Committee for south east NSW councils and a leading Safety Officer in Local Government construction work – ensuring that roads, bridges, water treatment plants, water supply pipelines, etc were all built safely and with minimal harm to the workforce.
All my workers knew me as being tough but fair and if they did the right thing by me I did the right thing by them and there was no task that I asked them to undertake that I was not prepared to do myself – be it bridge repairs, repairing busted water mains, operating heavy machinery. My ID photo reveals a jutting chin an fixed determination and that tinge of Welsh red hair that matched my temperament.
Of course, it was not always smooth sailing and I rubbed many contractors and sub-contractors the wrong way who wanted to ‘cut safety corners’ and this often ended up with some undesired consequences – like the one who slashed my arm in a pub when I told him he was finished and not to come back to the job!
Hard man? Narhhhh! I was a big softie who just loved playing in the water at the beach with my grandsons.
Guess that’s why I worked until I was 68 – 51 years from the day I started – ‘cos I always loved what I was doing and every challenge was a new mountain to climb!