It has been a long time since I visited Booleroo Centre my place of birth some 86 years ago. My parents, Oswald and Rita, were farmers and dad spent most of his working life as a shearer.
I followed and got my first job as a shearer. I left home at 19 and moved to Adelaide to join the South Australia Police in 1953.
I moved around a lot becoming a detective with the homicide squad and finally a Senior Constable.
I transferred from Minnipa to the ACT Police in 1963 as an Inspector and served in that capacity for the next 14 years. It was great, there were 214 farms over in ACT, I did that patrol for a long time.
I resigned from the police as I wanted to return to the West coast and joined the South Australia Motor Registry as a Licence Examiner for the next 10 years.
Accepting a promotion and a generous salary increase I became Housing Manager with the South Australia Housing Trust for the next 22 years.
Work wasn’t my only pleasure as I found time to marry Dorothy Aird and we had three children. Peter lives in Ulladulla, Danielle in Perth and Paul is deceased.
Danielle and her husband have made me a proud grandfather of Annabelle Grace Payne.
Since my early days with the police force I have always had a passion for helping others and my community, spending many of my spare hours volunteering and fund raising.
Over the years I have been involved with the Apex and Lions Clubs in Canberra, the Port Lincoln Rotary Club, the Royal Flying Doctors Service, Lincoln Auto Club, and Port Lincoln Men’s Probus Club. I have been a Freemason since 1987 and became a Worshipful Master in Port Lincoln in 1996 and Tumby Bay SA in 2002.
Additionally, I have served on the Boards of SkillShare, Lincoln Employment Services, and Eyre Peninsula Old Folks Home and for over 25 years, Community House, serving as Chairman for a total of 16 years.
The year 1993 was a year of poverty and I got together with about 10 people who formed a committee to get something started. We couldn’t afford to buy anything and eventually the Housing Trust gave us no. 14 Conrad Street for Community House Port Lincoln.
I met my current partner at a dance over 36 years ago. Marlene Hanchant and I share a passion for dance and for over 35 years we have been a regular part of the Wanilla and Old Style Dance Group.
On weekends if I am not watching Port Adelaide play I often take out my old 1953 BSA600 with a side car or my 1960 Holden FB sedan or 1962 Humber Super Snipe for a quick spin or polish.
One of my proudest achievements occurred in 2016 when I was awarded an Order of Australia medal for service to the community of Port Lincoln. It was a great honour.
Pictured are (back): Allan Kimber, Ken Lindsay, John Dinham, Ken Neale, Murray Hood, Trevor Ebert, Max Dutschke, George Puckridge, Milton Kowald, Robert Edwards, John Leech, Fred Gerschwitz, Colin Gill; front: Bruce Kerr, Trevor Pearson, John Dickinson, Graeme Coleman, Roger Inglis and Don Laube