Sea change leads to Tumby Bay

I was born in a British Military Hospital in Cairo, Egypt. My father was a serving officer with the British Army. At a very young age with my Mum and brother we were evacuated to Durban, South Africa, where we spent the next five years. My school days were spent in schools wherever my father was posted and completed my education at a boarding school in Germany. At the end of my schooling I learnt my trade as an electrician in London. When I completed my apprenticeship I did two years National Service posting in Germany with the Royal Signals and reached the exalted rank of L/Cpl.

After life in the army I returned to the electrical trade and set about enjoying myself, and in 1962 I met June, a Scot from Aberdeen. As a teenager I was a keen cyclist and after meeting June we decided to see if there was a possibility of shared interest, this led to us becoming small-bore rifle shooters, for a club in London, and achieving pretty high goals, June was lucky enough to shoot for Great Britain and Scotland in the ladies teams. Finally tying the knot in 1967 with the intention of immigrating to Australia, which happened eventually in 1971.

We settled in Adelaide, I picked up my trade and June carried on as a telephonist. Life in Adelaide was pretty busy, working and filling in our spare time with shooting, this time with a pistol club, and joining a four wheel drive club. We did many trips, our first was across the Simpson Desert with 12 other vehicles where we got bogged in at William Creek. Another was to Western Australia across the Anne Beadell Highway (a week and no other vehicle sighted). Eventually we discovered Tumby Bay through a travel auction, staying at Bayside Units. On one of our days there we went fishing at Lipson Cove and in the bay but the only thing June caught was burnt legs. Back in Tumby a very kind sympathetic gentleman, Sam Elson, went home and grabbed a piece of aloe vera for the sunburn.

When we decided to take a sea change we remembered Sam and we settled on Tumby Bay. We have been here for 19 years and are happy with the decision. In 2005 after devastating fires ravaged the Lower Eyre Peninsula we offered our assistance to Monica Dodd with the recovery. We spent the next five months helping where needed, collecting, sorting, delivering and trying to comfort those who lost everything.

I found an interest in growing orchids and joined the Port Lincoln Orchid Club, learning all about care and cultivation. Thanks to a friend in Whyalla I developed a preference for the Cattalya Orchid (Catts) and decided to concentrate on that variety. In 2008 I was admitted to the Flinders Hospital for a triple by-pass and made a full recovery. A few months after I returned home The Orchid Club had its Spring Show, June persuaded me to enter a Cattalya that was in flower, (I wanted to behead it) just to add some color to the display and it won Grand Champion of the Show. I am proud to say the same orchid won Grand Champion a few years later.

We have delivered Meals on Wheels. June volunteers at the local National Trust Museum, has done lead lighting, and was also involved with the SA Fund My Neighborhood Grant Scheme which got the grant for the Local Pioneer Tower Project.