Cactus finds happiness on the EP

My name is Peter, Ted or Cactus, born, August 16, 1956 at Lockhart in New South Wales to Peg and Greg Anderson, the eldest of three and a greater extended family. On that day, my grandfather Alf Nimmo registered me for football. Pa was a footy coach and having kicks with the boys at 3 years old was unreal. I played my first game at 4 and played six years in under 10s and under 13s and five years in under 16s. I started B grade at 13 and A grade at 15 to Mum's disgust. School took me to Wagga where I loved rugby.

The family moved to Bulli where I got into surfing and played Aussie rules, soccer and rugby union. I finished school, got a bank job and ended up at Batemans Bay where there was great surf. I did not fit the bill as a banker so they happily let me go. Life was not going well so I returned to the country and life started again. Football led me to Ganmain where I met some guys from Darwin so me and my brother 'Booge' went to Darwin with a mate, 'Hack' Carroll. I played for Wanderers and got beaten in the grand final. I also met a fella called Boyd Hogben, who introduced me to his sister Gail. At season's end Booge, Gail and myself ended up in Port Lincoln. We stayed with Gail's parents, who must have thought we were alright because they allowed their daughter to come home with us. I met Boyd again who showed us the area including Marble Range Football Club and Greenly Beach with great waves and no one in the water.

I returned home with Gail but soon headed to Broken Hill for a coaching job. I got introduced to Southwark Beer, it nearly turned me off SA. Back to Darwin, this was our year, and eight games later I'm on an operating table with a bad eye injury. Doctors advised me to go to Adelaide to the best eye surgeon in Australia. I had another operation, I did not want to do it but had to.

I came to EP wounded but happy, moving to Butler Tanks. Booge soon joined us. There was plenty of work and football at Eyre United. I met the Rusdens who are still good friends. Eventually Cliff Dobbins got us to Wangary, settling in Coulta. We started our family, first Zintra, then Milan and finally Lewis, growing up in a good country environment. Shearing was a big part of my life and Gail got work at Coffin Bay. I finished football at 30 to concentrate on work and family. A chance to go crayfishing came along so I took it, ending up with a mate 'Mulga' for seven years and we did very well. This era was hard on Gail as she ran the house by herself but friends at Coulta were there to help.

Oyster farming was starting up so Booge and I had a go. Sadly I soon lost my best mate and had to go it alone. I lost my way a bit but good friends helped.

Between my sister-in-law Henny, Gail and myself we have seven great kids, plus grand kids. I cannot ask for more. Sport was back on the agenda, Gail coaching tennis and netball, me coaching football and with Nell Rusden started Auskick at Marble Range, and basketball with old mate Chook O'Grady. I hope I gave back what I was taught.

Gail and I live at Coulta after 10 years in Coffin Bay and our grand kids enjoy the freedom their parents did. I am privileged to have been welcomed into the community. To anyone not mentioned I cherish you for allowing me to be part of your life, as you will be always be part of ours.