I was born in December 1949 in Lancaster which is in the North of England. My father was born and raised in Pontypool, South Wales and could sing, his favorite song was "The Old Rugged Cross". My mother was born in Southern Ireland.
In the early years, my sister and I stayed with our grandparents in Pontypool, South Wales, whilst our parents were working in Lancaster. In the 50s we did not have entertainment available to us such as TV, Radio, Computers, and Internet so we had to use our Imaginations as kids and find our own entertainment.
At the age of 13 joined the army cadets and enjoyed every minute of it. From a raw cadet, I worked my way up to sergeant and drill instructor, and drum major in our band.
In 1965 at the age of 15, I left school and took up an apprenticeship as a boilermaker/welder in the construction industry and finally after 5 years got my trade papers.
In 1970, I was introduced to Ruby union by my Tech teacher at College. I always remember my very first game, I played for the opposition against my own club and scored 2 tries, which meant my club team had been beaten. Comment from the club was "you were not meant to score against us" never played for an opposing side again and eventually played first grade. Loved the Rugby Union and played 14 years in the UK and after emigrating to Australia played another 3 years.
Australian Volunteer Air Patrol
In 1984 at Christmas time My wife gave me an envelope as my present which I thought was a bit of a joke. Inside was a prepaid 3 hours of flying lessons. Well, 3 hours soon passed, so I continued taking flying lessons and joined the "VAP" (volunteer air patrol) which was later changed to "Australian Civil Air Patrol" and obtained my private pilot's license. My 20 years with the ACAP ended on a sad note, after a training session, on takeoff we lost one aircraft killing all 4 on board.