Darcy asked me to post this for him. His computer is temporarily out of action.
I had planned to write this little story last weekend, but circumstances arose that could not be knocked back e.g. Free Beer and Food, so here we go.
On arrival back in Australia I soon found myself working for AAT COACHES along with ex Sundowner, Col Schofield and collection of guys that had worked for various companies NAT, CCT, VIKINGS etc. and the late Phil Campbell who worked for Overlanders. He was a good bloke and died far too young. Gary Green was working for Australian Pacific and was slightly quieter than his overland days.
During my days at AAT I traveled all over the east coast with the trips to Cairns being the highlights. It was a good job and also paid well, with weekend work and overtime. A night spent in Wilpena Pound with Mick Powell brought back a few memories. Mick was working for AAT based in Melbourne and was on a camping tour, so a couple??? of beers were consumed.
I left AAT in 1981 after getting married to Sandra in 1980. This was when I started at TAA (the friendly way). My eldest daughter Lara was born in 1982 followed by Hayley in 1984. I was joined by Col Schofield and for a short time the Budda (Gary Green) so we again had an old boys club,(our work mates had trouble understanding or believing our conversations). By this time we all had young families and houses to pay for, bills to pay etc. TAA became Australian Airlines which eventually led to the transport section being closed down. Not wanting to work loading freight I took a redundancy and left in early 1986. Social life at the time was spent mainly with family, friends and visits to my parent’s place on the Central Coast. The only regret about leaving the airline was losing the flight discounts, but we had one last trip to Adelaide where a young sales manager ensured our visit to the casino was a highlight. Thanks Vicar.
I then brought a limousine and worked for a company owned and operated by Tom Browne whom I worked with at AAT. It was a good lifestyle but as time went on I felt I was spending far too much time away from my family and we decided to move to the Central Coast. We had a house built and I started work at the local bus company driving buses and coaches, doing local work. I stayed there for 15 years in total.
My kids were growing up and playing net ball and as a family we were all involved at Soldiers Beach the local surf club. I had the privilege to be President for 5 years and look back on some great times.
I am currently working as a union organiser for the Transport Workers Union, mainly looking after Bus and Coach Drivers as well as other areas covered by the union. I have been here for over 7 years and hope it will be my last job. I plan to retire in a couple of years, so then I will spend sometime on the golf course and on the lake, all being well.
When I look back on things I don’t think I would change much as I believe that the good and bad things that happen to you in life help you to continually learn from your mistakes. I hope that life is as good to me in the future as it has been in the past and look forward to catching up with people from the Sundowners days in the near future.