My area of the web is just for fun. I have lots of photos, and I don't mind showing them off to anyone who cares to look at them.
I also have some fairly varied interests, as you may have noticed. Currently they include photography, mammals of New Guinea (specifically the highlands of Irian Jaya), kids, caving, computers, motor sports and flying light aircraft.
I was born in Canley, England, (near Coventry) in 1947. Hmmmm, that just gave my Dad time to get home from the war and recover a bit from being stuck in Changi Prison and on the Burma Railway... I have an older sister, Betty and a younger sister, Barbara. There is a six-year gap either way.
If you want to know what I looked like many years ago, here's a couple of pics from the family archives. They're a bit old but then, so am I! If you're really desperate, clicking on them will bring up a full-size image. In the left-hand pic, we're at Blackpool in England, and in the right-hand pic we're outside our house in Canley, England. The other kids on the left are my two sisters, and, judging by the size of my younger sister, the photo must have been taken around 1953. Something makes me suspect that it was around the time of the Coronation of HMQE2. I think the Blackpool one is taken about a year later, but I'm not sure.
I grew up in Canley, and one of the memories I have is of the Jaguar Car Company factory burning down (no, I didn't start it, it was probably an electrical fault - anyone who owned a Jaguar back then could relate to that...). I also remember things like the de Havilland Flying Wing flying over our house one day, the green woods across the road (significantly diminished these days) and seeing the Queen at the laying of the foundation stone for the new Coventry Cathedral.
England was fun, but there wasn't much in the way of opportunity for my father, a toolmaker. So in 1959 we pulled up stakes and migrated to Australia. We were supposed to stop in Melbourne, but for some reason it didn't happen and we ended up near Sydney, in a migrant camp. One look at that dump convinced Dad to get out of there and buy a house, which we did at Bankstown. My father still lives in it.
Unfortunately for the rest of the family, we had moved next to an airfield which coincidentally happened to be the busiest airfield in the Southern Hemisphere. Having always been interested in aircraft, I spent a lot of time hanging around the airfield! I also re-joined Scouts, and guess what? It was an Air Scout Troop... What a surprise. I continued in Scouts and Senior Scouts with the 1st Condell Park Group until well after I got my Queens Scout Award, and helped found the Rover Crew in the District. But of course that was in the future.
Queens Scout Presentation
Dad, Barbara, me, Mum, Peter (brother-in-law) and Betty
So here was this grotty little urchin hanging around the airport every weekend, until the guys at the Illawarra Flying School, to get me out from underfoot, gave me a job pumping fuel for the planes in return for being able to sit in on briefing sessions and, if available, spare seats on charter flights. Those were the days - my first flight was in a Piper Tri-Pacer; I flew in the back seat of a converted P-51 Mustang; I remember a day when the wind was so strong that a Tiger Moth flew over the field backward; I remember Jiri Blaha, the then World Aerobatic Champion, giving a demonstration of the Zlinn Trener-Master aircraft in which he had won the title, and a guy I knew being so impressed that he bought the plane (where are you now, Joe Hrabec?) and spending many happy hours cleaning the darn thing in return for flights... The list goes on.
It was only natural that I would end up having something to do with aircraft, so I applied for apprenticeships with both Hawker de Havilland and QANTAS. I got accepted for both, and took "Dirty Harry's" because it was just down the road. I still feel I got a better engineering background there, and also one day something happened that was to change the direction of my future dramatically - I arrived at work one day, and, in the area where I was working, there sat three jet-black racing cars, a Lotus Cortina, a Lotus 20 and a Lotus 23, all belonging to the Total Racing Team run by the Geoghegan family. I fell in love with the 23 instantly, and I've been hooked on motor sports ever since.
Okay, so here's a 15 year old kid smitten by racing. What's to do? Well, being a devious little brat, after I'd been to a couple of race meetings, I tried to figure out how the heck I could get involved. Didn't know anyone. Didn't know enough about engineering yet. Didn't want to just polish wheels etc. Bright idea - why not take my English skills and become a reporter? Not just any reporter, but a Motor Sports Reporter? Yeah, sure... Now in Bankstown there was a weekly, free-delivery paper called the "Bankstown Torch", run by the Engisch family (I think I spelled that right, it's been a long time.) So I went to a race meeting, notebook in hand, went home afterwards and wrote a report on the meeting, and brazenly fronted up to the Editor of the Torch and told them I was their new Motoring Reporter and here's my first column. Would you believe I got away with it?
From then on, for several years, I got pit passes, invitations to media events, involvement with the teams, worked with some of them, met some of the great names of motor sport including F1 (Clark, Hill, Rindt, Stewart, Rodriguez, Courage, Amon... the list goes on), and got to know some of the teams so well I was invited to assist them. Starting out in a lowly capacity by asking a guy if he thought his car would go faster with fiberglass panels and I would be prepared to make them. One thing led to another, and I ended up working with one of Australia's top teams, Scuderia Veloce, the Ferrari distributor. The days of the Repco-Brabham V8 F1 car, the Ferrari 250LM ("Lady Mary" as she was affectionately known) and the unbelievable Ferrari CanAm 350 P4. And still only a kid...
When I completed my apprenticeship, I immediately quit my job at de Havillands, as they insisted I join a trade union. Not having seen a union do more than create strife and discord, I declined. They said "You're fired." I said "You can't fire me." They said "Why not?" I said "Because I quit half an hour ago." So I moved on to other things, doing some freelance light aircraft work for various companies around Bankstown, then accepting a job with Helicopter Utilities as a helicopter engineer. I worked on the choppers supporting the oil boom in the Bass Strait in the ocean off Victoria, as well as a couple of other jobs with them, including a stint in New Guinea. Which would have been okay, except that the place I was stationed, Kerema, may not have been the armpit of the world but it was certainly visible from there!
Anyway, when I got back to Australia, I was awaiting my next assignment and the main company for whom we were supplying helicopters went down, bigtime. So did we... Suddenly there was a glut of ex-helicopter engineers on the market. This was not a Good Thing, so I promptly left the aviation industry forever, joining a race team that also maintained other people's cars as a means of funding our own cars. In 1973 we moved the entire company from Sydney to Southport, on Queensland's Gold Coast. Which coincidentally had a race track (not the one used for the IndyCarnival) and a drag strip, with an airfield in the middle of it all. My love of flying returned, and I continued flying training at Surfers Gardens and at Coolangatta. Trouble was (and is!) that when I had the aircraft available, I had no money - when I had the money, like now, there aren't any aircraft!
The racing was fun, and once we decided to stop racing I did a bit of drag racing with my Lotus Super 7. We built the biggest Nissan dealership in Queensland, and spent money on company aircraft and boats that we needed like a hole in the head. I had spent the years from 1979 to 1982 also doing race photography for the local paper, just as a fun thing to do. I still have a picture somewhere of Peter Williamson's Toyota Celica doing a barrel roll above the roof-line of the nearby houses. That one made its way into a few papers. I also had been helping a couple of mates with their dragsters and drag bikes.
But it was time to cut loose again. One of our customers in 1982 asked me if I would like to move to Cairns, in Far North Queensland and manage an air conditioning firm for him. Since the guy I was working for had started doing some rather peculiar things with other people's money, I had no hesitation in accepting. My ex-employer's now ex-wife tells me these days that I'm the only one of them who had any brains - I got out clean. She and her mother lost millions.
Unfortunately, the job in Cairns didn't last all that long, as the Gold Coast branch went under and the owner moved to Cairns, effectively taking away my position, so I was faced with the option of becoming under-employed. So I quit. (It's a point of pride with me that I have never been fired from a job.)
While I was on the Gold Coast, with spare time on my hands, I had bought a Tandy TRS-80 computer with an incredible 4K of memory! Then when the company had installed a PDP-11, I got to play with that, too. So when in Cairns a job became available selling computers and related equipment, I jumped at it. Pay was based on sales, and I rapidly overtook the owners of the company on the basis of take-home pay. But there were three bosses, and one day an advert appeared in the local paper offering a position as manager of a computer store (brand not specified) - but first you had to establish it. I applied, and got the job virtually on the spot. And became an Apple dealer!
Now this was good fun. This was back in 1983, when the IBM wasn't yet making significant inroads into the Apple ][ market (although it soon would be!) and the education market, among others, belonged to Apple. So once we had established the store, things went from good to even better, especially when the Mac came out in 1984. Soon, the Cairns store was outselling (and supporting) it's Townsville head office. We won competitions, we won dealership awards, we did all sorts of things. And then the bubble burst - the dealer in Townsville was cooking the books, and ripping off the owner of both stores. Who promptly put them both on the market.
The Cairns store was sold to a local dentist who knew a little about computers, and wanted to get out of dentistry due to the possibility of catching AIDS from his patients (or that was one of the reasons he gave me). So I was the manager for a short while, until one day his ex-secretary/book-keeper was put in charge of the store. I rang the IBM dealer and asked if he had a job for a salesman, and started there three days later...
Well, lookee here! After a break of two years, we finally get to Part 2!
So off I trundled to System Services, the local IBM dealership, where I was employed as a salesman for computers, cash registers and (of all things!) typewriters. Maybe one of the reasons this chronicle has taken so long to bring up to date is that even after all these years I don't touch type. Sure, I use most of my fingers - and a thumb or two - but I look at the keyboard, not the screen. If they ever shove a DVORAK keyboard in front of me, I'll probably retire! I digress. As usual.
Now I only just noticed that there is a big hole in my Scouting career that probably needs an injection of words. I had become a Leader in NSW while I was still there, and then given the whole thing away to concentrate on all the other things I was doing - I figured then, as I do now, that if you can't give a lot of attention to what you are doing in Scouting, you are not being fair on yourself or on the kids. Anyway, while in the air-conditioning job in Cairns I had been talking one day to the company secretary and she started talking about Scouts, and I foolishly mentioned that I had once been a Leader. Damn mouth won't stay shut when I want it to - within 10 days I was back in harness. And I've been there ever since, 23 years as a Leader at the time of writing... Some idiots never learn. We'll be coming back to this every now and then through the remainder of this story.
Back to System Services. I wasn't overly happy selling computers and stuff that weren't being supported, so I suggested to the owner of the company that what was really needed was a technical support group. He bought the idea and over the next couple of years I slowly got the section on it's feet. Supporting accounting packages, operating systems, graphic arts and page layout - you name it, we did it. And if we couldn't do it, we would find someone who did.
Then once again my mouth changed the course of my life. We had a third party company custom writing software for us, but they never supplied manuals with the software. I kept needling them about it, as it would make life a lot more simple for the support people if we could say "Read the manual!" One day, the boss of the company, Software Plus, said to me "Well, if you want the manuals that badly, you write them! And I'll pay you to do it." Well, here was a more than interesting offer... I spoke to my boss about doing outside work, and he was all for it as it was going to help us as well as the customer.
So started my next phase - software manual author. But I wanted them written my way - in other words, they had to be understandable by someone who wasn't a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. It takes longer that way, but it definitely works. A few manuals got written, then I was asked if I would write the manuals for some software that was being used overseas - a place called Irian Jaya, a company called "Freeport". Before I agreed, I snuck a look at the map to find out what part of the Middle East we were talking about here, only to find that it was the left-hand half of the island of New Guinea, just a tad north of Cairns. Yeah, I could do that... Dammit, I always tell myself I can do anything! So they gave me a whole heap of info on the particular piece of software and said "Start writing!" So I wrote and wrote and made it all look pretty good and suggested a few changes to the software and then I was told that I had better go and see if I was right or not. Uh, 'scuse me? You want moi to go see if the manual is right? To Irian Jaya? Now? Gee, lucky I have a valid passport... So the next thing I know, I'm on a private jet that used to be used by Elvis Presley and I'm on my way to the middle of a jungle in a part of the world that most people couldn't find on a map given all day and a half-way decent index to work with!
Talk about culture shock... Here I suddenly am, just 2.5 hours from home, in a place that hasn't been long out of the Stone Age, where engineering miracles are regarded as routine, surrounded by Indonesians, Irianese of various tribes, Americans, and damn near every other nationality on the planet. And guess what? I loved it! So much so that not long after getting back from that trip (April 1989) I left System Services to form my own company to sub-contract for Software Plus, because this meant that I could keep going back to Irian Jaya which to me was a real thrill, and never became the chore that it became to some of the other guys I worked with - our family circumstances were different.
So backwards and forwards I went, the trips getting longer and longer - what started out as three days got to be three weeks at a time. I was having a ball. Although there was the famous day when my wife went into the Software Plus office and demanded to know if her husband was ever going to be allowed to come home... I was on the next plane. This didn't suit Freeport very well at all, and on my next trip up there, I was asked if I would like to work there full time. That took some careful thought (until they told me how much money they were offering!) and when I returned to Cairns, I had a long and serious discussion with my wife. As a result of which, in October 1992 we packed up and moved to Irian Jaya for exactly 5 years and 2 days.
Settling in as a resident of Tembagapura (or "Teabags" as it is affectionately known) took only a short time, as it was mainly just a quick move into the assigned housing. Everyone there is supposed to get an "orientation" session - I never got one as they figured I had been there part time enough to be able to give the session myself. They were probably right... It was a bit more difficult a couple of weeks later when Carolyn arrived, but she never got an orientation either - they figured I could do it! We settled in, and Carolyn started making friends and finding out what there was to do around town. Me? Well, I was working in the computer section, helping out the Safety Department with climbing and rope safety, running the Scout Troop, getting involved in what came to be known as the "Fools and Misfits" amateur theatre group, and generally ensuring that I didn't have too much free time. So I started a zoo...
I can't believe I've got back to this thing. Now it's 2003 and I'm recovering from a small operation (nothing serious) so I guess I better keep this thing going. Now, where was I? Irian Jaya. Freeport. Zoo... Oh dear, this is gonna take a while...
So I guess the first year was spent getting things established, and discovering all the fun things that can happen in the jungle. Or not in the jungle. For instance I took a small holiday ("mid-year") and when I got back I found I wasn't in the computer section any more - I'd been transferred to the Project Controls group. Which didn't bother me a lot, it meant I had slightly less to do in some areas, and more in others. Never did figure out why they picked on me, though. Anyway, the Scouting side of things was starting to build up, and I suggested to the boys at one point that it didn't seem too fair having all those girls out there not being allowed in, since it was allegedly Boy Scouts of America. I suggested that if it was a sort of combined Scout Troop, the girls could become members of Scouts Australia and join in the fun. After a long pause to think about this (about 11 seconds!) the boys voted the girls in. A few months after that little coup, I suggested that it wasn't very nice keeping the Indonesians out, even though they had their own Scout Troop (Gerukan Pramuka) and wouldn't it be a good idea if a few of them came and visited us on a permanent basis? The kids thought a bit longer this time, around 13 seconds, and decided this would indeed be a great thing with the sole provisos that (a) Pramuka activities had to take precedence for the Indonesians over anything the International Scout Troop (as it was now to be known) had organised and (b) not more than 50% of the Troop could be Indonesian. Fine by me... now we had the whole thing stitched up and running as happily as we possibly could, with the Troop divided up into Patrols, and a Senior Patrol Leader appointed to oversee the Troop. Over the years I was there the SPL varied - sometimes American, sometimes Australian, sometimes Indonesian, sometimes Muslim, sometimes Christian. And yes, we had Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, boys, girls, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Indonesians, Poles, Indians, Brits - you name it, we had it. And it worked perfectly...
At the end of our first year, we were starting to plan our annual leave but had no idea where to go. So I asked our travel agent where we were going. He thought for a few minutes and then said "Start with a cruise of the Greek Islands, then go on to Israel for a week and then down to Egypt. You'll have a ball." Huh? We were thinking of somewhere like... um... Sydney? So we headed off to the Middle East instead, and had the most incredible time. Israel was the most stunning of the lot - this was 1993 and peace had broken out. We were shown a Catholic church which had been designed by an Anglican architect, the building job let out to a Jewish firm who subcontracted Muslim labour to actually build the thing. Beaten only by the re-gilding of the Dome of the Rock (the bright gold mosque right in the middle of Jerusalem) which belongs to the Muslims but the work was overseen by Irish Catholics. Or so we were told, anyway. The most amazing thing about Israel is how close together everything is - all the stuff you read about in the Bible/Koran. We were in the room used for the Last Supper, and the guide asked us if we wanted to go to the tomb of King David. Of course we did. "Down the stairs turn right, second door on the left." Uh, okay...
Egypt was different. Nothing was very close together - or it didn't seem to be. Except the pyramids - they're in the suburbs of Cairo!
Four years. That's how long it's taken me to even think about updating this bit!
So we went to Egypt and it was reasonable weather (ie not too hot). The bus trip was fun, no-one shot at us or anything silly and we arrived in Cairo on the same day we were supposed to, which apparently was startling efficiency compared to normal. As you can imagine, we saw all the sights of Egypt, with the exception of Abu Simbel (still kicking myself over missing that one) including a cobra that seemed reasonably annoyed about our presence, lots of the Nile, more temples than you could imagine existed, and more variations on ancient history than would be considered practical in any other country. Still, when you've been a civilised country for as long as Egypt has, you can make history say anything you like.
I guess it would be pointless to detail the holidays we took - let's just say that over the five years of my employment in Indonesia, we visited Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, America, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and a few other whistle-stop places along the way.
Work progressed, as work always does. Social life in Tembagapura also progressed. Someone (Doreen!) came up with the idea of a small theatre group, and I got involved in that. A native one day came around trying to sell me an animal that he said was a 'cuscus' but since I was about to go on leave, I declined and just took some photos of it. Dumb idea... You see, when I left Australia, the Chillagoe Caving Club presented me with a copy of 'Mammals of New Guinea' by some guy called Tim Flannery. I'd lent it to someone else in Tembagapura at the time, so I left it until I got back from leave to get the book and look up this mysterious cuscus. I found the entry for it. I'll quote you part of what Tim said in the book: "The Great-tailed Triok is one of New Guinea's rarest and most beautiful mammals...The function of the great black and silver tail of this species remains unknown." Oops... Basically, no-one knew anything about this Triok. The picture in the book shows a dead animal's skin. So I got on the phone to the Museum in Sydney, got hold of this Flannery character and, according to Tim: 'One day I got this really scratchy phone call from Irian Jaya and the guy on the other end asked me to turn to a page in my book Mammals of New Guinea and tell me what was there. So to humour him, I looked it up and it was the study skin of the Great-tailed Triok. The guy on the other end said "I've got a picture of a live one sitting on a kid's head!" Well, that got my attention in a hurry'. So began a collaboration with the esteemed scientist, author and (in 2007) Australian of the Year Dr Timothy Fritjof Flannery, and also led to the formation of the Tembagapura Wildlife Conservation Centre. I got permission from Freeport to bring Tim up to jobsite for a look around, the first of a number of trips that Tim made to Freeport at their expense and which, among other things, led to the discovery of a totally new species of tree kangaroo, the Dingi-so.
Eventually the TWCC had multiple cages filled with cuscus, tree kangaroos and all sorts of other mammals and a few endangered birds. The local population used to come down during the evening to watch the feeding, since virtually all the animals were nocturnal. I ended up employing three locals to collect food for the animals! Then one day, a native approached me with the usual line "Want to buy cuscus?" It didn't matter if it was as small as a Sugar Glider or a mouse or as big as a kangaroo, it was still a cuscus as far as the natives were concerned. I looked inside the bag he was carrying, and there was another Triok... So 'Stinky Tim' came into the TWCC as a permanent resident. Which was great, but no-one knew what they ate! Yet another call to Tim, who was equally clueless. So we tried all sorts of things, but this bloody animal wouldn't eat anything but a bit of bread dipped in honey. And would rip you to shreds if you went too close. Then one night, while I had the cage door open, a moth blundered in. Zap! End of moth, and we know what Trioks eat! The damn thing turned out to be an insectivore! So from then on, up around the sports field and over at the helipad, where the lights burned all night, collection time of large moths, cicadas and similar for the Triok. One night I wondered if any of the other animals ate them - turned out the only animal not interested was the tree kangaroo... The Silky Cuscus also loves hibiscus flowers.
And yes, I do know the purpose of the 'great black and silver tail' but I've never got around to telling Tim. We also ended up with a Stein's Cuscus, which is almost as rare as the Triok. When my tour of work in Irian Jaya finally came to an end, arrangements were made to bring the Triok and the Stein's (aka 'Stinky Tim' and 'Frank') to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. All the Australian permits were in place, the accommodation for the animals at the zoo was organised, the flights were arranged - and then the Indonesian Government said 'No.' Nothing would change their minds. They wanted to study them themselves, but didn't have any plan to actually do so. Funny about that, the animals escaped around the time we left...
Two major highlights in Tembagapura were the shows that I produced, "Any Dream Will Do" and "Quiet Please". Both were variety shows, based very loosely on the Scout Gang Show format, and featuring adults and kids of all nationalities. You wouldn't believe how much talent you can find in a jungle! Both shows were sold out for all performances.
Because of the TWCC, I got on well with the natives. At one stage, there was a riot in the town by some of the locals. One of my guys stood outside my house to remind the rioters who lived there, and my car and house were untouched. There was over a million dollars damage done that day, none of it to anything of mine...
Again, all good things come to an end and after 5 years the Indonesian Government decided that I could be replaced by an Indonesian (which was the whole point of the exercise after all) and my contract was ended. Time to pack up and return to the Land of Oz. It wasn't going to be fun leaving all our friends up there, and certainly not going to be fun leaving the animals and some of the other stuff that we had been doing, such as establishing the breeding cycle of the Mountain Swiftlet, one of those weird birds that nests underground and echo-locates like a bat. True.
So, back to Cairns, find a new place to live, find a new job. End up buying a house just south of Cairns in what was then a bit of a wilderness but is now one of the fastest growing areas in Australia. Went to work for a printing/copying company, Cairns Plan Printing Services and I'm still there ten years later (2008). The company had a couple of computers that weren't doing much, and it was part of my job to bring things up to date. Currently everyone in the place has access to a computer, several of us use them full time, all our copiers are on line as printers and we have definitely gone digital. Even phasing out machines with floppy disks...
I have to watch my mouth. We were doing a fair bit of work for the Cairns Taipans NBL team, and one day Jamie Pearlman from the Taipans came in and asked if I could design a CD cover for the Taipans theme song, 'Feel the Bite' by renowned Indigenous performer David Hudson. After I'd worked on it for a bit, I asked Jamie if he had a picture of the team during a game that I could fade into the background; he said they had virtually no photos. I asked him what I was going to do to get one, and he suggested that, since I had a camera and knew how to use it, I could make up a pass for myself and come along to photograph a game. Stupid here said "Okay" and I've been the Taipans official photographer ever since. And of course, since some of them play for the championship-winning Marlins in the QABL and ABA, I'm there too.
One of my workmates raced downhill mountain bikes and he asked me to come out and take some photos of him and his mate. You guessed it - I'm currently the Secretary of the Cairns Mountain Bike Club for the third or fifth year, got a pretty good bike of my own and photograph all the races.
When the group that owns the Taipans decided to get into the Queensland Rugby League Wizard Cup with a locally based team, the Northern Pride, I'm not sure if they ever asked me to be the photographer, it was just assumed that I would. So I am. And now I've got Sprintcars at the speedway as well, because one of our customers at work is heavily involved with Gary Finglas Motorsport and asked me along and you can guess the rest.
One of my major joys has been being an uncle and watching (and photographing) my two nephews, Travis and Cody, growing up. While they are sometimes content to sit and watch TV or play on the computer, they are more likely to get bored with that after a short time and be outside riding bikes, playing soccer, league, basketball and - above all - cricket. Last year (2007) Travis was the captain of the FNQ U12 cricket team for the State titles. Currently Travis plays basketball and indoor cricket in winter and cricket for two or three teams in summer, while Cody plays indoor and outdoor soccer in winter and cricket and indoor soccer in summer... I used to take Travis to his Choi Kwang Do martial arts lessons on a regular basis, and the Chief Instructor suggested that since I was there, I might as well start training. Be serious, I'd be flat out getting through the stretches at the start of the lesson! So anyway, of course I said yes, and at the point of writing this, at 60 I'm just three belts away from a Black Belt and I'm the Assistant to the Chief Instructor! Still not too sure how that happened... Travis, on the other hand, had to drop out due to lack of time - hey, when you're training with three different cricket teams and a couple of other teams as well, you tend to run out of nights in the week so I certainly don't blame him for that. And now he's started high school it's even worse as the homework load will start to get heavier and heavier. Still, some of my happiest times are when I'm with the two boys and I always make sure that my holidays coincide with theirs. That way I get to have more fun, and that's what life is all about.
Well, that's reasonably up to date. There's been an awful lot left out, of course, because I'd sooner be out taking photographs or something and I'm due at Choi training in a few minutes!
Cairns 9th June 2008.
Since I wrote the above, two things have happened in my martial arts. First, I was fortunate enough to train with Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi, the founder of Choi Kwang Do. Then on November 22 2008, I qualified for my IL DAN Black Belt. Now I get to start all over again...