I started life on a farm in Lincolnshire. My father went to hear a talk on farming in Kenya. So in 1953 my father flew out to Kenya to take a look. He spent a few weeks there and looked around, then later in that year they sold the farm, packed the family up and came out to Kenya.
Can you describe a time when you really got up to mischief?
Seeing as you are my daughter that is a deliberate question, I suspect. My brother and I decided to drive the tractor. We persuaded the tractor driver to let us. He brought it up to us. My brother took one side (the clutch) and I took the other (the brakes). We had to steer it. We turned into the shed where the tractor was to be housed. Inside the shed was a hammer mill. Unfortunately instead of stopping just before the shoot of the hammer mill we kept going. We damaged the hammer mill. The tractor boy was last seen running down the road and my brother and I got a good talking to! I think we weren’t allowed to take the guns out for a week after that.
That’s how it was. It was a very free life, roaming around the farm, riding the vehicles.
When Kenya got its independence in 1963 we left for Australia and my father joined shortly after. On the way mum bought some bits and pieces, including a Hoover twin tub washing machine as she wasn’t sure if they’d have one here. A record player too. I don’t know why they did that, Australia was far more advanced than they thought it would be.
When we arrived we went to Graylands Hostel, or ‘Silverside City’ as it was called back then. It was hot, and we were in lined Nissan huts. It was different, but we’d come from Africa so we were used to the tropics.
How did you meet mum then?
I met her at WAIT in 1968. She was doing pharmacy.
Did you see her across a crowded room or something?
With my Christian background, we decided to set up a Christian group. It was a small group of ten or twenty people, and we both put ourselves up to be on the group's council.
Where did you take her on your first date?
Oh, I wouldn’t have a clue.
I think we actually went to a nightclub in Perth.