IWCS Personal Biography
I was born in April 1947, 4 days after the IWCS was formed. My childhood was spent in the Otway Ranges of Southern Victoria, where my father was a saw miller and then logging contractor in the surrounding temperate rainforest. My interest in tractors and ‘the bush” stemmed from this upbringing. My education finished at year 10. After we moved to Stawell in western Victoria, I decided to get a job rather than continue at a new school to pursue higher education.
In 1963 I started work as an apprentice mechanic with the local Caterpillar tractor dealer William Adams, initially in nearby Horsham, then later in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
Thus started my lifelong career with this company, in which I progressed from mechanic, technical analyst and trainer, to management roles in technical service and finally 20 years as the Quality Assurance Manager. I also met my wife June at work in 1976. After 50 years with the company I retired in August 2013.
My hobbies include aviation (I have a private pilot’s licence), travel, photography and woodwork. Since our 4 children have grown, June and I have travelled extensively, including 3 months touring the United States. I like to tinker in my well-equipped “shed’ (workshop) and am a reasonably accomplished wood turner. I belong to a local wood club where I supervise their workshop, half a day per week.
In May 2014 I was encouraged to join IWCS by fellow member Rob Lorensene #9019. While not an active collector, I have managed to collect over 200 samples. This also includes 2 lifetimes supply (at my rate of use) of interesting wood for turning and other projects, obtained from our AGM wood auctions. My favourite part of IWCS is by far the outings (meets) to interesting places, one would not normally visit, and the fellowship of our local members and their partners. The ability of a number of our members to accurately identify wood and trees is amazing. I also enjoyed the recent series of wood ID meetings run by IWCS life member Ian McLaughlin #6624. Unfortunately my once sharp memory is found wanting, when attempting to emulate fellow members impressive wood identifying feats.
Like elsewhere in the IWCS world, many of our members getting are quite elderly. The challenge of recruiting new younger members, while urgent, is proving difficult as most people don’t know what we do. Hopefully will can develop effective, low cost means of informing the public of our activities with the aim of attracting the new members we need. Another local challenge we have taken on is our state tree emblem project. This project is still in its early stages.
When John Lyons took on the AustralAsian role Trustee in September 2016, I took over his role as Victorian Representative. This involves organising local state wide outings and writing up summaries for our AustralAsian Downunder newsletter. In October this year we swapped roles. While this new role for me seems a bit daunting, many of our former Trustees are still active, and I am sure I can rely on their support as needed in the future.