Mike, and his family settled into Balgownie Migrant Hostel in April 1951. He was 12 years old. He had a good education, attending the old Wollongong High School.
Mike met his wife, Christine at the “Berno” dance hall in Wollongong. (Ah! the Berno, lot’s of good memories, and lot’s of good times.) Coincidently, I met Maria one Saturday night after one of the dances at the “Cosy Corner Cafe” in Kiera St. Chances are Mike, and I could have bumped into each other on the dance floor, (I used to bump into lot’s of dancers) Also, chances are we could have been both dancing to the music of the “State Dance Band” led by Mick Gillfoil on the tenor sax, and my eldest brother Dick on the trumpet, and the “shiela’s” (girl’s that is) dressed up in their puffy off the shoulder blouses, flaired skirts over rope petticoats, bobby sox, and patent leather shoes, while the guys always dressed to impress.
Mike, and Christine, were married in February 1959,( as were Maria, and I) and Mike, being a brickie by trade, built his first home in the hills of Figtree, while working for Wollongong Council. During this time he studied for, and gained his overseer certificate, and, later landed a senior overseer position with Waverley Council. (Good thing you’re not there now, Mike, with amalgamations etc) This meant moving to Sydney in 1974, living in a mansion called “Bronte House” fully decked out complete with ballroom. (Well, how about that?).
In 1978, Mike left council to take up a position with the state government in the area of waste disposal. (No, he wasn’t a garbo,) and bought a house in Bronte. after some renovations, they sold up in 1989, and moved to Yowie Bay, where Mike, in his words, “was head hunted by waste company BFI to formulate the waste, and recycling system for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. (Aha! I just knew we had something in common after all, ’cause I drove buses for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Mike retired in 2004, and he, and Christine, moved into Jetty’s in 2006, and, in spite of Mike having major heart surgery in 2007, they are both heavily, and happily involved in many activities within this village. In the meantime, I have vowed to beat him at Croquet sometime soon.
Cheers, Col B