1971 through 1980

• 1971

Gold Coast 1971
Australia – Chevron Paradise Hotel – an interest in a Night Club – Joan – and several appearances at the Court of the Crimson King…

Still enough focus to finish my studies…


• 1972

Rotorua 1972Australia – Chevron Paradise Hotel – a job offer from Rotorua New Zealand – my old home town.  Cyclone Daisy – 8 metre tides – floods – exited Gold Coast through Carrara – on a D9 Bulldozer…

New Zealand – Rotorua International Hotel at Whakarewarewa – right next to Pohutu geyser.

Rotorua International Hotel

Sulphur smells.  Accepted position as General Manager – but my predecessor was also ‘in residence’ and suspect that my title only took effect when he was… distracted. 

Hotel was 5 years old and never reached a profit.  Food costs were an issue – plugged some interesting leaks in the delivery chain.  90% of the guests were US tour groups and staff could see no reason for ice water on the tables – “We don’t do that here…”  They did.  Sunday nights were ‘rigor mortis’ in Rotorua – so we started a hangi and concert party in our conference room – invited other hotels to participate… it was a huge success.  Those hangi nights re-united me with the (extended) Morrison family – special people.

Rowing crew reunion – we had won the Kings Cup in 1964 – but the row from Ohinemutu sheds (the next morning) was not so impressive…

Began to get involved in international marketing operations – this would become my future direction…

A year of recovery – at all levels…


• 1973

Rotorua 1973New Zealand – Rotorua International Hotel – still the ‘occasional’ General Manager. I had a house at Springfield – and a suite in the hotel.  Plenty of spare time – so reactivated my pilot’s license and went back to snow skiing.  Could combine both.  Report engine problems overhead Taupo – and land (on the road) at The Chateau.

Annie Summers
An involvement with the Miss New Zealand Pageant, and Denise. Annie (OVC days) and her sister visited for a week – and an old school master from Waitaki made the mistake of dining in my restaurant. As an angry (tearful and bullied) 14 year old – I had promised to get even with him one day – and I did.

Hotel showed first profits since opening – and negotiations commenced to sell the property to THC. I met CEO, Tony (AJ) Young for the first time – over next few months we became close friends – and a good management team.

The hotel was sold – I entered hospital for an ingroinal hernia operation – and AJ was one of my early visitors… he convinced me to become the Relieving Manager for THC – and I spent the next 6 months at Chateau Tongariro – it was ski season again!


• 1974

Chateau Tongariro 1974New Zealand – THC Chateau Tongariro.  Relieving GM – skiing during the day and ‘GM’ing at night.  AJ was a regular visitor – also a skier – and he next offered me a few months at THC Waitangi Hotel.  It was the marlin season, so I went – but stayed only 4 days.  The accommodation was pitiful (and I was being ‘precious’) – I resigned.

The Chateau 1974A huge rift between Tony and me – no contact again till 1987 (when my son was born).  Regrets – we were a good team and could have done much together.  Visited the Gold Coast for the Delfos wedding – and decided to return – permanently.

Australia – Returned to Gold Coast late in the year and joined Quality Inns. George Schofield introduced me to the Grahams.

• 1975

Gold Coast 1975Australia – Chateau Quality Inn – with DG.  Planning to start an Advertising Agency.  Dinner at the Delfos’s – a blind date – met Anthea Godwin, firey little Jersey girl – who immediately left for Perth, muttering something about an ex-husband.  Hate at first sight.  A few months later we moved into her flat at Main Beach…

Firey Little Jersey GirlGold Coast Colour Productions. Chance meeting with old friend Max Stuart – just returned from a holiday in Hawaii with a copy of This Week on Oahu… The advertising agency became a publishing house and on July 1, we launched This Week on the Gold Coast.  First venture into property development – The Fairways – on the first tee at Surfers Paradise Golf Club.  Gold Coast Tourism Bureau launched – invited to join inaugural marketing committee.


• 1976

New York 1976Australia – I learn about Infertility… Our first trip to Melbourne & Monash University.  Introduced to Professor Carl Wood.  Soon to be the world authority on Infertility & IVF – In Vitro Fertilisation – Test Tube Babies.  Carl would become a dear (family) friend – but my first meeting was an embarrassing lecture from him – a sketch on a bar coaster – Anthea’s fallopian tubes…

Hobie CatWe moved to Paradise Waters – bought a Cocker Spaniel.  The magazine was becoming a success – and one delighted client delivered a Hobbie Cat as a gift.

USA – Marketing trip for The Fairways – returned with a dynamic campaign strategy – but the project sold off the plan!  This was my first visit to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, USA & Hawaii – and my first (abortive) attempt to find Peter & Keith.


• 1977

Gold Coast 1977Australia – launched Discover Brisbane magazine.

Our first IVF cycle – failed – traumatic for Anthea and she left for a holiday in UK and Jersey.  There she heard news of an early pregnancy – in Oldham.  Returned – new enthusiasm for a 2nd attempt.  Tough lady – my little Pom!


• 1978

Wedding - Gold Coast 1978Australia – We married – in March.  Began breeding Cocker Spaniels.  World’s first test Tube Baby, Louise Brown – born July 25.  Some world interest – momentous day for us – just possibly…  Magazines growing… We bought some waterfront land – and began building our first home.

• 1979

New House - Gold Coast 1979Australia – Launched Discover Melbourne magazine.  Moved into the (unfinished) home at Sorrento Riverfront…

Our second IVF cycle – failed after 15 weeks.  Again traumatic – but this time, also encouraging. Melbourne still had one surviving pregnancy.


• 1980

Cairns - Boat Race 1980Australia – Months spent finishing the house – two containers of Californian redwood and Canadian cedar… Offshore power boat racing – Peter G and I entered ‘Gold Coast One’ in the Pacific 1000 – 1000 mile race from Cairns to the Gold Coast.  Candice Reid (World’s second Test Tube Baby) was born in Melbourne – in August.

Very pregnant...

June – Our third IVF cycle – St Andrews Hospital, late at night (in the laboratory) playing backgammon with Professor Alan Trounson – he pulled me to the microscope… I saw my sperm enter Anthea’s egg.  I lost it – completely…  Up until then – it had been HER show – NOW I realised WE were involved in something very special.  We moved to a Melbourne hotel in December – tests – tests – tests…  And more tests.  We were pregnant…  VERY pregnant…

Now Go to Page … 1981 to 1990


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