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…
Australia – 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.
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…
New 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.
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!
New 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.
A 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.
Australia – 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…
Gold 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.
Australia – 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…
We 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.
Australia – 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!
Australia – 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.
Australia – 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.
Australia – 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.
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…