Born in Singapore in the mid fifties and lived the better part of the first 12 years of life on Pulau Bukom – what a wonderful time, what a wonderful experience.
Sam and Eulis Mitchell brought three children into this world – Lesley (Sutton), Jeffrey and me (the youngest). My bloodline is made up of Anglo-Indian, Sri Lankan, Scottish, Irish and a little bit of French thrown in there somewhere. If you think I’m mixed up think of my three kids, Daniel, Aaron and Tyrrelle, they have full blood Dutch added to their bloodline courtesy of their mother (my lovely wife), Marian. My eldest, Daniel, married Kate earlier this year, so there may be more added to the bloodline.
My Heritage was from living and learning (more importantly EATING) from the multitude of Cultures that surrounded me as I grew up on Bukom and Singapore. Life on the Island was a blessing, the family gatherings, the friends, the whole community. It was one BIG family, and lots of ‘Aunties’ and ‘Uncles’ watching over you. Those were the days.
At the age of 12, my brother and I came to Perth to study. We lived with relatives for nearly 2 years before mum and dad joined us, and we made Australia our home. I schooled at St. Norbert’s College and through their swimming club I met Marian (long story, talk to me sometime and I’ll give you the whole saga – I’m kidding). 5 years later, Marian and I were married in the school chapel, the very first couple to do so.
My first job after leaving school was with the department of Agriculture, in animal health. I assisted the Veterinarians in post mortems and also in animal/feed “Trials”. I left the department after 3 years and joined the Australian Regular Army but only for a very short time, my feet didn’t seem to like running in army boots. I joined the Sheraton Perth Hotel, working in Housekeeping and then with the Beverage department. After 7 years I decided that I needed a change and left to join the Insurance bandwagon. Insurance agents parallel used-car salesmen, you have to be born for it. Needless to say, it wasn’t me. I was looking for excitement, danger and (don’t tell Marian) good looking women – I became a “Driving Instructor” – boy can I tell you some stories, no, nothing to do with good looking women. I stuck with that for about 5 years and then decided that another change was due.
When I left the Sheraton I promised myself that I would never go back into hospitality, last year I left the InterContinental Hotel (Burswood Casino) after 15.5 YEARS!!! A glutton for punishment. I held the position of ‘Concierge Supervisor’ for most of that time, my final 2 years as “The Concierge”. I did enjoy my time there and managed to win a few awards, friends and lasting memories – meeting Bill Clinton, John Travolta, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Michael Jackson – oh, sorry that was a concert I went to, but there was George Benson, Alice Cooper and Fred Couples (one of the many pro-golfers that stayed at the hotel) just to name a few more. I have been fortunate. I left the Burswood when mum (Eulis) came to live with Marian and me. Unfortunately mum passed in January 09, she’s with her beloved Sam in a better place.
I’m now working for a very close friend, look for the advertisement in this newsletter (that wasn’t a plug). I love Golf (this is a plug) and I’m hoping to put together a few more golf meets for the club members and friends. So let me know if you like “Spoiling a Good Walk”. God Bless.