Douglas | Northcote

“I grew up in Glasgow, which is in Scotland, and I was born in mid-40s so it was the early ‘50s when I became a teenager and carried on through there. I had a younger sister and three older brothers, and had a happy childhood with Mum and Dad. We learned how to be good to each other as well as being bad, but on the whole I would say that’s it. Entirely different kids today.

There’s a few things important now I’ve retired. I’m looking at the company of other people my age where we can enjoy the community as well as helping the community as well. You’ve got to go back to the old community-base, that’s my opinion anyway, so as to keep things going. Don’t want everybody sort of challenging each other for nothing.

I’ve had 20 years since I had cancer of the bowel, and I had it operated, and so I’ve done pretty well, getting 20 years of pretty good lifestyle, so thankful for that.

My wife had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and a fortnight after she was diagnosed, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I spent the next six months more or less looking after my wife, getting treatment for my cancer, and then my wife died on Christmas Eve ’94. We were married 24 years, coming up for 25, since then I’ve been on my own.

I could have went and just sat there and moped after my wife died. It’s not just something that you say hello and cheerio to. I mean, we’d had these years of marriage, which ended up…I’ve spent a bit of time grieving, and a lot of community people helped me through that. Very good friends around about who supported me to come through the way I’ve came through it. That’s really when the community started to come in.

I’ve been in New Zealand now 47 year; came out in 1970 and we’ve prospered since then. Seven years ago I had a triple bypass as well; I’m still pounding about. So, I’m happy with what I’ve got at the present time. There’s no way I can change anything, but that’s my opinion, anyway.”

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