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Living with wisdom from Glasgow to Gold Coast

“I was born in a tenement building in Govan Glasgow 1927, by the Clydeside river. I lived with gaslight, one single cold water tap, and an outside toilet for three families. I grew up with the rationing during World War II.

At age 21 Jean and I got married and had two children, Samuel and Jean.

Coal-burning Glasgow in the winter would have been the most polluted city in the world, and our daughter Jean, who was only five years old, was developing bronchitis. Our doctor advised that we find a better climate to live.

That climate, we decided, lay in New Zealand, so we emigrated there in the 1950s. We sailed on the old Captain Cook, a five week journey through Panama and Curazo. The best holiday we ever had! We landed in Wellington, and then boarded the train to a transit camp outside Dunedin in the South Island. A short stay in the camp and then we moved to Christchurch and through government subsidies, we built a new home in Christchurch where we lived close to thirty years. Our daughter and all our health were the beneficiaries of that.

Most of my working life was spent in the motor trade on the workshop floor and eventually managing businesses in that category. My daughter Jean became a school teacher and nurse, and our son Samuel worked all his life as a steward for Air NZ on international flights.

During our stay in Christchurch, I took on a 4-year liberal studies course at Canterbury University and graduated from that. All with the help of my wife Jean.

As Sam and Jean grew up and had their own families Jean and I had a couple of holidays on the Gold Coast here in Australia. The sun and surf were a big attraction and only a couple of hours flight away and we decided to follow the sun. Jean and I took all the advantage we could and enjoyed our life together here but eventually, as we all grow older Jean had health problems and coupled with that she developed Alzheimer’s and died in 2011.

All of the writing that I do is powered by her wisdom, compassion, and love that was embedded in her nature.

Now at 94 years of age, Feros Care has opened a door for me to interact visually via their VSC program and on behalf of my wife Jean and myself we acknowledge the amazing services bestowed on us.

The material I write could only have been done with Jean’s loving presence and contribution to living with her for some seventy years.”

We thank James for his kindness of offering to host on the VSC and giving us insight into his interesting life. Keep an eye out for his philosophical sessions on Thursdays at 3pm, titled ‘Art Making Sense of Everything’.

For more information on Feros Care’s Virtual Social Centre (VSC), click here.

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