I’ve always been interested in steam engines. They fascinated me and I always had this thing in the back of my mind that it was something I wanted to explore. When I lived in Maryborough I went to Queens Park and the little trains were running over the park and I found it fascinating. A year later I met a bloke who said to me, ‘I’m building an aeroplane’, and I said, ‘I thought I was the only mad bloke here! I’m building a steam locomotive!
He gave me the number of a guy who built them who I became very good friends with. I would visit him every year and go down for the spring carnival and I started building my own engines. One year, I won the Mary Kuskie Locomotion Trophy because of his mentorship. I moved to the Sunshine Coast but had the itch to keep building. I didn’t have the best land as it was on a sloped block, but I leveraged all my building knowledge. I pre-fabricated the track in my shed and built it. It took us 1 year and 11 months. It was a fascinating project which used all the skills I had accumulated in life. One day while we were building, I heard an ad on the radio looking for drivers. I was still working at the time, but I scribbled down the number on the concrete wall of a train tunnel we were making. Later I retired and I remembered the ad. To my surprise, the phone number was still there. I called up and became a ComLink bus driver.
Wealth is all in the mind. I believe I’m wealthy because I’ve got a wife and been married 34 years. I have a son, a daughter-in-law and a grandson, a shed full of tools and a head full of ideas, good health and a happy life. I’m about to start building my grandson a little electric cane loco. In the next few years he’ll be 4 and old enough to drive it. We are going to have a lot of fun together.