George has had a number of diverse careers in his life. First up he became an electrician and did his apprenticeship in Dalby. By the time I’d met up with him again (we were sweethearts in high school together) he was running a large and successful highway fruit shop business at Grantham on the Toowoomba Highway with his brother Sid. They had started this business from scratch. Some of you may remember the giant orange on a wooden wagon out the front of the shop? It has since been sold and repainted and still exists in Gatton. By the time the fruit shop was sold, we had learnt the art of working and watching the world go by when most were having fun. We always worked long weekends and mostly everyday of the year except for Christmas Day
Then there was a period where we travelled overseas for a year with our young family, then came back to being landlords to a number of rental properties while George continued to work as an electrician. He was and still is whizz at repairing small electrical appliances, power tools etc. At this time we lived in Toowoomba and I went back to work as a teacher at Mt Lofty High School to help the family finances.
After a while we wanted a change to the country and caste our eyes to Maleny where we found our 50 acres in Baroon Pocket. George developed this in his unique style too. By the time we were resumed for construction of Lake Baroon we had a large orchard of kiwi fruit vines, lychee, persimmons and citrus, and along with a near self sufficient vegetable garden we grew tomatoes for our cash crop. We had renovated a silo into our home and when a couple of years into this life we heard that we were going to be resumed for a lake we were quite devastated. When the resumption seemed inevitable, George worked tirelessly on the farm to make it the best it could be. So at resumption it was picture perfect.
I recall saying that none of these things really seemed to be George’s life’s work. He could and did move on from each of them without looking back. Until now..
33 years on and living across the creek looking onto the now Lake Baroon, living the life and the career that George always sought and now never wants to leave. What does he do with his time you may ask? Well lately he is gardening, creating a beautiful garden even when all around is drought. He is still repairing appliances and everything else that needs his attention and for the last 20 years he has been a landlord to some of the finest tree house accommodation that there is. Will he ever voluntarily leave? Not a chance!