20 years ago!


Painted over 20 years ago


I looked young once obviously as this painting was painted some 20 years ago by a Mary O’Callaghan. Memory says she lived the Whangarei Heads area but for this portrait I sat stock still for 1.5 hours in a shopping mall in Auckland. I remember vividly all the passers by obviously observing how handsome I was but I think more interested in Marys talent of capturing me.

Those were the days when I was in very senior positions in advertising agencies. Certainly my dream of becoming a tour guide running a small tourism business was not even thought of then as far as I can remember.

The days of 3 piece suits and colourful ties. Memory says I had about 5 ties with different style smiling faces. I was known well for my vast selection of character ties. When I departed Auckland I threw them along with about 5 3 piece suits in a dumpster. Should have kept them, the grandchildren if there are ever are any might have had a good laugh at them.

About 10 years after that painting was done I moved to the very far north of New Zealand to start my foray into tourism. A risk at the time and some very loyal clients were asking me to reconsider but I had made my mind up. Time for a change. Less stress but still a challenge, and I thrive on challenges.

Just had lunch with an ex client today who was visiting the far north on business. Finally he has decided enough of big business and will retire in the not too distant future. Six months older than me so I always refer to him as the old fellow. Over 30 years I handled his advertising business creating television commercials and print advertising. Hugh and I travelled New Zealand a number of times why I spoke to his dealers at conferences. Several times in Australia and even one conference Singapore. Happy not to speak at conferences anymore and try excite and motivate people.

How time fly’s. 20 years since sitting for that painting which now hangs in one of the holiday units at Ninety Mile Beach. How fashions have changed but more importantly for me, how I have changed. Now a laid back attitude to life. No stress that I cant manage and an absolute passion for tourism and doing our tours. I never dreamt I could actually love working.


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