"Eleven magic years of wandering the outback, station tracks and deserts of this great country"
No, I am not stuttering – just reflecting on how many times a person can really retire from ones full-time working career. For me, the latter was a series of interesting experiences working on, or helping to establish, remote African diamond mines. In 1981 I was recruited out of Namibia to a more civilised experience helping to develop the Argyle Diamond Mine in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
At age fifty-five I pulled the pin on the diamond mining and processing game and took early retirement from the Argyle Project when they decided to shift the entire staff onto a FIFO (Fly in/Fly out) operation based out of Perth. Who wants to live in Perth when you are enjoying the wonderful Kimberley life style?
We already had a plan for Retirement (Revision.1) in place and had bought a small 150 acre property on the Ord Irrigation Scheme up in Kununurra. My wife Jean had had the Job of developing this run-down property over the five years prior to my leaving the mines. The idea was that we would grow a few acres of bananas to provide a little extra income but also give us sufficient time to enjoy the wilds of the north-east Kimberley. Alas, this early banana planting grew to over fifteen acres. By this time we were far from our envisioned ‘life of leisure’ in retirement as we were employing up to six people and working flat out!