In May1964, along with nine other young recruits, I arrived at the Bermuda Police Training School from my home in West Hartlepool where I had spent my previous 22 years, the latter six as a clerical worker with a timber import company.
The group of twelve was completed with the addition of locals Wayne Perinchief and Del Trott. Chief Inspector Roy Chandler was in charge with Andy Heggie (self defense instructor), John Rawson (life saving), and Sergeant Ted Burton. I played alongside John and Andy for the Police Rugby team later that year.
Sports was a central focus for me during my time on the island and I was fortunate to be chosen for a good PRC football team. Our coach on occasions was Mr. Tom Warren. I believe he was formerly coach of the British Army. He introduced us to a 4-2-4 system and he conducted some useful practice sessions.
Bermudians Arthur Bean, Clyde Burgess, Ray DeSilva, and Del Trott, together with Brits Jack Crane, Clive Donald, Mick Hill, Jim Lyons (capt.), Mike Rickards, Alan Wyatt, and myself made up the team.
Clive Donald introduced me to squash, a game I participated in for another 30 years. We also ran the (Ocean View) golf course together and these activities kept us fit for our main sport, football, but probably had a debilitating affect on our knee and hip joints! The squash court was a short distance from my 'penthouse' suite near Mr. Carty's shop. Also on the upper floor at that time were good friends Pete Duffy and Mike Rickards.
Following evening meals at the PRC, several of us would gather on the verandah for table tennis. Pete O'Shea was the champ with strong competition from Alan Wilkinson and others. There was lots of banter but all in good fun. Food at the PRC left something to be desired and those living in barracks were forced to pay a set amount for meals each month. I thought it very unfair at the time and my opinion hasn't changed. I felt that our protests were treated with disdain and disrespect by the Commissioner at that time.
In 1965, I was joined by my best friend from my home town, Ken Wilkinson who worked at the Princess Hotel. Eventually, we moved to Vancouver after a visit to Expo '67 (we visited Mr. and Mrs. Dave Mulhall while in Montreal), followed by a memorable three thousand mile train journey to the west coast). Mike and Shirley Leng were very helpful when we arrived in Vancouver.
They now live in Vernon, BC. Ken lives in Kimberley, B.C. and is very active in both downhill and cross country skiing, as well as rock climbing and cycling. In 2006, Ken, myself, and four old friends from our teenage years cycled the Kettle Valley Railway in the Okanagen Valley, B.C. Ken and I are in regular contact and we visit each other every year.
In 1966, Duncan Batchelor, Mike Caulkett, Jim McIlwain and I embarked on an eight thousand mile road trip around the US and Mexico. Recently, Mike has forwarded pictures from that trip which bring back fond memories.
Over the years, many old friends and acquaintances have visited or lived in the Vancouver area. Names that come to mind are John Bailey, John Barnett, Pat McBride, Mike and Rosalie Rickards, Max Williams, and the late Michael Woods.
Now retired from teaching, I keep active with some tutoring work and lots of cycling and gym work. My wife, Sylvia, is a physiotherapist and of our three adult children, two sons are working here in Vancouver, and our daughter is in London, UK.
I still have fond memories of Bermuda. I thoroughly enjoyed the beaches, many hours of volleyball, running and swimming along Elbow Beach, and the hospitality of the Bermudian people.