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Pastime of Sydney

Pastime of Sydney

David and Penny met at the Australian National University and married in Canberra in 1971. The years since have been very full ones. The main occupations have been raising a family of six children, and for David engaging in a full and productive career, initially at the Bureau of Mineral Resources, and subequently in the Computer Industry with now- defunct Prime Computers and then Sun Microsystems now taken over by Oracle. He retired in 2000 from his position as Managing Director of Sun Microsystems' Service organisation.

Penny worked for some time as a Psychologist and taught psychology courses at ANU, Canberra University and Hornsby Tafe, but the constraints of the family and David's frequent travel meant that she was mainly a full time mother. The Catholic Church community has always been part of the life of the family. Both David and Penny were involved in the Marriage Encounter movement during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and subsequently Penny has worked for the Diocese of Broken Bay in their Marriage Education Programme, and in Parent Education.She was a co-author of, and involved in subsequent editions of, the Hey Dad! Programme for fathers. Other interests have included sailing (first on Lake Burley Griffin, later on the rather larger waters of the Pacific); exploring Australia, with destinations including Cairns, Flinders Ranges, Central Australia, Pooncarie and Carnarvon Gorge, culminating in a trip around Australia in 1978.

Both parents have supported various offsprings' sports and pastimes such as basketball, softball, gymnastics, athletics, hockey and scouts. Children's music interests have been varied, with piano, guitar, clarinet, flute, piccolo and tuba amongst the instruments played- and in the case of the tuba, transported far and wide. In the last few years, retirement has meant that there is more time for outside activities. These have included an extensive sailing trip to the Louisiade Archipelago and the Solomon Islands in 2002, and several trips (flying) to the Western Province of the Solomon Islands as volunteers to assist in various capacities. For David this has included computer network installation and maintenance, and acting as consultant on energy generation plus assistance to Penny in the Hey Dad programme; for Penny training leaders for Marriage and parenting programmes. In 2007 David flew to the Solomon Islands to assist in the recovery from a devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit hardest in the Western Province.

David was a regular contributor to the sailing magazine 'Cruising Helmsman' and keeps up his skills maintaining the family's computer network and designing electronic equipment, particularly for use on the yacht Pastime of Sydney. He has also polished up his welding skills so that he can use them for various projects around the home. He also maintains computer networks for various charitable organisations. 

A major milestone came in 2005 when William finished school, making it possible for David and Penny to move to their “retirement” home at Avalon, overlooking Careel Bay. In 2006 they undertook their second major sailing trip, to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, via Lord Howe Island. In 2007 a shorter trip took them to New Caledonia. These have been fabulous trips with many memorable and unforgettable moments. The most spectacular sailing event was our dismasting 1,000Km East of Bowen on the Qld Coast in 2002. Here is a photo taken not long after the mast fell down (narrowly missing Penny).


Since moving to Careel Bay, David tranferred from Asquith to Bayview Golf Club so that he can still enjoy a weekly round of golf. The highlight of his golfing career so far was a hole in one at the long (208 metre)  par 3 10th hole at Bayview in November 2009. He has represented Bayview in their Senior Northern Peninsula interclub team. Penny enjoys walking around the Pittwater area with the Avalon Active Seniors Bushwalking Group each week and is busy rejuvenating the garden at their Careel Bay home.  In 2008 Penny and David enjoyed a six week trip to Europe spent mostly in Guernsey, catching up with daughters  Liz and Bernadette, and then in France, where they had a different boating experience, with a week spent on a barge in Brittany.

2009 began with a sailing trip to Tasmania, via the Kent Group of Islands in Bass Strait. This was a slow trip with much adverse weather so finished at Launceston after an interesting sail up the Tamar River. While the trip was enjoyable, the return home was not. Two days after getting back on land,  David was cleaning the gutters and the ladder slipped. He broke his hip. Easter Sunday was spent having three titanium bolts inserted in his femur. Two days later he was home again gingerly using crutches to get down the 25 steps to the front door. The next few months were spent getting back to normal with the extra pressure  also affecting his good leg. The hole- in- one in November confirmed that his recovery had been successful.


France and barges beckoned in 2010. David and Penny had for some time planned to go to Europe, buy a barge and explore the canals and rivers of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. In April they travelled to France and after a short stay in Paris then a visit to Liz and Bernadette in Guernsey, set about buying and equipping their chosen barge, Anja, a Dutch Boltjalk constructed in 1903. The next months were spent exploring the Burgundy Canal then parts of the Yonne River and the Nivernais Canal. The plan is that the next few years will see this exploration continued for about six months each year, from April to October. Anja will be left in a suitable marina or boatyard each winter, and David and Penny will return to their home in Australia to enjoy summer there.

What of the children? Liz is living in Guernsey and is about to launch a career as a free- lance photographer and lecturer.

Wendy and her husband Dave are expecting a child in June, first grandchild for David and Penny.

Bernadette and husband Stephen have just returned to Sydney after three years in Guernsey during which Bernadette completed the exams as a Chartered Financial Analyst. Bernadette and husband Stephen have just returned to Sydney after three years in Guernsey during which Bernadette completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams.

After working since 2006 in Canberra, Therese in 2011 has moved back  to Sydney.

Paul was married in 2009 and he and his wife Angela, an occupational therapist, continue to be very busy with their careers, house, garden and dog Bruno.

William is due to finish his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering/ Bachelor of Science degree at  UNSW in 2011. He has spent the long vacation 2010/2011 in Newman, WA as an intern with BHP Billiton and has enjoyed the opportunity to explore the Northwest of Australia, including a long drive to Port Hedland, Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Geikie Gorge and home via Marble Bar.



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