Iain Tessier

B. 1948

I was born in Glasgow on the same day as Prince Charles. My mother received a food parcel from the Queen because it was just after the war and food was still scarce. My father was a sea captain and travelled all over the world. He decided that Australia was a better place to raise a family. Plus, the weather – the weather in Scotland can be shocking. I was two years old when we migrated from Scotland in 1951. When we arrived, there were still food coupons for items like butter. We settled in Brisbane and my childhood was easy compared to nowadays. We’d go out and meet our friends and there was no concern by parents, as long as we were home by dark. I had a happy childhood and my family all got along well with each other. My parents gave me lots of opportunity to play sport and have fun. After school in Brisbane, I did a stint as a jackaroo before completing a plumbing apprenticeship. I went back to study and joined the Education Department as a manual arts teacher. I worked as a teacher for the next 42 years, travelling all over the state to places like Brisbane, Mossman, Roma, Kingston and Crows Nest. The last 30 years I spent at Harristown State High School. My two sons graduated from Harristown while I was there and continued university studies to become a pharmacist and teacher.  I liked teaching manual arts because most students had chosen the subject themselves and were keen to learn. The good thing with having a trade is that you can always fall back on it in life. You can go and try different things and know it is there if you need it; I’m still a registered plumber today. I travel back to Scotland at least every two years to see my family. I have more cousins that live in Scotland and England than live in Australia. My wife and I have done a lot of travel in our retirement. We’ve been to places like Japan, Iceland, Europe and Russia. We’re planning a trip to Portugal and Spain next plus a cruise from Brisbane to Perth. We’ve met some lovely people throughout our travels who we keep in contact with. I’m fortunate that having had a good job throughout my life allows me to travel now in retirement. When we’re not travelling, I spend two or three days volunteering at the DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum at Drayton. We’re currently rebuilding a 104-year-old steam engine and a 1938 rail motor. It keeps me busy that’s for sure.

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