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Our divorce was finalised in NZ in November 1982.

Early in 1983 I was getting restless and began weighing up my options. Rosie had purchased a new house in Invercargill and was getting on with her life. The two youngest children were with her while they finished their schooling, and Nicola, our oldest, was attending university in Christchurch.

I decided to move to Australia and start a new life.

I arranged with an Invercargill agent to find a tenant for my house in Manapouri and to auction its contents. I loaded the boot of my car with a few personal items, and with mixed feelings, set out on the seven-hour drive through the night from Manapouri to Christchurch. I arrived at my sister Margaret’s house as day was breaking and stayed for two or three days. Just long enough to sell my car and make final arrangements, before boarding a flight to Melbourne.

I’d never lived in a city before, let alone one as big as Melbourne. I had no idea what lay ahead but like a modern-day Dick Wittington, had no doubt I’d find a way to float to the top.

Before leaving NZ, I made a hard-edged plan. I’d purchase a modest house, buy investment property with the remainder of my capital, and survive solely on what I could earn from finding work. 

I arrived at Tullamarine airport on a sunny afternoon on the 27th of March 1983, my 44th birthday.

End of Book One.


Watch your inbox for the first chapter of my second book. I’ve called it, “A Street of Houses,” and hope to publish it next week. Thank you for your support and encouragement to date.

Kind regards – Ken Fife