A life of colour
I’m from a place called Sheffield originally, which I remember as being in shades of grey, mostly dark grey. I was glad to get away from it. The first move away was to Torquay. That was a very, very pleasant change. One of my strongest memories of Torquay was a place called Babbacombe, on the cliffs overlooking the sea. I was looking down on a sandstone beach, with round pebbles, reddish coloured stone on the cliffs, eye opening blue sea, sunshine - which was a big attraction, and these little yachts called a Firefly, which were two persons yachts, with red sails. So, the red sails on the blue sea and a white sandstone beach full of pebbles, and sunshine.
When I came to Australia, I developed an interest in the natural environment and developed into a bit of a greenie. I ended up being the president of the Ballina Environment Society for about 20 years. I more or less inherited the position. We took the Ballina Council to the Land and Environment Court. I think on about five different occasions, more or less successfully. And in the long term it was successful, part of which is visible around here, because we managed to limit the high-rise development that had taken place in Queensland and was encroaching into northern New South Wales until we developed this buffer area here. There was a counsellor, the first green councillor on a Byron Shire Council, who gave her support and assistance. She set an example for councillors to promote the natural environment. And that's why around here, Byron especially, has the height limit of development and the maximum amount of green cover.
Hugh is a kindly, slow talking man who leaves a gentle footprint where he goes. He worked as an architect in Papua New Guinea, England and Australia. Hugh still has ambitions including writing his autobiography and fathering a child. He is a resident of Feros Care in Byron Bay. His advice is to, ‘don't hold back. Go out. I have been too reticent in my own life, to my own disadvantage’.