03 January 2006

Welcome to John Briggs

John has just joined. I welcomed him by email and he wrote back with these memories of his time at Peter Symonds and later---
Attached is a photo of my Rival 41C.
As you see it is junk rigged, that  has turned out to be very successful for effortless sailing. Unfortunately, now I am slowly moving ashore as my health precludes life afloat now, so I have put the boat on the market, not very vigorously though, I might add. One gets so attached to the boat, although I am fully aware that one shouldn't.
The other picture is the view from the flat looking south. The village name, "Ta Ho Tun", means the oyster fishing village, no oysters now though, at least not edible.
Where did you have your Moody ? Why did you pack up with it. ? Did you do much sailing with it ?
You mention "Doc" and his lectures. Yes, I too was greatly influenced by his lectures, and enjoyed them greatly, when he went into geology and paleontology and various life forms and how they evolve. Even though they were only black & white slides in that day and age they opened my eyes to vistas that have never dulled my enthusiasm over the years. As you say they were very wide ranging and the ones about the bible were THE lectures I dreaded the most. The slide show lectures I enjoyed immensely.
Is there anything on the Internet about him as a person ? A biography or the like ?
What do you do now for a living ?
I started on a farm, as I told you last time, then because of the pressure of National Service,  on joining  the RAF I became a male nurse as I felt that it was the nearest to dairy farming that I had done up until that then. Later after about 2 years, I studied to become a radiographer and medical photographer. The radiography then brought me to Hong Kong, where eventually I became an administrator.
Strange as it may seem,  I disliked working in hospitals so I found a niche in the local Chest Service, where surveying people on location for TB, gave me a wide and detailed insight into Hong Kong society, from factories to universities, from government departments to hotels.
All that ended in 1976 when I became a full time administrator behind a desk looking after a number of sub departments,where there were many aspects of the administrating  I was none too keen on doing. Gradually however, I collected a wonderful team of staff working immediately with me, shielding me from much of the mundane work.
During this time in Hong Kong, my terms of employment, gave me 10 -11 months holiday every 4 years with a travelling budget that was geared to sea travel even after the air age came in. This enabled me to be able to travel widely around the world in a style that not every one could do, from the luxurious for short periods to the back packer style for longer stretches.
Now, I am contentedly enjoying a simple life overlooking the sea.
Hoping to hear from you further

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