Dick Andrew

People of the Valley

Dick Andrew

Dick has been a resident of the Derwent valley and an energetic member of the New Norfolk Lions Club for over 5 years. “Heather, my wife, and I moved from Maleny (Qld) to Molesworth where we purchased a property with our number two son.”

Heather and Dick joined Lions and since that time Dick has taken responsibility for our postage stamp program, our eye glass recycling and our teddy bear program. “I find it quite rewarding. The money we raise from selling the stamps provides funds for kids with disabilities. The refurbished eye glasses go to people in need in developing countries. The teddy bears comfort local kids when they need it most.”

Richard Andrew grew up in Bristol, England, and was raised during World War II. When neighbouring houses on either side of his family home were destroyed in air raids, he was evacuated to the Cotswolds.

At 18, Richard joined the Royal Navy to train as a pilot. He cheekily says “I went to work for the Queen because she had more planes than anyone else.”

“Later, I was offered a two-year exchange in Australia. In 1957, I arrived in Nowra on a Friday and was standing on my hotel room balcony when I heard a voice say, ‘You old Pommie bastard , what are you doing here?’ It was some of my Aussie mates, soldiers I’d met in Britain when we played Rugby. We had a beer and I ended up in Sydney for the weekend. Only the driver forgot to collect me for the journey back to Nowra. So, I was a day late reporting for duty.”

That two-year period changed Richard’s life forever. “During that exchange, I worked on HMAS Melbourne and became Dick. I introduced myself as Richard and Aussies would say ‘G’day Dick’ and I would correct them and they would take no notice. This happened thousands of times so I just gave in and became Dick.” It was also a time when Dick discovered much about Australia and witnessed the building of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. “I thought, ‘what a bloody amazing country this is!’”

Returning to England after the exchange, Dick worked again for the Royal Navy. He married Heather and they had 3 children. But Navy travel soon took a toll. “My kids didn’t know me so I resigned. We moved to Sydney and I got a job with Qantas where I was a pilot for 27 years. My favourite run was Sydney-Singapore-London. When Qantas introduced early retirement, I got a job with Singapore Airlines so Heather and I moved to Singapore. I retired 5 years later and we returned to Australia. I never thought of my job as work, I got to do what I loved and it was fun! It’s been a good move to Australia. I know where I would rather live.”

The highlight of Dick’s local Lions work is when he learns about the teddy bears journeys. “Recently Bryce, a local ambo, delivered a baby in his ambulance and sent the new Mum and bub into the hospital with a Lions Teddy Bear. I love hearing those stories.”

Lions Australia. We serve (more than sausages)

New Norfolk Lions Club

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