Nick Quigley OAM
I was born in Auckland in August 1946. I attended Ardmore
primary a one teacher school and eleven other students. After primary,
I went to Papakura High School, Moto Suma Pete. Sir Edmund Hillary had
grown up in Papakura and in 1953, Ed and Tenzig Norgay climbed
to the top of Mt Everest without Oxygen.
During this time I learnt to fly at Ardmore airport. It is a wonderful feeling when going Solo, my Instructor said park over there, he hopped out and I went for my first solo flight with me only at the controls.
Coming over to Australia
Because Alan’s father had Rotary contacts in Queensland
we took the train up to Brisbane. Bought a second hand VW Kombie van
from Stones Corner VWs and drove up to Gayndah for the first Rotary
Our next Rotary stop was Rockhampton. It was from here that we took a job at the Mount Morgan Gold and copper mine, Alan worked on the Furnaces and I became a puncher on the Converter. That is a story in itself. Our next job was with Queensland Rail with a relay gang at Edungalba. That is a story in itself too. After 16 weeks of hard labour we headed up to Mourilyn Sugar Mill and worked a season. You don't want to know what goes into the carrier at the mill.
At the end of the season we took a trip up the Atherton
Table lands, Dantree and Cook Town and drove back to Rockhampton for
I had started studying Engineering Survey when I was
called to front up to the Customs House for a kangaroo court.
On passing out day we departed in smaller groups to
various locations in Australia to start our Corps training. I was posted
to Signals and our initial training was at the Marconi School Of Signals
in Eastern Hills Sydney. From there to Balcombe School of Signals on
the Mornington Peninsular in the middle of winter. We learnt morse code
and had to pass 25 words a minute send receive with no errors.
From there I was posted to 139 Sig Sqn in Brisbane for a short time. After attending an exercise in Rockhampton based at Pink Lilly our next port of call was Cunungra Jungle Training School. 21 days of running, if you got caught walking you had press-ups to do. I was there at the same time as Normie Row. We left that base in tip top fitness and battle ready and went back to Brisbane to get ready for a flight to Sydney and a few days later over to Saigon in Vietnam.
Vietnam Nov 1968 to Sept 1969
Of my eleven months in Vietnam I spent just under 2 months in Nui Dat based with the Royal Australian Engineers looking after their communications base. The rest of the time I was an Operator Radio attached to Fire Support Base (FSB) Duster with the Big Red 1 US Marines, Bearcat working in DTOC Tactical Operation Command working for the Royal Thai Army Voluntary Forces, Trang Bom with the US Advisory Unit, VC Hill in Vungtau looking after a ReTrans radio link between the Delta and Nuidat. So an interesting 11 months and we returned to Sydney and I was discharged on the 3rd October 1969.
Work after Vietnam
After Vietnam I worked for Brian Thomas cleaning up around new houses, then Hillman Motors as a workshop rouse about and finally I started with the CREB in November 1969 as a Chainman with Les Gordon and we surveyed new power lines. Les found out that I knew how to work a theodolite and he arranged a team for me and my team and I surveyed many very interesting lines including the feeder along Norman Road.
Meeting Helen, my wife
I met Helen Bull as a blind Date at the Kalka Hotel,
then we all went down to the beach to launch our 23Foot Huntsman boat
Chronic Asthma and problems arising from Service in
Vietnam put a stop to working in the bush. The Board kept me on and
I started working for Civil Works Surveying and recording where all
the underground electrical cables and feeders are in the city and the
Boards total area.
Brent Phillips from Rockhampton Alarms and I installed and converted the whole building to the MIL system. Then one Friday I delivered electronic card keys to all the staff and said it will work, if you are not programmed to open a door it will not open.
The Managment of the Building also required me to oganise Fire Drills and train the Fire Wardens. About 5 minutes before the Drill I called the Safety Officer and the Fire Brigade to say it was a Drill and then opened a break glass. I didn't stay to see how it all went, I evacuated too. We Had one Engineer that wouldn't go so the fire brigade boys escorted him out. If you are not out of the building in 3 minuites you are likely to suffer smoke inhalation and possibly die. A deBrief is held with the Fire Wardens, Fire Brigade and myself then we all went over to Glenmore to carry out extinguisher training on live fires
My Last 2 years
In my last two years at the Board I worked for the IT
Dept decommissioning computers and other electronic items and got them
ready for an auction. By this time My PTSD was a problem and after doing
a live in 6 week course with Cohort 7 at Strathpine Hospital under the
care of several psychiatrists I was deemed to not be fit to work any
more than 16 hours a week. So the Board kept me there and I used up
my 18 months of sick leave and finally resigned on medical terms in
August 1999. Three months short of 30 years service.
In 2006 I was awarded an OAM for services to the Veteran community through the Vietnan Veterasns Associationc and 30 years service with the QSES and other community organisations. It came as a huge surprise because I enjoy what I do and dont look for acknowledgements. I consider it as a very special honour
My GP Doctor was concerned about what I would do because my last job was so intense. I wrote him a list and still haven’t completed them all.
The start of Web Design
One day while visiting Richard Tosen from Compusound he said the Aero Club was to hold an airshow and he thought I’d be the person to make a webpage. He gave me a copy of Microsoft Front Page that was released in 1995. I don’t know the year of the air show, but the website was a great success for both the public and the pilots participating.
A little later Jono Elson was attending TAFE with a Chinese cooking class and said the TAFE was holding an open day and he thought I might be interested in some of the subjects on offer.
Before you could study Cert 3 & 4 you had to complete
1 & 2, so I said that if I could prove my skill and knowledge would
they let me in.