My ‘relationship’ with Tassie started in the early ’80’s, a good friend of mine had spent a lot of time on the East Coast and around Maria Island, each time he returned he told me stories about how beautiful the place was.
He was also interested in the ‘Green Movement’ which was something that I’m sure he got from his parents. This interest led to an involvement with the ‘No Dams’ campaign during the summer of 1982/83 and culminated with him being the 100th protester to be arrested.
For my own part to play and to raise awareness of this issue it was agreed that our local bridge could possibly be used to ‘promote the No Dams cause’ this involved painting a large No Dams triangle sign on the bridge to show the local community. We measured the bridge and cut a large cardboard template, under the cover of darkness we painted the green triangle before returning the next night to paint the text. It was nearly ten years later before the bridge eventually got repainted and possibly just as long before my Mother found out who the culprits were !
Fast forward 10(ish) years and I was lucky enough to make my way to Tasmania on a week long business trip, to say I was blown away is probably an understatement, around every corner, over every hill so many great places… sadly it was going to be another 10 or so years before I was able to visit again.
The year was 2006 and I travelled to Tasmania a couple of times, during one of these trips someone suggested that if I liked the place that much I should buy some land down there to sit on for my retirement. It had already been a tough year with Mum passing away, and something must have just clicked because this seemed like a great idea, land was relatively inexpensive and I had certainly never thought of putting down roots anywhere else.
Over the next few months I researched several properties on the Internet and also organised a loan to purchase land with, everything was set and on the 21st January I flew to Launceston, hired a car and with five properties to look at set off. None of the properties really grabbed me until I drove up the East Coast, up Mt Elephant Pass to the little township of St Marys.
Stopping off at the top of the pass at the Purple Possum Wholefoods Cafe where I would meet someone that would go on to become a great friend, I picked up the best coffee I had tasted in almost three days. I drove up the hill to the block I had come to see and instantly I found a connection, I’m not sure if it was the coffee, the sunshine or the views across the valley but I was hooked… St Marys had chosen me, all that was left to do was make this place home.
I must have spent an hour wandering around the block, with glimpses of St Patricks Head and the Fingal Valley in the distance I found at least six spots that would make fantastic locations for a retirement shack.
I never did look at the final property and looked forward to heading home to arrange to buy the place.