You and I never achieved the kind of respectful, working relationship I enjoyed with Brian.
Brian was demanding and insightful, he very often made me uncomfortable, but I was always learning from him.
You would come into the NSW office with your henchman, Peter Hanscombe and ask questions based on the strength of the Queensland business.
Ray White Queensland had earned and enjoyed a huge market presence, we were in a different environment, we were the new kids on the block, very definitely the underdogs in a market several times larger than Queensland.
We and many of our business were skating on very thin ice. Most of our new offices were small or start up businesses, competing with well established opposition in their market places.
Unlike Queensland we were not yet in a position to demand performance, our job with these businesses was to nurture and fertilise, hoping a percentage would respond and grow.
We needed to gain trust so our management and sales training would cut through the scepticism. The time Myf spent with our people in NSW would reinforce this trust, that was her forte and there was no one better.
Our failiures were frequent, the successes less so, but; they were happening. These glimpses of light, would give us the heart to keep going.
Questions about performance based on experience in a market, where you were dominant were frustrating and counter productive. Sometimes, blind faith in the people we were working with, was the only answer I could give.
At the annual Company Awards night in 1988, you presented me with a silver ice bucket inscribed as follows.
Ray White Real Estate Pty Ltd National Contribution Award
Presented to Bruce Ingrey
For Exceptional Contribution to NSW Progress
I could not have been prouder than I was that night, standing on a stage in front of almost 500 people.
Just 12 months earlier, we would have been lucky to get 100 people to such a night.
Paul, I really appreciated this gesture and I thank you so much.
Often though; great gestures from you were followed by acts of pettiness and so it was to turn out.
At the end of 1988, Myf who was now running Victoria, Myself and Ian who oversaw Queensland, joined you in Brisbane for an end of year business wrap up.
We cruised the Brisbane River, having lunch on the boat while we assessed the year and planned for 1989.
I don’t think any of us expected any extra reward for what had been a great year, but; as we left the boat, you made a special point of handing each of us an envelope with instructions to open it when we got home.
I opened my envelope to find two fucking Ray White beer coasters with no card attached!
I don’t know why this has stuck in my mind, but; when people speak to me of Paul White, the vision of those two coasters is the first thing I remember.
Paul; a bottle of wine and a personal card would have been a great Christmas present and we would all have remembered this as a good day.
I just remember the meanness of two fucking beer coasters.
It is petty and it is trivial, but; when people give you their heart, they have a right to expect some heart in return.
In many ways, this tokenism foreshadowed the growing distance between you and I.
I am sorry this was to happen