Stepping out on my own

Dear Pete

You had given me a start back in ’73; I started with you about the same time as Colin, but late in ’76 Colin had left to form his own business.

Early the next year; you and I had an argument about a “matter of principle”, ego got the better of me and I left you to join Colin as a partner in his fledgling business.

Leaving you was something I would live to regret; your family had never been anything less than kind to me and whilst you and I had our differences, my respect for you was never in doubt.

Colin and I built a good second rate business, not brilliant, but solid enough to see us through normal times.

Unfortunately; we had different agendas and tensions morphed into impassable ravines.  I was the straight man of the business and he was the showman, in time we came to resent each other.

In mid-1979, the tensions boiled over and I took control of the business, I had never paid much heed to the finances of the business, concentrating on just getting deals through the door. Once I was in charge, I would deeply regret not having done my homework; liabilities I should have known about, came back to haunt me with a vengeance.

That this unhappy realization came at the same time as the effects of a very bad drought were rippling through this farming community, was a bit unfortunate!

Within the next two years, the biggest builder and residential landowner in the City would collapse in a mess of debt and scandal. This was to throw almost half of a normal year’s supply of property onto the market within a matter of months.

The effect was devastating and your family’s impenetrable citadel was to be brought to its knees as property prices collapsed and credit dried up.

Sas and I escaped the humiliation of total financial collapse, but only just. It would be years before our business started to thrive again.

We had our comfortable financial life torn apart, but you were to live through the total decimation of a family empire and I felt for you.

Pete; I don’t know whether I have ever told you this but I have nothing but respect for the way you rebuilt your life, I deeply appreciate the lessons and property knowledge you were happy to pass on to me.

You took a chance on a kid from Canberra back in 1973 and I have never got really round to saying thank you.

We have seen a bit of each other since leaving  Wagga and our lives have taken very different paths. We have laughed about  the good and bad times of the old days and you have always been totally supportive of my search for honesty.

I think we would both agree the trials of our lives have made us better people and I value the times we have had together.

Thank You Peter!

Best Wishes

Bruce

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