You and I had never been close, and I was aware when I accepted the role of CEO, there was capacity for this promotion to create disunity with you at a boardroom level.
I was not expecting, however; the bitterness that was to follow in the Brisbane office, it may have occurred in other places but it was from Brisbane where I was hearing the reports.
Each report was along very similar lines from a range of people. A conversation would start along the following lines.
“How do you like working with Bruce as CEO?” and the follow up question:
“You know he is a poofter don’t you?”
The first reports of this, I was inclined to disregard, but they kept coming, and; like water on a stone, they were starting to erode my sense of well being.
I was naïve enough to believe, that as a part owner of the business you would have been fully supportive of your CEO.
We were in the middle of a massive expansion and bedding down process with the new organisations we had brought on line.
This was not a time for petty bickering and back stabbing.
To the best of my knowledge, you and I had never had a conversation about my sexuality.
Brian was aware of it before I accepted the Board role and I assumed he would have discussed this with you and your father. I know from speaking with Andrew, that Brian had talked this through with him and Andrew and I would talk very freely about it.
The support I received from both Brian and Andrew had been more, than I could have hoped for.
I remember one conversation with Andrew after a trip to a conference in the USA. He had called to check, I had not made a mistake on an expense account for Hotel accommodation in Orlando.
I told him it was correct and he laughingly suggested my hotel should become the destination of choice for all personnel in that city. I told him this was probably “not a good idea” and we laughed about Myffy or others waking up in the gayest hotel in Orlando.
I felt I had done my bit by telling Brian before accepting the Board role and I would have welcomed the opportunity to talk with you about this issue.
You and I would see each other at monthly Board meetings and other functions, we were always cordial but, being aware of what was being said, made this hard for me.
I truly wish things could have been different.