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Howard Richards - March 2022


Howard was born in Hartlepool, England, in 1941, and when he was about 4 years old, at the end of WW2, his family moved to London.

He and his parents and brother were to stay in London until he was 10 years old, when the family decided to migrate to New Zealand.
His father became employed in the South Island, on the Roxburgh Hydro Dam Scheme, and Howard carried out the rest of his schooling in Roxburgh.
During his High School years his love of motorbikes began, and at 16 years he purchased a 350 Matchless. Later on in life he moved to BSAs, and until a few years ago owned a BMW.

When he left school at 17 he moved to Christchurch with his family, and took up a 5 year apprenticeship with the NZ Ministry of Works as a Fitter and Turner/Diesel Mechanic.

A New Zealand Government Military scheme was implemented when he was 20 years, and his name came up in the Ballot.
His military training eventually took him to becoming a Sergeant in the RNZEME Reserve for six years.

In 1963 he married his wife, Yvonne Richards, and as a married couple they moved to the South Island Hydro Scheme of Benmore where they lived for seven years and had a family of two.

Taking a year’s break from New Zealand employment during the first few years at the Hydro, he took his family via a 5½ week sea voyage to England and worked first in Hartlepool at the South Durham Steelworks, and then in London at AEI. He hired a car and travelled throughout England, Scotland and Wales, before taking a return voyage back to New Zealand.
By the time they moved on to the Twizel Upper Waitaki Hydro Scheme Howard was a Mechanical Overseer.
He was also heavily involved in the Hydro Voluntary Fire Brigades, and golf.

Three years later Howard had the opportunity to take up employment as a Diesel Mechanic Leading Hand with Hamersley Iron, in the NW Australia town of Paraburdoo.
Three years after moving to the Iron Ore town, he moved to a position in Perth with Wigmore’s Tractors.
A year later, a phone call from Gough, Gough and Hamer Hyster in New Zealand offered him employment back in Christchurch as a Service Supervisor.
He bought one of the new HQ Monaro GTS cars, and travelled across Australia and up into Northern Queensland, then back to Sydney to take a ship back to New Zealand.
Within a year he was offered employment as an Aircraft Engineer with NAC (which eventually became Air New Zealand) that also took him to Brunei.

At the time his wife was in the travel industry and also worked for Pan American Airlines, so worldwide travel was well and truly on the agenda. They took the opportunity to travel back to England, all around Europe, Canada, all of the Pacific Islands, and to Hawaii and America many times.

By 1986 their children John and Sharon, had left home and moved to Australia, so he and Yvonne decided they would move there permanently.
They bought Management Rights at a holiday resort on the Sunshine Coast, re-established and marketing it.
And bought a maxi bus and began the first coach transfers between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Airport.
Eventually selling the Management Rights and building a new home in Coolum, and returning to the airline industry, he took up employment in light aircraft and helicopters at the Caloundra and Maroochydore airports. Also taking up the voluntary position of Fire Chief at Coolum.

A number of years later, when the light aircraft industry on the Sunshine Coast began to founder, he was offered a two-year contract in Singapore as an Aircraft Workshop Supervisor for Dowty Aerospace. For two years he and Yvonne lived in the Loyang Valley, near Changi.

On returning to the Sunshine Coast two years later, UZU Air offered him employment as an Aircraft Engineer on Horn Island in the Torres Strait, and they moved up there for about a year. Returning to the Sunshine Coast they sold their home, and built another in Elanora on the Gold Coast, where Howard was employed as a mechanic with Surfside Buslines.

In 2004 he sold his house on the Gold Coast and built another on acreage in Bundaberg, and was employed with Stubbs Engineering until he retired.

During the years they owned several caravans and tours around the Eastern Coast of Australia, including Tasmania. Also travelling back and forth to New Zealand and the USA.

In 2007 he and Yvonne decided to retire to Coffs Harbour, and bought a home in The Lakes Estate.

Time to forget about adventures and enjoy games of Bowls and Country Music, and Happy Hours.








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