Reflection by David Garside

(David is a member of our Parish Council)

My world has changed a lot since I was 24 years old. Both Lesley and I were born and brought up in a small cotton mill/mining town, in Lancashire, England. In fact, we lived close to one another, and attended the same church Sunday school when we were 5 and 6 years old. Needless to say, we didn’t fall in love then, that came along much later, in fact twice. 

I had oceans to cross and as Lesley has said, she had more frogs to kiss before I became her Prince.

At the age of 21 after 6 years working as a tool maker, I decided to move on. I had also realised that, receiving a gold watch for working in the same place for all my life, was not going to be the life for me. I strongly believe that God had already planned out my future. 

I studied and qualified to be a Marine Engineer Officer in the Merchant Navy. By the time I was 24 years old, I had sailed and visited so many countries like India and Africa. I had seen and experienced a life that one could only dream of.

This is when mine and Lesley’s paths crossed once again. I later decided that it was time that perhaps I should think about marrying her, before the fish jumped off the hook again. She did say Yes, but the wedding didn’t happen until a few years later.

Being married enabled Lesley to accompany me on the ships. 

Our ‘honeymoon’ was spent on a general cargo ship, 6 weeks sailing around the Mediterranean, docking in various ports. Lesley loved ever second, as she relaxed in the sun, whilst I was working. Although, we did manage to go ashore together when I wasn’t on duty, so it wasn’t all work for me.

She sailed with me several time after that, even on a ship in 1977 to China and onto Australia.

God hadn’t finished with my working life though. He guided me to be a community police officer & then to owning my own practice as a Podiatrist.

I took the gold watch from my wrist, which Lesley had bought for me years before. She said that it was a gift for the time I had spent working hard for her and our family.

We sailed out of a rainy England on our way to our next adventure in life in AUSTRALIA, which we now call home.

Thank you, God, for your guidance.


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