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From Skekki to Sydney

Stanley Hunt

Wild Peony/University of Hawaii Press, 2009
 

Stanley Hunt, From Shekki to Sydney, extracts

‘I made some calculations and read some books about the motel industry. I visited a few motels and spoke with the owners who were only too happy to explain what they knew about the industry. Dad and I then had some lengthy discussions about whether or not we should venture into this new area of development. We decided that we would. We bought a tea-room with five acres of land attached to it at the Cross Roads in Liverpool, then engaged an architect to draw up plans for a twelve-unit motel. We arranged finance from the Bank of New South Wales, and put in a DA to Liverpool Council. After prolonged negotiations, we finally managed to get approval for an eleven-unit motel. Under the direction of the architect, we engaged a local builder whom I knew. These were great mistakes. The architect had never designed a motel, and the builder only knew how to put up cottages.’
(Chapter 13, Hospitality)

‘Life was not easy. Mum would often admonish me, telling me that as the eldest son it was my prime duty to assist Dad. She added that he was really a softy and kind-hearted. Dad would have given the shirt off his back if he saw someone who needed it. I served him sincerely, with all my heart, giving him all I could, regardless of how little I was paid. Thankfully, I was able to cast aside my self-pity, self-doubt and misery. I have never wavered in my work, and finally perseverance, loyalty and love overcame all. Dad was tough with me because I was the eldest. He believed that a piece of jade needed to be chiselled to bring out its fine quality, and that pig iron could only become steel if it was subjected to the furnace.
    It was not all work for Dad and me. In July 1971, we took off on a holiday in his 280S Mercedes-Benz. First we stopped at Merimbula and then drove all the way to Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria, the southernmost point of Australia. On the way we would call into a butcher’s shop to buy some meat, then find somewhere we could cook. We had with us a gas stove, chopsticks and cutlery, so that we could have our meals at rest stops.’
(Chapter 15, Life with Dad)

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