Like so many good Scottish men, Neil Clark met his Australian wife-to-be in London and before he knew it, was living in the Southern hemisphere and calling himself Australian.
By the time Neil was 27 years old, he had migrated down under with Mary, a nurse, and they were setting up life a together that would eventually entail becoming farmers.
Initially, they lived in Melbourne and Neil joined the rural division of ICI, where he worked for 10 years, but his Scottish farming background called and he and Mary bought a property at Sutton Grange where they farmed sheep and cattle.
It was from their Sutton Grange property that their daughters Sarah and Caroline traveled each day to Girton Grammar School. Sarah has followed in her mother’s footsteps and is a nurse and Caroline is an insurance broker in Deniliquin. Neil’s grand-daughter, Pheobe Finley, now goes to Girton.
When Neil retired from farming he set up a business in Bendigo focussed on corporate farm business consulting. The business has now morphed into the IT arena and is owned by his son-in-law, for whom he does pro-bono work when required.
Neil now lives in Bendigo with a huge garden where he loves to while away the hours. He is a volunteer tour guide for Bendigo Tourism and has a keen interest in architecture and music. He is also excellent at finding excuses to travel back to his beloved Scotland and to tour Europe and America.
Neil’s first encounter with the Forever Young Choir Director, Laura Duseljee, was through the Sandhurst Club where Laura trained a small group to perform a club concert last Christmas. Following this concert, Neil joined the Forever Young choir and has loved every singing moment since.
“I find it quite inspirational to be in a room of seventy people singing. It is really quite moving and very uplifting.
“The benefits of being in the choir for me personally are huge. It is good for my spirits, especially now that I live alone. The company and friends are wonderful.
“I love Laura’s enthusiasm, her flexibility, and her tolerance.
“She is amusing and it’s just great to be with her. She throws herself into every rehearsal so fully and she has an incredible ability to teach and to play the piano.
“Margaret Keech, our choir ‘roadie’ is also terrific. Her contribution to the choir is enormous,” Neil said.