[handwritten – Joined Ass [Association] approx 1973. Amongst my last visitors in Hospitial [Hospital] was the chap who hit me. And a member of The Amp [Amputee] Ass.]
PERSONAL PROFILE – COLIN BLAKESLEY
The big 50 [handwritten – 72] is just around the corner for me, but I cannot forget [handwritten – 1972] what came around the corner at the age of 27 when a car collided with my motorbike and the final result left me a A/K amputee, with several weeks in isolation due to a gangrene problem.
[handwritten – I attended the 50th Jubilee in Goverment [Government] House 1997].
I was working as a fitter-welder at Nelsons, better known as the Tomoana Freezing Works. Prior to that, I had been working as a structural welder all around the country. My job was kept open at Tomoana, to which I returned to work at the plant for many years. I left to operate my own business as a specialised welder and continued for a few years on my own – a great experience. I then began working for an apple juicing firm, setting up their plant at one factory for a season and then moving and setting up another plant at a new location. During that time, I travelled to Australia to dismantle equipment for the new plant and reassembling it when it arrived in NZ. I ran the plant for another season, only to find the company had gone under. So I was back out looking for another job for over 12 months. I now have a permanent job, still working as a fitter-welder.
[handwritten – Feb 1997 Civic Honour for Voluntry [Voluntary] Community Service.]
During my years as an amputee, I have been closely involved with the Hawke’s Bay branch and for the past few years I have had the pleasure of the President’s position. I am also very proud to have a position as a Committee Member on the National Executive.
[handwritten – Life Member 1998]
My wife, Heather, has always supported me in all the challenges of an amputee’s life, along with our three children at home, plus an older son in Auckland and an older daughter travelling the world.
[handwritten – Feb 2008 Retired from Ass and returned in The later years to help out as Vice President]