Rob is 70 years old and believes in what he terms ‘Responsible Responsive Democracy’. Early influences were Fables from Around the World, The Jungle Doctor by Rev. Paul White, stories of children living in other lands, accounts of ancient Greece and Rome, and his Christian upbringing. Science Fiction widened his view of what could be possible. His MUSE (Micro Users in Education) Board membership (UK) provided further valuable insights into computer advances and promise. Political interest resulted in active volunteer involvement. His MP was Margaret Thatcher.
Rob taught for forty years, with twenty-eight years as an actively teaching Principal. He has an MA Ed with the Open University (UK). Earlier he had obtained a Diploma of Sociology and a Certificate for The Psychology of the Disturbed Child. Following more evening study at both London University Extra Mural and London University Educational College he specifically trained in teaching Art, Sciences, and Geography. A further four years of study achieved an Open University honours-level History Diploma, War, Peace and Social Change: Europe 1900-1955.
Rob’s first attempt to emigrate to Canada was after his eighteenth birthday, followed by another attempt in 1984 and onward. In 2002 the family bought a farm in Ontario, but they were only allowed to stay there for six months in any one year. Having “logged up” sufficient numbers of six-month stays they were granted Resident status in 2006 and Citizenship in 2011: a costly process. He and his wife, Bev, have a daughter and a son. Of their nine grandchildren four are British and five are Canadian, ranging from twenty-three to three years, in 2016.
Community involvements have included Hastings Farmer’s Market, the Trent Shriners, The Legion, and founding The Norwood Festival of the Arts. He has run a Painters Art Group, a Guitar Music Group, a Writers’ Group, a Drama Group, and Music and Poetry evenings. Rob and a friend sang and played folk music at Lang Pioneer Village. He joined a local church choir and the Annual Community Choir. Rob was presented with the 2011 Peterborough County Award for Leadership in Arts and Culture in the Community. He and Bev were joint Presidents of the Home Craft Unit of the Norwood Agricultural Fall Fair for two years (2009 to 2011) and Rob was voted Norwood Branch Legionnaire of the Year in 2013. He has directed both plays and musicals. His Writers and Actors Groups’ first Canadian productions were a success in 2015 followed by a comedy called Radio Norwood GBHin 2016, written by The Writers Group. A performance of his Christmas musical with 15 songs is planned next. Rob was a member of IOD (Institute of Directors, UK) and is currently a member of SAA, also SCBWI, SOCAN and Norwood Agricultural Association. He is a founding member of the Quinte to Peterborough Children’s ‘Quinte West Writers and Illustrators.