Cockscomb Veterans Bush Retreat Inc
This website is designed and maintained in Dreamweaver & Fireworks MX

My interests are Photography, Creating Websites
and helping our generation understand the New World Technology

Plus of course looking out for War Veterans who may need help

Cockscomb Veterans Bush Retreat Inc

CQ Koalas - U3ARockhampton - Cap Coast Historical Society

History of Nick Quigley OAM
Web Coordinator

I was born in Auckland in August 1946. I attended Ardmore primary a one teacher school and eleven other students. After primary, I went to Papakura High School, Moto in those days Suma Pete. Sir Edmund Hillary had grown up in Papakura and in 1953, Ed and Tenzig Norgay climbed to the top of Mt Everest without Oxygen.

While at Papakura my favourite subjects were maths and science. During school holidays I worked for the Auckland Regional Authority at the Hunua reafforestation nursery growing pinus radiata and native seedlings.

During this time I learnt to fly at Ardmore airport. It is a wonderful feeling when going Solo, Brian Cox my Instructor said park over there, he hopped out and I went for my first Solo flight 21 September 1965 ZK - BYM.

Coming over to Australia

Feb 1966 a school mate said how would you like to go to Australia on a working holiday. Where was Australia?
We set sail on the Oriental Queen which during WW2 was a troop ship HMAS Kanimbla arriving in Sydney on the 8th March 1966. We were two green kiwis in a huge city.

Because Alan’s father had Rotary contacts in Queensland we took the train up to Brisbane. Bought a second hand VW Kombie van from Stones Corner VWs and drove up to Gayndah for the first Rotary stop.
While there we visited the orange farms and I met a young bloke who I saw again two years later in Nui Dat Vietnam driving a forklift.

Our next Rotary stop was Rockhampton. It was from here that we took a job at the Mount Morgan Gold and copper mine, Alan worked on the Furnaces and I became a puncher on the Converter. That is a story in itself. Our next job was with Queensland Rail with a relay gang at Edungalba. That is a story in itself too. After 16 weeks of hard labour we headed up to Mourilyn Sugar Mill and worked a season. You don't want to know what goes into the carrier at the mill.

At the end of the season we took a trip up the Atherton Table lands, Dantree and Cook Town and drove back to Rockhampton for Christmas.
We had lost our sense of adventure so we both took a more permanent job. I became a chainman at Garnet Lincoln & Associates Surveyors and Alan took a job at Kianga mine driving a tractor on a sheep farm.

Kangaroo Court

I had started studying Engineering Survey when I was called to front up to the Customs House for a kangaroo court.
Neither of us had registered for National Service because we were not Ordinarily Resident in Australia, however, being a British Subject they said that if I passed the medical, I was going to Brisbane to start training.
Dr Cave was the RMO and I passed the medical.

National Service
I had my 21st Birthday in August and on the 3rd October 1967 I was on the train to Brisbane and heading to Singleton to start Basic Training. Ten weeks of bastardisation, but it did mould us into a reliable item of use to the Australian Army. We learnt to march, run as a group, polish boots, make beds, salute, how to shoot the military way. When I was at home in NZ I grew up on a farm and i had my own rifle and went shooting regularly.

On passing out day we departed in smaller groups to various locations in Australia to start our Corps training. I was posted to Signals and our initial training was at the Marconi School Of Signals in Eastern Hills Sydney. From there to Balcombe School of Signals on the Mornington Peninsular in the middle of winter. We learnt morse code and had to pass 25 words a minute send receive with no errors.
There was also lots of other Signals training about antennas and batteries and how to set up a net and have a net controller. Because it was so cold our hands would start to cramp and it was “Great coats on” and in 3 ranks run down to Mount Martha Beach, along the sand and back up to the morse keys.

Tyabb was just down the road and I took three mates for a fly in a Cessna 172. Tyabb was grass and it was wet. We watched a tiger moth do some circuits and I decided it was good enough for the 172. There was 4 of us for a start, but after an attempt on taking off we drew straws and one stayed on the ground. Two of us in the front and one in the middle at the back and away we went. Jeff Mullins said he could have grabbed a pine cone as we went over the trees. We had a look at Balcombe from the air and flew past the Naval Base and back to Tyabb. I told the boys it would be a slow, full flap decent and we cant use the brakes because the grass is wet. We all got back safely.

From there I was posted to 139 Sig Sqn in Brisbane for a short time. After attending an exercise in Rockhampton based at Pink Lilly our next port of call was Cunungra Jungle Training School. 21 days of running, if you got caught walking you had press-ups to do. I was there at the same time as Normie Row. We left that base in tip top fitness and battle ready and went back to Brisbane to get ready for a flight to Sydney and a few days later over to Saigon in Vietnam.

Vietnam Nov 1968 to Sept 1969

Of my eleven months in Vietnam I spent just under 2 months in Nui Dat based with the Royal Australian Engineers looking after their communications base. The rest of the time I was an Operator Radio attached to Fire Support Base (FSB) Duster with the Big Red 1 US Marines, Bearcat working in DTOC Tactical Operation Command working for the Royal Thai Army Voluntary Forces, Trang Bom with the US Advisory Unit, VC Hill in Vungtau looking after a ReTrans radio link between the Delta and Nuidat. So an interesting 11 months and we returned to Sydney and I was discharged on the 3rd October 1969.

Work after Vietnam

After Vietnam I worked for Brian Thomas cleaning up around new houses, then Hillman Motors as a workshop rouse about and finally I started with CREB in November 1969 as a Chainman with Les Gordon and we surveyed new power lines. Les found out that I knew how to work a theodolite and he arranged a team for me and my team and I surveyed many very interesting lines including the feeder along Norman Road.

Meeting Helen, my wife

I met Helen Bull as a blind Date at the Kalka Hotel, then we all went down to the beach to launch our 23Foot Huntsman boat
In Sept 1973 we were married and had a wonderful life together. In 1984 we adopted a baby boy 6 weeks old, he is now married and we all have two wonderful grand kids. In 2015 she started having accute back pain which was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. She lost her fight on the 1st June 2016

Chronic Asthma and problems arising from Service in Vietnam put a stop to working in the bush. The Board kept me on and I started working for Civil Works Surveying and recording where all the underground electrical cables and feeders are in the city and the Boards total area. I set out the main datum line for Bouldercome Substation.

Designing Alma Street CEB

Civil Works engineers and a few of us Technical Officers started gathering data ready to design the new building on the corner of Alma and Fitzroy Streets. The over all building design was done by an Architect and it was built by JM Kelly under supervision of Civil Works Melvern Crook.

The Architect had installed a dodgy security system which failed just after we moved in. Because I was looking after the building management I could see small errors and failures in the system so I started gathering information for replacing the system. The Building locked up on the 31st Dec and the existing system failed. I had keyed the main doors just in case and I was able to take a submission to the Board for a new much more reliable sophisticated system from James Hardie Building Systems MILTechnologies.

Brent Phillips from Rockhampton Alarms and I installed and converted the whole building to the MIL system. Then one Friday I delivered electronic card keys to all the staff and said it will work, if you are not programmed to open a door it will not open.


In 2006 I was awarded an OAM for services to the Veteran community through the Vietnam Veterasns Associationc and 30 years service with the QSES and other community organisations. It came as a huge surprise because I enjoy what I do and dont look for acknowledgements. I consider it as a very special honour.

Building Management

The Managment of the Building also required me to oganise Fire Drills and train the Fire Wardens. About 5 minutes before the Drill I called the Safety Officer and the Fire Brigade to say it was a Drill and then opened a break glass. I didn't stay to see how it all went, I evacuated too. We had one Engineer that wouldn't go so the fire brigade boys escorted him out. If you are not out of the building in 3 minuites you are dead. A deBrief is held with the Fire Wardens, A Fire officer and myself then we all went over to Glenmore to carry out extinguisher training on live fires.

My Last 2 years

In my last two years at the Board I worked for the IT Dept decommissioning computers and other electronic items and got them ready for an auction. By this time My PTSD was a problem and after doing a live in 6 week course with Cohort 7 at Strathpine Hospital under the care of several psychiatrists I was deemed to not work any more than 16 hours a week. The Board kept me there and I used up my 18 months of sick leave and finally resigned on medical terms in August 1999. Three months short of 30 years service.

My GP Doctor was concerned about what I would do because my last job was so intense. I wrote him a list and still haven’t completed them all.

The start of Web Design

One day while visiting Richard Tosen from Compusound he said the Aero Club was to hold an airshow and he thought I’d be the person to make a webpage. He gave me a copy of Microsoft Front Page that was released in 1995. I don’t know the year of the air show, but the website was a great success for both the public and the pilots participating.

A little later Jono Elson was attending TAFE with a Chinese cooking class and said the TAFE was holding an open day and he thought I might be interested in some of the subjects on offer.

Before you could study Cert 3 & 4 you had to complete 1 & 2, so I said that if I could prove my skill and knowledge would they let me in.

When 30 of us gathered at TAFE for Multimedia Dreamweaver MX Cert 3 the first 4 nights every thing just went straight over our heads, but the teacher said something and I tried it and the whole jigsaw puzzle come together. The boy and girl sitting beside me were amazed as to what was on my screen. So I said “do this and don't listen to the teacher” I haven’t looked back. I then did Fireworks, Flash Cert 4 Multimedia learning how to create GIF files and very short interactive movies, It is amazing what can be created within graphics.
So since them the art of Web design has improved but I still use my old TAFE Program Dream Weaver MX. I create everything I don't copy and paste anyone elses creations into a page.


My other hobbies are Photography, Web Design and maintenance, Voluntary computer Tech work and assisting our seniors to understand our latest Technology,I write short stories for both Kids and R21 Adults, Amateur Radio VK4CNQ, cooking, Gardening and looking out for War Veterans in need and the Treasurer for Cockscomb Veterans Bush Retreat Inc and CQ TPI