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News > Obituaries > Andrew (Andy) Kimpton '64

Andrew (Andy) Kimpton '64

19 Feb 2024
Obituaries

The Life and Times of Andy Kimpton

Andrew Rex Kimpton was born on 12 April, 1947 at Burwood Hospital in Sydney. His father was Frederick Ethelstone Ward Kimpton, known as Ward. Ward was an optometrist. His mother was Lorna Marjory Kimpton (nee Tually) who had trained to be a nurse. Ward and Lorna married during World War II on 27 November 1943, whilst Ward was on special leave. After Ward’s homecoming from the war and departure from the Army in the middle of 1946, Andy was conceived. He was known all his childhood as Andrew. It wasn’t until he joined the Army that it quickly got shortened to Andy.

Ward came from Mullumbimby in northern NSW. His father, Frederick William Kimpton, was a Jeweller/Watchmaker/Optometrist in the town of Mullumbimby. One of the hotels in the main street of Mullumbimby still has one of his clocks on the wall. Lorna was born in Temora in rural NSW. Her father managed flour mills. When Lorna was six, her family moved to live in Burwood in Sydney, where her father was made the manager of Mungo Scott flour mill at Lewisham. Lorna lived with her family while Ward was away with the Army. An uncle of Lorna’s, James Kibble, who was husband of Lorna’s Great Aunt Kate, bequeathed his house in Asquith to Lorna, not long before Andy’s birth. This was the house that became his childhood home. James Kibble had already named the house Lornama, after his favourite niece.

Andy’s younger brother Rod was born two years later in April 1949. Their picture-perfect life was soon to be shattered when Ward developed testicular cancer in 1950, due to war injuries. Twelve months later Ward passed away on 8 February, 1951 at the age of 34, leaving Lorna with two little boys aged 3 and 1.

Poor Lorna suffered quite a deal of hardship, having suddenly been left alone with two small boys. She converted part of her home into a consulting room for a young doctor. She also took in two young University students from New Zealand as boarders. Eventually she joined the Asquith Medical Practice as a receptionist and remained there until her retirement in 1992, aged 75 years.

The family became very involved with the local Church of England just down the road. Andy and Rod attended Sunday School, Youth Groups and loved going to Church Camps. Andy became a cub at age 8 and progressed to Scouts as he got older. Lorna’s cousin, Jean, lived nearby and along with her husband, Gordon and two sons, was a great support to the family. During this time Andy’s cousin, John, who is 15 years older than him, came to live with the little family to provide help and companionship to Lorna. Sadly, when the children were young, Lorna had two bouts of breast cancer. During this time Ward’s sister Freda and her husband George were helpful, taking the children into their home. They had no children of their own, so they became close to the boys. Another cruel blow came to the family in later years when Andy’s brother Rod died from lymphoma, aged only 30, leaving behind his wife, Shirley, and 3-year-old son, Scott. Very sadly, Shirley and Scott distanced themselves from Andy and the family and the relationship collapsed completely when Lorna died.

Andy attended Asquith Public School, which was not far from their house. His old school friends were Peter Kennedy and Keith Owens. His only real memory of primary school is a ditty about his Year 5 teacher, Mr Lamborne. It went like this, “Who’s the man with the big red nose?” “Old Pop Lamborne, I suppose!” This was chanted by the kids, even though his nose was not big and red! Andy’s neighbourhood friends, a year or two older, were Graham and Lyle Pogue. They used to wander together all over Asquith, which was still largely bush in those days. Following primary school, Andy went to Normanhurst High School for one year. At this stage, Lorna thought he would benefit by being surrounded by older male mentors and so she chose to send him as a boarder to Trinity Grammar School at Summer Hill in Sydney, where he remained for five years. These were the worst years of his life and he was very unhappy. They had to have cold showers and run around the oval before breakfast. He was allowed home in the holidays. As a boarder, Andy’s life consisted of school from Monday to Friday; on Saturdays he played school sport. On Sunday they had church and occasionally leave on a Sunday afternoon, when he would sometimes visit his grandparents in Burwood. He has bad memories of his childhood visits, as he was usually told to weed the garden, which explains why he’s not too keen on gardening to this day. His best friends at Trinity were Warwick Taafe and Dick Leeman, who became School Captain in their final year.

Andy was a member of the school Army Cadets and played Cricket in his Junior years and Tennis in his Senior years in Summer. In winter, his game of choice was Rugby Union and he has been a fanatic about the game ever since. The one thing he really missed was having a father to come and watch him playing his sport on Saturdays. He would have given anything to have a supportive father behind him. He boarded for two years until his brother, Rod, started two years later and then they were both day boys. As he hated school, he put little effort into his schoolwork and had to repeat his senior year at a Tech College. Whilst studying, he worked as a tree lopper. On graduation, Andy got a job in Customs, in Border Patrol, for one year. Here he worked with an older man called Frank, who became his mentor and friend. He was really filling in time, as he hoped to be called up for the Army.

At the age of 20 on 4 October 1967, Andy got his wish and was called up for National Service and 176 days of basic training. He joined 1 Recruit Training Battalion at Kapooka, but was back-squadded because he damaged the cartilage in his knee and had to have an operation. On his return to training he was selected for Officer Training and was sent to Scheyville Officer Training unit near Windsor, to join the class of 1/68. His best friend at Scheyville was Jimmy Pyle. Andy graduated as a Second Lieutenant in June 1968 and thus began a 23-year career as an Infantry officer of the Royal Australian Army. He could never have anticipated the exciting life that lay ahead of him.

His first posting in July 1968 was overseas to Papua New Guinea to 2 P.I.R. at Wewak, as a Platoon Commander. What an eye opener for a young man who’d lived a sheltered life thus far! As the family had no car, Andy had rarely left Sydney. He had only visited his Kimpton grandparents in Brunswick Heads on a few occasions. This posting was for 12 months and his main memory is of a never-ending time spent climbing up mountains and then down, only to climb yet another mountain. You could say that he had a very close encounter with the PNG Highlands. Of course, he had to learn to speak Pidgin English. About eight newly-graduated officers were sent to PNG for their first posting and Andy became friendly with Matt Faulkner, Greg Lyndsay and Ian Freeman. During this time, much to his mother’s horror, Andy had applied for active war service in South Vietnam.

Andy’s war service in SVN began in August 1969. I can imagine the anguish that Andy’s mother Lorna experienced with her son going to war. He spent nine months as a Platoon Commander with 6 RAR. During this time he developed friendships with the guys he worked closely with, like Steve Sainsbury, Mick Harris, Adrian D’Hage, Lochie McLaine and Terry Mellington. Following this service, he was allocated to the Australian Embassy and the Ambassador in Saigon as Platoon Commander of D & E Platoons, protecting the Ambassador and his residence. Fortunately, Andy returned to Australia unscathed, much to his mother’s relief. Like many returned soldiers, Andy has spoken very little about his time in Vietnam. He opened up a bit more when we returned to Vietnam for a holiday in 2008.

Andy signed on for the Regular Army and remained with 6 RAR, which was posted to Lavarack Barracks in Townsville in August 1970. Once again, he was Platoon Commander of Delta Company. Most of the 6RAR guys were also posted to Townsville, so he retained those friendships and becoming particularly close with Terry Mellington. Andy made new friends such as new arrival, Steve Pratt. Delta Company was the company made famous at the Battle of Long Tan, which took place in a rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province three years before Andy’s arrival in Vietnam. I’d like to think that Townsville was where his life took a turn for the better, because in March 1971 he met me (Lorraine). I had been posted to Townsville as a teacher in Jan 1971. I was on a date in March, with a young Lieutenant Kevin Byrne from 4RAR, at The Sportsman’s Bar in Lowth’s Hotel, when Kevin spotted some other Officers that he knew from 6 RAR. Andy was part of that group and as a result of that meeting our lives became entwined, but that story is for later.

In July 1971 6 RAR was posted to Singapore for three years. Andy lived a very exciting life in Singapore, living at Changi Barracks for about a year before transferring to Kangaw Barracks on the other side of the island. It was a young officer’s dream posting, with party time in Singapore hot spots and training time in various parts of Malaysia. Andy was particularly attracted to the British nurses on the base. In between his nurse flings I visited him for six weeks in Dec 1971. Almost a year later, we met up in Transit at Singapore Airport in Oct 1972, as I was on my way to live in London. Then in December/January 1972/73 Andy visited me in London for four weeks and we followed the All Blacks all around England, Wales and Scotland.

The Battalion returned earlier than expected to Brisbane around January 1974. I wasn’t going to let Andy loose on the girls of Brisbane, knowing his track record with British nurses, so I also returned to Brisbane, my home town, from the USA in March 1974, only to find that a couple of weeks later Andy was being posted to Victoria Barracks in Sydney in April. That’s the Army for you – full of surprises. Andy’s new digs were the Officer’s Mess at Watson’s Bay. Wow! What a location! I completed eight weeks of teaching in Brisbane and flew to Sydney to join him. Andy was promoted to Captain and worked as a staff officer at Field Force Command for three years. Andy joined a weekend cricket team called the “Irregulars” and through this group we made lots of friends, resulting in a very full and fun social life. These were the days of formal dinner parties at friends’ homes, illegal gambling dens, bars and restaurants. They were really fun times with far too much alcohol consumed. Our best friends at this time were another newly-wed couple – Bill and Sue Forbes, along with our gang from the “Irregulars” cricket team. This posting lasted for just over three years. During this time Andy proposed to me in May 1975 and 12 weeks later we were married at his old School Chapel at Trinity Grammar, Summer Hill. As we were both broke from travelling overseas and buying a new car and a block of land in Ipswich we decided to go to the “back of Bourke” for our honeymoon. We travelled to Nyngan, Walgett, Bourke, Wilcannia, Cobar, Broken Hill, Renmark and Deniliquin and back to Sydney. Our first home in our married life was an Army unit in Bream Street, Coogee, where we lived for 17 months, before moving to our first Army house in Bradbury, Campbelltown in December 1976. We were so excited to live in a house and it was a brand-new split-level house. The only problem was that we had to establish the garden and we were novices at this. Andy’s posting was OC Mortar Platoon 5/7 RAR based at Holsworthy. He later was 2IC of D Coy and heavily involved in the Mechanised Infantry Trials and had he fun driving APCs around NSW.

We were excited when Andy got posted to Adelaide in January 1979. It was great travelling to Adelaide from Sydney via the coast road over a couple of weeks. We lived in Adelaide for five years and it became like a second home. For three years we lived at Athelstone in a very nice home in the foothills. Andy was Training Officer at Hampstead Barracks, working with the Army Reservists, which meant he often worked seven days and nights as well. To escape work, we would just take off in any direction and explored every bit of South Australia, even travelling up to Leigh Creek with a truck driver delivering goods to the mine. We flew to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock travelling around in an Army jeep. We returned by road, travelling via Coober Pedy back to Adelaide. We even enjoyed a holiday on Kangaroo Island and camping at Wilpena Pound. No stone was left unturned in our exploration of South Australia. Following this, Andy was posted on promotion to Major to Adjutant 10 Battalion at Torrens Barracks in the city for one year and then to SO2 Training Headquarters at Keswick Barracks. After three years of private rental we decided to sell the land in Ipswich and buy a house of our own in the Adelaide Hills at Crafers West. We had two years in our own house and absolutely loved the serenity and beauty of the Adelaide Hills. Even living through Ash Wednesday in 1983—which was horrific—didn’t deter our love of the Hills. We made some wonderful new Army friends like Mark and Sue Underhill and Army reserve officer Wally Bullock, plus civilian friends from Para Vista Primary School where I worked for two years. We also became best friends with Andy’s cousin, Chris, and his wife, Denise. To cap off our wonderful time in Adelaide our first son, Nick, was born on 27 October 1983. At this time Andy was acting in a play at the Canberra Theatre. Someone had found out about his love of the theatre and acting experience in amateur theatre in Singapore. After waiting a very long time to become parents we were so excited to have our little boy to share our life with.

When Nick was only four months old we moved to Bendigo in January 1984. Firstly, we had to drive the Hay Plain, yet again, to take Nick, aged eight weeks, to Sydney to meet the family. My parents came down from Brisbane to meet him and to share Christmas with us. When we arrived in Bendigo we had difficulties finding a suitable house that wasn’t a tin shack, to rent and so we lived in a motel for six weeks. This was a bit unsettling with a new baby. Eventually we found a 45-square mansion on a horse stud about 20 km south of town. What an experience that was, with horses wandering around everywhere, taking bites of our outdoor furniture and draining the remnants of our empty wine bottles. Andy was given the opportunity to go back to Uni to do a Graduate Diploma in Electronic Computing at Bendigo CAE, as it was then known. We bought an Alfa Sud Ti as a second car and Andy thought he was the bee’s knees driving around in his iridescent green Alpha. He was given membership of the Survey Corps Mess located in a beautiful old home called Fortuna. I was able to go to functions for the wives and met Kate John shortly after our arrival. She had a little girl Bridget, 11 months older than Nick. We became great friends with her and husband Rob and still are to this day.

With his newly acquired computing skills Andy was posted to SO2 Computers at Headquarters Log Command at St Kilda, Melbourne. We were given a married quarter in a married quarter patch at Noble Park, towards Dandenong. What great times were had living in the “patch”! There were progressive dinner parties, several 40th birthday parties and Wives’ Friday arvo drinks. We became great friends with Peter and Di Weingott and Ray and Sue Slater. Kate and Rob John also came to live in Melbourne and Kate and I would meet regularly in playgrounds with our children and share a bottle of Champers! The Slaters were on exchange from the British Army and we remain friends to this day, having visited them a few times in UK and they used to come regularly to Sydney to visit their youngest son Mark, who had moved to Sydney with his English wife, Deb.

Victoria is a great little state and nowhere was too far to travel. So we explored every inch of it, from Little Desert to Portsea and Snowy Mountains to Great Ocean Road and Grampians to Phillip Island. During our Melbourne posting, our second son, Chris, was born three weeks early, on 2 September 1985. Amazingly he was conceived on the day we moved into our Melbourne house, which was a chaotic day. Andy’s mother had just arrived for Christmas and we had three days to unpack, buy food, make curtains and cushions, wrap presents and prepare Christmas Dinner!

After three years in Melbourne we were ready to escape the changeable weather. In December 1987 we were off to Canberra. Andy was posted to SO2 Computers in DCCSA at Russell Offices. He ended up working with old friend, Chas Crawford, again and Chas was to have a very close relationship with all the family. Chris named him ‘Uncle Crawford’. The eagle on the pole outside the offices was nicknamed “Dad’s Eagle” by the boys, because we waited for Andy underneath it each afternoon to pick him up from work. We rented a lovely big home in Spence, owned by Army acquaintances, who promised we could have it for three years. However, after one year we had to move again as the owner was posted back to Canberra. Through some Air Force friends we were able to rent a lovely new home in Florey. Through work, Andy hobnobbed with a lot of computer people in Canberra and made quite a network of acquaintances in the world of I.T. hardware and software. John Sharp, a colonel in Andy’s section at work, was offered the opportunity of moving to Perth and opening a branch of Hoskyn’s, an international Project Management Software Company. John asked Andy to join him as his 2IC. We had been wanting a posting to Perth for years, so jumped at this opportunity, as it was time for Andy to leave the Army and start a new career. So Andy retired from the Army in January 1990 after 23 years of service.

I was seven months pregnant with Lauren when we packed up, drove to Adelaide, put the car and ourselves on the Indian Pacific and moved to Perth. We found a house in Willetton to rent, next door to Rostrata Primary School, which was very convenient for Nick. Andy settled into work running courses in PMW (Project Management Workbench). He made new work friends in Lawrie Gibson and Cliff Packman. By November, we had sold our house in Adelaide and bought a new house in a new area of Willeton. However, on the day our purchase went through, Andy came home with the devastating news that Hoskyn’s had closed down all their Australian operations. So, Andy was jobless! John and Andy managed to get a WA company called Harris and Sutherland to buy the business and employ all five employees. It was hard work settling into civilian life without our Army network behind us. Especially hard, as WA locals are very dubious about people from “Over East”! Nevertheless, we loved life in WA and as per usual, set out to explore as much of the state as possible, travelling south through Margaret River and down to Albany. We went East to Wave Rock and Coolgardi and Kalgoorlie. We travelled as far north as Shark Bay and Monkey Mia and of course enjoyed many trips to Rottnest Island. We loved going to the beach in the evening for a picnic and a swim after school and work. We loved the magnificent Perth beaches and the lovely Swan River. It is a truly beautiful city to live in. So, we were really feeling settled and happy, when Andy decided he no longer wanted to work with John Sharp and started looking for a new job. Perth is a very parochial city and if you don’t have a network behind you, job seeking is tough. Eventually, Andy flew back to Canberra where he had lots of contacts and came back to Perth with six job offers. He chose an offer from HiSoft. We were sorry to leave our new friends the Norman family, Lawrie and Angie Gibson, the McCausland family, and my cousins Brenda and Nancy and families. I cried in the plane all the way to Sydney. I didn’t want to leave my beautiful house and our new lifestyle.

Andy left for Canberra six weeks before the family and found a house to rent.  When I first visited the house, I ran from room to room shouting, “Hate it! Hate it!”. This was because I had left my dream house behind in Perth. So once again Andy was selling Project Management software for HiSoft. This job lasted six months, when unexpectedly the company went into liquidation and the staff were jobless. Luckily Andy found a new job as a salesman selling colour printers mainly to government, for Dimension Graphics. In fact, Andy ran their Canberra business for two years (1993/94). Then he met a man called Malcom Trowell, who owned a company called IT &T Services, later known as Netra. Malcom introduced Andy to life working as an IT Consultant in Project Management and gave him jobs with the Chief Minister’s Dept and ACT Motor Registry. Sadly for the family, Malcom started offering Andy consulting jobs in Sydney and this went on for five years (1996-2000). The money was great and transformed our lives, but life was hard for me at home, raising the family alone from Monday to Friday. However, this was when our coffee drinking habit began. Every weekend when Andy was home, we would go to different coffee shops to have some alone time, when we could talk uninterrupted. This habit has continued to this day. We go out for coffee together every Saturday. Now that we are retired, it’s become an almost everyday habit! Whilst living in Sydney, Andy shared a flat with an old Army friend called Mike Izzard, who was also working in Sydney, but had a family living in Canberra. Whilst in Sydney Andy worked on some very big jobs with St George Bank and City Bank and gained wonderful Project Management experience to add to his CV.

In 2001 Andy returned to Canberra and was able to find regular work as an IT Project Management Consultant right up to June 2019. A couple of his early contracts were with Dept. of Defence where he became friends with some of the people he worked with like Bob Bednarz, Graham Sullivan, Ray Gould, Owen Butler and Peter Wines. At the age of 72, I finally managed to talk Andy into retirement. Though in reality, work had started to dry up for him. He was still dead keen to keep working and has really struggled with life in retirement. He misses the social contacts work provides, as well as the challenges and sense of accomplishment that project management provides.  In March 2020 along came Corona Virus, which has nailed the coffin on any chances of work and so he has finally reconciled himself to life as a retiree. Before Covid 19 he kept active with swimming most days at CISAC. Since Covid 19 we walk most days along different routes in our neighbourhood. Andy has now discovered the entertainment value of Netflix, Stan and Foxtel. Looking back on our life we both feel very privileged to have lived in five out of six states and one of the two territories. Andy had four overseas postings to Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Singapore and UK. The Army gave him a formal qualification, along with people leadership and management skills. He made many good friends and of course he met me! So overall the Army life was good for him.

Andy has always loved his family, consisting of Nick 37, Chris 35 and Lauren 30. He was not into babies and still isn’t, so never changed nappies or babysat for more than 15 minutes. He was always anxious for his own children to grow a bit older, so he could feel more relaxed with them and get more actively involved with them. Once the boys were three and one, he would come home from work and play football or cricket with them in the backyard. He even made a small cricket bat for them. As the boys grew older, Andy always participated in their sporting endeavours. After trying Soccer, AFL and Rugby the boys showed real talent with Baseball and at the ages of 7 and 9 both were picked for an under 12 development squad and Andy became the Manager of the Squad and eventually coach of their Bandits U12 Baseball team. His U12 team was hugely successful. However, sometimes Andy would shake his head and say, “How did my kids end up playing Baseball, when all I ever wanted was for them to play cricket or Rugby????” He passed on his love of Rugby to both boys and they are avid fans. Andy has been a Brumbies member for many years and loves supporting his team.

Apart from Rugby, Andy’s other love is collecting comics, in particular Phantom Comics. He has passed this particular passion onto Chris, who started collecting X-Men comics. All his life Andy has been beavering away, attempting to collect a full set of Phantoms, but it’s a goal he’ll probably never achieve as the old ones are worth thousands. Now in his retirement, he is trying to sell some of his excess comics on EBay. Andy has always been a great reader and devours at least one book a week. He won’t join a library and insists on purchasing all his favourite authors eg Wilbur Smith, Clive Cussler, Jeffrey Archer, Tom Clancy, Ian Rankin, Robert Ludlum and Matthew Reilly to name a few.

Andy’s other passion is travel. As we had lived all around Australia and seen a lot of the country, we have mainly concentrated on overseas travel and have enjoyed some amazing holidays. In 2001 we took Lauren on her first overseas trip to Hong Kong and The Guangzhou Province of China (Pearl River Delta area). This was an eye opener for Lauren aged 10, as being blonde and blue-eyed she received a lot of attention from the locals. In July of that year Chris, Lauren and I travelled to USA to visit Nick, who had just been signed as a professional player with the Anaheim Angels. Unfortunately, Andy was locked into a contract and couldn’t get leave. We travelled through California, Arizona and Nevada with Nick. In 2003 Andy was able to join us and we caught up with Nick in California and Nevada again. 2004 saw us take Lauren to New Zealand, where we enjoyed a couple of weeks touring both North and South islands. A bit of a gap and then we travelled around the Golden Triangle of India, which involved visiting Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. We were back to USA in 2009 for Chris’ University Graduation ceremony in Minneapolis. We got to meet Amanda’s family in Iowa at last. Lauren was an au pair in Denver Colorado, so she met us in San Francisco and travelled with us to Minnesota and Iowa and Colorado, where we stayed with her host family the Martins. Later that year Andy and I travelled to UK, Paris and Abu Dhabi. We had gone so that Andy could go to the cricket with our friend Ray Slater. In 2010 we combined a trip to England for our friend Amy’s wedding with a trip to Egypt for my 60th Birthday.

By 2010 we had ventured to South America visiting Chile, Peru and Bolivia and Easter Island, making sure that we visited Machu Pichu, staying at an exclusive hotel at the entrance to Machu Pichu. This entitled us to access to the park at sunrise and sunset. Absolutely magical! In December 2012, we travelled to Cambodia and Vietnam, both populated by lovely gentle people. This was Andy’s first time back in Vietnam since his war experience. He talked a little bit more to me about his experience, especially when we were down in the Mekong Delta area. In 2013 we were lucky enough to go to the Philippines for Rob (nephew) and Cleo’s wedding That was an amazing experience and we had fun showing Singapore to Carol (Lorraine’s sister) on the way home. Later that year we had a wonderful Insight tour of Italy and Sicily, stopping over in Helsinki on the way over and back. Unfortunately, Andy suffered heart failure at the end of our trip and ended up spending a week in hospital in Rome, followed by a week of rest before travelling home. We enjoyed a New Year holiday 2015 on Norfolk Island, another enchanting Pacific Island paradise. That same year in September was an around the world trip for me. It started with a stay on Maui for Chris and Amanda’s wedding. Then Lauren and I travelled to New York, Niagara Falls, London, where Andy joined us. Then goodbye to Lauren and off to Belgium, Zurich, Lugarno, Milan, Umbria, Lerici, Cinque Terra and Dubai. Andy was unable to get travel insurance to USA for the wedding, which was very sad.

We were booked on a Rhine/Danube River Cruise with Scenic in July 2016. Unfortunately, we both became very ill with the flu at that time and were unable to travel. This was devastating, as we had looked forward to it for ages. However, the following year we did eventually achieve this dream, but travelled with Uniworld and had a very luxurious boat trip and saw so many sights in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic. In April 2017 the family enjoyed a trip to the Coral Coast in Fiji, where we stayed in a private villa and had some precious family time, celebrating Andy’s 70th birthday. March 2018 it was time to explore Sri Lanka. We travelled with our own guide/driver around the whole island. We fell in love with the country and the people. Later that year in October, Lauren and I had a very special trip to Myanmar. Andy decided that he was “all templed out” and chose not to go. Again, another country which had a big impact on us – both the sights and the people. 2019 we had a magnificent stay at the luxurious Arajilla Resort on Lord Howe Island, again to celebrate Andy’s birthday. Later that year in September we travelled to Japan for the Rugby World Cup. We managed to see all the important sights in Honshu, Tokyo,Mt Fuji, Takayama,Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Myajima Island, Yokohama. To date Andy had visited 37 countries and Lorraine had visited 50 (at 16/4/20).

We were booked to finish off our Australian sightseeing in May/June 2020. We were flying to Adelaide to catch The Ghan to Darwin, visiting Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. Then we were to fly to Broome and take a scenic flight to the Horizontal Falls. After this was catchup time in Perth and Margaret River with friends and family members. Thanks to Covid 19 this has been cancelled at this stage.      

Back to family life. Andy now has four beautiful grandchildren. Our family has expanded by eight more members over the years. Nick married Lucy in March 2011 and they have Paddy, 8, Billy, 5 and Annie, 17 months. Chris married Amanda in September 2015 and they have recently given us a Granddog called Lenny, 18 months old. Lauren and her partner Joel presented us with little Bella last July, now aged nine months. We are all hoping that Covid 19 will be gone in time for us all to travel to Airlie Beach as a family group in September, to celebrate my 70th birthday.

One of the negatives in Andy’s life has been his health issues over the last 15 years. In February 2005, Andy had a heart attack in his car, driving home from work. He was almost home when the pain hit him, so he continued home. I went to check on him, as he didn’t come upstairs after we had heard his car come in. He was dripping in sweat and obviously in pain. When he said he had a pain in his jaw I knew it was a heart attack. As we are five minutes from the hospital, I drove Andy to emergency, where they confirmed what I had suspected. Andy ended up having to take three months off work to recover. He had three stents put into his heart. He was very sensible and never smoked a cigarette again. It was a stressful time for Lauren and me as the boys were both living in USA. Three months after the heart attack I developed Grave’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disease, often caused by stress. Lauren’s hair began falling out in fistfuls. Luckily for us Andy had Trauma Insurance, which helped us survive financially. Sadly, in September of the same year one of the stents had the artery collapse at one end, causing another heart attack. Luckily, Andy recovered well but this now made getting travel insurance much more expensive. In late 2014 Andy was diagnosed with Peripheral Vascular Disease, after angioplasty showed that there was only one artery to his left foot and two to his right foot. There should be three to each foot. This was a huge setback, as it made getting travel insurance extra difficult. In fact, it turned out that there was only one travel insurance company on Earth that would cover him. We discovered this fact when Chris got married in September 2015. Even this company (Insureandgo) would insure for travel anywhere for Andy, except Antarctica and North and South America. So, Andy very sadly missed Chris and Amanda’s wedding. Around 2016 Andy was officially diagnosed with Emphysema, which meant another nail in the coffin for overseas travel. At this stage, we can still travel, but it costs thousands of dollars. Andy is an example of what smoking does to the human body. Luckily, our children have never contemplated taking it up.

I’m sure that Andy would agree with me that he’s had his “ups and downs” like everyone has, but overall he’s had a marvellous life full of love, fun and happiness.

By Lorraine Kimpton

April 2020

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