Art of Ageing: Meet clockwork Peter
PETER is an everyday senior who represents the wonderful diversity of NSW's older residents.
His story reflects an Australia unique to its older generation - a contrast of values, emotions and personality in an ever-changing landscape.
Their stories can also be glimpsed in a 30-image exhibition that will be touring NSW throughout 2018 and 2019.
The story of clockwork Peter
"I was born in Wingham in 1955 and completed an apprenticeship in horology (watch and clock making) in Newcastle. For the last 48 years, I've specialised in antique watch and clock repairs.
"After spinal surgery in 2000, I was told that because of nerve damage in my back and feet my condition would deteriorate and I'd be in permanent pain. Despite this news, I was determined to continue a fulfilling life. I knew if I didn't overcome this obstacle I would eventually end up in a wheelchair.
"So while recovering from the initial surgery and being mostly immobile, I diverted my attention to a less demanding pursuit and began building architectural models.
"I was interested in geology, fossicking and camping, and joined a lapidary club where I learned to cut and polish stones. We went on excursions, had some great camping trips with like-minded people, and equipped an old Mitsubishi van for camping!
"I also joined the Men's Shed, where I was able to learn more skills and made some good friends. I was fortunate enough to learn silver smithing from a retired university teacher, and will be setting up a teaching facility at the Wingham Lapidary Club.
"Meanwhile, I continue clock repairs as a hobby. I'm creating steampunk accessories, magicians' wands, and working with electroplating metals and jewellery pieces.
"I've passed my knowledge of clock-making onto my nephew and helped him get his own business started."