MUNG OUT: Lapsed vegetarian Col Douglas still loves a good mung bean.
MUNG OUT: Lapsed vegetarian Col Douglas still loves a good mung bean. Jonno Colfs

Mung beans maketh man

COL Douglas is a late arrival to Australia but he has already had the chance to watch Warwick grow.

Mr Douglas came to Australia at the age of 25.

"I grew up in England and studied there for my Masters in Plant Genetics," he said.

"I moved to Warwick in 2009 after 10 years in Biloela.

"I remember being very excited about moving to Warwick.

"It seemed like a fantastic metropolis at the time. Now I realise it's just a bigger town with better coffee."

Mr Douglas, said he calls himself a "facultative vegetarian".

"That basically means, 'when I can'," he said.

"Although the options in Warwick are pretty good.

"In Biloela, the vegetarian option was eggs and beans.

"The vegetarian breakfast here at the Belle Vue is excellent."

The plant theme is a strong one with Mr Douglas, who works in crop research for the Department of Primary Industries at the Hermitage Research Station, outside Warwick.

His specialty is mung beans.

"It's a really cool little plant, " he said.

"I also study plant breeding and crops' wild relatives.

"All of the crops we grow and eat were at one point domesticated from weeds.

"I've been working for the DPI for eight years, it's a fascinating job and I occasionally get to travel to places like India and Bangladesh for research."

Mr Douglas is pretty sure he is Warwick's only and best left-handed guitar maker.

"I'm left-handed and I make guitars," he said.

"It's a pretty tough life for a left-handed guitarist, until you learn to make your own."

As far as the future of our city, Mr Douglas is upbeat.

"Some of the things that have changed the way I view Warwick in the past year or so have included seeing the support given to the local live music scene by venues such as Bluebird Cafe and the Belle Vue Cafe," he said.

"I've also been really affirmed to see a refugee action group, a growing sense of community and a developing awareness of diversity.

"I'd love to see our region opened up to those from other countries who need it.

"I can see huge benefits from this to our rural communities."


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