Featured Member – Tony Ferrers
Tony Ferrers – Man of Action
Celebrating his eighty-first birthday this month, Tony Ferrers has a lot to look back on with pride.
He left London as a young man of twenty-one and made his home in Wellington, New Zealand, putting himself through law school then working in the Public Trust Office. He married an Australian girl and eventually in 1969 he took over a managerial job In Dunedin. Not only that, he also stepped into a position his predecessor had held writing humorous articles for a legal magazine ‘Mercantile Gazette’. One thing led to another, and during the next eleven years he also began contributing to other magazines at home and abroad. On top of his salary as a lawyer, this sideline became so lucrative as to bring in a yearly five figure sum at one time.
His wife eventually persuaded Tony to try living in her country for a change. So his family, now with a son and two daughters, joined his wife’s mother on the Gold Coast in 1985. Characteristically, Tony immediately became involved in supporting his daughter’s musical activities with the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra. It’s a long story involving years of effort to raise public money, but eventually during his Presidency of the organisation land was procured and a fine new building was raised for the orchestra in Ashmore. His daughter is now a professional violinist in Germany.
In the style reminiscent of Alistair Cooke’s ‘Letter from America’, Tony continues to write a column entitled ‘Australia Calling’ for a Canadian legal magazine ‘The Advocate’. In his latter years he has become a Marriage Celebrant. He is the proud recipient of a letter from the Queen thanking him for sending her a copy of his story ‘Oh My God’ in which the Queen mother and King George were surprise visitors to the carnage of a London bomb site.
Within his collection of about eight hundred books, Rumpole of the Bailey is an old favourite. At present Tony is reading The World from Down Under by George Negus, and is looking forward to reading a recent novel by Colleen McCulloch. Tony enjoys the style of writing in which the story moves simply and fluently, a style he stringently applies to his own work and which remarkable quality is even evident in his everyday speech.