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Tony Miles, Committee, Events & Promotion. Joined 2010
I was born in Salisbury. The English one, near Stonehenge. (Precisely when, I'm not going to say. There was a war going on, you know.) I had a good war, benefitting through my twos, threes and fours from the kindness of, among others, Yankee GIs, who, high up in the cabs of their huge tank-transporters, generously tossed nourishment to me over our front garden wall. And not just life-sustaining chewing gum. Brain-tucker, too: genuine American comics. At that time, we lived in the small garrison town of Warminster on the edge of Salisbury Plain. It's still a key military centre.
Towards the end of the war we moved to the nearby village of Heytesbury. Yes, as in our very own Heytesbury Holdings, Holmes à Court and all that. Indeed, the heir presumptive to the Baronetcy of Heytesbury is a dinkum Aussie, former Rabbitohs director Peter Holmes à Court. Another nearby connection with Australia is the AIF badge carved into the chalk of Salisbury Plain on the A36 road near Codford. It's still preserved. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pellethepoet/5649751722/)
During my schooldays I discovered a desire to write adverts, and escaped to London where, in a tiny office overlooking St James's Park, I began a lifetime in advertising. Bit by bit, I worked my way up from trainee copywriter to creative director at the London office of Ketchum, McLeod & Grove, one of those American agencies we've become so familiar with in the SBS series, Madmen. (Very accurate, it starts in a New York agency in 1958, the year I started work in London and reminds me of McCann-Erickson, where I worked for a couple of years as a writer).
Eventually, perhaps inevitably for several reasons, I found myself stepping off a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-212B (commercial aviation is a major passion) at Tullamarine to start a new career. For Melburnians it's almost a memorable date, the day after the replay of the 1977 Grand Final caused by Collingwood (10.16.76) having drawn with North Melbourne (9.22.76) the previous weekend.
A few days later I started work as a creative director at Australia’s largest agency, George Patterson, and began to fall in love with the town – and country – I now call home. About three years later I became a fairly-dinkum Aussie. Over the past 35 years, I've lived or worked all over this sprawling metropolis: South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, Ferny Creek, Doncaster.
And I still especially love the CBD. Because that's where you find out that U3A Melbourne City can be the best thing ever to happen to you in Australia. Tell your friends! (Did I mention that I used to be in advertising?)
I’m semi-retired now, which gives me time to work as a U3A Management Committee member, particularly writing, designing and distributing ads and flyers for our Thursday Forums and other events.
Tony Miles, September 2012