I was Professor of Surgery at Sydney University and worked at Concord Hospital. I'd been in the Army Reserve for maybe about 10 years. In fact, a colleague of mine invited me to join the reserve, they were short of surgeons and they had an exercise, I think it was K89. And he said, "Would you mind?" And I thought, "Well, I'm pretty well established and I can probably get the time off, why not?" It forced me to take my first holiday from work because I'm a bit of a workaholic as many people in my field are and I enjoyed it.
I grew up in the post-war period. I was in the cadets at school. I mean it was a time when we could get on the train and go home with our 303 over our shoulder. I mean, you can't imagine that today. But I think I grew up with that idea that we should be doing something along those lines. I think it was inbred in our education and it was a natural thing. It wasn't a difficult decision…the process started with a very nice girl ringing me and asking me if I'd do it.
And I thought, "Well, that's interesting that they would choose someone of a very nice voice to..." And I was in my office at the time and I thought, "Well, I've been in the reserve. It's pointless just being in the reserve if you're not going to do anything and here's an opportunity to do something." I said, "Yes." And then I told my wife and kids and they accepted it. A dash of danger as my wife said. Yeah. So that was getting the family on side was okay.