His life worth living
Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.
≈ Napoleon Hill ≈
Courage, determination, independence are some of the words to describe George Burtenshaw. His passing, aged one hundred and two years and a half truly showed inspiration with such self-determination, willpower and a ‘what he wanted attitude’ combined with a deep love for his huge family.
Born in 1911 at Newport Wales at seven years old his home destroyed by bombs at the close of World War 1. His family taken. He with his sister Lou taken to a Children’s Home. Alone with only his sister, he had no knowledge where his brothers and parents were. His life in a Children’s Home proceeded until his fifteenth birthday when he applied through Church of England, Council of Empire Settlement to go to Canada. Instead he ended up in Australia.
His arrival in Australia with four shillings to begin a new life, a job with a place to live in a new country and close to the town Gympie. His work ethics proved how important his life became. Aged eighteen years old, beginning of the Great Depression, he travelled by train to Rockhampton to seek work. Unable to find work he purchased a bicycle for seven shillings and sixpence leaving him little money. Four days riding along the beach, sleeping under a sheet of canvas returned to Kia Ora to be welcomed.
George worked for his old boss when a family arrived to share farm the property. Must had been ‘love at first sight’ because this family’s daughter Eva caught George’s eye. Eva later became his wife and they celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary before she sadly passed aged ninety-six years old.
Having worked his apprecenticeship at a dairy farm he purchased a motor cycle journeyed west to find work. By 1942 World War 11 exploded across the globe. George enlisted. Before going to war he married Eva. Twelve months after leaving Australian shores for Mayala Japanese invaded Singapore. He became a Prisoner-of-War and incarcerated in Changi Prison until World War 11 ended.
He recorded a daily record in a series of war diaries. If his captors found these diaries he would have been decapitated. He concealed them in plastic and safe from the enemy. When reading this portion of the book one cannot help but wonder at the suffering and atrocities Prisoners-of-War suffered at the hands of their enemy.
After such an horrific time in his life, he returned to Australia. Eva nursed him back to health. George went on to live a life worth living.
At 10am on Thursday 13 September 2007 George attended a DEDICATION OF COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE to recognise the sacrifice and service of the members of 2/10th Australian Field Regiment 8th Division, Australian Imperial Force conducted at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra when at last he was recognised for his time as a Prisoner Of War.
George has certainly proven the words spoken by Napoleon Hill – Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. This is truly an inspirational story of survival mixed with self-determination with his life worth living.
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His life worht living