Those of us who are regulars here on WTU have had the pleasure of seeing Patrick Curmi progress from a novice woodturner to a quite accomplished artisan about as fast as anyone I’ve known. Clearly he has mechanical skills and has been working with his hands all his life but more importantly, he is a dedicated and hard worker and is not afraid to ask for advice which he takes to heart and quickly incorporates into his work. I think it’s high time we all got to know Pat a bit better.

Pat is one of our international members, hailing from Queensland, Australia, though was actually born in Africa. The road he and his family took, however, was a bit circuitous with his ancestors all coming from France. “Well it was actually my grandparents that moved to Egypt.  My late dad was born in Cairo and my mom in Alexandria. They all had to leave at the time of the Suez Crisis along with all the other foreign nationals. This split the family, with my parents and sisters moving to Salisbury, Rhodesia. The rest of the family moved to France, England and Australia. I was born in 1961 in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe).”

“I guess we were a normal middle class family never got too much in the line of fancy items, but we were always looked after by our parents, with a good dose of discipline thrown in for good measure. Although I achieved a reasonable result at school, I really felt that it wasn’t for me and my only goal was to leave as soon as my dad would let me. I started my trade as an Aircraft Fitter Machinist in 1980 at what was then Air Rhodesia. Later that year it would become Air Zimbabwe after independence. My trade achievement was far greater with a T4 in mechanical engineering at the end of my fourth year. At the beginning of my 5th year I was given permission to do my trade test early, so subsequently became a qualified tradesman 10 months early.”

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“I left Zimbabwe in 1988, moving to South Africa, and lived in a medium size town called Pinetown, which is 30km inland from Durban.” It was in South Africa that Pat met Bev. Both had been divorced. She was raising 3 children and he was raising 2. “Well life happens and in 1999 I married for the second time. Bev and I raised our 5 children who all lived with us from shortly after we got married. In 2007 Bev and I and our 3 youngest moved to Queensland, Australia. Our 2 oldest boys chose to remain in South Africa. Obviously we can’t wait for them to decide to join us here.” Their children currently range in age from 25 to 32 and they now have a grandson, age 4.

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Saturday the 20th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.