At 75 years of age I had never thought of writing my Memoirs. Then my son Damian, who had completed the Farrell family tree back to the late 18th Century, using his training and skills in information technology, asked me to write the Farrell family history to complement his work. His request was too late; I had neither the training nor the skills to do the necessary research, let alone write the history. I considered that it was too large and complicated a task for me. But, as a compromise, I agreed to record the memories I had of my parents’ background.
I dallied until mid-1999, when Damian presented me with a computer and printer, suggesting that they might be helpful. With those tools at my command it seemed I could dally no more, and I took up the challenge of learning word processing. My wife, Betty Jean, urged me on, and together we enrolled in a four week Introduction to Computers for Over-50’s course at the local Community Centre early in 2000. This was sufficient to get me using my new computer, starting with the manuscript that I had written on My Earliest Years: 1923 – 1936.
With some pushing and prodding of my children, and also of my memory and my own records, I found that I was able to commit a great deal of detail concerning my life to print. For the parts dealing with my time in the RAAF during World War II, and later with the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, I had recourse to the copious resources of the National Archives in Canberra, and it seemed that the more I found out the more I remembered. Thus, here in 2007 – my 85th year – the final draft of my memoirs, The first half of an interesting life: 1923- 1967, has been completed.