Twenty Years of fun, Ten years of gratitude & a Future full of optimism.
Like most of us in our industry I was lucky enough to enjoy a restful and restorative break over Xmas and New Year and returned earlier this month with a spring in my step after what was at times quite a challenging 2023. The energy, vibe, and positivity that I came back to at Wingates was uplifting and actually caused me to stop and reflect on the journey it took to get here. The practice is 20 years old this year and we have so much to be thankful of. We intend to celebrate that milestone in the appropriate way as 2024 progresses but my return to the office also allowed me a moment to reflect on events 10 years ago and in particular this time in 2014.
I had just spent Christmas in hospital after feeling unwell and had been diagnosed with Amyloidosis and renal failure. I was 49 years old.
The future looked challenging, to say the least, and it’s fair to say that at times like these you do work out what’s important in life.
I feel very grateful today that I have a wonderful family and friends who kept my spirits up and my focus clear.
Tracey, my wife, who is the main reason I’m still alive- my girls Frankie and Freya and Brae and son, Haydn were my inspiration.
Months of Chemotherapy, then 2 1/2 years of Dialysis before a trip to the National Amyloid Centre in London which put forward a plan for a stem cell transplant followed by a live kidney transplant.
I was stunned by the generosity of the people who came forward and offered me a kidney and am forever thankful to my great friend Ian Power who donated his super kidney.
Doctors Hugh Goodman, Hilary Blacklock and Jo Dunlop as specialists and my wonderful GP Anna Twigg.
All the doctors, theorists and nurses - I want to thank and will never forget you… ever.
I also want to thank a few others.
Running a business whilst going through health issues can be a challenge and having a good business partner and team was essential.
I am extremely grateful for clients like Foodstuffs, Richard Cashmore and Giltraps (amongst others) who showed absolute loyalty and commitment to the business.
I also had offers of help from colleagues and businesses. I recall a sincere offer from Jasmax, our friends and competitors to look after any projects that needed extra help or resource.
People are amazing when needed most….
It’s a reasonably funny now to be reminded that they thought I might keel over at some of the meetings we had- apparently, I didn’t look too well. 😉
When my specialist said things were resolved, to go out and enjoy life, I asked, as you do, if I would be ok? You know....in the medium to long term?
I can recall them saying I would have a greater chance of being hit by a bus.
I’m sure this was to make me feel at ease…however, I do notice a lot of buses these days..!
I have immense gratitude to all of you. Thank you. 🙏
I got to go to Europe with my family last year which was very special I’m now heading into my sixties and I’m pretty happy about that.
I have a great business with a great team across NZ which is delivering so many special projects in the fields of Commercial & Residential Architecture, Large Format Industrial and Workplace and Interior Design. With our continuing mission to “create places that truly matter” I continue to be grateful and forever optimistic and know we are all looking forward to a great 2024.