Gerry revisits hotel of birth

Gerry Henderson, his wife Beverley and son Tony at Hotel Boston. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Gerry Henderson was born in Hotel Boston in 1933 and recently came back to visit the place of his birth.

His mother, Mary Agnes, gave birth to him in the manager’s office while on shift cooking in the kitchen.

Now living in a retirement village in Queensland, Mr Henderson looked back on his life with great respect for his family and all they achieved, especially in those formative years on Eyre Peninsula.

“My brother Leo worked with Axel Stenross on the weekends while we were at school,” he said.

“Axel actually got him a job to become a merchant seaman, he left before exams – mother was not impressed.

“My family stayed on Eyre Peninsula for 12 years, until World War II ended, as my father was a radio operator, a navigator in the Air Force. He used to send us coconuts from Papua New Guinea, he’d put a stamp on it and it would arrive in Port Lincoln.”

Mr Henderson said Port Lincoln was a fascinating place to grow up and that on the day the war ended he said all the ships in the port started firing their guns.

Mr Henderson was in town to celebrate his 90th birthday with one of his sons as it was a place he recalled fondly.

“We would go fishing and watch the white sharks, it was a great place to grow up.”

He even recalled bringing the family cow to school in the morning if the feed had been eaten down too much at home.

Mr Henderson said Port Lincoln and Eyre Peninsula was where it all began, where he started to establish his independence, visiting family friends on their farms to assist with tasks.

He said it was a place where you learnt to enjoy life, which he continued to do.