Len Nash - Words of Wisdom
This week we caught up with previous Canowindra local, Mr Len Nash. Len was the youngest of nine children, the bush lifestyle was always his calling, “The freedom and beauty of the bush, the sunrise and sunsets - they are beautiful.”
Name: Len Nash
Where and when were you born? In Canowindra, 1927
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? To be honest.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? To give and take. I was married to Pat for 62 years, she was a wonderful woman. She instilled in my children all of her great values, she used to say to the kids, “If you don’t do it, I’ll tell your father.” *laughs*
We met at school in Canowindra when I was about 15-16, I made it my business to go wherever she went one day, I walked her home. I went away for 12 months and I got her back when I came home. *laughs* We married when I was 22, we were sitting on a wall on a holiday in the evening watching the sea come in, I asked her to marry me and she said yes straight away, I never regretted that.
I remember my father said to me, ‘You ought to have a bit more single life’, I said, ‘I’m not happy unless she’s with me,’ and he said, ‘well you better get married then’.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Christmas, we lived on the farm and we didn’t go out much because there were nine of us, we always went to town Christmas Eve and we always had a good day, Christmas day with all of the family. My birthday was a special day too, I would get a present and we would have a special tea.
What was your schooling life like? I enjoyed school, I began at Orange High School when I was older, that was the first time I had been away from my family, I had to make my own decisions. I didn’t do well in maths, I just couldn’t get it, I remember I was 17 and it was a drought year, three of my brothers were in the war, and I came home and said to Dad, ‘I don’t think I’ll go back to school’, he said, ‘Well if you don’t want to, I won’t make you.’
What life advice would you pass along to your grandchildren? I’ve got 12 Grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren, I’d say live a life of love and honesty.
What was your first job? A farmer, that’s what I’ve been all of my life. My Dad paid me three pound a week, I saved it all (I didn’t go anywhere to spend it *laughs*) then Dad helped me buy a few blocks of land and I did the work on them, tractors, cropping harvesting etc. It was hard labour in the ‘bag days’, the bags were 80 pounds, we would carry them on our backs and put them on the trucks.
We had mixed farming, mostly sheep and wheat, a few cattle and in the later years we grew canola, anything that we could grow really.
What did you enjoy about it? The lifestyle and the freedom, I loved being my own boss and seeing the crops come up, harvesting them was very satisfying.
What are you most proud of? The development of my farm, what I did to it and what I achieved, I’m also very proud of my family. I went to church every Sunday and I am also very proud of what I did in regard to Church in the Bush.
What was your favourite thing to do for fun? We used to play cricket (we nearly had a team with our entire family), they were good times. We also played tennis and attended a lot of youth social clubs.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? My Father and Mother, they were beautiful people and they had the right values. They taught me not to lie and if you told a lie you would get a hidin’ *laughs* my father said if you shake hands that’s your word and you always stick to your word - I always did that.