What is the Question for August
For August’s What is the Question Roland chatted with David Haymes.
What is your name?
David Henry Haymes
What is your occupation?
Formerly CEO Haymes Paint. Currently Chair of the Haymes Paint Board
What brought you to Ballarat?
My adoptive parents at the age of one month.
What is your favourite spot in the city?
Lake Wendouree. It’s magical. It’s been part of my life since I was a child. I walked past it on the way to school. I fell in it, I rode into it on my bike, I was pushed into it, and I’ve rowed on it. When the Olympic rowing was on it, 1956, we watched instead of going to school. That’s what sparked my interest in rowing.
What is your earliest memory?
I was born in 1943. We lived upstairs in a flat opposite the Golden City Hotel in Sturt Street. I remember army trucks travelling up Sturt Street. I also remember the colours on my bedspread – deep grey with coloured flowers. At three-and-a-half we moved to Devon Street near the Lake. I have strong memories going back to my fourth birthday which was soon after we moved to Devon Street.
What do you like to cook?
Omelettes (ham cheese and tomatoes) and a basic Bolognese pasta sauce.
What is the most expensive thing you’ve purchased – property aside?
Apart from cars, and purchasing 75 per cent of the company shares not owned by my mother, it’s a small model railway of an early German Locomotive. I saw it many years ago in Dusseldorf in a model railway shop. At that time I couldn’t afford it. Recently, I found it again on Ebay. It’s a limited edition. It’s about one-and-a-half inches long and gives me great joy.
What is your most treasured possession?
All the things my father brought back from England when he worked in paint shops in 1927/28 such as his diaries, programs from car races, and postcards.
What is the greatest love of your life – apart from friends and family?
My collection of Australian stamps and my model railway, both of which are hobbies I started as a child with my father because he was unwell. During the war he was with the Victorian Defence Corps; he worked in the paint industry which was classified as a reserved occupation. According to my mother, he caught chill on a VDC bivouac which affected his lungs and he never recovered. Consequently, he and I could not go into the street to play footy. He lacked the lung capacity. He was only 50 when he died from emphysema.
What would you change if you could edit your past?
Nothing, except having my father. He died when I was 12. I miss him, still
What or who inspires you?
Apart from my wife, Jenny, in my early working years my father-in-law, Alan Faull; the Haymes’ Paint Company Chair Morgan John; and the Company Auditor Doug Metcalf. In recent years my three children and son-in-law in the way they continue to run and grow our company.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Lorne. I first began holidaying there when I met Jenny. We spent summers and Easter in Lorne with our children, and now with our grandchildren.
What music and television do you like?
I love all music and English crime shows particular Lewis, Midsomer Murders and A Touch of Frost.
What is your favourite quote?
“There but for the grace of God go I.” It was taught me by my parents, in that never judge anyone for their circumstances, as, but for the grace of God, it could be you.
What technological/scientific development boggles your mind?
Mobile phones and their capabilities.
What qualities do you admire in other people?
Honesty, integrity, and humbleness.
What was your first job?
Paddle Shoes in Ballarat at the Sebastopol factory which later became Rivers. It was where I learnt all the aspects of shoe manufacturing from designing shoes on the last, cutting the leather and working on the manufacture lines.
What did you want to be when you were growing-up?
A person who manufactured things.
What scares you?
Moths! I was told that as a baby one got-in under the bassinette cover and obviously it terrified me.