John AitkenheadFiction, Historical, Romance
Following a shipboard romance, John married Susy in London’s St Martin-in-the- Fields in 1968. They travelled extensively throughout Europe in a MGB GT, before living in Spain for six months, returned to New Zealand, commenced a construction company, and in due course started a family. In 1980 they relocated to Australia with children James and Margaret. Recently John and Susy celebrated 53 years of marriage.
In 1982 John co-founded Somerset College on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The co-education College opened with 158 children. Today Somerset College has 1,570 pupils and is recognised as one of Queensland’s top schools. John’s children attended, his three grandchildren currently attend, and his daughter Margaret teaches at the school. Somerset College has hosted its well-recognised Storyfest, www.storyfest.com.au, since 1993.
Since that time John has been engaged in the commencement of several ventures in the city of Gold Coast, including a real estate office, a building display centre, and a local ferry service. He also served on the board of Somerset College for 22 years and chair of the building committee for 15 years. He has been directly involved in the schools continuing building programme, with today’s capital value exceeding $70 million.
In 1990 John commenced IBS Global, a ship broking business specialising in international passenger ferries. Today IBS is considered the world’s leader in the field, with agents in many countries. The nature of the business required extensive world travel throughout Asia, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Baltic seas, in addition to many areas of the Middle East. In 2010 John received a special award from Japanese Airlines after completing 167 international flights.
Seven years ago, John began writing, initially an autobiography. Then sequentially, he wrote ‘Thomas and Rose,’ followed by ‘Charlie,’ and more recently ‘Silk Road.’