JOHN RICHARD BICKNELL
AUTHOR AND POET
John was an orchardist for 55 years growing cherries, peaches, apples and nashi pears. John put himself forward twice as a councillor for Wollondilly Shire Council [unsuccessfully] however continued fighting for many years for farmers rights to farm; attending and convening many meetings and was the secretary/president of a number of organisations such as the Orchard Industry Action Group, The Oaks/Oakdale Water Supply Scheme; and including being president of the Lakesland Bushfire Brigade for three consecutive years also attending many fires over a long period of time. For leisure he continues to sing tenor, having studied for 6 years with a private teacher in Sydney and singing in many choirs; yet John prefers singing solo with piano accompaniment.
Because of his upbringing as a British Child Migrant: having served 12 years in homes for boys: 3 years in England at Ifield Hall in the county of Sussex; 9 years in Australia at Mowbray Park in New South Wales; he has the capacity to “read” the “body language” of High School students using this “gift” by being a mentor to many students over the past 13 years or so.
John is married to Eileen who successfully bore and nurtured 4 children and they now have 12 grandchildren, celebrating 49 years of marriage as of 2020.