Revised 27/1/21, 7/4/21, 26/7/21
14/8/21 1814, 29/4/22 1743
I'm Stephen Petter, born 10 May 1937.Now retired, I live in Wolverhampton,. I moved here in February 2021 in order to live near my daughter and grand-daughter. Previously I lived in Bristol.
In 1972 I started attending Quaker meetings. Since then I’ve been deeply involved in its spirituality, its social witness and its administration.
I'm a member of the Alister Hardy Society which is closely associated with the Religious Experience Research Centre.
I’m also a frequent attender of retreats organised by the Bede Griffiths Sangha
I am a Life Member of the Green Party, seeing this as part of my Quaker witness.
After school I was a Trainee Chemist, then a Radar Fitter in the Royal Air Force for five years. In 1961 I became a computer engineer, then a programmer and systems analyst, a job which I enjoyed greatly, to the extent that I avoided promotion to management. I also spent some years in Management Training then in Employee Participation and Communication. For the final 20 years of my professional life I was an Information Technology consultant working mainly in multi-national corporations. I operated as a one-man Ltd Co and as Sole Trader.
My tertiary education included getting a degree from the Open University, starting in its first year, 1971. My studies were mainly in the field of socio-technical systems, which included the study of organisations and management.
Earlier I had obtained qualifications in Electrical Engineering, in Mechanical Engineering and in Management Studies.
Throughout my adult life I have been very active in a variety of voluntary organisations. I set up (actually, "incorporated") as Companies Ltd by Guarantee, and as Registered Charities: Quaker Homeless Action (which has now been merged into Quaker Social Action) and later, Friends of Sangam Foundation (now laid down), which supported a school in India . In both of these I was a director and trustee and Company Secretary.
I have completed the Facilitator's course in AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project ) and I was also its Company Secretary.
As a Quaker I have held appointments at all levels. See: Quaker (organisational) Experience
See also: Extensive CV - My life history in detail: my varied career, my memberships, and my participation in voluntary organisations.
(Currently (2021) I am writing my memoirs.
Other Sites I have created
Springhall Family (to be written)
My BLOG Maintenance of MyBlog is abandoned, but it still exists and has some interesting items.
SUMMARY OF TRAVELS
1940: I was 'evacuated' to British Columbia, Canada. (4 years)
1960: With the RAF in Hawaii (1 year)
1982: Mauritius; New York,
1986: Den Haag
1980s: Madrid and Orlando for conferences of my professional body.
1990s: Honduras and New Mexico for conferences of FWCC (Interntional Quakers)
1990s: Several European cities for conferences of EMES (European Quakers) (Prague, Brussels, ? in Netherlands, Helsinki, Berlin)
2000: Sleeping under the stars in the Western Desert (Egypt)
2001-2002 RTW- Round The World journey
2004: Sri Lanka and India for six weeks
2004: Palestine for the second time
2005: Sri Lanka as an International Monitor of their Presidential election
2005: USA & Canada
2006 - 2008: Spain, France, Italy
2009: USA, BVI, and Canada.
2011: Sri Lanka and India again.
2013: Nerja, Spain
2014: India. Morocco over Christmas
2019: Spain 1. Alone 2. Took family.
2020 was dominated by the Covid pandemic
Sailing - Dreams, Plans and Qualifications
Long Term Plans. How they change!!!
1. Written in 2000: My intention is to devote much of my time to the formation and development of organisations to address some of the world's major problems:
- economic injustice seen in the widening gap between and within nations;
- conflict between powerful states and minorities within them seeking independence; and
- deforestation and the persecution of indigenous peoples that live in them,
Choice of these subjects (my “Three Big Projects”) was inspired by the World Council of Churches’ concern for “Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation”.
2. Written in 2009: The fact is I've been retired over 10 years but have not found time to get started on these three big projects. However, the dreams have not quite disappeared.
But now I accept I will not move from my present home, am too old to do any serious sailing, and will never be rich. I hope to spend more time with my extended family, also much more time traveling cheaply in my region, in Britain and Europe, and (by surface transport) to and in India. In fact I hope to stay in India for some months, more than once. I dream of a bungalow on a hilltop in the foothills of the Himalayas.
I have become very keen on my garden and allotment, which bodes ill for travel plans! I've given up most of my Green Party and local political activities but am still spending much time on Quaker and FOSF administration. In June 2009 I spent a month in the Caribbean and North America and expect it will be my last time there partly to avoid air travel and partly due to cost. I probably will not get a partner, mainly because I am not prepared to devote the time to any one person to the extent that most women seem to expect.
3. In 2014: Intention to stay here (281 Redcatch Road) shattered by Jim and Sarah saying they intend to move, i.e. leaving this house and garden on which I have spent much time and money.
Intention to not have a girl friend foiled by Sarah Pearce ("Sarah 3"), for which thanks.
Intention not to fly about to be broken by another trip to India.
Intention to undertake my “Three Big Projects” all non-starters.
4. Written in 2021, when about to leave Bristol. Sarah 3 died suddenly on May 9 2020. At the age of 83 I have had to accept that I shall never realise all my plans and dreams. No sailing single- handed across the Atlantic! No running a backpackers' hostel in Cambodia. No residing by a lake, river or the sea. No chance of returning to live in London, or New York, let alone San Fransisco. No spending months in an Ashram in India.
But I do have dreams which are almost expectations. Lots of friends and dinner parties in Wolverhampton, lots of films, music and videos, lots of art galleries. I think I'll re-apply for a National Art Fund Pass. I also hope to do something useful, AVP ? Mentoring? Get not-too involved in Quakers.
Time to thank God for a very good life, and an undeservedly long one.
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