This is Bill Anderson. Bill is a larger than life character who spent much of his life as a butcher both in Tawa, NZ and in Australia. He remains a jolly man, who clearly cares for others and enjoys putting a smile on people’s faces. “If I can help someone, I’ll help them. It’s something inside.”

In younger years ( he’s 88 now ) he began a wrestling gym in Tawa which is still there at the time of writing this article. Even back then he wanted to help the kids in his neighbourhood and “keep them out of trouble”.

He’s been married twice. The first marriage lasted 24 years despite the fact that Bill felt it wasn’t right from 2 years in. By then they had 2 children and he very much believed in being there for his kids.

“I believe families need a father. If you have got children you’ve got to look after them, especially if you have boys as they can go off the rails”

bill anderson

His second wife, Cecill, has passed on now. They were together for 42 years. He still talks to her in his head every day and often feels that she replies. He recalls that she died just before she was about to go into full time care. He tears up as he tells this but you can feel the pride he has in her secure in the knowledge that she kept her independence until the end. He firmly believes he will see her again one day. The secret of a long marriage to Bill is to never go to bed on an argument.

Bill is clearly everyone’s mate. He regards his son and his daughter both as his mates and his beloved Cecill still occupies that role wherever she may be now. Bill is mates with lots of people in the retirement village, and goes out of his way to visit those less fortunate. And yet there is something uncompromising about him and I can only imagine that he made for a fearsome wrestling opponent in his day. In fact, I wouldn’t fancy my chances even now.

It’s not all bee plain sailing. He knows there were times when he drank too much. But when the lesson was learned he changed his behaviour. This is a man who has charm, humour and a certain cheeky style.

Tough as he is, he has kindness and integrity written through him. Good on ya, Bill.


Whirlwind Radio – Bill’s Story by Whirlwindstories on Mixcloud