It began as a gap year in Australia, but quickly turned into a completely new life for Craig Smith, a West Shore native.
“It was pretty bizarre,” Smith said about his 18-year-old self. “My friends and I went to Sydney on a working holiday after high school and I fell in love with the place.”
Smith is one of the leap year babies that was featured in the March 1, 1972 edition of the Juan de Fuca News Review, the former name of the Goldstream Gazette.
Though leap year babies are few and far between, Smith was contacted by his sister-in-law’s sister who still lives on the West Shore.
Now living in Brisbane, he just celebrated his 14th ‘real’ birthday with his wife and son. Coincidentally, the 56-year-old nearly shares a birthday with his son who was born on Feb. 28, 2002.
As far as it goes for his childhood love of golfing, as his parents owned the Metchosin Golf Course, he says it’s pretty much non-existent.
“I might get on a course a couple times a year, but I’ve probably got an 18 handicap,” Smith quips. “My body just hurts a little more.”
The former Victoria native last visited his hometown during the Christmas season. His three siblings live in Colwood, Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill.
Whenever he comes back, he goes to Cactus Club to eat their dry ribs, something that can’t compare Down Under. One thing he misses about living in Victoria is being able to stare at the Olympic Mountains.
“It’s traditionally dry and hot over here, but Victoria is always green and blue. Those colour combinations are just spectacular.”
Black Press Media wants to know what happened to Colleen Scott, the other leap year baby. Do you know her?