Bob and Margaret Orchard
The whole focus of this collection of papers is to get people looking to God and Christ for guidance and direction in life, and not looking to men. However, it is still nice to know something about the background of the people who are communicating with us.
I was born during the Second World War in Sydney, NSW, Australia. When I was nine months old, my father joined the Army (later transferring to the RAAF). When my father returned from active duty in 1946, the family moved to a small country town in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Growing up on a dairy farm involved a lot of hard work, but also meant that I grew to appreciate the ways of nature. Good seasons, droughts, floods and fires, all have a greater impact when life is dependant on what you can grow to feed cows. We also had the freedom to take long walks and climb many of the local mountains. While we were on the farm, my brother and sister were born.
My first job was at the Dairy Factory in Hexham. It lasted 11 years, and during this time I married my first wife and we had a daughter and then a son. Also during this time we came in contact with the Plain Truth magazine (via the Reader's Digest) - produced by Mr Herbert Armstrong. Our first personal contact was in 1963, and we were both baptized during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1964 - in a very cold outdoor swimming pool at Blackheath. We attended Newcastle’s first Radio Church of God service in January 1965.
In 1972 I was offered a job in the computer department with the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), which at that time was located in North Sydney. Two years later, the office was moved to Burleigh Heads (in 1974), and most of the computer department functions were absorbed by Headquarters at Pasadena USA, and my time working for WCG was over.. The rest of my working life has involved working with medium and small computers as programmer, analyst and manager.
In 1995 I walked out of WCG - something that had totally absorbed and influenced my life for 32 years.
In many ways, the years of 1994/1995 proved to be a major turning point in my life. Through unusual circumstances, I met and later married Margaret. Like my father, Margaret’s father was also involved in the Second World War, and also came home deeply scarred. Not long after Margaret was born, her mother and father separated. In order to earn a living (there was no single mother’s support in those days) Margaret was left to be brought up by her grandparents. Though given a good education at one of the top schools in Adelaide, the lack of both parents to bond with as she grew up did have some effect, and was a big disappointment in her life.