About Us (mostly about Bill)
Bill was born in Strathfield Sydney Australia in 1947, by coincidence the day Edmond Coote died. EJ was the founder of Angus and Coote Jewellers whilst his brother, Bill's grandfather, founded W J Coote & Sons. The jewellery business was continued by Bill's father, Bob, and Bill's brother Sam. Bob was apprenticed at Angus and Coote as a watch maker in the late 1930s and served in the RAAF during WW2 as an instrument maker, spending some time servicing Spitfires in Parkes NSW.
Bill and his family moved to Bathurst in 1954, living on 25 acres beside the Mount Panorama Race Track. His love affair with all things mechanical stems from this time.
Bill completed secondary school at All Saints College in Bathurst and a Bachelor of Science at the University of New England, finishing in 1969. He graduated with a diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics from Sydney University in 1970, married Lyndal, then proceeded to complete a Master of Science in the School of Food Technology from the University of NSW graduating in 1976.
Twelve years as a hospital dietitian included a stint as Chief Dietitian at the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. Then followed three years in marketing with Baxter Healthcare and two years in general management with the pharmaceutical division of Davis Consolidated Industries.
In 1985 Bill left full time employment to set up Becoming Healthy. Becoming Healthy started as a medical centre weight control program and, over a period of 33 years, developed through many stages.
There was always plenty outside human nutrition to keep Bill and Lyndal busy.
Sailing was an early interest. In 1980, Bill and Lyndal restored a 26 foot Thunderbird yacht. Over a period of 3 years in the 1980s he built a Canstell Clubman then, in 1985, both Bill and Lyndal took up historic motor racing. This led to the restoration of several cars including a Mark 1 Ford Cortina, a bug eye Austin Healey Sprite, a Lotus Europa and an Australian special open wheeler from 1967 called WP111.
After moving from Sydney to the mid north coast of NSW Bill and Lyndal took up flying. They gained their GFPT in 1999 and passed the private pilot's test two years later. In 2003 Bill had finished the 23 foot Cape Cod Catboat he had been working on for eight years. Time to start an aeroplane?
A local LAME had built a Jodel D150 and Bill was easily convinced to follow suit. Plans and lots of encouragement came from Frank Rogers. The project started in 2003 and was completed in three years. It was then down to Bill to do the test flying - 40 hours were required before passengers could be taken skywards.
The Jodel had done 125 hours since completion and had proven itself reliable and comfortable, with a trip of 9 hours from Port Macquarie to Natfly in Narromine under its belt it was sold to an Ag Pilot in Jerilderee to make way for another aviation project a COOT A amphibian.
It's time to turn a hobby into a life style. A trip to Oshkosh in 2008 included boats on Chesapeake Bay and a Coot Amphibian ride in Madison Wisconsin Bill was hooked.
Building a COOT A amphibian aircraft became Bill's next great passion. The flying boat was finished in 2012 and Bill needed to complete his floating hull endorsement before he was permitted to test fly the COOT. Test flying the COOT was limited to 15 hours before it proved unsatisfactory, too big and under powered tail heavy time to move on. As it happened another project was to hand, an Osprey 2 another amphibian it had been started in 1978 and begged for Bill to finish.
Becoming Healthy continued to go from strength to strength for a brief time it was housed in a warehouse in Laurieton then to the shed on our 3 acres on Queens Lake. Finally when the move to Lake Macquarie happened in 2014 Becoming Healthy was sold, the Osprey moved to Toronto and then to a hangar at Maitland Aerodrome. After the Osprey crash in early 2020 the hangar was sold.
Since moving to Toronto Bill has launched into membership of the Lake Macquarie Classic Boat Association at Rathmines. Rathmines was an RAAF Seaplane Base during World War 2, Bill also joined the Seaplane Pilots Association Australia SPAA, Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto and Central Coast Aero Club at Warnervale.