Hotel manager Edward Brennan has his hands full with son Declan, 4 and daughter Sophia, 1.
Hotel manager Edward Brennan has his hands full with son Declan, 4 and daughter Sophia, 1. Kirsten Cunningham

Gladstone faster paced than Cook Islands

EDWARD Brennan didn't wear shoes for three years and had the time of his life.

"I was working in hotel management in the Cook Islands," he said.

"I wore a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and that was it."

He said the experience of living on a Pacific island was "out of this world".

"Life is so different over there. The ideas about workplace, health and safety were a little scary," he said.

"But everyone knows how to climb a coconut tree so why not use an angle grinder four stories up with no harness?"

While he was working on the island he met his Filipino partner and had their first child.

"Declan is four now and is a bundle of energy," he said.

"He's asked me for ice cream about 50 times, but he has to wait for his mum to get here."

Mr Brennan moved to Gladstone five months ago after a stint in Kalgoorlie.

He missed the water and took the opportunity to work for Rydges in another location.

"I missed not being near the water after the Cook Islands, so it's great to be back on the coast," he said.

"With the kids I pretty much work and spend time at home, but when I get a chance I go fishing or volunteer with Rotary."

He said giving back to the community had always been a priority and he transferred his Rotary membership from Western Australia to Gladstone.

"Raising money for a good cause always makes you feel good."

He said while the lifestyle in central Queensland was relaxed and laid back, life was a little more hectic than in the Cook Islands.

"I've worked all over Australia and I love it here," he said.

"There might not be the same concept of island time like there is over in the pacific, but it's nice that your staff will turn up every day."



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