Raymond Anthony Cooke

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West"

I'm Not a Quitter - Rebellious Hope

After much encouragement and support from my immediate  family and friends, like Edward and Jeba Martin,  Rocky and Savvy Starr,  Denis and Lucia Low, and many others, have all contributed, one way or another, in my  spiritual journey in life as I know it today from Australia.   Roy & his wife  Lorraine Law (Rodgers)  who was my classmate in school and witness to my wedding in Singapore and in close contact, and my School friend, George Anthony Borthwick QSM, who was with me throughout my journey in Dr Graham’s Homes, and again at the Birkmyre Hostel, when in Kolkatta.  I have known them both for most of my life.  They migrated to New Zealand.  Finally, the lady who helped me with a lot of TLC, to recover after a life and death experience on 14 August 1960, Sister Ruth Cummings (Smith).   They have all been an important part in  the story of my life.   I have now put pen to paper.  I put it off for as long as I could, as there were many sad and difficult aspects of my life that I would have to share, and relive.   
 In 2019 we took our last trip to Alaska and The Rocky Mountains.  Little did we know that the world would be in turmoil with the CoronaVirus.   During the first lockdown, I decided to sew cloth masks, raising much needed funds for the Zest Mission This Mission was started to look after orphans and rag picker’s children, who had no home or school, and the pandemic of Covid-19 made it more difficult for them financially. My sewing skills that I learnt in school enabled me to raise funds for this orphanage, Doctors without borders and my old school Dr Graham's Homes.  
This financial and practical way of assisting these organisations gave me the opportunity to repay the kindness that was shown to me in my hour of need.
During the second lockdown in Sydney NSW Australia. I finally succumbed to the requests of my friends and family to write the book of my life experiences in the hope that my story would inspire and be of assistance to others who may be going through difficult and trying times.   I realise that each and every one of us has a story to tell, and through this we can empathise with others less fortunate than us.  
I hope that the sale of this book would in some way pay back to Dr Graham’s Homes, the love and care that was given to me in my time of need, and what better way than to support the work of The OGB -GO project “Adopt A Classroom” run by the Old Girls and Boys of Dr. Graham’s Homes.
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To get your own copy

The long awaited book is out in the market and it's selling like hotcakes!!

The book can be purchased in three formats, hardcover, paperback and e-book, through the below links:

INDIA: https://www.amazon.in/Im-Not-Quitter-Rebelious-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B09NFKY9BV 

AUSTRALIA & NZ: https://www.amazon.com.au/Im-Not-Quitter-Rebelious-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B09NFKY9BV

UK & SCOTLAND:https://www.amazon.CO.UK/Im-Not-Quitter-Rebelious-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B09NFKY9BV

WORLDWIDE: https://www.amazon.com/Im-Not-Quitter-Rebelious-Sunshine-ebook/dp/B09NFKY9BV

Book Cover

About Me!

 My name is Raymond Anthony Cooke, born on the  29nd  December 1945, in Kolkata West Bengal, INDIA.   I was sent to Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong West Bengal, on 14 August 1947, at the tender age of 20 months old, suffering from malnutrition and other related illnesses.   I came from an impoverished family background; my parents could not adequately look after me and my 2 older siblings.   I was given to understand then that I was an orphan.   Though those were my happiest days, there were times when I missed having parents, especially at the end of each year, when borders and children would go home to be with their parents over the Christmas Holidays, spanning over a 3-month period.
 I was in the homes until the 4th October 1960 and due to ill health was transferred to a school in Kolkata to finish my education.  While there I learned to fend for myself and learned welding as I was not an academic genius.  I left this school on the 4th October 1963.  In the meantime, had discovered that I had, parents, and after a brief search found them.  I began work as an apprentice baker on a salary of Rs40/- a month, I lived in a boarding  home called The Birkmyre Hostel run by Dr Graham’s Homes for boys who were just starting out in life.
I proceeded to attend night school and completed a shorthand and typing course, as I could not see too much scope in being a baker.   The dividends paid off ,and I got a job requiring those skills and my salary increased to Rs260/- a month, a big jump from my previous job. 
 I met and fell in love with a girl, she too, had a similar background to me.  The day before my departure to Australia, we got engaged to be married.   I left the next day in mid-April 1969, I applied for my fiancée to join me in Australia. We got married on the 4th October 1969, on a $20.00 budget.   Those were the good old days.  We struggled financially and we both needed to work and bring up our two children.  Though we were financially strapped, we were very happy and in love. 
 I joined The Royal Australian Air Force in June 1972, my daughter at the time was just 9 months old.   My father had died as a young man in 1975 of throat cancer due to heavy smoking and drinking.   I sponsored my mother to come to settle in Australia. She arrived in December 1979.  
The next 20 years was filled with tragedy. My wife of 15 years died of cancer. My children were 13 and 5 years old respectively. We continued as a family and all that entails. With other difficulties, that few would have imagined.
I married my second wife Evelyn in Singapore on 2nd October 1990. That brought stability to our lives. We made many new wonderful friends and have traveled to many countries and cities all over the world.

Sweet Memories

A million feelings, A thousand thoughts, A hundred memories.

One Person

To Reach me!

If you would like to share your story and provide your thoughts, please do so below. I'll respond to every query I get (One of the bests of retirement! :)
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