John was born in Sydney in 1949. He grew up in La Perouse and throughout his life has camped, fished and worked on the south coast. His father was Harold Charles Pender (dec) from Nowra and mother Elvie Pearl Page, who is currently living in Sydney.
Spending time on the road, following the fish along the coast was a way of life for John and his family. They camped at Mystery Bay, Wallaga Lake and Durras as well as other places. Families from Victoria and Sydney, meet up at Mystery Bay, annually. John brings his children to Mystery Bay on an annual basis to ensure that they have an opportunity to meet their relatives. John camped at Mystery Bay with his mother and father during the 1950s. His father fished and his mother was the camp cook, whilst John slept in a tomato box. The family moved around depending on where the fish were. ‘Mystery holds power, power sitting in the land; you can almost hear the corroborees, singing in the bush. …It comes to you when you are there. …’
John currently resides at Mummuga [Dalmeny] Lake, camping in a caravan in the bush.Excerpt from Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People, 2006. Story contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.