Born in Nürnberg, Germany [yes, Richard Wagner wrote an Opera – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – with the town at its centre, but I forgot to ask Hardy whether he is a ‘Master Singer’ himself… ☺ Ed], he arrived in Australia via New Zealand at the ripe old age of 21. Initially he came to Beechworth in the North of Victoria, but shortly after moved to Melbourne.
His qualification, acquired in a German Mechanical Engineering School, would serve him well in his newly adopted country. With justified pride, Hardy recalled the time of qualifying for the scholarship: “There were some 450 applicants, and only 35 could be selected”, he modestly recounts. “But really, I would have preferred to study History, but the family was quite adamant that there was no future and no money to be made in History…” His dedication to his vocation (and, dare I say it, probably his proverbial German approach to precision) was ideally placed in his career with the Victorian Government, where he served as an inspector of Weights and Measures.
Interestingly, Hardy also considered to emigrate to Canada, but, due to Canada being a member of NATO and thus there being a potential to getting drafted into the army, he decided on Australia. The fare: Self-funded, £159! (Note: since then the UK had approximately 23 times inflation, which makes it around £3,600, or AUS$6,650 in today’s purchasing power!)
And how did he meet his darling wife, Yoko? With a bit of a twinkle in his eye, Hardy replied “Well, I went to Japan on holidays 1963. Decided to go back again in 1964 (officially, for the Olympics…). It took 5 months before I was allowed to bring her back, due to the (then still in force) White Australia Policy.  We married in 1965.”  And for R&R? In his younger days, he played Soccer for Richmond in Melbourne (Goalie). These days, besides his dedication to our Project Shed, Hardy enjoys reading adventure novels in the genre of Wilbur Smith and James Patterson or perhaps listening to traditional Jazz.  His ‘Theme of Life’: “Judge people on their merits, not on where they have come from”.