Thursday, May 12, 2022



In One Lifetime

by Graham Forlonge


GENRE: Non-Fiction - Autobiography



This book is an autobiography of a man who had over 50 mostly major PTSD events in his life. It recounts the trials, struggles, and lessons learned over a life span of 67 years. It recalls his childhood, time as lifesaver, police diver, police driving instructor, member of SWOS, professional NRL footballer, running Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC), Security Manager of the world renowned Porgera Gold Mine in PNG and world record holder of going around Australia in under 10 days on a motorcycle. The events accounted whilst a police diver as well as a Highway Patrol Officer includes plane crashes, train accidents, body recoveries and numerous fatal road accidents, some of which are major historic events in Australian history. It also includes native raids, murders, abuse and many more traumatic events while working in PNG. Some of the accounts are captivating and others highly emotional. His life and determination to succeed was mostly driven as a result of having been sexually abused over many years at the hand of his tutor as a child. It is a true Australian story and displays considerable endurance and survival skills.



One particular weekend day stands out in memory. I can’t remember exactly what the clubbies had done but they had upset a bunch of boardies, many of whom were not the locals who I had developed some rapport with, but were from all over the Central Coast. The day went by with a few exchanges of crude language and hand gestures, and I thought that was where the matter would end. After a few drinks with the boys late that afternoon, the clubbies all went home, leaving me by myself again. It was quiet for a few hours, but at about 11 pm, I heard a couple of cars pull up and then a loud bang on the roof. And then another.

Someone was throwing rocks at the windows and onto the roof while shouting obscenities. Looking out one of the smashed windows, I saw about five or six rock-throwing youths, probably a bit older than me, clearly unsteady on their feet. Courage in the bottle as we used to call it. The only telephone was locked away in the offices (again, no mobiles in those days) and I only had daytime access to the offices, something that I changed the very next day.

I had to think quickly. Had I done nothing, they may have concluded that the clubhouse was empty, broke in and started destroying things, including me.

What to do? I needed a plan!

The switches for the front exterior lights and the internal lights of the clubhouse were near the front door, so, making it up as I went, I ran to the front door with my Bowie knife and counted to five (I wanted to count to five million, but…). I hit all the switches and the place lit up like Luna Park. I raced out the door with my Bowie knife raised and shouted, “Come on fellas, let’s get ‘em.”

Well, they all took off like bullets, some down the street and some across the golf course! I kept screaming out, “Get ‘em! Get ‘em!” until they had all disappeared, leaving their cars behind. Only then did I stop and take stock of the situation. Then I thought: Well, I may as well let them know who they’re dealing with!

So, I dug the Bowie knife into one of their tyres; it went flat in seconds.

Realizing it was probably not yet midnight and I was still there by myself, I quickly ran back to the clubhouse and locked it up as tightly as possible. I left all the lights on and lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Later that night, I heard whispering voices from the direction of the vehicles and soon afterwards heard them slowly and quietly drive away, flat tyre and all! It was only then that I fell into a heavy, deep sleep.

I still wonder what would have happened that night if they had decided to run towards me instead of away. Was I just foolish or lucky or what?

But then, I did not care.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Graham Forlonge is a father, footballer, policeman, diver, security officer and the author of IN ONE LIFETIME.

In the 5-Star Review from IndieReader C.S. Holmes writes, "In the memoir In One Lifetime by Graham Forlonge, the author experiences murder, plane crashes, mine explosions, and more...on his way to healing from PTSD...Graham Forlonge’s memoir In One Lifetime is an expansively honest and brutally detailed submersion into aspects of trauma that left the author with a lifelong case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is most touching when detailing his healing process."

It took 10+ years to write his memoir. Now, Graham works as a part time counselor for the underprivileged.

Connect with Graham Forlonge



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