Resident Stories



Paul Snow has always had an interest in the arts. However, his life offered so many other rewards he didn’t have the opportunity to pick up a paintbrush or a sketching pencil until he retired. He hasn’t stopped painting and sketching since.

Paul was born in London in 1934, but he and his family were evacuated to Northamptonshire when he was eight years of age due to the bombing blitz over London during WWII. The family returned after the war, and at 13 years of age Paul was enrolled in the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, a school steeped in naval traditions.

“There were 650 pupils, all being the sons of Navy veterans and many were orphans,” says Paul. “My time there was a prelude to joining the Navy in 1950. I served at sea for nine years.”

Paul went on to join the City of London Police. He was with them for three years but still has his London ‘Bobby’ police helmet! Next, he became a publican and worked in North London and St. Martins Lane, in the centre of the London theatre district.

Paul married during this time, and in 1965 he and his wife looked for adventure on the other side of the world and emigrated to Brisbane.

“We purchased a home in Ipswich, and I ran a parcel delivery business for many years,” says Paul. “In 1972 we moved to Canberra, where I worked in private security. Then in 1973, I moved to Sydney where I worked as a Distribution Manager for a large furniture maker before taking on a security job at St Vincent’s Private Hospital.”

With Queensland calling, Paul returned to Brisbane where he continued working in security. He finished his career managing a Gold Coast apartment hotel, retiring in 1997.

Finally, with time on his hands, he was able to follow his interest in the arts and took up acrylic and water colour painting and sketching in pencil.

“I owned a house in Hungary and would spend six months of the year there, and it was during those visits that I would go to art galleries and museums and develop my painting skills” says Paul.

He paints in Impressionist and Fauvism (Matisse) styles and considers himself “a great forger”!

His family and friends consider him a great artist. Now living at To find out more about Oak Tree Goodna, it is not uncommon to find friends and fellow residents visiting Paul to enjoy the 40-plus paintings he has in his villa, with some of his family and friends occasionally commissioning artworks.

Paul moved into his villa in 2010. He was staying with relatives nearby when he saw the for-sale sign. He inspected, loved what he saw and chose a villa by the pool.

It’s Paul’s villa patio that offers him the inspiration he needs for his art.

“It’s very private but I can hear the birdsong and that inspires me,” says Paul. “The gardens are so lovely here, lots of birds breed in the village and they use it as their home. I really do enjoy the peace and quiet.”

When Paul moved into the community, he teamed up with some other ‘artists in residence’ and offered art classes in the community centre. Like Paul, some of the other residents now continue their hobby in their own homes.

When Paul is not painting, he enjoys sharing a laugh with fellow residents. He is well read and worldly and has lots of interesting stories to tell. He also appreciates the safety and security that living within the Oak Tree Goodna community offers.

To find out more about Oak Tree Retirement Village Goodna, or for a personal tour call 1300 367 155.

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