This episode of Small Talk Big Ideas podcast is with my Mum and Dad, Rosalie and Julian Ugarte, and as with all parents their influence in my life has been an incredible experience. It’s only in recent years that I have realised how the connection between us had to be increased, and that the simple words  “I love you” are easy to say.

Listen in on the stories of their lives, investing in property, and listen to me be in inconsolable tears of watching the pain in my mothers eyes as she relived a traumatic experience through two generations. An open an honest conversation including the realisation that my father as a 13 year old was the person who found that my grandfather had passed from this earth.

Rosalie and Julian Ugarte

Announcer (00:00:03):

Thanks for joining us for this Small Talk, Big Ideas podcast, a podcast to enrich yourself where we have conversations with inspiring people about all things, property, business, and life. And now the host of Small Talk, Big Ideas, Ian Ugarte.

Ian Ugarte (00:00:24):

So welcome Small Talk, Big Ideas podcast. Today our episode is with my parents, Rosalie and Julian Ugarte that came out to this country in 1971 and made a family out here. Now this is a very emotional at times podcast and a few laughs in there as well. Remember to follow us on all the social media channels, subscribe to this podcast, and you can get more information at Enjoy this episode, I really enjoyed recording it. Hi.

Julian Ugarte (00:00:59):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:01:00):


Ian Ugarte (00:01:02):

My mom just asked what a podcast was. How do I explain a podcast? A podcast is people having a conversation. Talking about stuff, and other people listen to it.

Julian Ugarte (00:01:17):

And what happens after that?

Ian Ugarte (00:01:19):

We make millions because we’re famous.

Julian Ugarte (00:01:22):

Oh, right?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:01:23):

Oh yeah, sure.

Julian Ugarte (00:01:24):

So on all the honesty, it’s that you publicize that, [crosstalk 00:01:31]?

Ian Ugarte (00:01:33):

Yeah, we just put it up on our channels. And we push it out to the people that are on our database. So, people that understand what we do and they just listen. So normally we have property people on that speak about their property, and we can speak about property. Talk about this one soon. But we also like to talk about people and where they’ve come from. Now, as I’m getting older, I have a bigger realization that I really actually don’t know a lot about you or anything that I do know might be stories in my head that I made up or I’ve grown from. So let’s start from the beginning. You’re born in Spain.

Julian Ugarte (00:02:23):


Ian Ugarte (00:02:23):

Both of you?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:27):


Ian Ugarte (00:02:27):

Mum, your family. You’ve got how many brothers and sisters?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:32):

Two sisters, and one brother.

Ian Ugarte (00:02:35):

And one brother. And you grew up in a, what? What’s the town called, Torrelavega?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:35):


Ian Ugarte (00:02:39):

Which is in the north of Spain?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:43):

In the north of Spain.

Ian Ugarte (00:02:43):

Did you always live in a unit?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:47):

In the beginning, no. When it was young, until 10 or 12, it was a house.

Ian Ugarte (00:02:53):

It was just a house, and then-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:02:55):

[foreign language 00:02:55].

Ian Ugarte (00:02:55):

Oh, yeah? Which is halfway to where dad was born.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:03:01):


Ian Ugarte (00:03:01):

So dad you’re born in Suances?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:03:04):


Julian Ugarte (00:03:04):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:03:04):

In Torrelavega.

Ian Ugarte (00:03:05):

Oh, you were born in Torrelavega?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:03:06):


Ian Ugarte (00:03:07):

And when did you go to Suances?

Julian Ugarte (00:03:13):

I was probably nine.

Ian Ugarte (00:03:15):

Nine. That’s only about 20 minutes away though, isn’t it?

Julian Ugarte (00:03:15):


Ian Ugarte (00:03:15):


Julian Ugarte (00:03:19):

Eight, 10 kilometers.

Ian Ugarte (00:03:20):

Yeah, on the beach.

Julian Ugarte (00:03:23):

On the beach.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:03:25):


Ian Ugarte (00:03:26):

Was that like a coastal town when you moved there and hardly anyone lived there?

Julian Ugarte (00:03:32):

It was mostly a holiday place, but it’s all summer, because the weather is very cold and nasty. Very green. Very beautiful. But yeah, we used to live off basically fish and tourism. Mostly above central Spain, Madrid. It was very popular. Being such a small town it was very cheap and very comfy. Yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:04:08):

So you basically, from the age of nine, grew up on the beach and around the rocks and around the ocean and learning fishing and doing stuff like that?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:16):

Yeah, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:04:19):

I have to add, sorry that the reason we moved to that town because my parents bought a-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:27):

A hotel, a big hotel.

Julian Ugarte (00:04:29):

… a hotel, right on the beach.

Ian Ugarte (00:04:29):

Oh, did they?

Julian Ugarte (00:04:29):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:29):

Yeah. They call-

Julian Ugarte (00:04:30):

Las Olas.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:30):

… Las Olas.

Julian Ugarte (00:04:33):

Which incidentally, an immigrant from Australia, a Spanish immigrant from Australia, come back and bought it and call it the Sydney.

Ian Ugarte (00:04:44):

And called it The Sydney. So your parents bought the hotel, ran it. And then sold it to a Spaniard who’d moved to Australia and then moved back?

Julian Ugarte (00:04:53):

No, that was a second.

Ian Ugarte (00:04:54):

Oh, it was after that, right. And so then they call it The Sydney.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:57):


Ian Ugarte (00:04:58):

Is it still there?

Julian Ugarte (00:04:59):

It’s still there. It’s not called The Sydney anymore, fortunately, because this man passed away and they sold the property, but the hotel is still there. I don’t know what the name is these days.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:04:59):

It’s right in the port.

Ian Ugarte (00:05:12):

Yeah. Where it comes out.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:13):


Ian Ugarte (00:05:14):

Because there’s some surf beaches there too.

Julian Ugarte (00:05:15):

Oh, yeah.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:16):


Ian Ugarte (00:05:17):

Playa de los Locos is probably the best surf beach. And so, translated Playa de los Locos means place for-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:25):

The crazy beach.

Ian Ugarte (00:05:26):

Yeah, beach for crazy people.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:31):

Because it’s too bright.

Ian Ugarte (00:05:31):

Because it was too bright?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:32):


Ian Ugarte (00:05:33):

Oh, see, there’s a story in my head. My story in the head was that it was actually the castle at the top, was like a castle, but they had people with mental problems and that they used to tie them down on the beach.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:45):


Julian Ugarte (00:05:45):

That was [inaudible 00:05:46].

Ian Ugarte (00:05:50):

There you go. All right. Mum, you were good at school?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:05:54):


Ian Ugarte (00:05:55):

Yeah? Dad, were you good at school?

Julian Ugarte (00:05:58):

Within reason, yeah. Education is limited, but mostly private school.

Ian Ugarte (00:06:05):


Julian Ugarte (00:06:06):

I did primary school at Suances, and private school after that.

Ian Ugarte (00:06:11):

So private school means like…

Julian Ugarte (00:06:14):

I didn’t go to college. I just got private-

Ian Ugarte (00:06:17):


Julian Ugarte (00:06:18):


Ian Ugarte (00:06:18):

So you had your own person teaching you.

Julian Ugarte (00:06:18):


Ian Ugarte (00:06:21):

Got it. So am I right to say, if I remember this correctly, did the private tutor say to your parents, ” Probably not spending your money well”? Is that the story in my head?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:06:34):

Yeah. That was me.

Ian Ugarte (00:06:35):

That was you?

Julian Ugarte (00:06:35):

It was Rosalie, yeah.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:06:37):

Yeah, he said they only spend nothing, and my sister, Annie, is spending all the money. And Rosie.

Ian Ugarte (00:06:44):

Ah, so.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:06:45):

Because I watched the clever one, apparently. Apparently,.

Ian Ugarte (00:06:53):

Spend the money there. Can I talk, dad, about the ocean? And the one thing that I remember was we went over when I was 12 and watching you craft these rods together with fishing lines the night before, and then we’d go down the beach and you’d end up catching all of these crabs and bits and pieces. And going out and getting percebes which is like a barnacle that sits under rocks. And what’s the small fish that you net? We went out at night time.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:06:53):


Julian Ugarte (00:06:53):


Ian Ugarte (00:07:26):

Angulas, which is whitebait.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:07:29):


Ian Ugarte (00:07:31):

Yeah, whitebait.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:07:32):

Yeah, the [inaudible 00:07:33].

Ian Ugarte (00:07:33):

Yeah. There’s a story from your mother that always said that if you came home without any cuts, bruises or injuries, that it was a day for celebration, was that pretty normal?

Julian Ugarte (00:07:47):

Pretty much, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:07:52):

You’ve got a lot of brothers and sisters,

Julian Ugarte (00:07:54):

Correct. I’ve got two other alive brothers, and three sisters. Two alive. One in Australia, one still in Spain. Genius one. And my older sister which passed away as well. So yeah, it’s only three of us left.

Ian Ugarte (00:08:13):

So you were the second youngest?

Julian Ugarte (00:08:15):

Second youngest, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:08:17):

I want to know the real story, because I’ve told this story a number of times and I’m not sure if it’s right, about the pulpo, the octopus.

Julian Ugarte (00:08:25):

Yeah. It’s pretty true. I mean, I was such a petite guy. I still am a petite guy.

Ian Ugarte (00:08:25):

Very petite.

Julian Ugarte (00:08:31):

Yeah, very petite. But we used to get the octopus with, the octopus get attracted by colors and movement. So we used to get corn leaves, dry corn leaves, jello, tied it to a stick and just put that in the currents and water and on the rocks and things like that. And the octopus will come to it and try to grab it. And it was a very risky thing to do, not because I do it, everybody was doing it in there. But yeah, but you just attract the octopus, once you can see it, you grab his head and pull him out and turn their head outside up.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:22):

So this is something that most people don’t know. Why do you turn the head inside out?

Julian Ugarte (00:09:26):

To get the power out of the octopus.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:28):

So as soon as you-

Julian Ugarte (00:09:30):

Obviously he that I take your head and twist it around, you will lose all the nerve system in you.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:36):

I’ve never thought about that, but yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:09:41):

Yeah. So that’s what happens. In this particular instance, this octopus was pretty large.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:49):

So you knew it was large when you saw it?

Julian Ugarte (00:09:52):

I knew it was large.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:53):

And how old were you?

Julian Ugarte (00:09:55):

Probably nine and a half, 10.

Ian Ugarte (00:09:55):


Julian Ugarte (00:10:00):

The skill was passed to me by my father, of course.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:04):


Julian Ugarte (00:10:06):

And yeah, I was on my own of course, kneeled down to get this octopus off the cave where he was, and I was still weak. So I grab him, he grabbed me back and pulled me down.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:22):

So he pulled into the water?

Julian Ugarte (00:10:24):

Down into the pool, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:26):

So it’s like a rock pool?

Julian Ugarte (00:10:28):

That’s correct.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:28):


Julian Ugarte (00:10:29):

And the only thing that saved me is that the rock pool had a lot of small rock and small [inaudible 00:10:36] and things like that and the octopus didn’t have anything to grab. So I managed to get out. I didn’t let him go.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:43):

So did it pull you under water?

Julian Ugarte (00:10:45):

It pulled me under water. Pulled me down into the [crosstalk 00:10:48].

Ian Ugarte (00:10:48):

Did you struggle?

Julian Ugarte (00:10:51):

A little bit, of course.

Ian Ugarte (00:10:51):

How long do you think?

Julian Ugarte (00:10:53):

Not long. You can’t be there for a while that either you let him go or he lets you go. I wasn’t going to let him go.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:04):

And so, it was pretty big.

Julian Ugarte (00:11:05):

Pretty big. When I pulled him out and finally got him, it was taller than me. I was holding up here.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:11):

Yeah, and it’s tentacles were still on the ground.

Julian Ugarte (00:11:14):

Yeah. And I have-

Ian Ugarte (00:11:15):

Suction marks.

Julian Ugarte (00:11:16):

… these suctions all over my arms for months, really.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:20):

For months?

Julian Ugarte (00:11:21):

Months. Yes. That’s pretty severe.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:26):

So it could’ve, if it did have something stable to hold on…

Julian Ugarte (00:11:31):

I would have not come out.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:32):

I wouldn’t have been born.

Julian Ugarte (00:11:33):

Well, pretty much, but there [inaudible 00:11:38]. Perhaps he would have let me go. I don’t know.

Ian Ugarte (00:11:39):

Yeah. Quite an interesting negotiation while you’re under water. “Can you like, let me go, please?” Okay. Now again, so next point of history for me is that you were managing a bar in Torrelavega.

Julian Ugarte (00:11:55):

Well, once my father, which is as long story, I won’t go into that, but basically he got done by his best friend. The person he bought the hotel from. And he finished up with probably nothing. Anyway.

Ian Ugarte (00:12:14):

Well I don’t know that story. So my grandfather, your father, basically got done over in a business deal and lost all their wealth. So you went from a very wealthy family to a family that then wasn’t.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:12:30):


Ian Ugarte (00:12:31):

You’re talking a lot of money?

Julian Ugarte (00:12:32):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:12:33):


Julian Ugarte (00:12:33):

A lot of money at the time. Because originally my father had a, he was a butcher. So he changed from butcher to restaurant, and then he had different butcher shops in different towns of Torrelavega and Suances. And my brother and my sister will manage one of the two shops that were left. And then he went into the hotel and it lasted until, four years, until I was 13 with the little money they got left over, they bought this small, call it a bar, tavern.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:13:19):

[foreign language 00:13:19].

Julian Ugarte (00:13:21):

[foreign language 00:13:21].

Ian Ugarte (00:13:21):

So it’s an interesting thing because when it comes to Spain, what amazed me when I went over there and particularly the second time I went over when I was 19, is that almost every second shopfront is a bar or something that does tapas and drink. And I remember thinking to myself, “How do these places survive?”

Julian Ugarte (00:13:42):

Yeah. Well they’d all have their own clientele. And they used to finish work and go, and Torrelavega is a very industrial town, and it’s wealthy. The town is wealthy because it’s got all the industry plus-

Ian Ugarte (00:13:42):

Well, the industry is wealthy, but they’ve got all the-

Julian Ugarte (00:14:00):

… plus all the farming.

Ian Ugarte (00:14:02):

… all the workers and the farmers, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:14:03):

So most in there will work in the factory during the day, and then they got their farm with a few cows, a few birds, a few veggies and so forth. So it is still a very rich town.

Ian Ugarte (00:14:19):

Yeah. So they buy this bar and you’re working in the bar.

Julian Ugarte (00:14:28):

I work in the bar. I had to work in the bar because my father was very ill and then he passed away.

Ian Ugarte (00:14:35):

So how old were you when he passed away?

Julian Ugarte (00:14:37):

I was 13. It was a few months only.

Ian Ugarte (00:14:40):

It was quick, was it?

Julian Ugarte (00:14:41):

Yeah, very quick. I found him myself in bed with a biscuit on his hand and half on his mouth. And that was it. He went swift gone. But only 58.

Ian Ugarte (00:14:57):

So was it cancer or was it heart attack?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:14:58):

Heart attack.

Julian Ugarte (00:15:00):

But he had a lot of problems with the-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:15:03):

With the lame.

Julian Ugarte (00:15:03):

With the lames, and he self was a very heavy smoker and yeah, probably you’ll blame me for it, but I think it’s him.

Ian Ugarte (00:15:15):

Him, okay. The genetics. So 13, you find your father passed away. Did that affect you?

Julian Ugarte (00:15:26):

A lot. A lot. I still remember it today. Right as we speak I still see him there, laying on the bed. He’s halfway standing up and his biscuit on his hand and the other one on his mouth. And it’s just, yeah, I see him now.

Ian Ugarte (00:15:53):

So you’re managing the bar now-

Julian Ugarte (00:15:56):

Not managing the bar, I was helping my mother in the bar and yeah, and doing a little bit of private school after every day, a couple of hours. My mother manage to, because obviously she had to pay for that. So she managed to pay a couple of hours of private-

Ian Ugarte (00:16:26):


Julian Ugarte (00:16:26):

Tuition, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:16:29):

So when did you meet?

Julian Ugarte (00:16:34):

We met through mutual friends and we used to, Sundays we used to go-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:16:44):

To the [foreign language 00:16:45].

Julian Ugarte (00:16:45):


Ian Ugarte (00:16:46):

What’s that?

Julian Ugarte (00:16:48):

[foreign language 00:16:48] is, every tongue is fine. Big, small.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:16:52):

[inaudible 00:16:52]. They got a saint.

Julian Ugarte (00:16:52):

They got a saint to celebrate.

Ian Ugarte (00:16:52):


Julian Ugarte (00:16:58):

They get musicians and they get…

Ian Ugarte (00:17:03):

And that happens once a year, though?

Julian Ugarte (00:17:05):

Once a year-

Ian Ugarte (00:17:05):

So it’s like a Saint Day.

Julian Ugarte (00:17:07):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:08):


Julian Ugarte (00:17:08):

But every… because it’s so-

Ian Ugarte (00:17:10):

Oh, so you travel from town to town, to all the Saint Days?

Julian Ugarte (00:17:14):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:14):


Ian Ugarte (00:17:14):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:16):

Every Sunday, [crosstalk 00:17:17]-

Ian Ugarte (00:17:16):

There was one somewhere.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:19):

Is dance in the middle of the party, the music is on top of the [foreign language 00:17:25].

Ian Ugarte (00:17:26):

So the musician’s sitting on top of a cart and they’re going around playing, right. Okay. And so everyone’s in the streets dancing and having fun.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:36):

Yeah, everyone.

Ian Ugarte (00:17:36):

Right. So it’s a festival.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:17:38):

Yeah, exactly.

Julian Ugarte (00:17:40):

Very small.

Ian Ugarte (00:17:41):


Julian Ugarte (00:17:43):

And all the people from different towns will go there, and then the following week is another town, and it’s almost every week of the year, is something going. Yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:17:52):

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, I suppose it’s like in Australia they call them field days where they have them in different country towns and they go around. But when you first met, how old were you both?

Julian Ugarte (00:18:04):

I was probably 14 turning 15, yeah?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:18:09):

Yeah, and I was 13. And he was in a group. We were in a group of boys and girls. Eight boys and eight girls. And your father was [crosstalk 00:18:23] the girlfriend of Carmina, my friend.

Ian Ugarte (00:18:29):

So you went out with one of mum’s friends to start with?

Julian Ugarte (00:18:32):

Correct. And then Carmina got interest on some other boy from the group and I got interest with… Well actually your mother sucked me into it, but then it…

Ian Ugarte (00:18:47):

How did that work? How did she suck you into it?

Julian Ugarte (00:18:51):

I suppose mutual agreement.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:18:57):

[inaudible 00:18:57].

Ian Ugarte (00:18:57):

All right. So…

Julian Ugarte (00:19:00):

No, I had to fight hard for that. Because I had a lot of competition, but anyway.

Ian Ugarte (00:19:07):

Because mum is a very beautiful woman.

Julian Ugarte (00:19:11):

She was, and she still-

Ian Ugarte (00:19:11):

She still is. Wrong side of the bed. I do remember when I was 19 or 20, one of the guys I played soccer with came to me, goes, “Man, your mother.” And I said, “What about my mum?” And she goes, “She’s hot.” And I went, “Ease up, that’s my mum you’re talking about.” Okay, so there is a story about you working in the bar and a guy who had a bike and you wanted to go and visit mum.

Julian Ugarte (00:19:46):

Yeah. This one of our, as I say before, we had our regular customers.

Ian Ugarte (00:19:53):

The locals, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:19:54):

Yeah, the locals. Rosalie’s father was working in one of the-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:20:01):

In [inaudible 00:20:01].

Julian Ugarte (00:20:01):

… in [inaudible 00:20:01] one of the-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:20:04):

[inaudible 00:20:04].

Julian Ugarte (00:20:04):

But there on the way from the [inaudible 00:20:06] and was Torrelavega. She has to go to Torrelavega, yes. Stop on the bar, they had a few drinks and then they go home and have dinner and so forth. So I always normally find excuses to pop out of the bar, of course with all the controversy of my mother and, “You’re going again, blah, blah, blah.” Find an excuse to go to Torrelavega and visit my girlfriend. So this particular man was so kind to lend me his bike to go and visit.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:20:47):

Always had one with the [inaudible 00:20:50].

Julian Ugarte (00:20:50):


Ian Ugarte (00:20:51):

So let’s just get this story clear. So you’re working in the bar. You’ve got one of the locals that’s always there, one of the regulars that always turns up on the way home from work. And you don’t really know who he is, he’s just a regular. He’s got a bike and you’ve got a girlfriend, and he’s happy to lend you the bike to go and visit your girlfriend.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:21:11):


Ian Ugarte (00:21:11):


Julian Ugarte (00:21:12):

Because officially I wasn’t going to visit my girlfriend.

Ian Ugarte (00:21:18):

You were doing something else?

Julian Ugarte (00:21:18):

I was going to get something from Torrelavega that we need for the bar.

Ian Ugarte (00:21:21):

That’s what you told someone.

Julian Ugarte (00:21:22):

Supply or whatever.

Ian Ugarte (00:21:23):


Julian Ugarte (00:21:24):


Ian Ugarte (00:21:24):

All right. So you’ve taken the bike.

Julian Ugarte (00:21:26):

Taken the bike, this is going on for a few months and so, and one particular day.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:21:35):

Yeah. He left the bicycle in one place. And one day we were in the door of my house, in Torrelavega, my grandparent’s house. And I said, “My father, my father.” He said, “No, that’s my friend that lent me their bicycle.” Well he closed the door and he let me out. I was in the street.

Ian Ugarte (00:22:09):

So just so that everyone understands this, you’re borrowing this bike to go to Torrelavega to do bullshit. You’re actually going to see your girlfriend, from this guy that you hardly know. And the bike’s out the front of the house. Mum says, “That’s my dad’s bike.” And you didn’t know it was your future father-in-law’s.

Julian Ugarte (00:22:28):

Your mother used to describe her father, as nasty, very strict person. And once she said to me, “That’s my father’s bike.” and I said, “Nah, that can’t be your father. Your father is not a bad person. It’s not an angry person. It’s good, it’s fine. He lent me bike that got me to visit you.”

Ian Ugarte (00:22:54):

So did he ever know?

Julian Ugarte (00:22:56):

Of course he did. As soon as we met.

Ian Ugarte (00:23:00):

He knew that you were the boyfriend?

Julian Ugarte (00:23:02):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:23:03):


Ian Ugarte (00:23:03):

Oh, right.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:23:04]

Ian Ugarte (00:23:00):

So he knew that you were the boyfriend?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:23:02):


Ian Ugarte (00:23:03):

Oh right.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:23:05):

He closed the door and he left me in the street. He don’t let me because he saw me with Julian.

Ian Ugarte (00:23:12):

Oh, I get it, right. So you’re now 17, 18 years old. Do you get married?

Julian Ugarte (00:23:17):

Yeah. With the threat of Rosa’s father, if you get pregnant, boy, you will not be part of my family anymore and so forth.

Ian Ugarte (00:23:30):

So, get pregnant out of wedlock.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:23:33):


Ian Ugarte (00:23:33):

But you wouldn’t have had sex before marriage?

Julian Ugarte (00:23:35):

No, of course.

Ian Ugarte (00:23:35):

You’re saints.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:23:35):

Well, we kissed a year. We giving our kids a year going out.

Ian Ugarte (00:23:43):

So, after one year of going out was your first kiss.

Julian Ugarte (00:23:45):

Yeah, I got a little kiss. No big one. Let me say that on those days in Spain the culture was very, very-

Ian Ugarte (00:24:01):


Julian Ugarte (00:24:02):

… closed minded, and very, very antique, or remote, or what will you call it?

Ian Ugarte (00:24:12):

There’s some cultures that arranged marriages, that wasn’t really done there.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:24:16):


Ian Ugarte (00:24:16):

You’d find a partner and then would you go and ask permission?

Julian Ugarte (00:24:21):

Definitely. Yeah, ask permission, ask for obviously for marriage. But the biggest issue was that if a woman would get pregnant before marriage she would be disgraced forever.

Ian Ugarte (00:24:41):

So the family would disown you.

Julian Ugarte (00:24:41):

[crosstalk 00:24:41] she would be very, very …

Rosalie Ugarte (00:24:41):

They couldn’t find another fellow to marry.

Julian Ugarte (00:24:41):

She will not have a life anymore. She will be just …

Ian Ugarte (00:24:51):


Julian Ugarte (00:24:52):


Ian Ugarte (00:24:53):

So you decided to get married, because that’s really what your father wanted, Mum.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:03):

No, not really.

Julian Ugarte (00:25:04):

No, we wanted it ourselves.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:05):

Your father wants to get married and I said, “I don’t know how to cook. I don’t know how to do anything.”

Ian Ugarte (00:25:09):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:10):


Ian Ugarte (00:25:10):

You didn’t know how to cook?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:14):

Yes and no.

Ian Ugarte (00:25:15):

But not to the level that you thought that you …

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:17):


Julian Ugarte (00:25:18):

Not to get married because to get married … Also all the bits and pieces that you put together before you get married, especially the girls in Spain at the time they will have to have all the bits a pieces, bed linen.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:37):

The glory box.

Ian Ugarte (00:25:41):

So you’d have everything. So was it a big wedding?

Julian Ugarte (00:25:45):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:45):

60 people.

Ian Ugarte (00:25:47):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:47):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ian Ugarte (00:25:47):

That’s still pretty big.

Julian Ugarte (00:25:49):

It’s big, but our family was huge too. Don’t forget that.

Ian Ugarte (00:25:54):

Who paid?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:25:56):

My parents paid for the things. Your grandmother went to choose the menu. [Martina 00:26:04] choose the menu, but we pay, my father.

Ian Ugarte (00:26:07):

So she chose a very expensive menu. Is that what you’re saying?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:26:10):

Not really, no.

Ian Ugarte (00:26:16):

You get married. My brother, [Julian 00:26:19], so your Julian. Sorry, I haven’t even introduced you Julian, or Julian. Is Julian your actually name?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:26:28):

Julian, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:26:29):

And Rosalie. But your nickname was [Cortez 00:26:33].

Rosalie Ugarte (00:26:34):


Ian Ugarte (00:26:34):

Where did that come from?

Julian Ugarte (00:26:37):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:26:39):


Julian Ugarte (00:26:40):

I was from south of Spain. South of Spain they’ve got a little bit of dialect, or accent, different accent. He would not be able pronounce [crosstalk 00:26:51] or Jose, because I was Jose Julian officially. He was pronounced that H with a C, so it sounded like Cortez. Instead of Jose, Cortez.

Ian Ugarte (00:27:16):

I get it now.

Julian Ugarte (00:27:17):

Incidentally, the bar was called [Bark Hotel 00:27:18] in Spain.

Ian Ugarte (00:27:22):

So my brother, Julian was born soon after, a year later.

Julian Ugarte (00:27:29):

Nine months later.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:27:30):

No, 10 months.

Ian Ugarte (00:27:34):

Don’t hold up Dad.

Julian Ugarte (00:27:38):

[crosstalk 00:27:38] Funny enough.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:27:40):

No, we were not going to have children for two years.

Julian Ugarte (00:27:40):

At least.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:27:43):

At least two years.

Julian Ugarte (00:27:44):

Then we had our [inaudible 00:27:44].

Rosalie Ugarte (00:27:43):

But it wasn’t the pill or anything in there.

Ian Ugarte (00:27:50):

No pill back then. So, where were you living?

Julian Ugarte (00:28:02):

In [Torrevieja 00:28:02], in the bar.

Ian Ugarte (00:28:03):

Oh, you were living in the bar.

Julian Ugarte (00:28:03):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). In the bar for a while and then we moved.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:28:09):

[crosstalk 00:28:09]

Julian Ugarte (00:28:10):

Since it got bad with [inaudible 00:28:14], with your grandmother and we couldn’t go home anymore because-

Ian Ugarte (00:28:22):

You couldn’t pay the bills.

Julian Ugarte (00:28:23):

It wasn’t working. Then were moved to Torrevieja and then I got a job and start traveling around Spain.

Ian Ugarte (00:28:33):

What was the job that you did?

Julian Ugarte (00:28:38):

I went with a company. I had a lot of knowledge about ships and machines and things like that.

Ian Ugarte (00:28:47):

So you’re like a boiler maker.

Julian Ugarte (00:28:49):

Pretty much. I did a pre-apprenticeship and all that. Then I move into, we used to … Was a company that used to build refrigeration ships to transport food and batches and so forth from one country to another. I used to do all the machine [inaudible 00:29:13], plumbing, insulation and so forth.

Ian Ugarte (00:29:16):

Welding as well.

Julian Ugarte (00:29:17):

Welding, put it all together.

Ian Ugarte (00:29:20):

So you’re traveling around Spain doing all that sort of stuff. Your brother, my uncle, [Valentin 00:29:25], moved to Australia and married an Australian girl. Then your sister, my auntie [Marie 00:29:33], then followed. Then her boyfriend followed to Australia. So Valentin arrived in the sixties.

Julian Ugarte (00:29:20):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:29:20):

Before that.

Julian Ugarte (00:29:39):

No, ’58.

Ian Ugarte (00:29:40):

Auntie Marie.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:29:42):


Julian Ugarte (00:29:43):


Ian Ugarte (00:29:49):

Then you came out.

Julian Ugarte (00:29:50):


Ian Ugarte (00:29:53):

So, my brother is seven years old.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:29:57):

He was seven.

Ian Ugarte (00:29:58):

You came out first dad before mum did.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:29:58):


Julian Ugarte (00:30:01):

So then when I wait for the immigration plan, so my brother, I asked my brother to send me the money for … Or send me the ticket.

Ian Ugarte (00:30:14):

You came into Australia …

Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:17):

As a tourist.

Julian Ugarte (00:30:18):

No, I come officially as an immigrant, reclaimed by my brother, because at the time-

Ian Ugarte (00:30:25):

So, he sponsored you.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:25):


Julian Ugarte (00:30:26):

That’s correct. At the time any family member of any migrant in Australia will have the right to come, subject to medical-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:26):

Residential and …

Julian Ugarte (00:30:37):

Medical things.

Ian Ugarte (00:30:40):

So mum waited back then and …

Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:43):

Nine months, I think.

Ian Ugarte (00:30:45):

How was that, being apart, for you Mum?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:50):

Very hard.

Ian Ugarte (00:30:50):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:30:54):

Because we’re missing each other. I used to go to [inaudible 00:30:58] their capital to get the go ahead from immigration, Australian immigration. Every time he said, “Oh, it’s not this month. It’s going to be this month.” All the way from [inaudible 00:31:13] there to Torrevieja in the train I was crying.

Ian Ugarte (00:31:17):

On the way back?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:31:17):


Ian Ugarte (00:31:19):

So when you arrived for the seven months you started working, doing what Dad?

Julian Ugarte (00:31:25):

Well, my brother on the Don Quixote restaurant in the city. The famous restaurant at the time.

Ian Ugarte (00:31:32):

The famous Don Quixote in Sydney.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:31:33):


Julian Ugarte (00:31:34):

He also had the catering of the CYC, the Cruising Yacht Club.

Ian Ugarte (00:31:40):

So, the Cruising Yacht Club, he had the catering contract.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:31:46):


Julian Ugarte (00:31:46):

Actually we were running the restaurant and the kitchen and the restaurant and so forth. So I mostly, I start there. Obviously the only thing without speaking the language, or doing anything. I started just as a kitchen aid.

Ian Ugarte (00:32:02):

A kitchen hand, yep.

Julian Ugarte (00:32:04):

A kitchen hand, washing plates. Then my brother-in-law, [inaudible 00:32:12] was a foreman at the General-

Ian Ugarte (00:32:18):

Morris Minor?

Julian Ugarte (00:32:20):

No. It was British Leyland at [inaudible 00:32:26] there. He got me a job as a welder. I was earning $63 a week. For five days work.

Ian Ugarte (00:32:45):

That’s what it costs for three of us to go to dinner nowadays, two of you to go to dinner.

Julian Ugarte (00:32:50):

[inaudible 00:32:50] and then if you make a phone call to Spain, at that time it will be $10 per minute. It was [crosstalk 00:32:56].

Ian Ugarte (00:32:55):

So, how often were you talking on the phone? Couldn’t do it.

Julian Ugarte (00:33:02):

Once a year perhaps.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:03):


Julian Ugarte (00:33:07):

We communicated more by mail.

Ian Ugarte (00:33:08):

Through telegram.

Julian Ugarte (00:33:10):

[crosstalk 00:33:10]

Ian Ugarte (00:33:09):

So you’re working, you got approved eventually, Mum.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:17):

Yes, and we fly …

Ian Ugarte (00:33:17):

So, did you cry on the train on the way back?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:23):


Ian Ugarte (00:33:23):

Cry with happiness.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:25):

Yeah. When we arrived in Madrid I show Qantas in any … That was Australian plane.

Ian Ugarte (00:33:34):

Why are you emotional?

Julian Ugarte (00:33:41):

Anyway, so-

Ian Ugarte (00:33:42):

Are you emotional because you were closer to seeing dad again?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:47):


Ian Ugarte (00:33:49):

Or is it because you were leaving Spain?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:33:54):

I’m missing Spain in the beginning.

Ian Ugarte (00:33:58):

It’s a big decision. I can’t imagine. So what are you, 26 now roughly?

Julian Ugarte (00:33:58):


Ian Ugarte (00:34:06):

25 years old, to leave all your family and you’re actually halfway around the world. It’s the furthest point you could possibly go to and you’re leaving your whole life. You’re coming to a place with a new language. You were at those days coming to a place where the new language … Immigrants nowadays are a little bit more accepted, but not back then.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:34:33):

No, not at all.

Julian Ugarte (00:34:35):

I suppose it was pretty nasty.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:34:39):

I remember I had a few lessons in Torrevieja, but I could not even ask for a glass of water in English. I remember it was your cousin, [Michael 00:34:54] [inaudible 00:34:54] and I went to a shop to buy one of those, what are they called? [foreign language 00:35:04].

Ian Ugarte (00:34:39):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:35:11):

They’re very similar in Spanish than English and that fellow, he couldn’t understand. I beg your pardon and I beg your partner. That was in George street. I went out and I cry because he couldn’t understand.

Ian Ugarte (00:35:23):

Couldn’t understand you?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:35:23):


Ian Ugarte (00:35:26):

I have a story about this and I don’t know if you know this story, that when your mother and father came out to … I don’t know, how long were they here for?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:35:35):

I don’t know.

Julian Ugarte (00:35:37):

Probably three months.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:35:39):

Very long.

Ian Ugarte (00:35:44):

I remember going down the corner shop at Universal street, George street there. Universal and Maloney street, and going in there and watching your mother ask … Even though that I was there, ask for bananas. I remember how difficult it was for her and I was only young, I might have only been seven or something. I remember thinking to myself, I can’t imagine … At the age of seven, I can’t imagine how it would have been for you to come out to a place and then added to that story was, and I don’t know if you remember this, you were the president of Spanish club. I went into the Spanish Embassy to get my Spanish passport and my Spanish isn’t that great. I can hold a conversation, but not well. My reading and writing’s not good. She asked me to fill out a form and I couldn’t understand the form because it wasn’t in English, it was in Spanish. I went and asked her a question, and this is the Spanish Embassy in Sydney, in Australia.

                  The place was packed, and she … I think you were with me, [Christine 00:36:49]. She singled me out in front of this place and made me feel so stupid because I couldn’t understand Spanish. Again, that was another place where I went, I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for you. Where there places, especially you dad, I mean, we’re both fiery, were there times where you just wanted to belt someone?

Julian Ugarte (00:37:09):

Very much so, but the racism was so severe in those days. However, look, overall I understand that even today we have different issues with different nationalities, even when it’s so wrong. But at the time I do understand these people, or the people in Australia, because to them we were coming to take away their country. I do understand that. Look, it was hard.

Ian Ugarte (00:37:50):

They did take it off someone else to start with.

Julian Ugarte (00:37:52):


Ian Ugarte (00:37:56):

So you’re back out here. You’re now together again. My brother Julian doesn’t speak any English, but he goes straight into school. He picks it up pretty quick. He’s with his cousins, who were all born here.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:38:09):


Ian Ugarte (00:38:09):

All of them were born here. So he’s the only guy that was born overseas.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:38:13):

Nearly converted in Spanish there, your cousins.

Ian Ugarte (00:38:19):

So you start renting a house, obviously.

Julian Ugarte (00:38:23):

Rent a unit in [crosstalk 00:38:28].

Ian Ugarte (00:38:27):

Then …

Rosalie Ugarte (00:38:28):

In Maroubra.

Ian Ugarte (00:38:30):

Then I remember living at Bondi as well.

Julian Ugarte (00:38:32):

Correct. We live in a [inaudible 00:38:35] from the Spanish guys that went overseas for a year to try out and go back.

Ian Ugarte (00:38:43):

Going back?

Julian Ugarte (00:38:43):


Ian Ugarte (00:38:44):

So, the Spanish community was quite strong in Sydney.

Julian Ugarte (00:38:47):

At the time it was. Although it’s never been huge …

Ian Ugarte (00:38:51):


Julian Ugarte (00:38:54):

But yeah, at the time we were on that age where we all have young families, just started.

Ian Ugarte (00:38:59):

I remember going to Bronte beach. Bronte beach got taken over every weekend by Spaniards.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:39:05):

For the Spaniards, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:39:06):

So I do want to take you back to one situation which … Where I got burnt.

Julian Ugarte (00:39:22):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:39:22):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julian Ugarte (00:39:25):

That was nasty. That was very, very nasty. You were so young, it was not-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:39:32):

Never crawl before [crosstalk 00:39:34] in your life. That time I … I haven’t moved, I only did that to put the fry pan on the grass.

Ian Ugarte (00:39:48):

So, we were camping. You were cooking.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:39:51):

I was cooking and I put in between the tent, inside, the gas bottle to do some breakfast. You were in the other corner playing [inaudible 00:40:04]. I moved just to put the fry pan on the grass, and that minute you crawl and get the handle of the bottle.

Ian Ugarte (00:40:18):

It was boiling water.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:40:19):

[crosstalk 00:40:19]. No, there was the flame.

Ian Ugarte (00:40:22):

It was oil.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:40:22):

No, the flame.

Ian Ugarte (00:40:25):

It was the flame. So, it was the flame that actually from the burner that burnt my face.

Julian Ugarte (00:40:31):

You pulled the bottle into your face. [crosstalk 00:40:31]

Ian Ugarte (00:40:31):

So this was on camping, you’re three, four, five hours out of Sydney. I’ve still got a scar down the left-hand side of my face.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:40:41):


Ian Ugarte (00:40:42):

I’m not emotional because of that. Because for you, you had to go to hospital.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:40:48):

We went to Coffs Harbour and they send us to Taree. That doctor, he said, “I’ve got a special thing for this kids.” The name was Ian, and they give us a cream, and they send us … The doctor come and leave in that time. He called the hospital, to later go into Sydney and he will re-look after you.

Ian Ugarte (00:41:22):

So, there was a doctor called Dr. [Coming 00:41:24], who was a Spanish doctor and lived in Sydney. So, what you did was Dr. Coming rang the hospital and said, “Let these guys come back and I’ll make sure they get looked after.” But this doctor gave me what was probably silver colloidal cream, which is, they put over the burns. Because the scar that I’ve got left, everything-

Julian Ugarte (00:41:46):

Let me explain that because what happens is that during the day while you were in Taree was-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:41:54):

We were with you.

Julian Ugarte (00:41:56):

During the day we were there with you and we’ll take care of you. But during the night they didn’t allow us to be there.

Ian Ugarte (00:42:01):

So you weren’t allowed to stay with me.

Julian Ugarte (00:42:03):

So, we were not allowed to stay there. Consequently, you will go and sleep onto this side and all the dribble will lift your scar.

Ian Ugarte (00:42:12):

So, moisture.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:42:12):


Julian Ugarte (00:42:12):

Your moisture will not let you heal as well as the rest. That’s why you got that little scar there.

Ian Ugarte (00:42:20):

So I hadn’t had you, like nowadays it’s just unfathomable that you couldn’t stay with your kids. Like during nighttime, that would be ridiculous nowadays. But back then they said, “You have to go.” So you, essentially Mum and Dad turning me over side to side, but they left me in say one spot. That dribble mark ended up creating the moisture, which meant the rest didn’t heal the same.

Julian Ugarte (00:42:42):

Got it.

Ian Ugarte (00:42:45):

You’ve told me that it sort of peeled off.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:42:51):

Yeah, like it was mask, all everything coming out.

Julian Ugarte (00:42:54):

The whole burnt face, which was pretty severe, because it was from here all the way around there. The whole thing come in one piece. [crosstalk 00:43:06].

Ian Ugarte (00:43:09):

Then when I was 17 I got a dermabrasion to get rid of … Because a scar was still sort of there. That fixed that. The surgeon tried to cut the split and pulled it back together, just so there was a thin scar, but it split again. I’m okay with it. It doesn’t affect me. What does affect me was, we were … Christine and I were renovating a house and [Macy 00:43:32] … So Macy caught her arm in the kettle. We think that’s how it happened, because it was the same thing. Christine turned her back for half a second. Macy went and grabbed this thing and pulled it down. I was home renovating the house and I heard the scream from Macy. I knew there was something wrong straightaway. So I grabbed her quickly and we took her tracksuit pants off straight away. I put her in the cold shower. We got her into the car, but I didn’t take her shoe off or her sock off. She’s obviously crying and got to the hospital. We called you.

Julian Ugarte (00:44:19):

It was probably worse seeing my granddaughter than you.

Ian Ugarte (00:44:29):

That’s what hurts me, what you see in your face.

Julian Ugarte (00:44:36):

Because I have the experience of you. But then I was young and I had more strength to deal with things. But seeing my granddaughter like that was very, very severe for me. Very, very sever.

Ian Ugarte (00:44:57):

I remember, I think you said to me, Mum, “Not again.” Because it’s the one thing, she got burnt from the hip down to her toe. It’s not too bad and it doesn’t affect her in any way, but we get stuck with it.

Julian Ugarte (00:45:19):

From Coffs Harbour to Taree in the car I wasn’t sure if you’re dead or alive. When we get to Taree there was that accident, the petrol. There was a shortage of petrol and they put petrol in the boot and explode. That was in the same-

Ian Ugarte (00:45:19):

Same day.

Julian Ugarte (00:45:51):

… hospital. So we have to wait a lot for the doctor to come up.

Ian Ugarte (00:45:57):

What my [inaudible 00:45:57] was, was that the nurse in Coffs Harbour had no idea what she was doing, and instead of …

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:46:04]

Julian Ugarte (00:46:00):

It was horrible. I had no idea what she was doing. And instead of putting something cold on you, as you put this cream and then this part.

Ian Ugarte (00:46:08):

Which kept it warm.

Julian Ugarte (00:46:10):

Which kept it going and going and going, and because your injury was a lot worse because at the time, obviously she did whatever she could.

Ian Ugarte (00:46:19):

She thought was the right thing.

Julian Ugarte (00:46:20):


Ian Ugarte (00:46:21):

It’s interesting, because when it happened with Macy, the amount of people that can say, I know my brother or I did, or my child has been burnt from spilling something in the kitchen, and soup is the worst of it. Soup, because it’s so thick, will actually continue to burn the skin, even if you get rid of it, for days. And so that’s where the danger is. And I do remember going in the hospital and I was spraying cold water on it. So you’re now in Australia. You weren’t a plumber, and you decided to do a plumbing apprenticeship.

Julian Ugarte (00:47:01):

Yeah, definitely. Because my background on the ships, especially, I have a very good knowledge of concept of plumbing, which incidentally in Spain plumbing at the time was very, very little, very minimum. Okay?

Ian Ugarte (00:47:19):

Yeah. You didn’t really qualify to be a plumber. I remember when I was there, when I was 12, and the local plumber was walking down the street with a plastic bag and all his tools in it.

Julian Ugarte (00:47:31):

Oh right. Yeah. And that plastic bag, at least he had a plastic bag. I didn’t. Anyway, your Uncle Valentin, my brother, my late brother, said to me, “Look, show my skills at both manual and both angles.”

Ian Ugarte (00:47:56):


Julian Ugarte (00:47:57):

So my cousin said, “Look, plumbing is the way to go in this country.” So next thing, one of the clients in their CYCA had a plumbing company. My brother told to him, “This is my brother.”

Rosalie Ugarte (00:48:16):

Cottee’s Plumbing.

Julian Ugarte (00:48:16):

Cottee’s Plumbing.

Ian Ugarte (00:48:18):

Cottee’s Plumbing, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:48:18):

So yeah. And I took from there and this guy, Ron Cottee, said to my brother, “Okay, I’ll give him a try. If he’s worth anything, I’ll keep him, but-“

Ian Ugarte (00:48:31):

“But I’ll let you know otherwise.”

Julian Ugarte (00:48:32):


Ian Ugarte (00:48:32):

Yeah. And so there’s a story to this because Cottee’s Plumbing, his wife… So that was Ron Cottee?

Julian Ugarte (00:48:41):

Ron was his father. Neville Cottee was the son.

Ian Ugarte (00:48:47):

Neville. [crosstalk 00:48:47] So Neville Cottee married Kay. Kay Cottee, who was the first round-the-world solo female yachtswoman.

Julian Ugarte (00:48:47):


Ian Ugarte (00:48:56):

Unassisted. Yep. And so I’ve got photos with you and [crosstalk 00:49:04].

Rosalie Ugarte (00:49:03):

When you were little.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:04):

With Kay Cottee.

Julian Ugarte (00:49:06):

That’s correct.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:06):

Yeah. And we’ve met her since then, three or four times. [crosstalk 00:49:11] There was something about, what’s the story with the tortillas, the Spanish omelets and a boat, or-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:49:18):

Yeah, with the sister. Kay Cottee’s sister had the Harry Q.

Julian Ugarte (00:49:24):

Harry Q’s Harbor Cruise.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:26):

Harbor Cruises.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:49:28):

Yeah. And they asked me if I can cook. That was in the police right there, only there.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:36):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:49:37):

No, no, it was in Sydney.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:39):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:49:41):

[foreign language 00:49:41] But yeah, near the police, water police. And I went and do tortilla, the Spanish omelets, and cook for them for a while.

Ian Ugarte (00:49:54):

For a while. Because you can cook. That’s why it surprises me that you say that you couldn’t get married because you couldn’t cook.

Julian Ugarte (00:50:02):

You don’t understand. She got married at 17.

Ian Ugarte (00:50:08):


Julian Ugarte (00:50:09):

So you had very limited time in the kitchen because she was the oldest of the family as well. She had to look after the kids, because mother and father would work.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:50:19):

My mother was very sick.

Julian Ugarte (00:50:22):

Yeah, she had a lot of issues. So Rosalie had limited mother’s tuition at the time, yeah?

Ian Ugarte (00:50:37):

Right. But otherwise did she teach [crosstalk 00:50:37].

Julian Ugarte (00:50:36):

[crosstalk 00:50:36] She can cook.

Ian Ugarte (00:50:36):

She could cook. Yeah. You just got better and better at it.

Julian Ugarte (00:50:40):


Ian Ugarte (00:50:41):

Okay, so you start plumbing. There’s a story about Jose that said-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:50:50):


Ian Ugarte (00:50:51):

That said that you’ll never become a plumber?

Julian Ugarte (00:50:54):


Rosalie Ugarte (00:50:54):


Julian Ugarte (00:50:55):

Yes, he looked at me and, don’t get me wrong, this man turned out to be the best, very supportive man after that. But he looked at me and he says, “You, a plumber in this country? Ugh. You got your other Spanish plumber and he’s been here for 25 years and he hasn’t been able to get the license,” and I say, “Well, you know, I’ve got to try.”

Ian Ugarte (00:51:27):

So he’s basically saying to you, you’re never going to become a plumber because it’s going to be too hard for you to go through TAFE and get your license, because English is your second language.

Julian Ugarte (00:51:36):

That’s right.

Ian Ugarte (00:51:37):

And basically, how did you feel when he said that to you?

Julian Ugarte (00:51:40):

Well, obviously I owe him the license because it made me so determined-

Rosalie Ugarte (00:51:46):

Yeah, true.

Ian Ugarte (00:51:48):

To prove him wrong.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:51:49):


Julian Ugarte (00:51:49):

Correct. And really, it was so, so simple, but so difficult. All right? Basically I got accreditation for my trial due to my background in Spain, certificates and so forth.

Ian Ugarte (00:52:12):

So they did what they call nowadays recognized prior learning. They came in and said, show me your skills. And if you can weld, and if you can do that, you don’t have to do that part of the course.

Julian Ugarte (00:52:20):


Ian Ugarte (00:52:21):


Julian Ugarte (00:52:22):

And I remember my very first assay at the time was technical college. My first attempt, I could not do it.

Ian Ugarte (00:52:37):

You couldn’t do it because you couldn’t read it.

Julian Ugarte (00:52:38):

I couldn’t read. I couldn’t understand what the question was about. And again, I have the luck. In those days, subject to such discrimination issues at the time, because we were the wogs in this country and [crosstalk 00:52:57].

Ian Ugarte (00:52:57):

Damn wogs.

Julian Ugarte (00:52:59):

Yeah, and everybody would look at us in a different way. But I had the fortune of coming across this particular teacher in TAFE, in technical college, which obviously [crosstalk 00:53:20] sense of protection.

Ian Ugarte (00:53:22):

Potential, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:53:23):

So therefore he said, “Well, look, I’m going to sit down with you. I going to ask you the question. I’m going to try to explain to you what the questions are about. If your answer is okay, I’m going to pass you, on the condition that you have to enter an intensive English course at night.” So I did that. He passed me and I joined English night school. Prior to that, I was doing one day a week and then a correspondence course in English. However, it was only a year, year and a half. So therefore I had to. I had this routine about doing three days a week. Three nights a week I was doing English. Two days I was doing plumbing. And then I was standing by on the weekend for emergencies for the company.

Ian Ugarte (00:54:32):


Julian Ugarte (00:54:35):

Obviously I got the job because I was never put off.

Ian Ugarte (00:54:43):

You were always a good worker.

Julian Ugarte (00:54:45):

On the contrary, I had an apprentice with me all the time to communicate because I couldn’t speak English properly. So I had an apprentice with me all the time. And I think months later after joining TAFE, I got my license.

Ian Ugarte (00:55:01):

So were you the first or one of the first, as an immigrant, to get the plumbing license?

Julian Ugarte (00:55:09):

Pretty much. Yeah, pretty much.

Ian Ugarte (00:55:13):

And that was at Randwick and ironically the same TAFE that I ended up the head teacher at. And I did my trade there as well, and so did my brother.

Julian Ugarte (00:55:20):


Ian Ugarte (00:55:21):

So you do your license, 18 months later you get your license, and what did you say to Jose Herrera?

Julian Ugarte (00:55:30):

Well, I went back to him and I say, “Here.”

Ian Ugarte (00:55:37):

“Here’s a piece of paper.”

Julian Ugarte (00:55:37):

“Here is my paper.” And he looked at me, he says, [foreign language 00:55:42].

Ian Ugarte (00:55:42):

Say again? [foreign language 00:55:42].

Julian Ugarte (00:55:42):

[foreign language 00:55:42].

Ian Ugarte (00:55:42):

So he said-

Julian Ugarte (00:55:42):

Your balls a bigger than a bloody truck.

Ian Ugarte (00:55:53):

So your balls are bigger than a truck.

Julian Ugarte (00:55:55):


Ian Ugarte (00:55:55):

Which is a pretty good compliment.

Julian Ugarte (00:55:58):

Yeah. Pretty much.

Ian Ugarte (00:55:59):

Everyone loves big balls.

Julian Ugarte (00:56:03):

And I have to say this too, that he lent me the money to buy my first set of tools. Yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:56:10):

So that’s a pretty big gesture back then, especially.

Rosalie Ugarte (00:56:19):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:56:19):

Yeah. At the end of the day, we come from the same town, or from the same state.

Ian Ugarte (00:56:23):

Same province, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (00:56:25):

He was from Santander, I was from Torrelavega, and our families were friends with each other. His family is fine. Anyway. So yeah, definitely. I don’t know, look.

Ian Ugarte (00:56:38):

You paid him back.

Julian Ugarte (00:56:40):

Well, I didn’t have to, because then afterwards he bought his house and I did all the plumbing.

Ian Ugarte (00:56:48):

So you did the plumbing work for free.

Julian Ugarte (00:56:49):

I did, yeah.

Ian Ugarte (00:56:50):

I have something to say about this. I don’t know if I’ve spoken to about this either. So firstly, Jose just passed away only a few months ago.

Julian Ugarte (00:57:02):


Ian Ugarte (00:57:02):

My brother and I, Day and I, obviously we used to work together in the business and he was basically the guy who taught me plumbing. You taught him, he taught me and you taught me as well. But we’re in Jose’s place, Jose and Elita’s place, and we went down the back to have a look at some plumbing downstairs, behind the wall there. And I looked at the plumbing and I said to my brother, “Who the hell did that?” And he goes, “Your dad did that.” I said, “Are you kidding?” I said, “I can’t believe it.” It was so bad, Dad. It was really bad plumbing. But what it made me realize is that coming from the way that you were taught how to do plumbing, to how you now do plumbing is an extreme. You are a perfect plumber and you’re 75?

Rosalie Ugarte (00:57:50):


Ian Ugarte (00:57:51):

76 now, and you’re still doing multi-million dollar houses and doing the plumbing in them. So I think to actually have to self-teach yourself how to do the work that you do, I think that’s awesome.

Julian Ugarte (00:58:09):

I had no help from anybody. What I learn in plumbing, I learn it from myself. I learn it from mistakes, I learn it by working out why things didn’t work, I learn by putting things together, and why a bore and a hot water leak occur, and followed all that. That’s it. And then I learned that three basic things in plumbing was, number one, leave the place better than what you found it. And that meant clean.

Ian Ugarte (00:58:45):


Julian Ugarte (00:58:47):

Try to communicate and say the issues that you find and explain what the problem was and how you fix it. And three things. The third thing was to be courteous?

Ian Ugarte (00:59:01):

Courteous, yep.

Julian Ugarte (00:59:04):

Courteous, yeah. And be polite and let customers tell you what the problems are, or compliment you with the job you done.

Ian Ugarte (00:59:17):

Yeah. And clearly, you’ve taught a number of plumbers. You’ve got your eldest son, Julian, who was apprentice of the year.

Julian Ugarte (00:59:29):


Ian Ugarte (00:59:30):

I won awards all the way through plumbing as well. I was a silver medalist in the school Olympics. So you obviously know how to pass that on and teach others. And now your grandson is also a plumber and owner of the business as well. So it’s Julian Sr, Julian Jr, and [foreign language 00:59:52].

Julian Ugarte (00:59:52):

Junior Junior.

Ian Ugarte (00:59:52):

Junior Junior. [foreign language 00:59:55], small in Spanish. So it’s still a thriving business and still starting to employ a lot more again.

Julian Ugarte (01:00:01):

Yeah. We’ve got at the moment, we’ve got three apprentice and two plumbers.

Ian Ugarte (01:00:07):

Plus the three of you.

Julian Ugarte (01:00:09):


Ian Ugarte (01:00:10):

So let’s talk about, you rented Hillsdale, moved to Maroubra, moved to Bondi, saving some money by that time? Were you already a plumber by that time?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:00:19):

By that time, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (01:00:23):

I was on that critical period where I was doing five days a week of TAFE and standing by for the company and doing a bit of the restaurant as well, still.

Ian Ugarte (01:00:36):

So, working a lot.

Julian Ugarte (01:00:38):

Oh, a lot. You have to on those days. But the thing about this country is they allowed you to do as much as you want and to be whoever you want to be.

Ian Ugarte (01:00:50):


Julian Ugarte (01:00:51):

So therefore, yeah, I had to do that because I had a jump coming out of the income. We had to buy a house, which was-

Ian Ugarte (01:01:01):

Because everyone in Australia wants to buy a house.

Julian Ugarte (01:01:03):

Yes. Correct.

Ian Ugarte (01:01:06):

Can we go back, Josh, to the other shot? The front of the house. So you buy this house and it didn’t look anything like this.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:01:14):


Julian Ugarte (01:01:15):

If you see the back side, the rise at the back.

Ian Ugarte (01:01:19):

The back is an extension?

Julian Ugarte (01:01:20):

Yeah. That was done by us. [inaudible 01:01:24]

Ian Ugarte (01:01:23):

And the garage as well?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:01:25):

The garage.

Ian Ugarte (01:01:26):

So basically you’re looking at the green roof part, was really what you bought. And it was cinder block. It’s like Besser Block, but in black.

Julian Ugarte (01:01:35):

Correct. It’s coal.

Ian Ugarte (01:01:38):


Julian Ugarte (01:01:39):


Ian Ugarte (01:01:39):

Was it?

Julian Ugarte (01:01:39):

Yeah. It was coal.

Ian Ugarte (01:01:40):

I didn’t know it was coal.

Julian Ugarte (01:01:41):


Ian Ugarte (01:01:41):

Okay. So you do this place up.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:01:46):

Your brother, the first time we bought that. And he said, “It’s okay, but pink.” It was paint [crosstalk 01:01:57].

Ian Ugarte (01:01:56):

It was pink, was it? [crosstalk 01:01:58] So this is an improvement.

Julian Ugarte (01:01:59):


Ian Ugarte (01:02:01):

What year was that?

Julian Ugarte (01:02:04):

That would have been ’75, I think.

Ian Ugarte (01:02:08):

So four years after getting here, you buy a house.

Julian Ugarte (01:02:11):

Yeah. Mind you, that was, that was $29,500 we pay for it?

Ian Ugarte (01:02:17):


Julian Ugarte (01:02:19):


Ian Ugarte (01:02:20):

And what did you think about that?

Julian Ugarte (01:02:22):

Well, I personally thought I’m in the best country in the world.

Ian Ugarte (01:02:28):

Yeah, right. Could you have done that in Spain?

Julian Ugarte (01:02:31):

No way. By now, perhaps I could buy my unit.

Ian Ugarte (01:02:38):

You might have been able to buy a unit at this stage of your life. Yeah, right. So you bought this place. How did you deal with the banks back then?

Julian Ugarte (01:02:48):

Pretty hard. Pretty bad.

Ian Ugarte (01:02:51):

But what was the deposit you had for it?

Julian Ugarte (01:02:53):

Deposit, I hadn’t. Michael told us, “Open an account at the Commonwealth Bank,” for [crosstalk 01:03:05].

Ian Ugarte (01:03:05):

Just to save for a house.

Julian Ugarte (01:03:06):

Yeah, just to buy a house. All right? So at the time you had to have $5,000 before you can withdraw that money, which the government would put, I think it was at the time $3,000 on top of that.

Ian Ugarte (01:03:24):

So it’s sort of like a savings plan. You put $5,000 in. Once you got the $5,000, the Australian government would give you $3,000.

Julian Ugarte (01:03:31):


Ian Ugarte (01:03:32):

So you had $8,000.

Julian Ugarte (01:03:35):

For the deposit. [crosstalk 01:03:37] That was pretty good.

Ian Ugarte (01:03:38):


Julian Ugarte (01:03:39):

However, it was a period of time. You had to save every month the same amount for a period of time, I think it was three years.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:03:51):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And we couldn’t get the money.

Julian Ugarte (01:03:55):

We couldn’t get it because we didn’t have the three year period-

Ian Ugarte (01:04:00):

Of paying for three years on the top.

Julian Ugarte (01:04:03):

Because some months we didn’t deposit this much and blah, blah, blah. So basically they denied the grant from the government. So therefore we stuck with $3,000 or thereabouts. That’s all we had. Then we couldn’t find finance. So thank God, again, another person, he took pity on us. And so [inaudible 01:04:32], him being an immigrant solicitor.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:04:37):

A solicitor in Maroubra.

Julian Ugarte (01:04:40):

Because somebody referred us to him. He was lending money to first home buyers, at very high interest. We are talking about 11 and a half percent.

Ian Ugarte (01:04:53):

11 and a half percent.

Julian Ugarte (01:04:54):

In those days.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:04:55):

We pay 1980.

Julian Ugarte (01:05:00):

In ’75. Yeah. He felt pity on us for whatever reason. And he arranged for an interview with, at the time it was the building society, RSO building society at that time. And through him, they found us the credit to buy the house, and that’s it.

Ian Ugarte (01:05:20):

So you got in.

Julian Ugarte (01:05:24):

Under $3,000. We pitched at the house and then-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:05:28):

We rent there for a year.

Julian Ugarte (01:05:29):

We rent there for a year.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:05:30):

We could be living in Maroubra… in Bondi.

Ian Ugarte (01:05:30):

In Bondi, yep.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:05:36):

And when we come back-

Julian Ugarte (01:05:40):

Always have photos of-

Ian Ugarte (01:05:42):

What it used to look like. Because I still remember the cinder block stuff. I remember doing the.. Well, I remember not doing it, but I remember seeing the demolition of that area to create the kitchen and all of that sort of stuff. With your benefit of time now, would you do that again with those tiles and those cupboards?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:05:42):


Julian Ugarte (01:06:05):

No. That was very Spanish, foreign tile as you can see.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:06:08):

Yeah. And the doors, remember the doors were burned?

Ian Ugarte (01:06:11):

Oh yeah, it was burnt, chuck-off finished door.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:06:15):

Yeah. Well that was the only in that time. Not anymore.

Julian Ugarte (01:06:18):

That was why we brought, that was our culture at the time from Spain. Yeah? So we reproduced, which incidentally, everybody admired that because at the time, because it was-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:06:30):

Nobody in Australia. [crosstalk 01:06:33]

Ian Ugarte (01:06:32):

So you’re saying all the locals in the street were saying, “Wow, this is amazing”?

Julian Ugarte (01:06:37):

Yeah, it’s amazing. [crosstalk 01:06:39] Stanley was a bit of a sock, but internally they-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:06:45):

They liked to put in the cupboard, the bathroom and all that. Nobody do that in those days. We were-

Ian Ugarte (01:06:56):

Well, we’ve got to show it. We have to show it.

Julian Ugarte (01:06:58):

The other thing I have to emphasize on this is that the community helped me, as I did help the community.

Ian Ugarte (01:07:07):

When you say the community, you’re talking Spanish community, or-

Julian Ugarte (01:07:09):

I’m talking about the Spanish community. Like Jose Arias, and the other one, [Manigno 01:07:17], which did the brickwork.

Ian Ugarte (01:07:19):

So you’d do exactly the same. It was barter, trading. You’d go and do their plumbing. They’d come and do your brickwork, tiling. Was there an electrician? [inaudible 01:07:28]

Julian Ugarte (01:07:29):

It wasn’t. Yeah, Juan, of course. It was Juan. Yeah.

Ian Ugarte (01:07:33):

So this bathroom here was probably the last room in the house that I think got finished.

Julian Ugarte (01:07:38):

Yes. Yeah. Pretty good.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:07:40):

I know it’s not in fashion, but-

Ian Ugarte (01:07:45):

It’s not in fashion, but back then-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:07:47):

One day, everybody will want one of those bathrooms, I tell you that.

Ian Ugarte (01:07:53):

Not a chance. Not a chance.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:07:56):

And when we left, I was pity because of the window, the lead light window.

Ian Ugarte (01:08:03):

Oh, the leaded light window. You said, Mum, just before we started the podcast, that you’d never been happier than when you were in this house.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:08):


Ian Ugarte (01:08:09):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:10):

I don’t know.

Ian Ugarte (01:08:11):

Was it the house or was it the family? Because you were-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:16):

My own boss.

Ian Ugarte (01:08:18):

Your job was to look after the family, make sure everything happened. And I always talk about you making sure that there was enough money every week. Do you think it’s just that you were there, that you had this family and that everything worked and you had some neighbors and-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:36):


Ian Ugarte (01:08:36):

Is that what it’s about?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:37):


Ian Ugarte (01:08:38):

You don’t really have… in the new house, you’re really isolated. Different type of house.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:44):

It was that. It was the pride what we did and… yeah.

Ian Ugarte (01:08:57):

I’ll buy it back for you.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:08:57):


Ian Ugarte (01:08:57):

What if I buy it back for you?

Julian Ugarte (01:08:59):

She didn’t want to keep it. Excuse me-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:09:04]

Julian Ugarte (01:09:00):

… to keep it. Excuse me. I wanted to keep it. I didn’t want to sell.

Ian Ugarte (01:09:07):

So you were in a position to keep it?

Julian Ugarte (01:09:09):


Ian Ugarte (01:09:09):

And you didn’t want it?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:09:10):

No, because-

Ian Ugarte (01:09:11):

You didn’t want the debt?

Julian Ugarte (01:09:12):

She didn’t want to have the debt.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:09:14):

… the debt. Yeah. That’s me. I can’t owe money.

Julian Ugarte (01:09:17):

It’s two different worlds. So I buy anything on credit. She will not buy anything-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:09:24):


Julian Ugarte (01:09:24):

… unless she’s got the dollar.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:09:25):

And now, look what we have and money and everything-

Ian Ugarte (01:09:32):

And still happy.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:09:35):

And I wasn’t as happy in that place.

Ian Ugarte (01:09:40):


Julian Ugarte (01:09:41):


Ian Ugarte (01:09:42):

You did a couple of… You attempted a couple of property developments. You’ve gone in and bought investment properties before. Firstly, I remember driving through Surry Hills with you one day and saying, “Look at all these terraces, dad.” And I think I might’ve been 25, maybe. Look at all these terraces dad. God, we should have bought these 10 years ago. And you said you had a friend of yours that started buying terraces in… Was it in Paddington or…

Julian Ugarte (01:10:08):

No, actually it was in South Dowling Street, corner of where the Captain Cook Hotel is. That is terraces there along Darlinghurst-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:10:23):

Flinders Street.

Julian Ugarte (01:10:23):

… Flinders Street.

Ian Ugarte (01:10:25):

Along Flinders Street.

Julian Ugarte (01:10:27):

So this guy bought one, two, three terrace houses there.

Ian Ugarte (01:10:32):

How much? I think I remember you saying 5,000 or something?

Julian Ugarte (01:10:36):

The first one, the first one, no, it was… The first one he bought was $11,000. Yeah. And then the second one was-

Ian Ugarte (01:10:36):

A bit more?

Julian Ugarte (01:10:39):

… a bit more. And the third one a bit more. And then he bought the… There was a corner shop around the corner on the same block, behind.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:01):


Julian Ugarte (01:11:02):

He bought the corner shop with three units above and blah, blah, blah.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:08):

So he ended up owning a whole pocket.

Julian Ugarte (01:11:08):

A whole pocket.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:11:08):

Yeah, but-

Ian Ugarte (01:11:08):

But what?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:11:08):

He was a-

Ian Ugarte (01:11:14):

A bit stingy?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:11:15):

… a miserable. He lived like a miserable.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:17):

Yeah. So he hated spending money. And is this the guy that checked for chickens-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:11:27):

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that’s the one.

Julian Ugarte (01:11:27):

That’s the one.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:27):

We talked about this at an event. So he would go to Paddy’s Market-

Julian Ugarte (01:11:32):

And it’s not a job-

Ian Ugarte (01:11:33):

… he’d go to Paddy’s Market to buy a chicken and he’d put a finger in the chicken’s backside to see if there was an egg there so he could get a free egg straight up.

Julian Ugarte (01:11:42):

So they would lay, yes, straight away.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:46):

Straight away. Yeah, yeah, he wanted to know that they’d laid eggs straight away so he didn’t have to wait for them.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:11:46):

Oh, my god.

Ian Ugarte (01:11:51):

Unreal. Okay. So you did do… I do remember you buying some investment properties, but you didn’t seem to keep many of them.

Julian Ugarte (01:12:00):

Well, we couldn’t-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:12:00):


Julian Ugarte (01:12:01):

… we couldn’t. Every time we went into a joint venture, everything went wrong. Like the first one we bought a block of four units in Tamarama.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:12:13):

Oh, that was beautiful.

Julian Ugarte (01:12:16):

You could not go wrong. Right?

Ian Ugarte (01:12:16):


Julian Ugarte (01:12:19):

You could not go wrong. It was four partners. Sorry, three partners, your brother and me, a builder and a council inspector. The council inspector’s supposed to move in there and-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:12:38):


Julian Ugarte (01:12:39):

… manage the job. And coordinate and everything and [inaudible 01:12:44] and everything. And we just had to forecast the money and how different the build that will forecast his input and our plumbing and blah, blah, blah. So everything on paper was fantastic. We bought the property for $800,000-

Ian Ugarte (01:13:03):

Which is four units, basically looking sidewards-

Julian Ugarte (01:13:03):

… Yeah, two of them-

Ian Ugarte (01:13:09):

… sidewards at Tamarama Beach.

Julian Ugarte (01:13:09):

… two of them, the two top ones were look Tamarama Beach.

Ian Ugarte (01:13:13):


Julian Ugarte (01:13:14):

We put in on a hut and withdrew-

Ian Ugarte (01:13:18):

He got-

Julian Ugarte (01:13:18):

… we always will have car parked at the front.

Ian Ugarte (01:13:20):


Julian Ugarte (01:13:21):

The two top-

Ian Ugarte (01:13:22):

Top ones had views.

Julian Ugarte (01:13:22):

… ones will have views.

Ian Ugarte (01:13:23):


Julian Ugarte (01:13:24):

Anyway. [inaudible 01:13:26], so everything fine. We arrive the finance, everything. At the time, the interest was pretty high. But we managed to get interest about 11.5%. Then what happens is that we start building. And the first week we start building, the council inspector get an angle grinder-

Ian Ugarte (01:13:52):

Cut through his ankle.

Julian Ugarte (01:13:53):

… cut through his foot. Then we have to employ somebody to take care of over the building, of course. So the builder will put his stuff in there without a charge, of course.

Ian Ugarte (01:14:07):

That costs money. Yup.

Julian Ugarte (01:14:10):

Then the interest start to-

Ian Ugarte (01:14:12):

Pile up.

Julian Ugarte (01:14:12):

… go up. Went up to 22.5%.

Ian Ugarte (01:14:16):


Julian Ugarte (01:14:17):


Ian Ugarte (01:14:18):


Julian Ugarte (01:14:19):

For business. Yeah. So we could not support it. There was no way. Then this builder guy had no money, had nothing. We had to finish up doing, your brother and I, and-

Ian Ugarte (01:14:33):

Finishing the project.

Julian Ugarte (01:14:34):

… finished putting whatever. The builder would put his stuff in there but he will charge for it. So-

Ian Ugarte (01:14:42):

So you ended up selling… Do you remember what you sold it for?

Julian Ugarte (01:14:45):

… We sold it for 800,000.

Ian Ugarte (01:14:47):

You sold it for 800?

Julian Ugarte (01:14:49):


Ian Ugarte (01:14:51):

How much did you lose?

Julian Ugarte (01:14:52):

We lost a lot. A lot. A lot. About $100,000.

Ian Ugarte (01:14:59):

And back in those days that wasn’t a small amount of money.

Julian Ugarte (01:15:01):

It was a lot of money.

Ian Ugarte (01:15:01):


Julian Ugarte (01:15:04):

The next project we got wrong was [crosstalk 01:15:08]. Yeah, we got another property with a electrician.

Ian Ugarte (01:15:13):

Was that industrial? That was industrial zone-

Julian Ugarte (01:15:13):

That was industrial zone, yeah.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:16):

[inaudible 01:15:16].

Julian Ugarte (01:15:16):

And we could not go wrong.

Ian Ugarte (01:15:16):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:16):


Julian Ugarte (01:15:17):

Did we go wrong?

Ian Ugarte (01:15:21):

So what happened there?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:23):

And then-

Julian Ugarte (01:15:23):

Nothing. We finish up-

Ian Ugarte (01:15:26):

Just selling?

Julian Ugarte (01:15:26):

… getting together.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:26):

Giving to him.

Julian Ugarte (01:15:27):

Say, “Well, all right, we’ve got to get rid of it.”

Ian Ugarte (01:15:29):


Julian Ugarte (01:15:29):

We put a [inaudible 01:15:31], we couldn’t get anything out of it. So he finished up playing my part. And I got out of there. Next project was-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:44):

[Henley 01:15:44].

Julian Ugarte (01:15:43):

… Henley Street. Another one, which we… You probably know, was going to-

Ian Ugarte (01:15:49):

Build homes in there?

Julian Ugarte (01:15:50):

… build a house in there for each.

Ian Ugarte (01:15:52):

Council fought you everywhere.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:15:57):

The council [crosstalk 01:15:58] and the architect, that was nearly a million dollars-

Ian Ugarte (01:15:59):

Not a million dollars.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:16:03):

… close to.

Ian Ugarte (01:16:04):

What, in costs? [crosstalk 01:16:07]. The build?

Julian Ugarte (01:16:04):

They’re the same.

Ian Ugarte (01:16:08):

Yeah, the build, yes. So he designed an arty-farty place that was going to cost too much to build. So you end up selling it-

Julian Ugarte (01:16:15):

On paper, it was pretty good. It was going to work because we were going to finish with a couple of units to rent and it was… On paper it was pretty good, like all the projects. But again-

Ian Ugarte (01:16:30):

Never got over the line.

Julian Ugarte (01:16:32):

… No, because we had to sell our properties to-

Ian Ugarte (01:16:32):

To make it work.

Julian Ugarte (01:16:38):

… to fund. And then, different issues and different… Anyway.

Ian Ugarte (01:16:47):

So you’ve basically now got two decent properties. You’ve got a holiday house that is right next door to where Christina and I bought originally. You bought the block of land, we bought the house and you built on that.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:00):

Yeah, because we did have a block of land at the time, but that was-

Ian Ugarte (01:17:00):

On the South Coast. Narrawallee.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:06):

… at Narrawallee. And that was four hours’ drive at the time. Too hard at the weekend. So your block comes and that was next door block was-

Ian Ugarte (01:17:18):

Was for sale.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:19):

… very good. Very good.

Ian Ugarte (01:17:20):

Hour and a half out of Sydney.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:22):

That’s right.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:17:22):

Can’t remember how much we paid for the land.

Ian Ugarte (01:17:27):

135 I think you paid for that block of land. I think you paid 135. We paid… No-

Julian Ugarte (01:17:31):


Ian Ugarte (01:17:33):

… 127. We paid 230, 229.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:36):

That’s correct.

Ian Ugarte (01:17:37):

So it was the same guy. It’s this guy who started [inaudible 01:17:41] Australia.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:42):

Now, I have to point out that at the time my thinking was okay, this is my superannuation-

Ian Ugarte (01:17:49):

Yup. Fund.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:17:51):

It’s retirement.

Julian Ugarte (01:17:52):

It was our retirement. Yeah. We talked to each other and said, “Well, yeah, instead of risking the money with anyone around there, let’s put it in property.”

Ian Ugarte (01:18:03):

So put it into property.

Julian Ugarte (01:18:04):


Ian Ugarte (01:18:04):

Bricks and mortar.

Julian Ugarte (01:18:05):

Which is turning out to be the [inaudible 01:18:07] today.

Ian Ugarte (01:18:08):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:18:09):

It probably is the one with the best houses in the river.

Ian Ugarte (01:18:12):

Yeah, yeah. I don’t know about the bathroom. I’m joking.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:18:17):

No, those bathrooms-

Ian Ugarte (01:18:18):

Not that I do much bathrooms.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:18:20):

… had mold in once.

Ian Ugarte (01:18:22):

So you’d say you’ve got the factory where you’ve built a four bedroom… Well, it’s now six bedrooms.

Julian Ugarte (01:18:29):

That was my lucky break, I think, in real estate. That was something that, I really think that was-

Ian Ugarte (01:18:40):

Did well.

Julian Ugarte (01:18:40):

… Yup, yup.

Ian Ugarte (01:18:42):

I just want to [crosstalk 01:18:43]. Sorry, just check this story because when you were building this house here, you had a building inspector, a young guy called Rodger Dowsett. He was giving you a hard time.

Julian Ugarte (01:18:52):

Wow, yes.

Ian Ugarte (01:18:53):

Now I tell this story and I hope it’s true. You had him pinned by the neck against the wall because he was giving you a hard time.

Julian Ugarte (01:19:00):

Pretty much. I didn’t finish up pinned the neck. But he threatened me. And today, up to today, still hasn’t approved that extension at the back-

Ian Ugarte (01:19:13):

It’s not approved?

Julian Ugarte (01:19:14):

… No. No, it was not approved because he did not approve the footings. Simply because, I hadn’t… The footings were not consistent on this.

Ian Ugarte (01:19:28):

In width.

Julian Ugarte (01:19:32):

And I had the concrete. It’s 11 o’clock in the morning, he’s making the inspection. And I had the concrete at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. All right? And I said to him, “Well cancel. What’s going to happen, the footing is not the right size. It’s going to cost me more in concrete. It’s your bloody problem.”

Ian Ugarte (01:19:49):

So it wasn’t that it was under size, it’s just that it was wider in some areas?

Julian Ugarte (01:19:53):

It wasn’t nice looking, put it that way.

Ian Ugarte (01:19:56):

It wasn’t uniform?

Julian Ugarte (01:19:57):


Ian Ugarte (01:19:57):


Julian Ugarte (01:19:58):

It wasn’t-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:19:58):

He wants to put up a whole building in there.

Julian Ugarte (01:20:01):

… Anyway, so, I say, “Look, you’ll get out of here or I’m going to bloody grab your head.”

Ian Ugarte (01:20:11):

I’m sorry. No wonder Rodger gave me a hard time when I was putting stuff through, but-

Julian Ugarte (01:20:16):

I’m sorry, I passed that onto you.

Ian Ugarte (01:20:18):

… but in saying that he helped you in this place. Because when you bought it, it was rezoned out of residential.

Julian Ugarte (01:20:25):

No. No, he didn’t help me.

Ian Ugarte (01:20:29):

Oh, right, someone else did.

Julian Ugarte (01:20:30):

Yeah. Well the whole council did.

Ian Ugarte (01:20:32):


Julian Ugarte (01:20:34):

He was a building inspector. He wasn’t-

Ian Ugarte (01:20:36):

It was head of planning, by that stage. [crosstalk 01:20:39].

Julian Ugarte (01:20:39):

But he wasn’t the head at the time.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:20:41):

Yeah, when we bought the factory, we not supposed to be living there.

Ian Ugarte (01:20:45):

No, it’s the only property in the street that was zoned commercial because of the planes flying over the top of it.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:20:50):

Yes, exactly.

Julian Ugarte (01:20:50):


Ian Ugarte (01:20:51):

And so you put in plans with office space.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:20:53):


Julian Ugarte (01:20:53):


Ian Ugarte (01:20:54):

And they said, “Come on, Julian, this looks a little bit different to office space.”

Rosalie Ugarte (01:20:58):

Because you weren’t-

Julian Ugarte (01:20:59):

No, no, no, no. It’s only at the time it wasn’t zoned for residential.

Ian Ugarte (01:21:04):


Julian Ugarte (01:21:04):

So I did submit the plans.

Ian Ugarte (01:21:07):


Julian Ugarte (01:21:08):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:21:09):


Julian Ugarte (01:21:10):

… for the business. So I apply for a plumbing depot underneath, with the residents on top-

Ian Ugarte (01:21:18):

With a caretaker, the residents.

Julian Ugarte (01:21:18):

… Yeah, caretaker, residents, with obviously our bathroom was the general manager’s office, that had an en-suite on it, but it’s okay. Then the big lounge was the meeting room-

Ian Ugarte (01:21:35):

Boardroom, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (01:21:37):

… the boardroom. The other two rooms were, one for the staff member and the other one for the other secretary or whatever.

Ian Ugarte (01:21:45):

But didn’t they change it back to residential?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:21:47):

Exactly, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (01:21:48):

Correct. Correct. During the process of us submitting that… And because originally we were going to all the meetings, we had, prior to that, all the architects did. That they’d indicated that we wanted to have residents in there, we received a letter from the council saying, now the zoning has been-

Ian Ugarte (01:22:14):


Julian Ugarte (01:22:15):

… revised and changed. And now you can-

Ian Ugarte (01:22:18):

Live there.

Julian Ugarte (01:22:19):

… live… you can apply for residence. And that’s how it come about. It’s while the usual proposition in [inaudible 01:22:28] that is got approval for commercial and residential all in one.

Ian Ugarte (01:22:34):

So, they’re two good properties. So we’ve got my brother who’s nine years older than me, Julian. And then we’ve got my sister seven years younger, Natalie. How many grandchildren?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:22:34):


Julian Ugarte (01:22:48):


Ian Ugarte (01:22:49):

11 grandchildren. How many-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:22:50):

And two great-grandchildren.

Ian Ugarte (01:22:52):

Two great-grandchildren. Now, Natalie, my sister lives with you in the factory at the moment?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:22:59):

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:00):

She’s got five kids.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:23:01):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Julian Ugarte (01:23:02):


Ian Ugarte (01:23:03):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:23:05):

Yeah. They’re really good kids.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:08):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:23:08):


Julian Ugarte (01:23:09):

They’re very good. And also we got a lot of space because we go to her on Thursday lunchtime. We go to the river. And we’ll come back on the Sunday.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:21):

Yeah, so you’re still basically working full time. But Thursday afternoon, you take Friday off, you go down the river and you work solid at the river too.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:31):

Well, you got to maintain it.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:32):

Crabbing, maintaining, gardening.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:32):

Yeah, paddle-boarding.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:32):

Honey, bees.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:32):


Ian Ugarte (01:23:35):

Kayaking. Yeah.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:36):

The spring that you create, it’s hard to maintain [crosstalk 01:23:45]. Nobody else does.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:46):

No one else does it. You maintain it.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:48):

I mean they all say, “Yeah, we go, we go.”

Ian Ugarte (01:23:49):

Yeah, but they never go.

Julian Ugarte (01:23:50):

And that’s how it is.

Ian Ugarte (01:23:52):

I suppose the question is, you’re now at a position where you could retire if you want to, but you continue to work.

Julian Ugarte (01:24:01):

Oh, I could’ve retired 10 years ago.

Ian Ugarte (01:24:03):

I know. But the one thing that I’ve always said to people is people always say that I work hard, but as soon as I work with you for two days, you destroy me. Like you absolutely destroy me.

Julian Ugarte (01:24:13):

I’m getting there slowly.

Ian Ugarte (01:24:18):

Would you have done anything different?

Julian Ugarte (01:24:24):

No. No. Unfortunately, the only thing that I regret is you not being in the business with me. However, I do understand that I’ve been very selfish by thinking that way, due to the fact that it’s very rare to have a father with a son and a grandson in the same company when it’s so difficult and so hard to-

Ian Ugarte (01:24:24):

It’s something that-

Julian Ugarte (01:25:04):

… to achieve. However, as I say, it will be very selfish for me to-

Rosalie Ugarte (01:25:10):

To extort you because we know you-

Julian Ugarte (01:25:11):

… stop you from doing what you’re doing, which is… We are so proud of you.

Ian Ugarte (01:25:20):

It wasn’t an easy decision. I mean, the decision for me to leave the business really came to a point where you and I were just too similar.

Julian Ugarte (01:25:32):


Ian Ugarte (01:25:33):

And we were just continuously butting heads. And so I never really was in the business. I was always an employee. And I did leave because I said, “Well, I don’t want to work as hard as you guys.” [crosstalk 01:25:46].

Julian Ugarte (01:25:45):

I mean, that’s precisely what I’m talking about. It’s so rare to have a father and son relationship, like your brother and your nephew-

Ian Ugarte (01:25:58):

My nephew, he’s such-

Julian Ugarte (01:25:58):

… they’ve got such a good-

Ian Ugarte (01:25:58):

… they’ve got a good relationship.

Julian Ugarte (01:25:58):

… very good relation. And I had it with your brother too. So, it’s just… Look, I will not change nothing, no way. Everything to be the same.

Ian Ugarte (01:26:12):

I will say that it’s come up for me lately I’m very disconnected to almost everyone. And that, I don’t know why, and I’m working on becoming more connected with people. I think the decision not to go into your business was really something… I don’t think even if I did go into it, that I’d still be there. I think I just short circuited the system because of who I am and the personality I’ve got.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:26:42):

You’re more a being chatty… You’re more… I was going to say more intelligent than the two-

Ian Ugarte (01:26:45):

Oh, I don’t think it’s intelligence. I just don’t like sitting still too much.

Julian Ugarte (01:26:47):

That’s correct. And I applaud that. But on a way, again, I have passed that into you because I had to grow up with anything that it… Anything that it fights me, I’ll have a go at it. Whether I master it or not, it’s a different story. I have to admit that most of the times I do master it.

Ian Ugarte (01:27:07):

Yes. Yeah, yeah.

Julian Ugarte (01:27:10):

So that is where you’re coming. You’ve got this adventurous mind that you’ll master everything. But then once you master it, you drop it. I look at your house. All right, you had mastered a masterpiece, but yet, whenever I look, there’s something missing.

Ian Ugarte (01:27:33):

Something needs to be finished.

Julian Ugarte (01:27:36):

And let me add, because you’re not going to sell it in a hurry, you will never finish those things.

Ian Ugarte (01:27:42):

No, that’s right.

Julian Ugarte (01:27:42):


Ian Ugarte (01:27:42):

I’ll only finish to sell it. So, the one thing I do say lately, and I said it right at the beginning, is that there’s a lot about you that I don’t know. And I don’t know why I haven’t asked questions in the past. I’m going to be asking more questions. I also know it’s only up to recently that if… Look a few years ago, that I started to say I love you.

Julian Ugarte (01:28:03):


Ian Ugarte (01:28:05):

I’ve always loved you. And-

Julian Ugarte (01:28:08):

[inaudible 01:28:08].

Ian Ugarte (01:28:09):

… I haven’t expressed it. That’s the thing.

Julian Ugarte (01:28:13):

Again, I got something to do with that because I’m the same.

Ian Ugarte (01:28:17):

We all have a part to play. And so I’m very fortunate as I was growing up, I never lacked of anything. You always gave me what I wanted, whenever I asked for it. And you made me do the things that I had to do. And I just want to say, thank you. And that I love you both.

Julian Ugarte (01:28:35):

Thank you.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:28:36):

Like Catherine said… I coming to Catherine and I said, “My son, Ian, is like a thorn in my…” No, I said he’s too hard. No, he’s not a thorn in your heart, he’s a whole bush. A rose bush.

Ian Ugarte (01:28:56):

And just remember, you can only write me out of the will once. All right?

Julian Ugarte (01:29:01):

Yeah. Well, look, just remember that I will try very hard not to leave you a will so you don’t have to fight. All right?

Ian Ugarte (01:29:12):

Yeah, dad, make sure you leave a will, we don’t want to have that fight.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:18):

Well, the last one he did is not valuable.

Ian Ugarte (01:29:18):

It’s not valid anymore?

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:21):


Ian Ugarte (01:29:21):


Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:21):

I don’t think so.

Ian Ugarte (01:29:24):

All right.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:25):

We’ll have to start again.

Ian Ugarte (01:29:27):

That’s been a slightly longer podcast, but I think worth it. And now I just want to thank you for coming in and speaking to everyone.

Julian Ugarte (01:29:32):

Yeah, no problem. Yeah.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:34):

No problem.

Julian Ugarte (01:29:35):

Thank you for having us here.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:38):

I still love that bath-

Ian Ugarte (01:29:39):

You still love that bathroom.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:41):

… Even if it was so hard to clean. I had to clean it with kerosene. You imagine that?

Ian Ugarte (01:29:46):

Yeah, I can, I used to smell it.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:48):

Oh, god.

Ian Ugarte (01:29:52):

Oh, awesome. All right. Catch you next time.

Rosalie Ugarte (01:29:52):

Thank you, Ian. I love you.

Ian Ugarte (01:29:57):

So, there you have it. Small Talk Big Ideas with my parents Rosalie and Julian. The great stories and the emotional moments we had in there. As always with this podcast, subscribe and make sure you get to the next episode and follow us on all the social media channels. And you can get more information at

Announcer (01:30:16):

Thanks for tuning into the Small Talk Big Ideas podcast. We hope we’ve succeeded in our goal to inspire and challenge you. And we look forward to catching you on the next episode of Small Talk Big Ideas with Ian Ugarte.

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