FRANCOIS Beugels has an interesting story.
Originally from France and Belgium, he is a civil engineer who came to Australia 50 years ago to work at the Shell Oil Refinery in Sydney.
He has also worked as an industrial chemist for Colgate Palmolive, has had an import-export business, started his own clothing label, called Francois and in the past 20 years had a fascination with stained glass.
That led to him making fused and blown glass, which he turned into a career making glassware like plates and vases and unique jewellery.
He moved to North Nowra 10 years ago to get out of the “rat race of Sydney” and continued his passion with glass, which over the years has seen him work and exhibit in Europe and Japan.
But that passion led to disaster five years ago when he was carrying a large container of glass and he injured his back.
It left him paralysed down his left leg and he spent the next 12 months teaching himself how to walk again.
This is why his daily walk, which can last for up to two hours, has been such an integral part of his routine to keep fit.
He is an avid traveller having visited a number of countries around the world, and 18 months ago he spent three months backpacking alone through China.