Why Does Pete Wear Red Shirts? – A Little More About Pete
Many years ago I’m embarked on a journey that continues today in taking pictures. The passion for taking pictures has been with me ever since I can remember as a little boy.
When I first started out I wore pretty much with what I’m wearing today expect for one difference. In the early years I wore all sorts of flannelette shirts. The odd socks came a few years later as there is s story as to why I wear odd socks, which I regard today as totally normal .
One day I was out in the Outback and a thought came to me, if I was to get lost out here in the middle of nowhere with the remote places that I go to and I was to get stranded or I had to walk a long distance to get help, then the clothes or shirts that I was wearing wouldn’t been seen too well from the air or a moving car. The colours that I wore for the first few years were your greens, greys, blues etc. in the flannelette shirts. It occurred to me that that’s silly, as I would never be found if something was to happen. Over the years, I have almost lost my life on a number of occasions in this thing we call photography and I’m grateful that I’m still here.
So I switched to red purely as a safety colour as that would be seen better from the air. Now it has become for me my trademark which was never the intention (red flannette shirt, red sunnies and red Eternity hat and my blue shorts which are always in a state of much needed repair.)
I never set out to wear what I do today which has become my trademark as I mentioned and this has just happened over time by total accident .A good accident I would say.
I need to state, I do wear other clothes at home, although my wardrobe is not extensive. When I’m in the city I don’t wear my red shirts but I still wear my red cap and red sun glasses. If I’m photographing on the city or running my workshops I will wear my red gear.
The red shirts, red cap and red sun glasses are my photographing clothes and I wear them all the time when I’m out on location shooting. It’s just stuck with me over time and today I’m identified by it.
Several years ago I was running a Kangaroo Island Photographic Photo Tour and we were at Cape Willoughby Lighthouse when in the far distance a voice called out” Hey is that Pete Dobré?”
I shouted back “ Yes it is” As the couple drew near he said” I knew it had to be you Pete as I know no one else who I knows wears the red shirt and odd socks. I first met you in Antarctica and I was amazed what you wore down there and after all of these years, I see a guy with odd socks and a red flanntette shirt-who else would it be” This couple live in Victoria and I had not see them for over 10 years. So it has stuck with me and it’s been good on many levels.
Now why do I wear a red eternity cap? Well once again I use to wear all sort of colours in the Eternity cap range from black, brown and even dark blue but once again, it never stood out so when I made the switch to red shirt, It was a no brainer to get the red Eternity Caps. And by the way, I do have them made up for me especially.
So why do I wear the Red Eternity Caps? Most things that I do etc. there is a meaning behind it.
In 2000 when they lit up the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve as they do every year, they had written in copper plate writing, the word “Eternity” and that was in honour of Arthur Stace. Follow the link below to learn about Arthur.
Arthur was basically Sydney’s first graffiti artist. He spent over 25 years writing in copper plate writing the name of Eternity in chalk. He was a very little man, bent, grey-haired, only five feet three inches tall and just seven stone in the old scale.
He was born in 1884 in a slum at Balmain at the time. His parents were both alcoholics. His two sisters and brothers were also enslaved to the drink.
Arthur set out one day to end his life as given his background, what he had to live through etc., it just got too much for him but on August the 6th, 1930, his life changed for the better. He walked past a church hall and he heard the preacher say” where do you want to spend eternity, with God or without God” The rest is history, he never ended his life and he spent the next 25years of his life writing those words as his aim was to make people think about where they want to spend eternity for the rest of their life.Once you are dead, you are dead for a very long time.
He wrote it in the walls, on the footpaths, wherever he could write it, he would. It was written in perfect copperplate writing and the thing is, Arthur couldn’t read or write very well.He is an icon for Sydney today and little did he know many years after his passing, that he would be remembered by Australia in the biggest way possible, being splashed across the massive Sydney Harbor Bridge .
The man inspired me in his own simple way, he had a purpose, and he was a quiet, shy man, never looked to the spot light.
For many years the head lines in the Sydney papers were… “Who is Mr Eternity?” They had photographers every where, up trees, hiding in toilets, around corners, stalking wherever they could as they wanted to be the one who caught Mr Eternity in the act of writing the word Eternity. It took 25 years to catch him in the act.
He rose at 4am everyday to set on his journey to write the word Eternity wherever he could.
I wear it for the same reason. I believe in Jesus as he rocks my world but having said that I need to stress clearly that I do not see myself better than anyone else just because I have faith in this man they call Jesus. Yes I have no issue in believing him as Gods chosen Son; it’s the logical thing to do with the evidence that is before us. I think it takes way more faith to believe in chance that somehow things just evolved, that’s another story.
So for me, He is my meaning and purpose in life and why I do what I do and many times I don’t do it well. It doesn’t stop me from believing.
Having said that once again, I am fallen, I’m not perfect, I mistakes, I struggle with certain things, I struggle with the Church, I struggle with the politics in how the church is run and have never been one who fits comfortably in the church, but Jesus, that another story, I’ll always have time for him.I’ve never seen life as black and white.
I have naughty thoughts when perhaps I shouldn’t. I have done things I have regretted, I have lost friends and a dear friend at that and I have said things that I wish I hadn’t, I wish I had acted earlier on some things which have cost me dearly and some things are difficult to live with. I’m just like you, human and totally fallen from grace and at times I’m broken over some issues that live deep within me. I’m no different from the next person. Very few people are devoid of deep pain and a strong sense of loss which at times bares heavy on your heart and soul.
My communion with Him is being out in the wild places. So just because I have a faith in God, doesn’t mean I’m perfect, far from it. I strive and yet I fail at times. I don’t judge people but in my 20’s I was judgmental sadly. I’m not the same person today as I was then.
I’ll be the first to put my hand up as say I have failed and yet through my failings, I’ll never lose my faith in God, I may however lose my friends and that is the way it is.
The words of Jesus are so profound and yet sometimes hard to live by with the bar set so high.Once again, I have failed at times in this area.
One thing I have learnt in my own journey in life is that I’m a far different person at the age of 57 than I was when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. and 40’s I don’t judge anyone, I think there are always two sides to a story and at the end of the day, people do the things that they do due to the pressures that they may be under, due to things happening behind closed doors that we don’t know etc. It is always easy to cast judgment, rather than trying to make sense and understand the situation. That’s another story yet again.
Pete wears Eternity on his head, not because he is better than anyone else, but rather the opposite, he sees himself broken in many places, inadequate at times . I wear the Eternity cap as I know what Jesus thinks of me even in my failings and that is all that counts. I may not be sitting next to Jesus in heaven due to my stuff ups, but most likely will be down the bottom of the mountain, but that’s ok, as long as I’m there, I’ll be content.
I would love all of my friends to spend Eternity in the place where they will be no more pain, suffering, sickness etc.,but rather just the sheer joy of knowing who God is and what he did for us.
As for the odd socks that I wear. I’ve been wearing them for 20 plus years now and it is simply my statement that things don’t have to be perfect. Life will always go on. I’ve see too many people crack under the pressure of not living up to the expectations of their parents and these people are adults and at the end of the day, who cares, what does it matter. You need to be you, to do it your way, not your parents way of that is what you desire, yes you will most likely make a few mistakes along the way but that’s life is it not.Never live in fear as some do.
I’ve had several close friends who have and are living their life out in their own fears and robbing themselves of complete happiness.
So my Odd socks simply say, things don’t have to be perfect at all. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if you didn’t get it perfect!!!! What is perfection anyway? Umm maybe people’s unrealistic expectations at times.
Now for the picture!!!! I’m so excited with this picture that I have posted it because the shirt that I’m wearing which was bought in 2015 is the exact same design as the one that I’m holding. Now the one that I’m holding is 25 years old and it has taken 25 years for makers of these shirts to repeat the exact same design!!! Whooohoooo. I should have bought more at the time this year. Each year they have a variation to the theme of red flannette shirts with the patterns. The red will be a different red; the patterns will be totally different and so on.
So the shirt that I’m hold up is totally ripped in shreds on the back, has been worn out and I don’t dare to put it in the washing machine again.
Perhaps when I die, it can be placed over my cardboard box before I’m cremated!!!!
So for those who may have thought that I was telling fibs about the original shirt that was the same as what I bought this year, you can now see for yourself.
I guess if it takes another 25 years to repeat it, I will not be here to see that!!!!
If there is one verse in the Bible that inspires me is the one below. There are times I read this and it moves me to tears. The bar is set high and I don’t always achieve it but all one can do is keep trying and where you have been able to show a little, it is always so worth it.
I need to state I have never seen life as black and white and I still don’t see it as black and white.That’s just me as life is very complicated at times and I think also that there will be some surprises in heaven that will rock the socks of a few people.
If we get there it will be because of God’s goodness and not how we view ourselves. That’s another story is it not?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
A variation of the shirts below on the famous hill hoist clothes line that I have worn over the years and as you can see , none match the original . I really should have bought out the shops in my size!!!!
“Oh dear, is the world catching up to me: surely not. No I didn’t organize this and there is another story behind this as well. This is the third time this has taken place where people have dressed like me.Each time it is a complete surprise and shock as it is not a condition of doing one of my Photo Tours. The first was when I spoke in New Zealand a number of years ago. It’s very humbling.” Pete:)