Source: Gold Coast Bulletin, 10 December 2008
HE’S the snake-loving battler who won’t live in his million-dollar mansion because he can’t eat hamburgers on its white suede chairs.
Only a few weeks after winning a $1.8 million RSL Art Union raffle, Brisbane man John Glaister has turned his back on living at one of the Gold Coast’s most exclusive waterfront resorts.
The 46-year-old forklift driver is still unemployed and cannot get work after breaking an ankle during a fall down stairs when moving into a rental property at Greenbank.
Mr Glaister spends his days visiting his mother Betty, who needs hospital care for a serious heart condition, going to specialists to check on his broken left ankle or hobbling into banks, which refuse to give him a loan to cover his living and medical expenses.
“The banks won’t talk to me because I haven’t got a job,” Mr Glaister told The Sunday Mail. “I’m about to sell a house for $1.6 million but they won’t lend me $50,000.
“I’m a millionaire and I can’t get a loan to save my life.
“My money is in property – what is going on?”
The banks decline to comment on Mr Glaister’s previous credit history for privacy reasons, but argue loans cannot be approved in the current economic environment to people who are not earning a living.
While Mr Glaister is forever grateful for the RSL changing his life after he won the fully furnished Hope Island mansion, the real positive financial changes are yet to flow through to the former navy able-seaman’s life.
“I have $30,000 in gold bullion, but I spent most of that,” he said. “I paid off prior debts. You have to understand I was on the bones of my arse before I got sacked.”
Mr Glaister and his close friend Tanzen have moved into a Greenbank rental which he said was a dump but made a suitable home for their pets.
He has visited his Hope Island waterfront home six times since he won it in late October, and last month decided to put it in the hands of real estate agent Kevyn Willmott.
The house and land is worth $1.65 million and the luxury four-bedroom home contains $170,000 in furnishings, including giant plasma television screens. “There’s super-flash chairs. They’re white suede. You wouldn’t eat a hamburger on them,” Mr Glaister said.
“It’s all too much for me.”
After selling the house and giving a hand to friends and family, Mr Glaister wants to find a suitable property before embarking on his dream of building a business and fishing in the Whitsundays.
“We keep reptiles – about 40 or 50 snakes. And we keep rats and mice to feed them. They don’t want rats and mice around here.”