Alexander (Alec) Neilson passed away on 3 July, 2016, after a long illness. He was 88 years of age. Alec was born on 1 July, 1928, in Glasgow, Scotland.
At 15 years of age he applied for a job as an Apprentice to Letterpress Machining with Fowlers Printing, Glasgow. The owner of the small print office was a Scottish Jew named Mr. Allan Fowler.
Fowler being a Scotsman with a Jewish background was a tightarse and not wishing to pay postage on Alec’s letter of acceptance he asked his “shitboy” a young Lew Morrison to personally deliver the letter to Alec.
The two apprentices became firm friends. World War II was now upon them. The majority of the tradesmen joined up to fight which left Lew in charge of the factory and Alec.
Lew joined the Navy and Alec joined the regular army. After the War the two lads spent many wonderful times cycling around Scotland and staying at Youth Hostels. Alec had to endure Lew’s temper tantrums whenever he got a puncture whilst cycling.
They decided to emigrate to Australia together for a new life and so our “NO Pound Scotsmen” travelled by boat to Sydney and then on to Adelaide.
In those days the Government Printing Office took on almost anyone and so both young men got a start .It was quite an achievement for Alec who was “colour blind”, but he was a good black, grey and white printer.
Alec married Irene who lived “over the road” back in Glasgow, not long afterwards.
While Lew was an Old Guv “lifer’ the brave Alec decided to move on in the 1960s.
He got a job in the Print Section of Australian Glass Manufacturers on the Port Road, Woodville. When AGM decided to close down its Print Room Alec bought their machinery and set up “Aneil Press” and continued to do work for the company.
As a Union organiser I used to visit Aneil Press at Edwardstown and would catch up with Barry O’Donnell, Bob Virgin and Kym Morrison (Lew’s son). It was a great place to visit. Outside of work Alec was a prominent member of the Port Adelaide Caledonian Society.
Sadly, Irene Neilson passed away in 1987. In time, Alec eventually met Margaret and they married.
Alec had four sons, Graham, Allan, Stewart and Craig and one daughter, Fiona.
Alec was a good, honest and generous person and is up there with the other Old Guv Legends.