Aaaaah, what else would a poor old pensioner be doing on a cold autumn day than sitting in front of a roaring fire having a cold frothie!
My name is Nick Penn and I emigrated with two sisters, from the old dart under the ten quid scheme in 1962. had a five-week trip on the P&O SS Orion, paid for by the Aussie government. Thank you!
We lived in Bunnerong Migrant Hostel, seven miles from Sydney CBD, for three years. I was schooled at South Sydney Boys’ High School.
Worked at LJ Duggan Typesetters, Dixon Street (China Town), for almost a year in 1965, where I was to be indentured as a hand compositor. Rough-as-guts area, with a two-up gambling den above the print shop, guarded all day by heavies.
Saw The Beatles in 1964–still have the program! We decided to move from the hostel to the satellite town where some of the greatest Aussie bands of all time started out–yes, Elizabeth. in South Australia.
Nights at the Octagon were fabulous, seeing the likes of the Twilights, Easybeats, Masters Apprentices etc.
I met my future wife (Wendy) on the way home from there one Friday night–two sons later and four grandkids we are still together–amazing.
We arrived in Elizabeth on John Lennon’s (and my) birthday in 1965. Served an apprenticeship as a hand compositor from January 1966 at Pritchard & Bartholomew.
First met Bruce (Ginger Megs) Gow and the late Warren (Abo) Pietsch at trade school–45 years ago.
Finished my time at Pritchards, went to Specialty Printers–for an extra $3 a week–stayed there for one year. Griffin Press for one week, winning a magnum of Cold Duck in their Friday raffle.
Started at the Old Guv late 1972 on the jobbing floor. Then the big move to Netley in 1974, jobbing mainly, then Hansard shift as a comp.
Began proofreading on Hansard shift and continued reading till I left in 1993, as a result of Redundancy Packages being offered–the Guv was on the way out! I still say, to this day, they were the best years of my working life.
Working with so many characters over the years it was (almost) nice to go to work.