“Foo was here” is an Australian graffiti signature of popular culture, especially known for its use during World War I, but also became popular among Australian schoolchildren of post-war generations.
Foo is shown as a bald-headed man (sometimes depicted with a few hairs) peering over a wall (usually with three fingers from each hand appearing to clutch over the wall as well), with the simple inscription “Foo was here”.
When I started working at the Government Printing Office in July, 1973 I worked on the hot metal Bills staff in the comp room.
I was surrounded by a bunch of crazy comps with nicknames like Abo, Rags, Mac, Dago, Sam, Cyril the Clown, Sleepy and Meggsie.But there was a weird thing I kept noticing and it was a little note stuck on the walls, notice boards, toilet doors and tea urn.
On the note there was a drawing of ‘Foo’ (see above) and underneath the words ‘Allan Orrock was Here’ were printed.
Confused, I went off and spoke to the late Warren Pietsch (Abo) and asked who Allan Orrock was. A big mistake. Warren’s reply was, ‘It’s a joke and he’s a make believe person.
Thirty years pass and I went along to the funeral of the late and great Ron Hamence.
After the service we were standing around chatting when a nicely dressed man approached me and introduced himself as Allan Orrock. I rocked back on my feet and said, ‘But you don’t exist’. ‘Bullshit’ was the reply.
Again, I had been hoodwinked by those bastards in the old comp. room. I soon realised that for a ghost Allan was an interesting and intelligent man.
As I understand Allan left the Guv in the 1960s. But, you are getting your chance to meet him at our Luncheon on Friday, 15 November, 2019 at Westies, commencing 12 Noon.