‘Allan Orrock was Here’

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.
See you then! Rod

About Derwombat

My name is Rod Parham, Hot Metal Compositor. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1947. Single with two children and a grandson. I Love History, Movies and Words.