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This is me at the May Day Dinner 2015. It was a privilege to be given the Spanner Award by the Union movement for the promotion of the ideals of International Workers Day.
The Old Guv Legends is a Blog by an Old Bloke  from Adelaide, South Australia.
I love People, History, Movies, printed Books, Photography, Art and the Printing Trade.
I believe the World Wide Web is a wonderful tool to inform, educate, spread friendship and to entertain. 
I don’t believe this Technology should spread race hatred,  fear,  fake news, eavesdrop on or stalk people.
This Blog is Totally Free to All to Enjoy!
OLD GUV LEGENDS  is  Dedicated to all the Workers of the South Australian Government  Printing Office  employed over its 130 year History.
Gudday, my name is Rod Parham. I live in Adelaide, South Australia.
I was born on Sunday, 16 November, 1947, in Adelaide.
That makes me an Aussie baby boomer, eldest child of Mabel and Bill Parham.
My sister Sue was born in 1956 and today has three children.
For about 4 or 5 years we lived with my Grandmother Rhoda.
She was a widow, independent and worked very hard cleaning factories of a night time to get by and a wonderful grandmother.
On Dad’s side there was my Grandpa “Pop,” a hard man, staunch protestant and union delegate for the Transport Workers Union.
He was also regarded as one of the best transport drivers in Adelaide.
My Dad Albert (always known as Bill) served in the South Pacific with the AIF (Australian Infantry Forces) during WWII as a Warrant Officer.
He never liked to talk about the War as he had lost a lot of good mates.
He became a Salesman for the printing firm Sands and McDougall after being de-mobbed.
Mabel or May (my Mum) was a saint, compassionate and generous to a fault. She had done factory work during the War.
Sadly, Mum died suddenly in 1983 of severe diabetes, aged only 63 years.
We moved to South Plympton in the Adelaide suburbs in the early 1950s where I attended Forbes Primary School.
My father gave me the nickname of “Caxton” after William Caxton, the first successful British Printer.
Photo: In my fourth year of apprenticeship.
I began my printing apprenticeship in 1965 with National Paper Industries and was later transferred to Griffin Press in 1968 to finish my apprenticeship. 
I started as a hot metal Compositor at the Old Guv Printing Office at King William Road in July 1973, which was 6 months before they moved the Office to the Netley Complex, Marion Road.
It was in the final days of the old hot metal technology.
Although it was only ten years I Ioved my time at The Guv, the people were fun to be with and that wonderful atmosphere and smell of a printing office will live with me forever. Yes, I love print!
In 1983, I said goodbye to the Guv and became an Elected Organiser with the Printing and Kindred Industries Union (South Australian Branch).
A few months later I got married  to Esther and it only lasted nine years.


Photo: My daughter Candace in 2016.
Our divorce was very amicable and now I live with my 32 year old son  (Danny) and my daughter (Candace) is only a 10 minutes drive away.
They are great children and so is my seven year old Grandson (Seamus).
 Photo: That’s me on the left with the Australian and World famous environmentalist and union activist Jack Mundey. A Real fair dinkum Legend.
Rod Parham
16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 8 2015

    Congratulations perseverance


  2. Sep 25 2015

    Congratulations Rod… Well deserved honour !!


    • Sep 27 2015

      To the wonderful Kathryn,
      Thank You for the thought, it means a lot.
      Regards, Rod


  3. Dec 16 2015

    How lovely to ‘meet’ you Rod and many congratulations. Stay happy in sunny Adelaide.


    • Dec 16 2015

      Thanks Miriam,
      I had a lovely Auntie called Miriam, I don’t think it is a common name in Oz, But neither is Rodney (Rod), most of them are baby boomers, I was named after a British WWII warship, HMS Rodney. I think it assisted in the sinking of the German ‘Bismarck’ back in those dark times.
      Keep well and safe over Christmas Miriam.
      Regards, Rod


    • Dec 16 2015

      Hi Rod, yes Miriam is not a common name, it’s actually Jewish for Mary (though I’m not Jewish!). Interesting history about your name. Enjoy the Christmas season with your family. Warm regards. M

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Diane Poole
    May 7 2016

    My father Ron Lahiff worked at the SA Government Printing Department in King William street and at Netley. He was a proof reader and a compositor before that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Burgher
    Nov 21 2017

    Hi all,
    I was a childhood neighbour of Warren Pietsch and spent a lot of time with him as a youngster. As often happens when you marry and leave home you lose touch. I was trying to find him on line recently and came across your obituary, so I now wont be able to catch up with him to talk about the old days. It was only recently posted so thanks for that.
    Incidentally I was a Hansard Junior in the old days (1966) when we used to run the hansard texts and proofs back and forth to the back door of the old works next door, so we were close then too without actually meeting again.
    As a youngster he was never without a football or a basketball in his hand. He introduced me to South Adelaide Basketball at Forestville (where I never matched his prowess) and also to the Beetles.
    Oh and his mum’s kichen was solid black and red.
    RIP Warren.
    Regards and thanks, Jeff Burgher.


  6. Malcolm
    Feb 5 2018

    In the story about the Trans raioway line you show a picture of men laying railway tracks.
    Can you tell me please where that pic was taken

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feb 5 2018

      It was certainly taken along the Nullaboor. All the pics I’ve seen are pretty vague about whether it is South Australia or Western Australia. But I have found an article from the ABC which may help a bit. I’ll put it up in the next few days.
      Thanks Malcolm.

      Regards, rod


  7. Chris McDonnell
    Feb 13 2018

    Hi Rod,
    Did you ever get to find out about that curved building at the back of the old printing building.


    • Feb 13 2018

      It was a railway Shed Chris and not a smelting shed. I posted the reply some months back verified by G. Hofmeyer.

      Cheers Rod


  8. Andrew Warner
    Jan 30 2020


    Advising that Merv Warner (09.04.33 to 24.01.20) has clanged out passing away peacefully on Friday 24 January 2020 at 86 years of age.

    Merv was an apprentice and then journeyman compositor at the Old Guv.
    The family understand that Merv also took on the role of Association Secretary alongside with Association President Frank ‘Popeye’ Nelson during his time at the Government Printer.

    Merv after leaving the Old Guv worked in NSW in Industrial Relations roles for (gasp) the employers. But he never backed down from the ideals of fairness and equity that he learned during his time at the Old Guv.

    We ask you post this to notify his passing to those that knew him.

    Kind regards

    Andrew Warner


    • Jan 30 2020

      Andrew have posted your notice. All the Best to the family at this time.


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