Back in the 1970s there was a fad for things like pet rocks, long hair, floral shirts, pink flares, platform shoes, glowing oil lava lamps, cheese fondue parties, Daddy Cool, Skyhooks and bloody sea monkeys.
You bought the sea monkeys in a packet, chucked them in water and then after quite some time they started to turn into some sort of creature.
They were actually brine shimp.
Big Den loved his pet sea monkeys who swam happily around in their bowl in the work room.
But, there were some extremely jealous and psychotic compositors who hated seeing Big Den enjoying the company of his newfound tiny friends.
Den’s precious little sea monkeys suffered a shocking and terrible fate, just ask him what those bastards did.
Photo: Rob and Wendy Powell. Rob Powell was born at Semaphore on 2 January,1943 to parents Horrie and Del Powell. Horrie who was a required worker during WWII played footy at full back for West Adelaide and South Australia and was a life member of the SANFL.
Rob attended Grange Primary School, Findon High School and the Printing Trades School. His first print office was Bowden Printing. After Bowden’s he moved to Mitchell Press in the City and then to Bird Printers at Port Adelaide.
In 1966, Rob, along with his three brothers went to Darwin and he spent the next four years at the N.T. Government Printing Office. Arriving back in Adelaide he had a short time at Robinson’s before being interviewed by George Sparnon for a Jobbing position at the Guv.
At Netley, Rob worked in Jobbing, Monotype Keyboard and the Reading Room and like many others before him was told to “slow down” by the Comp Room Mafia.
He managed to get involved with the Office Association and the Social Club. He organised a very weird train trip to the Barossa Valley, but had much more success with the Kids Christmas parties, Netley Cabarets and Office Picnics.
Rob and an unknown person took up bootlegging with Hamilton Winery and they passed off White Diamond Rum as Bacardi at the Guv Cabarets.
In fitter days he played amateur footy for Henley Footy Club where he was known as “Gus” and umpired in Adelaide and Darwin.
Rob and Wendy have two children, Jayne in Cairns and Ben in Canberra. After ten years at the Guv he and Wendy had a brief stint in Darwin and then 20 enjoyable years in Canberra with Rob working in Government Publications.
Rob and Wendy have been back in Adelaide for quite some time and like most rich people have had some enjoyable world cruises.
In Canberra, Wendy (who was an important public servant in Canberra) had a moment of horror when she was pushed into shaking the hand of the then Prime Minister little Johnnie Howard. Sadly, a True Story.
How pray tell did two such popular blokes get those ridiculous nicknames?
The Toff is easy, he claims he is descended from British aristocracy and as an apprentice showed contempt for the other apprentices.
He tried countless times to get out of work that he thought was below him. Quite well off, drives a Jaguar and uses driving gloves and wears a top hat.
Mr Grubby’s nickname and how he got it are just so monstrous that even I do not quite understand it. But, I believe it occurred during morning tea in the comp room some years ago and was a practical joke that went astray. However the nickname “Grubby” suggests there was filth involved.
Let’s move on… we have tried on two occasions to organise a Get Together and both times been beaten by Covid-19.
Alex Riley will not give up. He has made a temporary booking at Westies in March, 2021.
More information to come and let’s hope we can finally enjoy each other’s Company.
Studio portrait of 44 Private (Pte) George Edward Bonney, 32nd Battalion, of Unley, South Australia.
George Bonney was born on 23 August, 1876 at Unley.
He was the son of William Bonney and Eliza Powell.
George married Florence Connor on 24 January, 1900 in Adelaide.
Originally a Printing Machinist with the Government Printing Office in Adelaide, South Australia, Private Bonney at age 39 years enlisted in May 1915 and embarked for Europe on 18th November, 1915, with A company, 32nd Battalion.
Soon after arriving in France for service on the Western Front, Private Bonney became one of the first Australians killed during the horrific Battle of Fromelles in World War I when he was shot at Fleurbaix, soon after going over a parapet on 19th July, 1916.