Thought the Old Legends might like this story from the past. It happened at the Old Guv Bindery on King William Road when Ken Arnold was the overseer.
This one dates back to the late 1960’s and involves a binder called Karl Boos with the nickname “Chalky” due to his long flowing blond hair and pasty complexion.
Anyone who worked in the old building may remember that it had no air conditioning . The windows, needed to be open in the hot weather, this was necessary in the binding room as it was on the top floor and a hot place to be in in summer.
Karl who was a bit of a practical joker came up with an idea to give Ken Arnold a bit of a scare. which involved climbing out of a window of the binding room 3 floors up onto the narrow window ledge.
Ken Arnold had a daily routine of eating a banana at the same time of the day and putting the used banana skin out on the window ledge next to his office.
This was a particularly dangerous and crazy stunt due to the narrowness of the ledge and the height he was off the ground and the distance he had to travel from the binding room window to Ken Arnold’s office window.
Well, he managed to make it to Ken Arnold’s window just as he had finished his banana and was putting the banana skin onto the ledge, when there was Chalky staring at him outside his window clinging onto the window ledge. We assumed that he would be let inside by Mr Arnold.
The next thing that amazed us all was than instead of letting Karl into his window and to safety, he closed it and left him out on the ledge with nowhere to go but back to where he came from.
Chalky eventually made it back to the window ledge in the binding room that he left from to find it closed and no way back inside till after some time being let back inside.
I can’t remember how long we left him outside on the ledge, but apart from the obvious danger of leaving him outside, anyone from the street who saw him may have called the police thinking he was about to commit suicide.
Fortunately, he learnt his lesson and didn’t try that one again and went on to play many more less dangerous practical jokes at his time at the Old Guv.
I remember well that day in the 1960s, when NINE brave senior men decided it was appropriate to threaten three young apprentices, that if they did not get their beautiful hair cut at the barbers, they would cut it for them.
Two of the intended victims rushed off to the hairdressers during the lunch break but only one stood firm against the vigilante group.
After spending most of the morning avoiding his assailants, he was obliged to return to his work frame because he had not yet achieved his necessary time quota on his timesheet.
That afternoon, the inevitable happened, eight big men held him down whilst the ninth cut his hair.
The next day, the victim stormed into Les Hawes’ office, the then Government Printer, and demanded the matter to be addressed.
Les Hawes reminded the apprentice that it was his office and it was not considered appropriate to bang your fist on his desk.
A week later the apprentice was sent a cautionary letter from the Association President, that the association rules did not allow him to go to the Government Printer without Association representation.
Quite humorous really, when the President, may well have been one of the nine people who were involved in the HAIRCUT thuggery.
Ian Charles Pedler was born on 6 June 1949 at the Memorial Hospital, North Adelaide to parents William and Doreen. Ian was the youngest of three brothers.
He attended Northfield Primary and Strathmont Technical High School, where he completed three years to Intermediate standard.
Ian’s first job was at the Government Printing Office, King William Road. He started there in January 1966 as a Hand Binding Apprentice working under Ken Arnold (Overseer) and with Keith Oxley and Tony Harris.
Ian wasn’t a bad looking bloke back in those days and after a period of leave of absence travelling in Europe he returned to Adelaide and married his attractive girlfriend Margaret in 1975.
His main hobby is golf and he played off a 5 handicap in his younger years. Ian claims he had two holes in one on the same golf course 11 years apart on 11 January and at 11 am.
Ian and Margaret have travelled overseas extensively over the past 23 years.
He spent 28 years at the Guv and left in 1994 after taking a Separation Package. He then started at Flinders Press in the same year as a Printing Estimator for 14 years. Ian retired for 18 months and returned to Flinders Press as a casual until full retirement in early 2017.
He says there were many highlights of his time at the Guv and working especially in the old building on King William Road was a great experience.
“As a young 16 year old starting straight out of school, the Gov taught me that I had to grow up in a hurry to survive in an environment with people who were different to anything I had experienced in my short life”.
”I thought at the time that some of them were just plain crazy. As time went by I thought I was going crazy too, but it helped if you just went along with the flow and didn’t make too many waves. They were the best working years of my life.”
The Old Guv Government Gazette Comp Room Staff would go like the clappers on a Thursday arvo to get the S.A. Government Gazette out.
There would be Macca, Raggsy, Albert, Jimmy, Dago, Sam, Matey Orrock and me working our arses off to meet the deadline.
We were quite rude bastards and during our tea break would wander off to O’Connell Street in North Adelaide to visit the local wine bar with its dirt floor to get the necessary energy to finish off the Gazette.
The ritual was to order a butcher glass of Port for everyone who showed up (usually seven blokes). So, everyone downed 7 glasses of Port in less than half an hour.
Albert once told the bar owner to “piss off” when he suggested they let the wine breathe. “We haven’t got bloody time for that bullshit,” he said.
Macca would whip off to get fish and chips and extra bottles of beer.
One night the poor bastard almost got run over by a MTT Bus right in the middle of O’Connell Street.
Then it was back to the Old Guv Comp Room with our supplies in tow.
Did we get the Gazette out you may ask?
YES! Week after week, year after year. Well done Bastards…
John McInerney, Father of the Extremely Honest Kiddies.
The Old Guv used to have the Children’s Christmas Party at the Railways Institute each year! Paul Raby would dress up as a Clown and amuse the kiddies.
There would be cakes, lollies and drinks. The big highlight of the day was when Jack Findlay (Intertype Foreman) arrived, dressed up as Father Christmas.
The children would all line up for their gifts and the chance to ask for more presents from Santa.
The illusion of a Small Child’s Vision of Christmas would be shattered by John McInerney’s children for as they each came up to receive their present from Father Christmas they would say in a loud, clear voice, “Oh, Thank You, Mr. Findlay.”
Poor old Jack didn’t take too kindly to this sort of behaviour as he thought that an innocent child’s life may be ruined forever if they found out that Father Christmas was actually some overweight Intertype Foreman.
So when Jack challenged Macca on the following Monday about this treachery, Mac replied, “I don’t lie to my kiddies about these sorts of things and my kiddies Don’t Lie.”