Come along to the Old Guv Legends Luncheon on Friday, 18 August, 2017 at the West Adelaide Football Club, 57 Milner Road, Richmond – 12 noon.
On Friday, 18 August, Judy Marks who started at the Government Printing Office in 1971 will become a Legend. Yes, she is an insane Port Power supporter. No Booing will be Permitted.
Those attending So far: Jack and Helen Flack, Eunice Wright, Judy Marks, Marianne Hunn and Emma, Rod Parham, Alex Riley, Julie Cunningham, Conrad and Norma Rogers, Ray Belt, Dennis and Jeanna Grover, Tony and Elaine Fitzsimmons, Kevin and Judy Stack-Neale, Garth Mugford, David and Wendy Walker, Ellen Krueger, Geoff Michell, Vic Potticary, Dennis and Judy Duthie, Keith Oxley,
Apologies: Brian Hartshorne, Rob and Wendy Powell, Don Woolman, Pam Palmer, Marilyn and David Harding, David and Thelma Korff, John and Toni Manfield, Jenny Easther, Bob Downs, Lew Morrison, Charlie Korff, Bruce and Joan Lockier,
Special Attraction: Alex Riley, The Toff May Buy a Drink for Someone other than Himself.
The Toff (Alex Riley) gained a reputation at the Old Guv of being the meanest person since Ebenezer Scrooge.
And now The Toff is claiming that he is going to dig deep into his bulging pocket and will attempt to avoid the moths, Old Guv Pay Slips and his slippery snake to get to the small change lurking at the bottom of his money pit.
And he says he is going to attempt to shout his “old mate” Mr Rodney Parham, ONE SMALL Lemon, Lime and Bitters drink.
Bruce Kutcher was born at Kadina under the shade of the Wombat Hotel. He worked for a small print shop before moving to Adelaide and settling in at the Old Guv.
As a jobbing comp, Bruce was well skilled and no job was beyond his talent. He was placed under the watchful eye of Fred Hardwicke, who looked after and stood up for his group of comps.
Bruce loved his cigarettes and was a chain smoker. Some days he had a fag in his mouth, another on the Ludlow and one alight in his frame next to me. He also had a love for a beer and every lunch break was off to the pub.
Even on overtime, during the tea break he was off to the pub. Bruce won a prize in a Cricket Club raffle (3 bottles of sherry). Did he take it home? – well no, as Bruce and I consumed 2 bottles during OT. Boy! was I pissed. On arriving home I said to my wife ‘Hi I’m home’ and promptly passed out – she was not happy.
Bruce was a skilled fisherman – knew every knot in the book and often made up fishing lines for Fred and others. Bruce would take our wooden forme furniture and turn it into amazing ‘floats’ to take to fishing.
Some Saturday mornings Roger Francis, Bruce and myself would go to Outer Harbour to fish. It wasn’t long before Bruce would produce a bottle of grog and the fishing became enjoyable. One morning Bruce hooked a seagull and all hell broke loose.
Bruce was seen limping quite badly one morning on the Jobbing floor. On closer inspection Bruce Lockier informed Bruce that his shoes were on the incorrect foot. Another time Bruce arrived wearing two different brown shoes.
Bruce turned up one day clearly not well. Ron Evans told him to go to the Railways Tavern and have a stout and port wine poured into a glass. Hours later he returned so pissed that Fred ushered him to the bus stop.
Bruce and I used to buy fireworks in November, especially throwdowns, and constantly tossed them at others. Also flower pots, jumping jacks and squibs were tossed under the dunny doors causing mayhem.
Bruce loved the Cricket trips to Melbourne where he could drink constantly and one trip he fell out of the bus head first, missing all the steps.
Moving to Netley was Bruce’s downfall as the bus stop to Netley was close to the Majestic Hotel. He would alight from the bus from Nailsworth and enter the pub for a drink or two.
When he finally arrived at Netley Bert Cotton had sealed the doors, so if the doors did not open, Bruce just turned around and went off home via a pub or two.
In the end Bruce gave up coming to work as the doors were continually locked, his marriage broke up and he spent his final days living with his aged mother, yet Bruce was never sacked, simply taken off the ‘books’.
Jackie Veitch did his apprenticeship at The Old Guv and stayed right up to his retirement in 1973.
He would work out his pay to the cent, and get time off to take up underpayments with the pay office.
He just loved Overtime and was always the first in line for the overtime roster and would get terribly upset if he was forgotten or overlooked.
Jackie would be immaculately dressed every day, do all the press maintenance, wash-ups etc, and seemingly never get a spot of oil, ink or dirt on him.
On the day of his retirement, after 50 plus years of service I arranged for him to be interviewed by a distant relative of mine who was at the time, ‘Features Editor’ for the ‘News’.
Jackie got his picture in the paper and it was revealed that this was not his first job.
He started as a rabbit catchers’ assistant in the West Parklands at age 14 or so.
This fits for me, as my grandparents lived in Thebarton and I remember the ‘rabbito’ coming to sell rabbits out of a little horse drawn cart.
The other big Meihles had a roving population of operators, even down to Paul Raby keeping his hand in on overtime when he was Association Secretary.
Hans Roling did the Allison Ashby wild flowers post cards for the Art Gallery gift shop. Separate blocks for the 4 colours and possibly about 12 to 16 up.
Quite a register and make-ready and register task. In those days the Yellow was put down first and was viewed through a blue glass round window to give some contrast against the white coated card.
In the small offset area when printing electoral rolls they worked at least two shifts. Around 10pm towards midnight, the wood barbecue would be fired up in the courtyard and any amount of broken pallets and other scrap wood helped cook the food.
Reg Hartshorne supervised this area with John Cronin, Ron Mitchell and Geoff Clarke.
Ron Mitchell was called ‘Running Ron’ because he was always looking for something to do other than print and Reg used to call out to him, “Are you running Ron?”
Facing the Miehles near the office was the forme lift.
Most of the small jobbing work did not cause too much problem but some of the bigger book formes ended up with type over the place when the lift hit the bottom and the lock-up wasn’t too flash.
Other big formes came to grief when they were taken out of the lift and put on to the little forme trolley.
People performing this dangerous manoeuvre then came unstuck when the trolley hit the first and successive pot-holes in the floor.
Photo: The late Harry “The Horse” Kinder (left) warned me many years ago about what a bastard Alex “The Toff” Riley (right) could be.
Is The Toff a Bomb Maker, Vandal, or Peeping Tom or simply just a bullshit artist?
YOU BE THE JUDGE…
THE story begins on a visit to the Adelaide Airport when The Toff was pulled aside and asked if he had any objection to being tested for bomb making residue on his clothing.
The Toff sarcastically replied that he was a 90 year old retired “Planner in Charge” who had lost the use of both of his hands in the Korean War and had not made any bombs that week.
The security guy went ballistic and said that he would have him frog marched out of the airport and be made to appear in front of Tony Abbott the very next day.
The Toff clamped up and offered up only one word answers from then on. Luckily the State Governor put in a good word for Alex and he walked free.
Well f**k me, then it happened again.
The very next time The Toff returned to the airport he was pulled aside and asked the very same question again.
This time the Toff replied cautiously and said he was now a 75 year old pensioner with “disabilities” and had fought in Vietnam.
The security guy apologised and said he was only doing his job. The Toff was not amused and muttered under his breath “moron” as he walked away.
Well f**k me, then this happened. Some months went past and then The Toff received a letter from a Bad Debt agency.
The letter demanded how and when was he going to pay the $2,500 fine for the shop window front in the Riverland town of Berri that he tossed a wheelie bin through on New Year’s Eve.
The Toff was shattered as once again he was being accused of something he did not do.
Really? He phoned the agency and said you have the wrong man as he the Toff was a 80 year old pensioner who could not lift an empty wheelie bin, yet alone throw it through a plate glass window.
The Toff said he could prove that he was at Seaton that night at a New Years Eve Party for geriatrics, some 150kms away. Fortunately the dumb guy agreed and no more was heard.
Well f**k me, and then this happened.
Some bloke left his business card in the Toff’s “letterbox asking the Toff to call him. This bloke David, said there was a “victims of crimes” case against the Toff regarding his assault on a woman called Elizabeth.
This time the Toff explained to the bloke that he was a 85 year old pensioner with dementia, a heart problem and had recently undergone brain surgery.
Oh! said the bloke – sorry about that but a number of people have said they think you look like a sexual predator.
Well f**k me said The Toff, how many more bastards are using my name out there.
John was born on 5 May, 1936 in Croydon. He was the last of five children (Olga, Dorothy, Bill and Frank). His father was Head Bird Keeper at the Adelaide Zoo and the family lived in a small cottage in the zoo grounds.
Because he was born in South Australia’s Centenary Year he was given a bank book and two shillings and six pence, that money is sill in a sock underneath his bed.
His first school was St. Cyprians in North Adelaide and after one year he moved to Christ Church Primary School. He spent two years at Adelaide Tech and at the age of 15 was apprenticed as a compositor at the Old Guv.
He was nicknamed “Dingo” by Frank Lock. John spent a number of some years on the Comp floor working with people like Fred Hardwicke, Ron Hamence and Jack Wells.
After he finished his apprenticeship he earned a reputation as a bit of a “tightarse.”
He pursued apprentice Kevin “Dago” Stack-Neale for years for a penny change that he claimed that Dago owed him from the 1950s.
Kevin repaid that penny plus a halfpenny (interest) at the OGL Luncheon on 24 February.
Living at the zoo was a great life and he was never short of friends. He helped his Dad with the bird collection and when a bird died his dad’s taxidermist friend would stuff them and then John would box them up and send them to the Bremen Museum in Germany. The Museum rewarded him with a free Leica camera. He keeps that under his bed as well.
The family were often non paying guests of Wirth’s Circus who pitched their big top near the Morphett Street Bridge.
On one occasion the family were having their evening meal when Lola the Chimpanzee walked in. John’s dad calmly rose from the table and took Lola by the hand back to her enclosure.
Cricket was his favourite sport. He played a few games with Adelaide C grade whose coach at the time was Clarrie Grimmett. He also studied at the Adelaide College of Music and was chosen to perform solo in a concert at the Adelaide Town Hall.
During the performance a side door was opened and the music blew off the stand but John finished without a mistake.
John with good friend Don “The Flash” Woolman frequently met at the 50/50 dances at the Bay Town Hall where Frank Buller’s big band was playing. He travelled by tram to the dance and Don would drive him back to the Zoo in his tiny Austin 7.
At the age of 27, John left the Old Guv and entered the newsagency business. He spent 42 years in the industry.
John’s first newsagency was at North Adelaide which he started in 1963 and then in 1976 moved to McLaren Vale where he built three shops.
In 1967 he met Antonia (Toni) an Italian lady who owed him a whole 20 cents for newspapers.
However, knowing that he would never give up asking for the 20 cents she paid the debt. This gave John the opportunity to ask her for a date.
They were engaged in December and married n 1968. Marrying a Sydney girl was a big plus for the Dingo as it meant holidays in Sydney and not having to pay for accommodation.
He joined Rotary and after completing 25 years was made an honorary life member. He served as President of his Parish Council and as President of the Cardijn College Parents and Friends group.
At the age of 78 while out walking John who was a mad golfer fell resulting in a severe shoulder injury so he joined the Willunga Bowling Club with wife Antonia.
Together they now enjoy cruising around Australia and the South Pacific . They have been to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Sicily where Antonia visited the graves of some her ancestors.
On the occasion of Dingo’s 80th birthday, daughter Josephine and the entire family spent a memorable weekend at Bungaree Station.
John Dingo Manfield, you are a true Old Guv Legend.