Photo: (from left to Right) Bob Allen, Keith Oxley and Coralie Hills.
Sadly our little Aussie battler Bob passed away quietly on 1 February, 2017, aged 83.
Bob was born in Belfast in Northern Ireland and emigrated to Australia in the late 1950s. Within two days of his arrival he was working at the Old Guv in King William Road as a Binder.
Some Highlights of our Bob’s time at the Guv.
1. Arranged the controversial Casino Night at the Netley Canteen which was raided by the Police Vice Squad, resulting in headline news, arrests, broken property and the theft of Anatoli Onishko’s cash register.
2. Entered Australia as a Ten Pound tourist and was employed at the Guv after telling Merv “Nobby” Clark that he had played cricket for the Northern Ireland Test team.
3. He was duly appointed to the GPO Cricket Club as Head Coach and senior adviser to our Captain for Life, Mr. Russell Wight.
4. Bob organised the Cricket Bus Trip to Hell by hiring Eric Miles “The Crayfish” to be the bus driver to go to Melbourne. The Crayfish got lost just outside Bacchus Marsh arriving hours late in Melbourne. By that time Bob was purple with rage at Eric’s blinding incompetence.
It was difficult to understand Bob on some days, especially when he got excited!
A little Aussie Battler who was innovative and daring as our Cricket Club Secretary. And, I’m richer for having known this man.
Bob Allen was a great bloke who achieved Old Guv Legend status and shed a grateful tear when receiving his Award!
I thought that I could add a little more to the story about the police raid on the Cricket Club’s Casino Night held at the Netley Canteen in the 1970s.
As far as I can remember I was contacted on the Saturday morning by the Advertiser and the Sunday Mail for comments on the raid on the Friday night at the Netley canteen.
I did not have any comment as I did not know at that stage that there was a raid by the Vice Squad.
I then received a call from Bill Voysey the Director General of the Department of Services and Supply asking for my comments on what had happened and whether I had authorised the event in the canteen.
I had no comments and I told him that I had not been asked to authorise the venue.
On the Monday I was asked to attend a meeting in Bill Voysey’s office, organised by the Minister, Don Hopgood I think.
At the meeting was the Police Commissioner, Harold Salisbury who gave his understanding of the events which had taken place on the Friday evening.
According to the Commissioner, a female stripper had contacted the Police concerning a dispute over her not being paid for her performance.
She told the Vice Squad that there were blue movies being shown, other strippers were present, gaming was taking place in a back room of the canteen.
She told the Police that it had been well advertised as there were sailors there from a ship which was in port at the time.
From the interview sheet it was suggested that the stripper in question was dreadful and had been booed off the stage.
When she demanded her payment she was told to get lost as she had not earned it. She promptly left the canteen and rang the Police from a public telephone box.
On the Sunday there was a SANFL grand Final at Footy Park between Port Adelaide Magpies and I think Sturt.
I was a guest of the Advertiser and Ron Hewitt looked after me.
There was no discussion about the football but the whole day was taken up with the raid on the Gaming Night at the Public Buildings Canteen.
Evidently there were a number of Griffin Press and Advertiser people involved who had their names taken along with many others.
Place: Canteen, Netley, South Australia.
Activity: Fundraiser that went Arse Up.
The Coppers crashed through the entrance to the Netley Canteen at midnight wearing white overalls and swinging their sledgehammers and smashing pool tables.
They took the Chocolate Wheel and the pinball machine
The South Australian Flying Vice Squad had raided the GPO Cricket Club’s “harmless little Fundraiser”.
Evidently, someone’s wife had tipped the Police off and the coppers had been inside watching us since 8 p.m.
I was the dickhead that let them in, not noticing through an alcoholic blur that the plain clothes detectives were all dressed in suits and very tall.
That horrible night almost bankrupted the Club, what with replacing the broken equipment and defending our poor old mate Jim Fisher in Court our final Bill ran into the thousands.
But in an act of great generosity the Victorian Government Printing Office Cricket Club rescued us with a huge donation of cash and an interest free loan.
The media uproar was deafening.
However Don Woolman, Government Printer knew “nothing” and Bill Voyzey, the Permanent Head of State Supply knew “nothing”.
Anatoly Onishko (Publications Officer) didn’t have a clue where his missing cash register had gone to, until it finally turned up after some weeks.
We all blamed poor old Casino Bob Allen (very unfairly I might add) for the disaster.
Pictured: Russell Wight sticks it up the Vics in a kindly and dignified manner after the Game.
This will bring back a few memories for the South Aussies who entertained the Vics in 1985.
Once again our Victorian GPD Cricket Club friends visited us on the January long weekend, one of the best weekends that has ever been. As usual, credit goes to that small band of people who worked tirelessly to make it the great success that it was.
The match: Victoria’s 8 for 140 after its 40 overs seemed like a reasonable score, but was made to look like kids’ stuff by Darryl Platten, 71, and Ross Amiguet, 58 not out, passing the required score with 7 overs and 8 wickets in hand, giving the S.A. boys their third win in a row.
The Saturday Night cabaret was a joyous affair, with the beautiful Tina St Clair and Lew Murray’s band for entertainment.
Even the involvement by members of both clubs in a talent contest brought a spontaneous reception by the audience, although one of the contestants “spat the dummy” and threw away his rattle!
Does anyone know who this person was, all these years down the track?
Come Monday, arguably THE best day of the weekend, and members and partners boarded the Show Boat for a trip down the Port River. Kevin Lindblom provided the bawdy entertainment and a great feed was on offer.
Darryl Platten – Man of the Match Pewter.
Lew Morrison – Jeff Morey Trophy for idiotic performances OFF the field and $35 worth of diesel fuel
Bob Allen and his committee were congratulated for giving everyone “a weekend that will live in our hearts forever and ever”.
Boof is on the left in this photo taken at the Unley Oval, probably back in the 1980s.
It was at the Annual Cricket match between the South Australian Government Printer and our Victorian counterpart. These stirring encounters took place on the Australia Day Weekend in January and started in the early 1950s.
Were they a chance to have a wild time, get pissed and watch others sweat it out in the middle of a cricket field in the sweltering heat of an Aussie Summer? Most definitely, YES!
Anyway, here we have Boof, Boofhead, Scooter Boots, Colsa or Molsa (alias Colin Rawlings) with his little toady mate Dave Barber.
I think they were imitating (very poorly) some skit that Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee) had done on his weekly show in the Oz.
Boof had been an apprentice in the comp room at the Griffin Press in the 1960s and had graduated to the Old Guv in the 1970s.
Big timer, done everything, knew everything sort of bloke who could be a mate one second and then….