Picture Courtesy of Barry O’Donnell: When asked by Grant Hofmeyer for a photo of Aad Stegink, this was the best I could do. Aad is the man arrowed towards the back of the pack. Frank Johnson is the man with the suit and arrow in the front of the machine room staff
During 1974 it became evident that even though the new plant at Netley was designed as a letterpress printing facility, photo litho. would be an emerging printing format. Wise minds in the South Australian Government had determined that.
Government Printing would co-locate with Lands Mapping at the Netley complex, giving us two Government Printers for a few months.
Aad Stegink arranged with Lands Mapping to do a secondment to the machine area to learn about the offset/litho. printing process until the move to Netley,
Frank Johnson (Machine Room Overseer) only found out about this from the Government Photo-Lithographer.
Frank Johnson was never very good with remembering staff names and loudly announced to the Machine Room in general,
‘How did Steg-nik arrange a stunt like this?’
The rest of the story is history as letterpress was squeezed into a corner with only Ray Belt and John Fletcher running a few machines.
Half way through my apprenticeship I was working on Ivan Merrett’s staff.
One Thursday Ivan sent me out to the back room (near the front office back door).
I was to spend the afternoon setting the large type that was used on maps. “Sit down”. “Get yourself a cup of coffee”. Ivan said. I just couldn’t believe it.
Once settled who should come around the corner but Big Dogs (Peter Cornish). He looked at my cup. “Ah, Coffee”, he said and then spat in it. He then stirred it with a 12 point lead space.I saw red and threw the coffee in his face.
It was on, punches, pushing, shoving and Swearing. Jeff Brand and Ivan heard the commotion, they flew through the passage and held us apart. We were now abusing and threatening to kill each other.
Big Dogs being so unfit stood panting by a work bench for the next half hour. Ivan sent me to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for stitches for a deep cut on my left arm.
I sat there for five hours in the Emergency Room but no one saw me, so I went home.
My Dad blew me out for fighting and missing Trade School that night!