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!
Bruce (middle) with wife Joan and Ian Doyle, President, Regional Media South Australia at the Showgrounds.
Bruce Lockier, former Compositor, Cultural and Horticultural Icon was born on 24th June, 1928 at Maylands, South Australia.
Mr Lockier has had an illustrious career.
He organised the decoration of the City of Adelaide for the young Queen Elizabeth on her first visit to South Australia in the 1950s.
Bruce’s efforts earned the then Government Printer K. Stevenson (Doctor Cack) an OBE Award.
Sixty years on, Bruce is still bitter that he did all the work and K. Stevenson got the Glory.
“I put my life on the line during that time and only got an idiot called Fred Lipps to help out at the last minute.”
“But Lipps was as useful as a hip pocket in a singlet,” Bruce said.
But it was Bruce’s career as Entertainment Director for the Old Guv Cricket Club and as the driving force behind the formation of the Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia that has created his legendary iconic status (but no OBE).
Few of us will ever forget his “This is Your Life” presentation to dear friend Lew Morrison at a Cricket Club Cabaret.
Ron Fuss, started as a “paste boy” in the Government Printing Office Bindery in 1938. Such young blokes had swept the front footpath, run messages and fetched lunch orders at the “Guv” since 1860.
Ron was given a seven year apprenticeship in hand and machine composition.
He was a fit young man our Ron and he beat out the entire field to win the prestigious Office Handicap in 1940.
At work he “watched” the tradesmen go about their work, got clipped behind the ear if he made a mistake and helped the storeman raise the Aussie Flag by clambering through the skylight to the top of the Old Guv’s roof.
Then they would take time out to watch the cricket being played down on the Adelaide Oval.
When the Second World War broke out Ron joined the Navy and went to sea on the “Manoora” landing troops on islands in the Pacific.
Ron rarely spoke about the war, but he did tell me that whilst working as a medic in the sick bay he looked down at a young soldier dying in front of him and realised it was a friend from the Printers’ Trade School in Adelaide. He was devastated.
He returned to the Guv to finish his time and was transferred into the complex world of the Monotype Keyboard Room where he worked with a bunch of blokes who thought they were a cut above most of the Guv’s comps.
Photo: They even had their very own exclusive Annual Christmas party. Ron Fuss is in the back row, extreme Right (note the moustache).
Although a Sturt Barracker Ron would often go and watch his workin mate Bernie Smith, the West Adelaide and later Geelong Champion play footy on a Saturday arvo.
He left the Guv in 1954 to work at The Advertiser to earn an extra quid but was soon back when shift work began interfering in family life with Brenda and sons Mike and Warren.
Ron served as the Guv’s rep. on the Printing Union’s Branch Board of Management and was also President of the Government Printing Office Association.
In December, 1961 Ron was elected as the Union’s Assistant Secretary/Organiser in what he later described as a “Melbourne Cup field”.
Ron was elected as the State Secretary of the Union in August, 1976, until his retirement in July, 1982. He was a continuous member of the PKIU and then the AMWU from 1946 onwards.
My first memory of “Fussy” was at the Rechabite Chambers in 1970 when around the corner first an immaculate moustache, mutton chop sideburns and glasses. It was Ron.
He proved to be an excellent official and a caring and protective boss to his loyal office staff, Fiona, Sue and Lina at the Carrington Street Office.
One day I invited these attractive women out for Lunch but omitted to tell Ron. He felt betrayed and gave me a right bollocking for interfering with “his girls”.
From that day on I was frightened to even look at them.
As a Union negotiator he was second to none always carefully preparing a logical argument in support of a union claim. He always kept the discussions on track and made meticulous notes in his beautiful script handwriting.
He negotiated some outstanding agreements, including a groundbreaking model Employee Assistance Program at the Guv.
At our Christmas breakups in Carrington Street he and Brenda would be wonderful hosts to the Union delegates.
He also took great pleasure in attending the Annual Veterans Social at the Union Hotel where he could mix with old friends from the trade.
Later in his retired years he became a close friend and together with Sue Thomas we would spend some pleasant times over lunch.
Ron had a quiet sense of humour and would often tell stories about his Old Guv workmates, being very careful not to be over critical of them and all without uttering one swear word.
I will miss Ron Fuss dreadfully, his friendship, his humanity, his caring advice and his love for the great trade of Printing.
He was an Old Guv Legend and will never be forgotten.
Kym Frost was born in 1955, the Year of the Jockey. He attended Mansfield Park Primary and Angle Park Tech. As he came from humble beginnings it was no surprise that in 1971 he rocked up to the Old Guv to have a job interview with Don Conigrave commonly referred to as the Mushroom.
The Mushroom asked Kym if he knew what the Vietnam War was? After replying he thought it was an Asian prostitute he was given a tour of what he thought was a Museum. With that he landed a job at the Museum as an Apprentice Compositor.
He started on the Jobbing floor with Vic Byford, a grumpy old Pom who would clip him around the ear and cough and splutter cigarette ash all over him if he stuffed up.
Ken Davis was his Mentor and the likeable red rogue looked after his tiny ‘Tweety’, but it was Chook Preece who gave him his nickname Shrink.
Soon afterwards Shrink became the target of the Gang of Four plus one (Grunert, Preece, Mulcahy, Ramsayand Marwe).
This bunch of pathetics were threatening to blacken Kym’s body with thick black printer’s ink, but Frosty would have none of it.
One day the gang bailed him up, upon which Shrink grabbed a large broom and chased the cowards off making his escape via the paper store.
He joined the ‘Outlaws’ of the Gazette staff who were a law unto themselves. Characters like Jimmy Tennant, Rags Elsdon, Abo Pietsch, Sluggo Novice and Sam Lawn constantly taunted everyone.
But it was the Intertype Room where Kym found his calling, working first as a ‘shit boy’ with The Khaki Balloon and Mooster and marvelling at the brilliant keyboarding skills of Kevin Stone and “Sleepy” Mutrie, he wanted to be an operator.
They worked hard in those days but he was entertained by the bullshit stories of Popeye Nelson and Grubby Hartshorne.
Two years later it was off to Netley. But, it just wasn’t the same.Leaving after nine years Kym spent some time working in Adelaide before venturing over the border to Western Australia.
There he built up an awesome reputation in printing, the mining industry and has contributed much to the training of apprentices and young people working in industry.
Kym has a fifteen year old son Declan who is much smarter than his Dad.
Whether it was at the Guv or the West Adelaide Football Club, Kym Frost was always instantly likeable, good fun to be with and most definitely an Old Guv Legend.
Charlie Hans Korff was born on 27 April, 1934, to parents Frederick and Lurline. He had three sisters Connie, Lurline, Helen and two brothers Dick and Paul.
Charlie went through all of the usual problems for a very short young boy, growing teeth, constantly hurting himself and speaking broken German
It wasn’t a great time to have a German background for a short boy during World War II. Charlie would be dodging insults on his way to and from school and during school classes.
Charlie was very proud of his dad Frederick who volunteered to serve in the Merchant Navy during the conflict.
After the War and upon reaching puberty he would lie in bed of a night and hear a hauntingly strange voice calling, “Charlie, become a Compositor and be respected.”
Charlie was mystified by the voice and would call out, “But, I can’t read music.” “Oh well, he was short after all.”
At fourteen years of age he commenced an apprenticeship at Stock Journal Publishers where he stayed for seven years before moving on to Specialty Printers. Here he met people like Adrian Riosa, Nick Penn, Chris Candlett, and Conrad Rogers.
Charlie started at the Guv at Netley in 1976 after 21 long years at Specialty Printers. He followed brothers Dick and Paul, all who worked at the Guv at some time or other.
Away from work, he had been a brilliant footballer when a youngster playing with South Colts and College Park. He married Ruth in 1963 and they had two children Andrew and Berni.
Working with Charlie was an uplifting experience, You would always feel so much better after meeting him every morning. Because if you had a cold he would have life threatening influenza and if you had sore eyes he would need a seeing eye dog.
Charlie was always sicker than you but he was the most lovable man you could ever meet.
Alexander (Alec) Neilson passed away on 3 July, 2016, after a long illness. He was 88 years of age. Alec was born on 1 July, 1928, in Glasgow, Scotland.
At 15 years of age he applied for a job as an Apprentice to Letterpress Machining with Fowlers Printing, Glasgow. The owner of the small print office was a Scottish Jew named Mr. Allan Fowler.
Fowler being a Scotsman with a Jewish background was a tightarse and not wishing to pay postage on Alec’s letter of acceptance he asked his “shitboy” a young Lew Morrison to personally deliver the letter to Alec.
The two apprentices became firm friends. World War II was now upon them. The majority of the tradesmen joined up to fight which left Lew in charge of the factory and Alec.
Lew joined the Navy and Alec joined the regular army. After the War the two lads spent many wonderful times cycling around Scotland and staying at Youth Hostels. Alec had to endure Lew’s temper tantrums whenever he got a puncture whilst cycling.
They decided to emigrate to Australia together for a new life and so our “NO Pound Scotsmen” travelled by boat to Sydney and then on to Adelaide.
In those days the Government Printing Office took on almost anyone and so both young men got a start .It was quite an achievement for Alec who was “colour blind”, but he was a good black, grey and white printer.
Alec married Irene who lived “over the road” back in Glasgow, not long afterwards.
While Lew was an Old Guv “lifer’ the brave Alec decided to move on in the 1960s.
He got a job in the Print Section of Australian Glass Manufacturers on the Port Road, Woodville. When AGM decided to close down its Print Room Alec bought their machinery and set up “Aneil Press” and continued to do work for the company.
As a Union organiser I used to visit Aneil Press at Edwardstown and would catch up with Barry O’Donnell, Bob Virgin and Kym Morrison (Lew’s son). It was a great place to visit. Outside of work Alec was a prominent member of the Port Adelaide Caledonian Society.
Sadly, Irene Neilson passed away in 1987. In time, Alec eventually met Margaret and they married.
Alec had four sons, Graham, Allan, Stewart and Craig and one daughter, Fiona.
Alec was a good, honest and generous person and is up there with the other Old Guv Legends.