Ian Grunert was born on 2 October, 1954, somewhere deep in the bowels of Richmond.
This sickly looking boy with red hair and freckles was the second child of Ernie and Aileen Grunert. Their first born was sister Julie.
The Grunert family were nice people, but couldn’t work out what they had done wrong to deserve this strange red bundle of joy.
Grunny attended Richmond Primary and soon his reddish appearance became the butt of teasing by the other kids. His white sensitive skin was allergic to the sun and so he was required to wear a large straw hat all year round and wear clothing similar to the “elephant man” in summer.
When I first saw the long haired Grunny at the Old Guv I mistook him for a weird red headed girl until I got up close and realised what stood before me.
Everyone at the Old Guv loved Grun because he wasn’t nasty (like the others), but he did have some strange habits.
For example, every Friday morning sticking the finger down the throat and doing a quick chunder into the Intertype wash basin and dancing half naked on the front bar at the Rex Hotel and on the tables at the Old Guv Cabarets whilst throwing beer nuts at the bosses.
His Dad the late Ernie Grunert was a wonderful old wharfie and his Mum Aileen was and still is a beautiful person. He barracked for Westies and one of his cobbers was Leon Grosser.
He married wife Kaye and they had a son Leigh and the young family lived at Plympton, just off Bray Street.
Apart from the chundering and dancing Ian had some great qualities.
He could sniff out a bullshit artist in five seconds flat and was deeply suspicious of anyone promoted to the “Log Cabin” especially a bloke known only as “Ankles”.
That made Grun a great Union rep. and he helped a multitude of the Old Guv workers over the years.
Meggsy was an excellent Intertype operator as was close mate Graham “Sleepy” Mutrie. They have been very good mates and drinking buddies for the past 40 years.
Ian was always cool in a crisis, I remember once when he had a massive hot metal squirt on his Intertype.
The molten lead flew straight up to the ceiling and came down right on Grun’s head. He did not bat an eyelid, luckily, his very long hair and Friday morning hangover saved the day.
Mr. Grunert we thank you for your generosity to the Old Guv Legends and especially for being our mate.
Pictured: Was Geoff really Blakey’s double in ‘On the Buses’? Too right he was.
Geoffrey Raymond Michell also known as ‘Giraffe’ was born on 7 April, 1939 at Unley Private Hospital to proud parents Geoff and Eva Michell.
Geoff attended Mitcham Primary and in the next seven years represented the school in various sports.
After Mitcham Primary it was off to Goodwood Tech.
His career as a comp began in 1955 when he commenced with E. S. Wigg and Sons on Port Road, a job which lasted for 12 years. He did his “Nasho” training from 1958 to 1961 along with Reg Hartshorne (Printer) at Woodside.
Before starting at The Old Guv in January, 1969, he spent a few years making elephant rubber stamps at Modern Printing and not giraffe stamps as some cruel people at the Old Guv have claimed.
Pictured: An actual picture of Geoff as a small child.
It only took just two or three days at the Old Guv at KWR before he was given the nickname “Giraffe”. He wore that nickname with great distinction over the next 25 years.
Geoff married Lila at Yorketown on 1 May, 1965 and they have an eldest daughter Sharon, son Wayne and youngest daughter Lisa plus two grandsons Miles and Bailey.
Geoffrey ‘‘Giraffe” has always loved his sport: 22 years of tennis for Uniting Church; eight years of footy with Mitcham District as well as coaching and umpiring Netball for eight years.
But it is as a Musician that Geoff has endeared himself to family and friends. He started learning brass instruments at nine years of age and is a Life Member of the Mitcham City Brass Band (28 years) while playing for the Salvos for 21 years and Johnnies Christmas Pageant (20 times).
Since retiring Geoff has been a volunteer driver for the Red Cross and Mothers and Children’s Hosp.
When he looks back at his time with the Guv he especially remembers Cyril “The Clown,” Harry “The Horse,” Frank Lock, Takis Lavithis, Kevin Rex Stack(hyphenated)Neale, Bernie LeFay, “Grubby” Hartshorne, and Alex “The Toff” Riley as well as many others.
Some band members referred to Geoff as Blakey (On the Buses) when he sported his moustache.
He enjoyed his time at the Guv, was always a gentleman and was a highly respected member of staff.
Mister Geoffrey “Giraffe” Michell you are a “Legend”.
Grantley William Hofmeyer was born on 7 December, 1947 at North Adelaide to his late parents Howard and Lucy Hofmeyer. Grant went to the old Blackwood Primary School and then attended Blackwood High School in 1961.
He started his Printing Machining Apprenticeship with Leal Printers in Victoria Square on 18 February, 1964. Leal Printers (run by Kenneth James Leal) were well known for printing Adelaide’s bus and tram tickets with a “thought for the day” on the back. They also did bank cheques and security work.
Grant started at the Old Guv on KWR, in March, 1969 as a tradesman printer. Allan Morris was the Overseer at the time and he showed Grant around but Frank Johnson was “in the Chair” by the time Grant started.
He married ex wife Elizabeth and they produced two good blokes as sons. Samuel has two daughters with wife Steph and they live in Canada.
His other son Philip and wife Laura live at Norton Summit and had their first child on 7 November, a baby girl, Olivia Jane. He has two surviving sisters Helen at Parkside and Janice at Goolwa.
A humble Grant says his only claims to fame at the Guv were inventing the name “Topical Points” for the in-house magazine and serving as the Association Machine Room Rep.
Outside of work he was awarded the Australia Medal for services to Fire Service Training. He was good mates with Rick Bell (Maintenance) and worked alongside the legend Jackie Veitch.
Grant worked at KWR for four years and at Netley for just six months. After leaving the Guv he moved on to Coffey Printing Services, Collotype Labels, Holdfast Press and Murray Kwik Print.
Our hero has worked for some very strange bosses (it’s true). He says his best boss was Norm Mitchell at Holdfast Press.
He ran the National Printing Industry Training Council for a number of years. He was progressive which put him at odds with some of the more conservative and unreasonable voices on the Council.
But despite these obstacles Grant Hofmeyer achieved a huge amount for the training of young people in our industry.
Grant has been living happily in the Northern Territory for the past 15 years. In Darwin he worked in the Occupational Health and Safety Training Industry and retired in 2013.
I was born on Sunday, 16 November, 1947 at Wakefield Street Hospital in the morning.
My parents were Albert (Bill) Parham and Mabel (May) Parham,
They named me after the British Warship HMS Rodney. My first nickname was Caxton, the first English Printer.
I went to Primary School at Forbes Primary and was called Napoleon. At Plympton High I was nicknamed Humphrey Darling.
I started work as a Hot Metal Comp apprentice at National Paper Industries on the Port Road in 1965, where I mastered the Ludlow typograph, sweeping up and doing foreign orders for the factory workers. My nickname here was the Tunku.
I finished my last 18 months of apprenticeship working under Alf Freeman and Snow Bennett at the Griffin Press on Marion Road, Netley. My nickname here was Puppet.
Then it was off to the United Kingdom working at the Kent & Sussex Courier in Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Then some time in New Zealand working for a trade house in Auckland before starting at the Government Printing Office in July, 1973.
I spent a great ten years at the Old Guv. My nicknames here were Honky Tonk and Brother. I left in 1983 to work as a Union Organiser with the Printing And Kindred industries Union (PKIU).
The Printing Union was a great Union with a real commitment to servicing its members.
I can confidently say that my best times at work were spent at National Paper, Griffin Press, the Old Guv and the PKIU.
Some Highlights from Rod Parham’s Life…
1. He tried to hide a life size plastic blow-up dolly bought as a birthday gift by his Old Guv “mates”. When his terrified mother found the dolly in his wardrobe he spent hours explaining to mum and dad why he didn’t need urgent psychiatric help!.
2. He Won the hearts of many of the girls in the Binding Room with his enlightening speeches at union meetings. This was achieved with the careful use of swear words and discreet knacker scratching whilst speaking.
3. As Winner of the 1968 Delmont Medal for all round brilliance (see above photo) he was “bullied” by his jealous and envious bastard workmates when he started in the Old Guv Comp Room. This included cutting his type gauge in two, setting him up to drop and destroy an eight page monotype forme. But worst of all, was getting him to frighten poor old Cyril Barson with a Toy Clown on a Stick. All this in his first two days..
4. When he left the Guv in 1983, he was thanked by hundreds of his work comrades with a very embarassing FATAGRAM in the deserted monotype room by a large, short sighted lady stripper. This delighted the workers but not the Government Printer.
Victor Potticary’s Testimonial
When Rod started at The Guv he would run to the Rex Hotel when on the Hansard Shift, then run back, work 5 hours O/T and then go for a 10 km run at West Beach. He bought a racing bike from his mate Myles Conlon, but came to grief near the Adelaide Zoo after shaving his legs for the very first time. “It’s not natural”, he said.
“Rod Parham you are an Arrogant Fellow, Great Orator, Raconteur, Film Critic and the best bloke to have on your side in an argument.
Sadly, our friend and workmate Warren Pietsch passed away on 24 October, 2014, after suffering a brain aneurism.
It was a great loss to his family and friends.
Warren was born in July, 1949 and always claimed he was a distant relative of the Prussian Royal family.
He lived at Myrtle Bank and attended Goodwood Boy’s Tech before starting at the Old Guv in the mid 1960s as a hot metal apprentice.
Sid Ball once said, “Warren was brilliant for a “shit boy”, he always kept me supplied with Fags and Newspapers and only charged a few bob a trip.”
Outside of work he was a fervent West Adelaide Football supporter, Marx Brothers and John Wayne groupie, Blues fan and excellent South Adelaide Basketballer.
He married Christine, and had two daughters Hollie and Natasha and in time adopted a hairy dog known only as Ralph. Inside of work he was the head bullet loader, King of Payback and the Elephant Man of Memory. He was nicknamed “Abo” by Rod Stone because of the funny way he used to sling darts at the Pub dart board.
He was also the World’s Leading authority on the collecting and conversion of “free firewood”. Who were his closest friends? One would guess that it was Bruce Gow, Nick Penn, Rod Baker amongst a host of others.
Let’s hope that memories of the late Sid Ball, Harry Kinder, Jimmy Tennant, Takis Lavithis and Cyril the Clown will always be with him. God Bless you Mister Pietsch.
Mister Bobdownsandkissmyarse (Bob Downs) was born on 17 April 1938, at Rose Street, Mile End to parents Dorothy and Cyril Downs.
Bob went to Thebarton Primary School and then to Thebby Tech in 1951 for 18 months before starting at the GPO as a Shit boy in October, 1953. He became an Apprentice Printer in April, 1954.
Bob was soon a popular member of the Machine Room and became great mates with Paul (Wingnut) Raby. After completing his apprenticeship Bob worked in the basement at KWR and moved to Netley with his fellow printers in 1974.
He married Nancy in 1962 at Saint Margaret’s Anglican Church, Woodville. Bob soon had a family home and two daughters Jennifer (aged 49) and Rachel (aged 46).
Both girls were born on 15 October but three years apart. Sadly, Nancy passed away in 2010. Bob has two grandchildren Sarah 16 and Benjamin 19.
Bob served as an Acting Leading Hand before taking over the Document Reproduction Unit at the Education Department, Flinders Street, Adelaide, a position he held for two years.
He then worked all over the metropolitan area in various DRU’s at City Cross Centre, Regency Park TAFE, Elizabeth TAFE, Wattle Park Teachers College, Parliament House, Housing Trust, Angas Street.
He finished up at Tea Tree Gully TAFE for two years before taking the VSP with 80 others in June, 1994.
By the time he retired Bob had almost 42 years service with the Department.
After retiring he drove the Community Bus for the Tea Tree Gully Council for 15 years.