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 still in a sock hiding 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 hand 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 Hammence 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 test bowler 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 of 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.
Alex (The Toff) Riley
Sadly, we report the death of John Manfield, who Passed away peacefully, at Reynella Village.
Aged 83 Years
Loving husband to Antonia, father to Angela, Christine and Josephine.
Father-in-law to Benjamin and Lee.
John was born on 5 May, 1936 in Croydon. His father was Head Bird Keeper at the Adelaide Zoo and the family lived in a small cottage in the zoo grounds.
His first school was St. Cyprians in North Adelaide and he spent two years at Adelaide Tech. At the age of 15 John was apprenticed as a hand compositor at the Old Guv.
He was nicknamed “Dingo” by Frank Lock. John spent a number of years working with people like Fred Hardwicke, Don Woolman, Ron Hamence and Jack Wells.
John, in his younger days was quite a talented cricketer and musician.
He left the Old Guv in 1963 for a highly successful career in newsagency work at North Adelaide and McLaren Vale.
He married the lovely Antonia (Toni) in 1968.
Trevor Roberts was born 1 May, 1951 in Yallourn in the Latrobe Valley.
Trevor’s parents were Frank and Thelma Roberts. His siblings were brother Doug and sister Glenda (deceased) and younger sister Lois.
He went to school at Geelong West, Colac and Ballarat West primary schools and then Currumburra and Preston Technical schools.
Trevor started his composing apprenticeship at the Salvation Army Citadel Press, Victoria. After six months he transferred to Adelaide working for Alan J Weatherall Pty. Ltd. as a compositor.
Trevor began his career at Government Print on 23 August, 1976 and retired on 15 September, 2017. His last eight years were as parliamentary services officer at Riverside.
He married Barbara Raymond on 1 July, 1972, three children followed -Timothy, Craig and Todd. Has three daughters in law and nine grandchildren.
Coached cricket and football for Para Vista Primary School. Managed under 14 and under 16 cricket sides at East Torrens Cricket club as well as managing the mini league at North Adelaide Football Club.
Trevor and Barbara successfully ran the canteens at North Adelaide for 7 years including 5 canteens and two BBQs and also fundraising for various different youth groups.
Life after work for Trevor and Barbara includes cruising the oceans and going to Tuesday night Bingo. They enjoy watching their grandchildren playing football, netball, cricket and calisthenics.
Trevor enjoyed his time at the ‘Guv’ until the last two years at Riverside which were challenging and stressful.
Trevor Roberts you are indeed an Old Guv Legend.
27 November, 1946 – 28 April, 2019
John Elsdon (Junior) was born 27 November, 1946 in the Glenelg Hospital to parents Gladys May and John Henry Elsdon.
John joined his older sister Talee to make up the family.
John went to Brighton Primary School and did his secondary school training at Mitchell Park Boys Technical School (now known as Hamilton High).
In 1962 on his second ever trip to Adelaide from Glenelg he started as a Hand and Machine Compositor at the Government Printing Office in King William Road.
His job interview was conducted by the Overseer Brian James who had played Australian Rules League Football with John Elsdon senior for the Glenelg Football Club.
In fact the two men had been in the 1934 Glenelg Premiership side with John senior playing in Ruck and Brian James as Full Back.
It was a feat that the Bays were not able to repeat again until 1973.
Meanwhile in 1964 our John Elsdon played in the Glenelg Senior Colts Premiership side. This was followed by a Seconds Premiership in 1967 with John playing Centre and wearing Peter Marker’s old Club number.
At the Guv he spent quite a time working with the ‘notorious’ Gazette staff.
It was here that John earnt his strange Nickname ‘Rags.’ When asked by a senior tradesman to pop down the street to get a box of ‘Codis’ for pain relief, he came back with a box of ‘Modess’ a popular women’s sanitary napkin.
Hence the nickname Rags which stuck with him throughout his working life.
John was one of the main men in the Snake Gully Sluggers who were a group of comps that in my early days I would struggle to avoid.
He was great mates with the late Greg ‘Sluggo’ Novice and John McInerney.
In time we became great mates, so much so that he was my best man in 1983 and Godfather to my son Danny
John ‘Rags’ Elsdon you are a Legend by Rod Parham