Marilyn Harding is sweet, pretty, intelligent and thoughtful. She was born on Monday, 5th January, 1953, at Memorial Hospital, North Adelaide.
Her Mum Mary worked on the Adelaide Railway Station Ramp in a small snack bar. Unfortunately, her first contact with the Old Guv was with Paul and Dickie Korff.
Allan, her Dad worked in the Railway Cafeteria and helped cook the meal for young Queen Elizabeth II, when she came to Adelaide to view the only free settlers in Australia
The family lived at Prospect and then moved to Meningie in the Coorong. There Allan took up fishing and trapping.
They had no electricity or hot water and at night the young Marilyn had her bedtime story read by the light of a kerosene lamp. It was tough.
Unfortunately, this hard life and lack of running hot water led to poor cleanliness issues. Thankfully, she is cured now!
She attended Meningie Area school and then Prospect Primary after their move back to the big smoke. She gained her leaving certificate from Strathmont High in 1967.
The year 1969 saw her being interviewed by the beloved Merv “Nobby” Clark who employed her because her Uncle Mortimer McFeeters had played for the Old Guv Cricket Club.
She left in 1978 after working for Arthur “Akbar” Holmes in Planning and had two children Todd and Talia. Then it was back to the Old Guv working with her Auntie Jeannie in Parliamentary Papers.
One dark night Marilyn ventured into the Highway Inn and the notorious “Grab A Granny” Disco. There she met David Harding a similar “desperado.” They fell in love and were married in 1985. It was the first time that Marilyn had smiled for many years.
What more can we say about a woman who has spent most of her life on the run and still works at Netley. Marilyn you are a Legend for all the wrong reasons. You are nice, considerate and popular, which makes you rather unique.
Don Woolman was born on 26 April, 1935, and went to Thebby Boys Tech and left with his Intermediate Certificate. He commenced work as a shit boy at The Guv in 1950 and was finally apprenticed to Hand and Machine Composition.
The young Don wasn’t too happy about still being treated as a shitboy and asked his Dad to intervene, which he did.
He was a bit of a tearaway as a lad and used to partner fellow comp. John (Dingo) Manfield at the 60/40 Dances down at the Bay (Glenelg). They used to have a gay old time.
The decision to get his Dad to intervene improved his training at work but earned him the undying disrespect of Keith Melville Stevenson, Government Printer) (Doctor Cack).
Stevenson told the young man that he had a black book on Don full of transgressions and there would be no job for him at The Old Guv after his apprenticeship.
Don decided that he would rather leave than give Stevenson the chance to knock him off and so started planning for his new life. Unfortunately, he “fell” into a Metal Chute which slowed his final exit.
I first met Don when he gave me a free Collie Cooke type gauge in 1965 and then later charged me for it. That was at National Paper. At Griffin Press working in the Book Bay he still continued to haunt me by becoming the shit hot Marketing Manager there.
At my first meeting of the Junior Printing Executives of SA he strode into the meeting room to rapturous applause reminiscent of Caesar’s triumphant entry into Rome. Who was this man?
Two years as the Head of the School of Graphic Arts from 1975 to 1977 were a tribute to a man who had the foresight to anticipate the future trends of the printing trade.
Then in 1977 just when I thought that I had escaped Don Woolman for all time he shows up as the Government Printer. Don blew life into the Old Guv after the crazy decisions made by people who just didn’t understand what was happening in the printing trade.
On a lighter note, some highlights of Don’s Second career at the Guv: (1) The Bert Cotton attempted assassination plot. (2) The Ron Fletcher Trip Scandal and (3) The Cricket Club Casino Nightmare.
After he left the Guv, among other things Don bought MIK Graphic Arts in 1989 renamed it Precision Labels and turned that company into a profitable business employing over 100 people.
Outside of work Don has been married for 56 years, has a son and two daughters and is a World class yachtsman who has travelled the globe and has been heavily involved in Yachting administration.
Picture 1977: Billy is in the foreground (with the cup full of the amber fluid) at the “Ten of Us” Lottery Win Celebration.
The late Bill Westendorp was certainly one of the great characters with whom I worked.
He could be very funny at times, but equally grumpy at other times – especially if he was told he wasn’t required to work overtime on the Hansard shift!
Sometimes he would rant and rave, and I witnessed his stool fly skyward on a number of occasions – such was his disgust at being told there was no overtime for him!
He was a very fit and strong man, and a great soccer player in his youth – a Holland national team hopeful. He could jump up on to a comp stone from a standing start – at age 65 – amazing agility and strength!
Another party trick was spreading his fingers on a flat surface, then rapidly stabbing a scalpel between his outstretched fingers many times – never cutting himself once – his reflexes were amazing.
He went to Bali for a few years after he retired and bought a hotel in partnership with a few friends.
In 1994 I went there for a holiday and thought I would look him up. I found out where he was living from his hotel receptionist and made a surprise visit. He was sitting on the front verandah of his house – alongside him a loaded rifle – to keep the wild dogs away!
I spent a couple of hours with him and Geraldine, his wife, and arranged to go out with him a couple of times while holidaying. That was the last time I saw him.
He stayed in Bali for a few more years before heading back to Australia (Port Douglas, I think), then his final move to North Haven in South Australia.
Paul Raby was born in 1939 in the United Kingdom. Paul was not a Ten pound tourist when he came to Oz.
The Aussie Government charged him an extra Two pound for the fare. One pound extra for each of Paul’s ears.
He started at the Old Guv in 1955, as a Printing machinist and became affectionately known as “Wingnut”. He fancied himself as a Tenor just like Pavarotti but sounded more like Tiny Tim. Paul’s signature tune was “I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me”.
“And they still don’t” says an Anonymous friend”. Paul used to sing at the “Cheer Up Hut” near the Adelaide Railway Station where best friends Porky Dell, Reg Hartshorne and Bob Downs an’ kiss my Arse would throw objects at him, heckle him and suck lemons in protest.
Paul was in the chorus of the Brompton-Bowden Light Opera company and appeared on Channel 7′s “Stairway to the Stars” (B&W).
Just before Paul was to do his number he was sent off to see Cora Dove in the Make-Up Room.
Cora tried unsuccessfully to pin Paul’s ears back with sticky tape so that he wouldn’t frighten little children when he finally made his big appearance.
We know that this story is true because Salvos don’t tell lies. Do they Porks?
At the old Guv, Paul had his locker behind Miehle 5. One day whilst out to lunch Paul left his size 17 work boots behind and they were grabbed by “Nigger” Johnson.
Frank quickly nailed them to the Miehle 5 walk board much to the delight of the returning printing machinists.
It is claimed that Paul pushed the Cricket Club bus by himself when it broke down in the Adelaide Hills but we think that is a bit of Barry O’Donnell bullshit.
He played soccer as a Goalie for Windsor Athletics but according to Bob Downs an’ kiss my arse was “hopeless”. The same went for Aussie rules until his career was cut short by a swift kick in the “knackers”.
Paul is married to Glenise and has three adult daughters.
Paul Raby, Printer, Wingnut, “tenor” and 12 pound tourist you are a “Legend”.
Graham was born in St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America on 19th August, 1917.
His parents Harry and Ruby had travelled there in 1914 and were unable to return when WWI commenced. His father had planned to study for the Church of Christ ministry but did not finish his study as he needed to work to support the family.
In 1921 when Graham was four, the family returned to Adelaide. He excelled at primary school and won a college scholarship but after a short time, due to family hardship, he left to find work.
In 1932, a government job seemed very secure, and the offer of an apprenticeship with the Government Printing Office was a prize indeed.
Graham won the Delmont Medal, the award given for Best Printing Apprentice in his final year of apprenticeship.
In 1941, aged 23, he enlisted as a full time army recruit, and in January, 1942 he married Jeanette Greenslade, his girlfriend of three years.
After some training in South Australia, he was posted to Victoria and then later, to Townsville.
Although he was not posted overseas, he regularly traveled on ships between Australia and New Guinea as a Sergeant with the S.I.B. (Special Investigation Branch) Maritime Group, who were formed to provide guards and escorts for vulnerable service supplies.
It was dangerous work, as the wharfies and seamen resented the presence of military police on board.
Jeanette always managed to find accommodation close to his place of deployment throughout the war years, and in December 1945, their first daughter was born in Sydney. Graham was discharged from the Army in Sydney in 1947.
That same year he returned to the Government Printing Office and also attended the School of Art under the Soldiers Retraining Program where he studied drawing and painting. Their second daughter was born in Adelaide in 1950.
At times Graham did consider other job offers, but seemed to enjoy the company and general atmosphere of ‘The Guv’ too much to leave.
Graham had a well developed sense of humour, and was also the master of wonderful and exaggerated stories, mostly about his own exploits.
He was a teetotaller for his entire life, which at times created difficulties for him, especially while serving in the army; but he never changed his stance on alcohol.
He retired from the Government Printing Office at 60 years of age around 1979. At various times, he was a proof reader, compositor on the Gazette, and finally a Planner. There were many technological changes in the Printing Office towards the end of his working life and Graham was always keen to keep up with them.
Always a avid reader he especially liked science fiction and also spent many hours of his life playing and administrating tennis, and he continued playing until aged 84. Like many of his generation, he was a great handyman, making furniture as well as painting many beautiful landscapes for the family homes.
His family regard him as having been a wonderful and supportive son, husband, father and grandfather; wise and dependable in any adversity. Graham always said that he had enjoyed a full and fortunate life.
He passed away on the 4th Sept 2003 after a two year illness with cancer.