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.
Pictured: A rather good looking Charlie in 1961.
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.
Ron Lahiff was a great story teller who could match Yank Hall. He was the only bloke who could say F**k in front off Iris Morgan without her getting offended.
He loved his St Agnes brandy and after Ron passed away the sales and shares plummeted at the distillery. One night after a heavy drinking session he made his way to his Kent Town home via the park lands. Staggering along in the dark he suddenly saw the devil – two red eyes staring at him and blocking his path.
Suddenly, he become aware of ten sets of these red devil eyes surrounding him. Ron fell to his knees and pleaded that if he was let go he would give up on the demon drink. The Devil replied with one word ‘moo’. Ron had stumbled into a herd of cows.
Another time Ron and a mate took their kids to the circus and left them there and entered the nearest pub. On arriving home his wife asked where the kids were. Yep! They were still at the circus.
Ron loved motor bikes and kept his at a mate’s place because his old man banned him from having one. One morning Ron was belting down Greenhill Road and decided to chuck a righty at the Bolton Service Station corner. Halfway through the turn he realised he was going to be cleaned up by an oncoming car.
Leaning the bike right over he scraped his ear on the bitumen, lost control and went through the service station cleaning up five pints of oil.
The service station charged him for the oil and cleanup, but never asked him if he was injured.
Ron and his next door neighbour were great drinking mates. One night after another heavy session when Ron took his leave he turned left instead of right. In the morning there was no sign of Ron and at 9.30 a.m. in he wandered with his trousers covered up to his knees with mud. Somehow Ron had managed to spend the night in a nearby market garden.
One payday he met Doug Gurney at the Gresham Hotel, not knowing that Doug had got the barman to serve him double brandies.
At 1.00 p.m. Ron thought about going back to work but Gurney got him to stay on till 1.30 p.m. Leaving the pub they crossed the lights and headed towards the Old Guv.
However, Doug Gurney turned off and headed off to the Railway Station. Sucked in again, Gurney was on annual leave and had dropped in to pick up his pay.
When Myles Conlon moved house to Campbelltown he would pick up a grateful Ron in the morning to take him into work.
One morning Myles slowed down at Ron’s Bus-stop took one look at Ron gave him the fingers and sped off. A very disillusioned Ron sat down and wondered what he had done to upset Myles in such a manner.
While Ron was thinking about being late for work or taking a sickie I just happened to pull up and offer him a ride into work.
It didn’t take him too long to work out what we had been up to.
With all the Hardships Ron endured in Life – he never once complained.
Did he invite any of us to his 70th birthday show? No way!
Instead he sent most of us searching the paddocks of Bridgewater looking for his non-existent Mystery Birthday Venue for the party that never was.
And where was Alex pray tell, he was at the Westies Footy Club getting pissed. Thanks mate!
Alex started at the Old Guv as a Comp room Shit Boy in 1958. His first job was to sweep the pavement outside the Old Guv.
He didn’t like doing this as he thought it was below him and should be the job of the poorer boys.
He dreaded a relative or school friend seeing him out the front doing this menial work.
But he had to do it, so morning after morning there was little hairy Alex sweeping the bus tickets, lolly wrappers and other assorted shit off the pavement.
But worst of all were the Plane tree Leaves that gathered in every nook and cranny outside the Guv.
It was a nightmare for this young lad. At night instead of pleasuring himself like most young boys of his age he would have nightmares about those bloody plane tree leaves.
Then one day he was summoned by the Government Printer, Les Hawes. Shaking with fear he stood in front of “The Bull” who proceeded to rip strips off him for not removing all the plane tree leaves out of one of the outside light wells.
Then our young hero did a wrong thing he interrupted the Government Printer to plead his innocence.
Well, The Bull exploded in a fit of outrage, threatened Alex with an early death and said that from now on he would be watching him very, very, closely indeed.
For the next few weeks the panic stricken boy would double check and then triple check to see that the front was totally clean.
Then one day Senior Apprentice Brian “Grubby” Hartshorne stopped by and enquired if Alex was in total control of the plane tree leaves.
“Yes”, he stammered., to which Grubby replied, “Are you sure?”. Fuck me!
Alex panicked and flew out the front of the office to quadruple check to see if the pavement was clean.
To this day, 54 years on, Alex strongly suspects that “Grubby” set him up.
But, it is this following story from Netley that gave Alex Legendary Bastard status.
One wet morning driving to Netley Alex spotted the late poor Bob Miller up ahead slowly pushing his bike through the pouring rain.
It was just past the Rex Hotel when Alex noticed that water was flooding the road due to a blocked drain.
Bob Miller steered his bike onto the footpath to avoid the pool of water. To this day Alex says that he does not know why he did what he did. But, I do! Alex you are a cruel heartless bastard.
Alex moved his Jaguar close to the gutter and then moved even closer.
Whoosh! A Tsunami of dirty stinking water engulfed poor Bob Miller. Poor old Bob, wrong place, wrong time. He was saturated from head to toe.
Did he stop to help his workmate? No way, he sped on to the comfort of the warm Planning Room.
There he told his co-workers he was heading off to the Dunny and no-one was to tell Bob where he was. What a coward.
He spent all day planning his jobs in the toilet cubicle. What a bastard!
This is behaviour befitting an Arsehole and so Alex you are our first Legend to be given official Bastard status.
Rick Bell (Maintenance Section) hated being called Ricky and didn’t like his surname used as a noun because he was called ‘Bellie” and things like ‘Dingdong’ at Primary School.
At least one of Ricks after hours passions was working on his cherry red Ford Coupe Tourer (with the Dicky seat). In the early years of his apprenticeship to Printing Engineering, he struggled to keep the original 1930s (something) engine going and bits like the clutch, brakes etc were also proving difficult as even items from the wreckers and Rare Spares dried up.
An offer from someone in the Bindery enticed Rick out of his Ford passion and into the new world of Holden. The offer was to take away for free, an EH Holden wagon with a 186 motor. Rick lived at O’Halloran Hill and the car was in Salisbury. I lived in Allchurch Ave. Kurralta Park with not much to do on weekends so offered to help.
We duly arrived at Salisbury in the Ford early one Saturday morning and had a look over the Holden. The head had been refurbished but was on the floor of the back seat. A heap of other ‘running gear’ was in buckets and tins on the passenger side front floor.
The owner said that the brakes worked a bit but you probably would need to rely more on the handbrake..
We attached a big ‘under tow’ sign to the Holden and slowly dragged the hulk back to Ricks place. Somehow. all went smoothly until we got about 1/2 way up Tapleys’ Hill, when the heat from the Ford’s exhaust pipe burnt though the tow rope.
The original gear on the Ford had the pipe coming out from the middle of the body under the back bumper. So I’m cut loose from the little Ford and running backwards down Tapleys Hill Rd, again (blessedly) not much traffic.
Finally instinct kicked in and I pulled the handbrake on. Made no difference. Pumped the footbrake. Made no difference. Threw the car into gear, something went BANG and I drifted at an angle into the side of the cutting. Rick stopped and ran back laughing his head off. I
told him about the loud noise under the bonnet and we put the bonnet up to find that the engine dismantlers had put all the other other U clamps, nuts and bolts, old valve stems etc in the top of the cylinder pots. When I put the can in gear, the pistons moved and pushed all the contents out onto the road.
Finally back at Ricks place, we took the engine out, cut the Holden body in 1/2s along is length and took it 1/2 at a time to the Happy Valley dump with windows and seats. By the time we got back with the 2nd half, the doors and seats had gone to a better homes. I’m thinking this was about 1972-1974.
Born 5 June, 1935 in Sunshine, Victoria to John and Minnie Belt. His Mum and Dad were originally from Wales and had emigrated to Australia in 1926.
John who was one of 14 children had been a coal miner in South Wales and like most miners was starting to feel the effects of being underground amongst the coal dust.
Minnie his Mum told Ray when he was young that he was their “little Ray of Sunshine.”
He has always been very sorry that he disappointed his Mum, because he is not known by his mates to be a man of “happiness.”
His Dad ended up a Quality Inspector for Civil Aviation and Minnie worked at Bushells in Melbourne before commencing home duties.
Ray first attended school in Brunswick and completed his education at Moreland Central School.
He commenced an apprenticeship in Printing Machining with the Salvation Army Printing Works, East Melbourne where they printed the weekly “War Cry’’ for the whole of Australia on a Marconi Rotary Web.
Ray married Chris from Murray Bridge on 1 February, 1958. They had met through the Salvation Army in Melbourne where Ray was highly renowned for playing with his horn.
Two weeks later they were living at Clearview in the house they still occupy. They have two children Rick (52 y.o.) and Sheralyn (49 y.o.).
Ray’s Printing career in Adelaide reads like “Gone with the Wind”. Myer Printing, Victoria Square, (12 months), R M Osborne (for 12 years,seemed like 20), W.R. Grace, Flexo., Port Adelaide, (12 months).
Ray started at The Old Guv in KWR on 26 June, 1972. In those early days he remembers asking a comp who George Sparnon was and this being a topic of conversation amongst the comps for the next 6 months.
Ray was an excellent Association Representative, not afraid to speak his mind in debate.
Ray left the Old Guv on 1 October, 1993 along with a lot of other package people. He then spent 7 years working for Ernie Orel at Finsbury Press, finally retiring on 6 July, 2002.
Raymond Belt is a nice man who is known to be a fussy eater, although he loves cornish pasties (just beware) after he has gobbled one up.