Poor old Howard Nillson, the Intertype Mechanic lived around the corner from me in Myrtle Bank.
While his wife sat on her arse inside, Howard would be working away in the garden.
When she wanted Howard she would lean out the window and yell, “Howard, I want a cup of tea!” or “Howard, I want an egg sandwich!” and so on.
One Sunday morning Howard was on the roof cleaning out the gutters.
She leaned out the window and screamed, “Howard, turn the roast over now!”
Howard scuttled down the ladder, turned the roast over and then scuttled back up the ladder on to the roof to finish the gutters.
You would think that coming to work would be relaxing for Howard. but No!
Most lunch times Howard would be running all over Adelaide paying bills for Jack Findlay.
Jack (who was Howard’s foreman) would also sit on his arse eating his sandwiches, get up, have a stretch and stroll over to the Lunch Room.
Meanwhile poor old forgotten Howard with sweat pouring off his cheeks was trudging drearily through the streets of Adelaide.
Colin (Boof) Rawlings was made Foreman of the Comp Room and a damn good one was he.
Coming from Griffin Press (Head Office) he had no idea of the way the Guv Comps minds worked. He never knew when we were serious or having him on.
Like the day that Frank Johnson (Machine Room Overseer) retired. Frank came to the Comp Room shaking hands with all the Comps.
“Good Luck Nigger!” Colin blurted out. Frank just stood there and glared at Boof.
“What’s wrong?” “You all call him Nigger?”
“But not to his face, you wanker.” Colin just shook his head.
“Sometimes, I just don’t understand you guys.” he said with a puzzled expression.
Once a week all foremen would attend a meeting with the Sales Team.
Mike Fuss chaired these meetings and he was a bit up himself.
Each week Mike would drop big words into his briefings. It made Boof cranky as hell!
So, the night before the next big meeting I picked a big word out of the Dictionary.
I told Boof what it meant and suggested that he work it into a sentence that he would drop during the meeting.
After two weeks Boof was beaming, he was winning the “word war”.
But Boof was getting a big head. It was time for a bit of “Gazette Nastiness”. So I made up a word, and gave it to Boof!
Poor old Boof, he came back from the meeting totally confused and said “They all laughed at me like I was some sort of fucking idiot!
Boof never asked me for big words again.
One of the Jokes played on unsuspecting first year apprentices was “The Long Weight”.
The lad would usually be sent first to the Machine Room where Brian Long or Reg Francis would sit him down in a chair , then continue on with their work.
After about 20 minutes he would then be sent to the Mailing Room where Bruce Brown or Bob Allen would repeat the process.
Then it would be on to the Bindery where Jack Taylor would sit them down for “The Long Weight”.
By now the apprentice would slowly start to realise that he had been “had”.
He would slink back to his work frame, hoping that the person who had sent him, did not notice how long a weight he had.
But they always did, and then would proceed to bollock the lad very loudly in front of a bunch of leering workmates!
There was one person who was stupid enough to have the highest number of “weights” and that was Ian Grunert (pictured above).
He went to eight different areas before he woke up to the joke.
But then he was a real Dickhead!
Baiting Jim Hosking was a Gazette pastime. Jim had a cupboard near his desk. Inside he kept the blue time docket pads and bars of Soap.
About 10 minutes before knock off Allan Orrock would go to Jim and ask him for a docket pad.
Jim would get his key out, undo the cupboard give Orrock his docket pad and lock up the cupboard again.
When Alan got back to the Government Gazette Staff, Elsdon would then go to Jim and ask for a docket pad.
Then Macca and Jimmy Tennant would follow. By now Jim could smell a rat!
Jim would now have the cupboard open, docket pad in hand as I ambled up.”I suppose you want a docket pad too?” he asked.
“No”, I replied. With that he would put the pad back in the cupboard, lock it and pocket the key.
“Well, what do you want ?” he asked. “A bar of soap please!”
Jim and Jimmy
Jim would get a lift to Netley with Jock Tennant. On one occasion Jimmy was a bit hung over from the night before.
When they reached Marion Road Jock turned left and was heading towards Anzac Highway. Upon reaching Anzac Highway Jim nudged Jock and said. “Er..Er..Shouldn’t we have gone down Richmond Road”
Another time at the Old Guv on a Thursday night about half an hour before knock off Jim wandered down to the Gazette staff and said “How’s Jock?” he asked.
“Pissed!”, we all answered. “Oh, bugger!” Jim replied. “He’s taking me Home.
Jim wasn’t confident with his ability in being a Foreman. He would often ask the Comp or Apprentice if the Proof he was about to sign was “OK to Print”.
If there was a broken serif or a letter “i” with it’s dot missing you could say to him, “That’s OK Jim”. and he would say “Are You Sure”.
“Yeah, she’s right!” and he would sign the Proof OK.
It wasn’t something that we did too often. But that’s how unsure of himself he could be.
Jim served in World War II and was yet another one of the many fine gentlemen who worked at The Old Guv.
Hi there Rod,
Here’s a story that you may not have heard!
Back in the early 1970s there was a binding girl (gorgeous looking) but I can’t remember her name.
She was involved in a crime with her boyfriend (he worked elsewhere).
They allegedly robbed a Deli at gunpoint. The Office was all abuzz when the story got around.
Now, at the Christmas break-up that year we all found our way to the Pub on the corner of Hindley Street and Morphett Street (our alleged deli robber included).
She was wearing this very expensive black jacket.
She took the jacket off and put it on a chair.
All the guys took turns in wearing it!
As the afternoon wore on and everyone was getting drunker one person went home with the black jacket on his back.
Later that night “this person” gave the black jacket to a another female at a party in the Parkside area.
On returning to work in the New Year the gorgeous Binding girl fronted the person who wore the knicked jacket home accusing him of being a thief.
The culprit replied, “I might have taken your black jacket when pissed out of my brain, but, I never robbed a Deli at gunpoint when sober”.