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Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-27, 08:34 AM Reply #25 »
Getting a Better Job

After leaving Collier Garland I had a few dead end jobs before joining the public service.
I was appointed to the MRD in Albert St which was the luckiest break Iíve ever had.
It was where I met my darling wife and weíre still together having raised a wonderful family of two boys three girls and now 13 grandkids.

Arriving that first day I was taken to meet the Secretary, Leo. J. Feenaghty, a really dapper fellow whose name was  well known, as his signature was on all vehicle registration papers.
That sort of introduction to the boss doesnít happen these days, youíre just a number in the public service and most wouldnít recognize the boss if they fell over him.
In those days all inductees had to produce a Birth certificate, produce evidence of joining a Union within 14 or 28 days and I think I had to undergo a medical with the Government MO
 
My first job was in the Plate Section which issued Alpha- Numero number plates replacing the old single Q style ones.
It was a small section, a clerk in charge, two girls, Monica and Denise and me.

It was here that I was to meet a man, my next boss, who became a great racing mate.
He was an ex POW captured by the Japs and locked up in Changi prison in Singapore.
 T.K. (Kevin) Skehan he was named but his war time nick was ďKillerĒ he was a stretcher bearer in the POW camp and it was said if you had the bad luck to get sick or injured and he looked after you that was it ......in most cases.

He was quite a few years older than me and lived in Grey St. South Brisbane in a boarding house owned by his widowed mother.
The Museum is on the site these days.
When his father was alive they had hotels and he knew lots of guys in the hotel game.
On Saturdays before I got married I would pick him up in my car and go to the races at Doomben or Eagle Farm.

He was a lucky punter and was never short of money.
He would go for months without opening his pay envelopes.
One Exhibition Wednesday at EF with only one race to go interstate, I had done my dough and asked Kev if he had a bet.
He said he was on Sweet Fred at 8/1 so I borrowed a fiver from him and had 40/5.
When I asked him why he backed it I remember him saying he had never heard of it but by then I was already on.
Anyway it bolted in trained by Arthur Smerdon. It turned out a good horse to follow for us both.

I wasnít always so lucky.
I was working at Peters Ice Cream after leaving Collier Garland and was due to work on the Australia Day Monday.
My cousin from Toowoomba had a tip for a horse that had been set for a race at EF that day.
They were very confident as it had been raining and this horse Mr. Gay loved the wet.
So I took the day off and went to the races with a five pound note in my kick to back this good thing Mr.Gay.

It was in the last race and I waited all day in the Leger for it without having another bet.
By then it had fined up to a nice sunny day and I started to doubt whether the track was wet enough for him.
Stupidly I asked a punter I didnít know from Adam what he thought about the track...Nah its good he said.....look at the blue sky.

So instead of backing Mr.Gay,I could have got 33/1,I talked myself out of it and put my  fiver on the favourite Self Defence 7/2  which looked  home and hosed until Mr.Gay  comes flying home to get up and beat it.
What a rotten day that was,should have gone to work and given my cousin the fiver to put on.
The winner  was by Mr.Standfast  out of Wilma Gay, I remember it vividly his pink and black checks  flashing home.
 
My next job in the MRD was in the Correspondence section, writing letters all day, chasing late payers and sending those pink slips threatening prosecution if they didnít cough up.
As jobs go it was interesting enough but I missed some of my previous outdoor perks like driving the Ute, picking up plates from the Store and a little bit of freedom that went with it.
Also driving the boss around town when it was required got me out of the office.

I was approached by a very refined  middle aged lady from Accounts who knew I was a keen punter.
Olive was her name; she asked if I could put some bets on for her.
That wasnít a problem as I could put them on SP which was easier than taking them to the races.
She would come down every Friday afternoon with her bets on a slip of paper and money up front.
She would mostly back the same horses 5 or 10 bob each way, sometimes a pound.
Mostly she lost but there wasnít much in it.

One day I forgot to put them on with the SP and decided to keep them.
 After I arrived at the races  I pulled out the slip, and saw she hadnít backed a winner at that stage but had a quid EW on Tudor Hill in the upcoming race the Doncaster.
 It couldnít win..... I thought and put the slip and her money back in my pocket.
Well, that was that......... up it got at 33/1.
I learned the hard way, being an SP bookie had its drawbacks.

While still in the Plate section  a mate who worked in the department and me had a go at the SP  business  holding  bets from fellow workers and one outside client.
It was only  small but suited us  at the time as we were both battlers trying to get ahead.
I was single but he was married and had a couple of young kids.
He was a very good lightweight  boxer  who  won a Qld title when he turned professional  and  he retired from the ring with his brain intact and in good shape.

We never had any trouble with the locals but one day  the outside client took the knock after a bad day with a lot of big bets, some of which we laid off and had to settle even though he welshed .
My mate went to see him where he worked and things got a bit heated and the Manager of the show got involved and threatened to call the police.
He settled down when my mate got a chance to explain what had happened and he turned around to the welsher and made him promise to pay what he owed ........which he did on time payment over a period.
 
Macdougalís Cup was the last straw for us in the SP business, it was a blackout, everyone was on it, all the regulars and  even the once a year punters cheered it home,  even the roughie  placegetters were  no help  and were backed .
We stayed back until about 7oíclock that night working out the settling and tallying our losses. That was it.................no more bets.

More tomorrow...... :beer:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-27, 06:17 PM Reply #26 »
Working for the Union
 
One of the blokes in my section was a Union delegate and he talked me into taking on a role as a representative of the Bundaberg Branch of the Union.
This required attending monthly Council meetings and keeping in touch with the Bundaberg members and raising their concerns with the Union.
I learned a lot in that role there were a lot of fiery debates about a multitude of issues and some of the delegates liked a drink and didnít know when to call it a night.

Still plodding away at the MRD which was a good place to work, lots of good people and parties to go to in those days, thatís when I met my future wife.
But little opportunity for advancement .
I was an unclassified clerk earning maybe 15 pounds a week.

When a job in the Union office was advertised, I applied for it and after interviews were conducted it was announced at the December Council  meeting that I had got the job.
I resigned from the public service ready to start my new career in the Union office on 2nd.January 1963.

Iíll never forget that first day, climbing all those stairs in Elizabeth St. to the pokey little office of two small rooms plus the conference room where meetings were held.
The first task was to sort out the Annual accounts for presentation to the AGM.
The system was a mystery to me; Tom Wallace the Industrial officer and I worked back for several nights to finish the job.
Everything was done manually there wasnít even an adding machine and there were scraps of paper everywhere with Tomís notes and figures, only he knew what they meant.
Thankfully I soon mastered the task and it all worked out in the end.

Tom vacated the front office when I arrived leaving me his desk and what went with it.
He scooped up all his files and joined the General Secretary in a corner of his office next door and shut the door.
I never saw him much after that he was happy to be away from one of the typistes who was very difficult to get on with.
She eventually left to everyoneís relief.

There were four girls employed, the General Secretary, Industrial officer and me.
We had around 10 thousand members from memory.
There was no payroll deductions for fees which were all collected in the first two months of the year.
It was a hectic time but we managed to get through it pretty well.

A month or so after I started The Public Service Commissioner  asked if the Union was interested in operating the Cafeteria in the basement of the Administration Building on the corner of George & Elizabeth streets to cater for state public servants.
The offer seemed too good to refuse.
There would be no rent, cleaning or maintenance to pay, all we had to do was hire and pay staff and buy all food supplies.
All kitchen facilities cooking crockery cutlery were there to use at no cost.
The offer was accepted and I was given the job of managing it.
Two hours a day I manned the cash register and kept things in order.
The food was cheap, a three course lunch cost less than five bob, there was very good variety, good home cooked food, to suit all tastes.
Mrs Guse was a very good cook.
I would draw up daily/weekly menus with her, order the provisions   and keep the records.
 
The problem was the lunch break was only 45 minutes and everyone came at once around 1pm, few liked early lunch.
This resulted in queues which turned people off.....they didnít want to wait.
And it was only of benefit to the members in the top end of town .
Those in Anzac Sq and other places were too far away to patronise us.

 If we took 20 or more quid a day it was profitable but after about three months it was time to call it a day and we closed for good.
I wasnít sorry as I still had my normal work to do when the cafeteria was added.
I didnít complain as it was good experience and enabled me to meet members I didnít know before.

The Union had always been well managed; there were a lot of impressive people on the Council and Executive in my time. 
It was a very progressive organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of its members.
There were no internal conflicts which plagued some other unions or personal political agendas.
We were all pulling in the one direction, disunity is death.

There were  times  when we held  outside meetings in Festival Hall that the International socialists tried to stir up trouble.
They were a rag tag lot of hard line lefties at  every  public demonstration.
Anywhere they got a chance to shout out slogans and run around waving placards, inciting anarchy you could depend on them turning up.
They didnít bother us but were  often a major embarrassment to the Labor Party on Labor days
 
Strangely there was no superannuation scheme when I joined the staff.
At one AGM soon after I started one of the delegates from the Public Curators Office, Jack Dillon, who used to go through the annual accounts with a fine tooth comb, noticed this and presented a motion that the Executive investigate establishing a scheme for the union staff.
In due course Council approved a scheme with SGIO based on staff contributing 5% and the Union 10% similar to the super scheme in the Public service.
 
The union held a conference for delegates and country members each three years when the city would meet the country and thrash out policy issues.
I used to look forward to these especially early in my career as it gave me the opportunity to watch and learn and to meet more members.
The conference was usually opened by the Governor, we would have a small scale reception for delegates to meet one another and a conference dinner mid week  with  guests and lots of speeches. We toasted anything that moved and representatives of the government and press always attended.

One night Max Jessup the industrial  roundsman from the Telegraph made a speech acknowledging the Union and in the process revealed Joh Bjelkeís private home phone number, Bunya Mtns One, I think he said it was.
Max was a  very  fine  journalist and a terrific guy to have a beer with.
Sadly he passed away well before his time.

 The country delegates knew how to enjoy themselves in their free time and were very good company.
One year some of the country guys found themselves at an illegal casino in the Gabba operated by the same crew that ran the Valley ones   featured in the Fitzgerald Inquiry some years later.
This night there was a raid apparently planned to catch the then Police minister who was believed to be a regular.
While there were plenty of stories floating around nothing arose except the cops   now   had something on the Minister.
Our guys got out scot free and had something to talk about when they got home.

We began rebuilding our property to update the offices and shops at ground level and to utilise the entire site to its full potential.
A top floor was added, the rear section was extended over the whole site.
It took a few months of inconvenience but it was worth it in the end.

The Union established a licensed club in the basement, later we opened a co-operative store and started the Credit Union with funds borrowed from the government but secured by our assets.
We were amongst the founding members of the Union Shopper which saved members paying full price on almost anything you could think of.
We started Public Service Co Operative Housing Societies where members could borrow to buy a home.
I was secretary of the No.9 society for a few years until I moved up the ladder and relinquished the position.

We had some drama with some of our tenants at various times, especially the night club; Iíve forgotten what it was called.
It went   bust   after a spectacular opening   eventually compounding with its creditors.
The space  they vacated was turned over to the credit union which had expanded dramatically from the single staffer with a part time steno when it was born and needed more room.




Offline westie

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« 2011-Jan-27, 08:03 PM Reply #27 »
Arsenal
You must have all this in your diaries to remember all.  You mention Max Jessup what era whas that, I started on the Tele in 1964 as a copy boy and if I recall correctly Brian Wakefield was the Editor in Chief (surely old bugger God rest his soul), Frank Atkinson was Chief of Staff, Laurie Whitelock my boss was Pictorial Editor and Pat Lloyd was Police roundsman.  You would have come across Clem Jones and Tom Uren during your years ith the union I guess.   Just loving this blog  8-)

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-28, 06:41 AM Reply #28 »
Arsenal
You must have all this in your diaries to remember all.  You mention Max Jessup what era whas that, I started on the Tele in 1964 as a copy boy and if I recall correctly Brian Wakefield was the Editor in Chief (surely old bugger God rest his soul), Frank Atkinson was Chief of Staff, Laurie Whitelock my boss was Pictorial Editor and Pat Lloyd was Police roundsman.  You would have come across Clem Jones and Tom Uren during your years ith the union I guess.   Just loving this blog  8-)

Westie, I rember John Wakefield from meet the Press  looked perpetually annoyed.

I didn't know the others you mentioned but have heard of Pat Lloyd.

Reg Leonard was the trump in those days if I remember correctly.

I shoulda kept diairies but didn't, these are things I remember have forgotten a lot but as I write some things come back.

Timeline late sixties maybe. :thumbsup:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-28, 09:57 PM Reply #29 »
My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary today. :no1:

Started with breakfast with 4 of our 5 kids and 1 granddaughter at a very nice suburban restaurant. :clap2:

Finished with a nice dinner at another. :thumbsup: And big family get together Sunday. :beer:

My grandaughter 15 revealed that of 60 kids her age at school only 9 have parents who are still together.  :o

Pretty bloody sad isn't it. :whistle:

Offline worldisavampire

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« 2011-Jan-29, 03:19 AM Reply #30 »
What a great story Arsenal. You have made my day. Congratulations on your milestone. A truly amazing effort. :thumbsup:

Both my parents have been married 3 times each, although my mum has been married now for 25 years and has finally found the one. She says her first was at 17 for 6 months when she was trying to rebel. That man unfortunately died in a car accident. Then there was my dad and now my magnificent step dad.

My Dad has been single for 18 years and will die single. But he loves my brother and I and we see him a couple of times a week. Our extended family was away for Christmas so the only people around the xmas table were me, my brother, my mum, her ex husband (my Dad) and her current husband (my step dad). They are all friends so it is strange how things work out.

My brother and I are in our mid thirties and neither of us have been married (although I am currently in a 5 year relationship). People reckon we are both shit scared to tie the knot because of our parents track record. They just might be right   :biggrin:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-29, 07:40 AM Reply #31 »
Thanks Vamps ..... good wishes to you and your family :thumbsup:

One of the old guys at golf has been married 5 times....I don't know what it is he has.......he ain't no oil painting. :rolleyes:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-29, 05:47 PM Reply #32 »
Stepping up.......Industrial Relations

We were growing our membership significantly and had more Awards and Industrial Agreements to service so I was promoted to Assistant industrial Officer at a higher classification and allocated several Sections to look after.
Female Officers or the Womenís Section as it was changed to, and Janitor/Groundsmen to start.
 
They met monthly and I attended the meetings, took the minutes, reported to the General Secretary and actioned any issues which arose.
I also dealt with general industrial issues as required, wrote letters, answered telephones, liaised with members and got to know my counterparts in other unions.
I went on the road periodically visiting members in the bush.

When I started in the MRD all those years ago women in public service offices had virtually no prospects for promotion, most were clerk/typists and were forced to resign once they married.
This changed during my time with the union when the government of the day removed that section of the regulations .
Other changes saw equal opportunity provisions introduced putting females on an equal footing with the men.
 
The General  Secretary. Pat Bredhauer, was  very competent  and  an excellent advocate.
I was  very impressed with his ability and  learned a lot from him.
He gave me  many  opportunities.
The  training and experience under his leadership,  as well as a little bit of the old standby.... into the deep end, where you  would either sink or swim, prepared me for what was to come.

In 1965 I was given my first big job, preparing and presenting a claim for  wage increases  for members under PartVI of the Public Service Award-State.
I was very nervous on the day as it was a big claim being heard before a Full Bench of The Industrial Commission, and it was my first time out as an advocate.

Although I had been to the Commission  as an observer on previous occasions  and knew the basics,  itís a lot different standing at the lectern and arguing a case than just watching someone else do it from the safety  of  the sidelines, like a spectator at a  tennis match.
I was   a maiden competing in open company that first day.

Harry J Harvey was the Chairman, he had come from the Missos (FMWU) and he made me feel at ease, never interrupting or asking any questions that I might not have been able to answer.
I was given a soft run.
When the case was over the Commissioners reserved decision and retired to their chambers.
Commissioner Harvey came back into the court and got out his makings and settled in for a little chat with all the  advocates.
This was a common practice of his as I was to find out in later years when appearing before him; he liked company and  after the case was over  he always came out for a chat.
He was very popular with everyone in Industrial relations.
When he died there was standing room only at his funeral service.

The claim was partly successful, all members were awarded increases; I donít recall the details apart from knowing we didnít get everything we asked for.
There was nothing unusual about that, as I was to find out many times, it was par for the course.

 If   ever  we  got all we asked for, we  came away thinking  we hadnít asked for enough.

More to come :beer:

Offline Racehorses

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« 2011-Jan-30, 02:39 AM Reply #33 »
Arsenal congratulations to you and your wife  -())=(  ())=( I hope you have many more happy years together  ())=( 

My Mum & Dad were married for 65 years before Dad passed away.

Thanks for the great read  :)

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-30, 08:02 AM Reply #34 »
Thanks RH   :thumbsup:

65 years I don't think I'll be around in 15 yrs  :whistle:

But you never can tell :beer:

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Jan-30, 08:12 AM Reply #35 »
Enjoying this Arsenal.  

We have a lot in common with some of that history.  My brother worked his whole life in MRD, and my Dad, who you should remember, was solidly involved in the Union.  I was also a member of the Union my whole working life and a delegate for many years (that will shock some of the Labor boys in this forum who think I am a conservative).  Even had lunch this week with my AWU mates, and am taking some to the races in a couple of weeks.  Our family was close with (the late) Ted Clarke's.  We still see his kids occasionally. Ted, you would also have known, was an Industrial Commissioner and was my proposer for membership of the Queensland Turf Club back in 1969.  

Jack Copely and Vince Gair were regular guests at our place.  Ah the good old days.

One of your colleagues (DB), a long time Union treasurer is still a regular racegoer and is my daughter's godparent, although after his long and unsuccessful career on the punt, we don't hold high hopes of a dividend there LOL.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Jan-30, 08:23 AM Reply #36 »
And you mentioned Reg Leonard.  These days Reg occupies the plot about two rows up from my mum & dad at the Pinnaro Lawn Cemetary out at Albany Creek.   Also in that row are Raphael Cilento and his missus who was the vitamins guru for the Courier Mail for 50 years.   The pair of them set up public health centres for tropical medicine in Qld which served to nurture the first 20 years of my own career.  I often stop and reflect when I visit.  Great society levellers are cemetaries!!

Offline usernametaken

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« 2011-Jan-30, 09:21 AM Reply #37 »
Nearly as good a leveler as a racecourse Norton.

Keep up the good stuff Arsenal, am thoroughly enjoying the read.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-30, 09:43 AM Reply #38 »
I knew your dad quite well Norton a great guy he was  :noteworthy:

Ted Clarke was a gentleman,was Industrial registrar before appointed as a Commissioner. :thumbsup:

I met Jack Copely only once and that was years ago,when he came in and gave the union some photos of  historical importance .

Jack was on the Executive,maybe even President, in the old days before even I was born.

He was victimised by the Moore government for standing up and being counted and was transferred to the bush as punishment.

They wouldn't get away with that in later years.

And last but not least dear old Don he was a great mate a real treasure  :no1:

Hope he is well..he'll never run out of money. :)



Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-30, 03:43 PM Reply #39 »
Learning the Ropes

The union had coverage for Prison Officers, they had their own award which was our biggest award after the Public Service Award-State and I was allocated the Prison Officers section to look after when PJB thought I was ready for it.
Originally prison officers had  their own union but for whatever reason it was disbanded and they joined the AWU.
I donít know what happened between them but they were only accepted by our union from the AWU on the condition that they withdraw their vote of no confidence in the AWU.

I was as green as grass when I began with the POís but it was terrific experience and I soon learned the ropes and gained their trust.
Working with them taught me a lot, they probably learned something too, and I like to think we were mutually beneficial for each other.
For the most part they were good, decent people, doing a hazardous job,  most people didnít want or couldnít  handle, dealing with  cunning criminals and some dangerous violent offenders.
Working conditions in some prisons were archaic but this improved as new prisons were built or modernised.
Officers were subject to great stress, strict military style discipline, had to pass exams for promotion and advancement was limited.
Often  assaulted  and injured and even killed. 
Bernie Ralph a Trade Instructor was murdered  while on duty at Boggo Rd trying to teach the prisoners some trade skills.
It wasnít a job for the faint hearted. The perks  were  few, overtime and shift allowances helped to keep the wolf from the door.

To their credit many of the men progressed through the ranks to reach Superintendent level in charge of whatever prison to which they were sent.
I donít remember any getting to be Comptroller General, although many were qualified, they were denied the opportunity.
Things would have been much better had the government used   officers experienced in penology instead of  appointing  people with  administrative backgrounds to the top post.

The prisons department was a sub department of Justice in those days presided over by Stewie Kerr as Comptroller General, Stewie  was an ex CIB man, he was a big bloke and was as hard as nails. He did have a softer side seldom seen where he went out of his way to help officers who experienced sickness or injury and were down on their luck, but it wasnít widely known.
He would put the boot into others if he felt they deserved it and there were a couple of officers  the union saved from  getting the boot.

It was a regular thing for the PO section to pass a vote of no confidence in Stewie and at the same time pass a vote of confidence in the Super of Brisbane prison Bob Smith who was a kindly man universally liked by his officers.

While responsible for servicing prison officers I would often call in at Boggo Rd on the way home if there were matters to discuss with the sectionís officials.
When entering the prison all visitors must sign the visitors book and state their business.
Stewie always inspected  the visitors book when he visited,  he liked to know who was seeing who. 
When he saw  the few entries of my name in the book he  blew up  proclaiming I was  there stirring up trouble.ĒHeís   ****** barred ďhe was reported to have said.

The officers didnít need any urging from me to stand up for their rights, they were on the grass regularly .
I tried to keep them working without disrupting the system and losing pay but wasnít always successful.
Although there were lots of stoppages  but they were mostly of short duration and were generally resolved in compulsory conferences in the Industrial Commission or in negotiations with the Minister of the day.

After  Stewie  barred me from the jail  he issued a directive to that effect.
I  reckon I am the only person in  history to have  had the dubious  distinction of being barred from entering Brisbane Prison.
 
The ban didnít last very long; the union wasnít going to take this laying down.
I drafted a letter of protest for the General Secretary to sign and sent it off to Les Skinner, Under Secretary for Justice.
Les was a gentleman, held in the highest regard by everyone, and he had no difficulty in reversing Stewieís stupid decision....
Stewie, although not overjoyed at this set back to his authority took it reasonably well.
 
Stewie and I were never close but to his credit he was always accessible. 
I spoke to him regularly and we managed to get along.
He realised we had a job to do and whilst we stepped on his toes quite often we were doing our best to make the prisons better places to work, even though it was pushing uphill most of the time, as there were no votes in prisons.

I remember this incident as if it were yesterday.
The union had argued a case for wage increases for prison officers and as it happened the decision was handed down on the day of their section meeting.
Les Milverton, President of  the  section  ,had appeared with me in the Commission and we turned up together at the meeting feeling very pleased with ourselves at getting the boys  a pay rise.

Crikey were we in for a shock.
When I announced  the increases a great big guy sitting in the back row jumped up flinging the  Sebel stack- a -by chairs left and right and in full flight demanded that we reject the decision and go on strike for more.
 
Les and I were downcast  but we  quickly recovered and  after a spirited debate managed  to  control the radicals and get them on side.
 
Wiser counsel prevailed and we all went home to think how to do it better next time.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-30, 03:53 PM Reply #40 »
I never kept a scrapbook but my mother did......I found this clip from the CM .......don't remember the issue.......but we were out on the grass.

Les Milverton is to my right in the pic.

[attachimg=#]

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-30, 09:46 PM Reply #41 »
Before I forget, this is about Norton's dad making the mistake of relying on me to bring a minor offender to justice.

 I was fairly new in the union office,on the bottom of the pile,  and greener than  grass.

Nortonís dad who worked in The Dept of Labour & Industry was Deputy Chief Inspector of Factorys & Shops.

The Dept policed week end trading hours which were tightly controlled in those days, 40 or more years ago.
 
Sunday trading was not like today where itís an open go.
 
The Dept had just lost a case because the summons had been issued by a JP who was employed as a public servant
 
The court held that was a conflict of interest and the case was thrown out.
 
From then on the Dept needed to use a JP from outside the Dept so they approached the General Secretary who agreed to make me available to issue their summonses.

Nortonís dad would come  over with a bundle of summonses and I would sign on the dotted line.
 
One day one of the traders prosecuted for opening his business when he wasnít supposed to, decided to plead not guilty and the case was set down for hearing in the Industrial Magistrates Court.

I was called to give evidence and was doing ok until the defence solicitor wanted to know  whether  I asked Mr.T   to particularise  details of  the offence ..No..... I said .

Well what did you  discuss was his next question.

I was under oath and had to tell him the truth, we discussed all manner of things, races, football etc.,never  once mentioning  the alleged offence.

That was music to his ears after virtually being down for the count he got off the floor to turn certain defeat into victory.

I had buggered the prosecution case.

I didnít know it at the time but I was required by Law to satisfy myself that a prosecution was warranted before issuing a summons .

It never occurred to me to ask any questions, I assumed everything was in order and I was merely witnessing documents.

That was the end of that.........the case against the trader was dismissed.

And I learned something new that day. :beer:

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Jan-30, 09:59 PM Reply #42 »
I tell ya, Norton's sire was a tuff poker-player.  I'd wait all night to catch him bluffing.  It cost me, but he knew he was being kept "honest".

BTW, Norton didn't inherit ANY of Jim's gambling skills - or any of his other good points, now I come to think about it more.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-31, 07:34 PM Reply #43 »
I had never been on a plane before working for the Union and my first experience was when Pat Bredhauer and I went to Adelaide for a conference with other public service unions in 1965.
There I met my interstate counterparts and formed long lasting friendships with a couple of them .
We stayed at the Earl of Busteed Hotel in the City.
On the Saturday morning we went to a vineyard in the Barossa Valley, which wasnít what I expected.
It was a tin shed and we sampled wine drawn from casks   with what looked like a syringe, we still bought some to take home as it tasted ok.

In the afternoon one of the locals and me tried our luck at the Adelaide races.
I didnít back a winner until Magic Jim got me out in the last.
Lining up to collect I was surprised that the government had its hands out wanting its share with a winning bets tax.
We backed up after dinner at Wayville trots.
That was another first for me; night trotting hadnít started in Brisbane then.

Adelaide had 6 oíclock closing and the only way to get a drink was in the Committee room at the trots or room service at your hotel.
On the other hand Adelaide had a pretty good smorgasbord which I had never seen before as Brisbane hadnít yet discovered this new form of dining.

The union had been agitating for a Public Service Board to replace the Public Service Commissionerís Dept and we finally succeeded in 1969 .
Pat Bredhauer was appointed as one of the three Commissioners led by Sir David Longland as Chairman.
This created a vacancy for General Secretary which was advertised and eventually filled by the appointment of Tom Wallace and In due course his position was advertised and I was appointed Assistant General Secretary.

At this stage our membership had  increased significantly and we needed more  industrial staff  which we recruited  from  amongst our members or delegates.
This way we got mostly  young energetic people, who could be trained and developed the way the union wanted.
We steered clear of any rejects from other unions, which was very astute as future events revealed.

There was one night of drama at an AGM which Iíll not forget although I donít remember what year it was.
During the annual election of the Executive, the lights went out in the middle of the ballot.
While Tom the Returning officer went looking for the problem I herded the delegates downstairs where it was still light and under great difficulty finalised the count and arrived at a result.

 One of the existing executive had been defeated and it transpired that he had been left off the ticket.
He exercised his rights to appeal the result to the Industrial Registrar Alec Marshall, a very honest and upright man, later appointed to the Industrial Commission.
His appeal relied on the interference caused by the blackout, couldnít be sustained and the election stood.

The union always had good access to politicians of all persuasions and we would lobby them regularly, seeking improvements in conditions, many benefits were negotiated this way .
The exception was when we sought pay increases, we had to fight hard for our members in the Industrial Commission often with fierce opposition from the government.
They didnít want to be seen giving taxpayers money away too easily.
We did manage to negotiate increases for some sections once a precedent had been set, comparative wage justice it was called.
 
Itís a good job the politicians we dealt with werenít superstitious after what happened to Jack Pizzey.
The Premier had met Pat and Tom earlier on that fateful day and it was the last thing Jack Pizzey ever did.
Sadly he died unexpectedly during the night.
 
One issue that we had been pushing for ages was to get an extra weekís leave for our members in the west.
Towns like Alpha, Barcaldine, Blackall, Charleville, Cunnamulla, Longreach and Quilpie, although more remote and disadvantaged than those on or near the coast, missed out on the extra week  that  officers to  the north of St Laurence received.
I was drafting the submissions and the members were lobbying the local pollies.
Bill Glasson the CP member for Gregory stepped up to the mark and supported our previously unsuccessful representations to the Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. 
Mr.Glasson  had met with members led by the Clerk of the Court in Longreach and drew the Premierís attention to being confronted by all the public servants in the electorate expressing their strongest disapproval of the Premierís refusal to grant this reasonable request.

Bill Glassonís support won the day.
We heard  that when he spoke to Joh he pointed out that Ed Casey  the ALP leader ( and member for Mackay I think) had it for his public servants while his, Billís were missing out.
That was good enough for Joh.......request granted retrospective 12 months.
 
There was only one hiccup to what was a great achievement.
I had overlooked Aramac and Tambo in the representations, but got going quick smart after realising my mistake and they were included from the same date of operation.

One major  improvement for country public servants I was involved in  during the early 70ís was the introduction of Locality Allowances to compensate for isolation,  higher cost of living, and other disadvantages experienced  by members working and  transferred to  the country.
At the urging of the major public service unions the PSB established a committee consisting of Pat  Bredhauer, Leo Hielscher and Jim McDonnell to conduct hearings ,gather  evidence throughout the State, and  make a recommendation to Cabinet.
Gavin Leyshon  from the PSB was the secretary and organised the itinerary and accommodation.

The Unions were invited to make submissions and co-ordinate membership participation at all of the centres   visited.
Ted Clarke QTU,Pat Coyne POA, and myself  represented the members on the trip.
 
We left Archerfield in a twin engine Cessna and travelled as far north as Thursday Island  visiting  as many centres as possible, where government employees were stationed,  in the north, west and centre.
The result was the introduction of   Locality allowances for each centre based on a  formula which attempted to measure and rate the differentials between them.
 It wasnít perfect; we discovered anomalies, but  it was  a significant improvement on the out dated zone allowances,  and was well received by the membership.
 
Everyone got on very well together on the trip, Leo Hielscher  in particular was a great guy and excellent company.
We all enjoyed the experience and the members benefited.
Leo now in his 80ís  later got a gong  for his lifetime devotion to state affairs  and the Bligh government  recently re-named the Gateway bridge after him.

More tomorrow   now  off to watch Heartbeat :thumbsup:t

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-01, 09:30 AM Reply #44 »
It was Tough at the Top

After Tom retired in 1980 I was appointed General Secretary and if I thought things was tough before, they were to get much tougher over the next few years.
Sir Joh Bjelke- Petersen was Premier and early in the piece he was generally accessible when we asked for meetings.
When we did get deputations to him he was courteous and sometimes receptive to our reasonable requests.

I got on well with him on a personal  level  on the few occasions we met and he even sought my opinion a couple of times on public service issues.
Whenever I was invited to a function where he was present I noticed Bob his bodyguard would   be seated close by my wife and me.
Bob was a plain clothes police officer and a very nice guy.
 
Johís  first ministerial appointment  years before was  Minister of Works where the Permanent Head was David Longland who Joh trusted implicitly, this was to be a major factor to our advantage when Sir David was appointed to chair the PSB and Joh had risen to become Sir Joh, Premier. He would listen to David.
Sir David Longland was a great man, an outstanding public servant .
His memory lives on with a government building named after him, as well as a prison.
 
At the height of his power , Sir Joh would have regular press conferences, feeding the chooks, as he described it. It was quite entertaining at times especially  when  he was quizzed on contentious issues.
ĒDonít you worry about that ďwas his catch cry but  now and then he came up with some memorable quotes.
Once he called South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu ďa witch doctorĒ when he criticised Joh and another which stuck in my memory was ďIf they give me a problem, Iíll give them a bigger problem.Ē

Gough Whitlam  who could rustle up an insult or two when required, called him ďa bible bashing bastardĒ but  he hit below the belt sometimes, dismissively describing  Jack  Egerton   as a modern day ďSir Toby Belch Ē  after he was knighted.
Jack was a rough diamond rising from a boilermaker to become  head of the TLC and a heavy hitter in the Federal ALP.
He was one of original  ď faceless menĒ according to Gough.
I always liked Jack and  got to know him well through his son Ron who was a mate.
We helped getting him appointed to the Harness Racing Board when  Bill Knox was Minister and had some vacancies to fill.

Towards the end Joh was out of control, David Longland  had  long retired and things were never the same.
The white shoe brigade was pulling the strings and we even had to put up with them in the public service.

Joh   eventually resigned  at the point of a gun and was replaced by Mike Ahearn.
The President and I met him early as Premier but his tenure was short lived.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry dropped its load and Russell Cooper took over.
He was a  decent   guy, we  got on very well with  him when he was Minister for Corrective Services.
That   didnít  count for much  when he lost the next election.

Musical chairs werenít  confined to the coalition parties, ALP Opposition  leader Nev  Warbuton  was replaced by Wayne Goss who ousted the Nationals in the election and became the first Labor Premier since the split in 1957.

I had witnessed plenty of industrial disputes over the years but none as bitter or as close to home as the SEQEB dispute in the 1980ís.
The ETU went on strike over the introduction of contract labour for linesmen and were supported by the MOA  whose members worked in power stations controlling the switches   which allowed them to turn the power on or off.
There were wide spread blackouts and power outages causing great distress and inconvenience throughout the city and suburbs.
Businesses were forced to  close , staff were stood down, offices had no power, lights, aircon and lifts were out.
Things were grinding to a halt and everyone was suffering.

While there was some initial sympathy for the strikers the  public  by this had had enough.
Many experienced blackouts as they were sitting down to dinner or wanting to watch the 6 oíclock news.

At this point I came up with a brain wave  to go and see the Governor and while I didnít expect him to do what Sir John Kerr did, I thought  it was worth a shot that he might intervene and allow cooler heads to prevail.
Whatís the point of having a Head of State if he only cuts a few ribbons and shakes a few hands at garden parties.

The  Senior Vice President and I jumped in a cab and went  out to Fernberg Rd.
There was no security on the gate and we walked in on the Governor  sitting at his desk in the study.
He got a bit of a shock as we came unannounced but he was courteous and politely listened to our plea which from memory I had put in writing.
Whether he did anything I never found out.

All efforts to resolve the dispute had failed.
The TLC  became involved and rejected calls to call a General strike.......realising they couldnít win.
Blind Freddy would have known that at the start but the ETU had the blinkers on.

The ETU leadership was invisible right from the start, the campaign was run  by one of their organisers  thrown into the deep end.
While this was going on there were countless demonstrations with supporters chanting  ďVictory to the ETU...give the sack to Joh.Ē 
But Joh had dug in and offered a sweet heart deal of massive pay increases   to the power station operators to break the strike.

When it ended the strikers were offered their jobs back on contracts which  ironically was the issue they had gone on strike to prevent.
Most lost everything, their jobs, their entitlements and even their super.
It was a disaster from beginning to end and was captured in a documentary ďFriends and EnemiesĒ which went behind the picket lines and even into the homes of those involved.
When shown on TV it was graphic and not good for trade unions.



Offline richo

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« 2011-Feb-01, 02:53 PM Reply #45 »
yeh arsey i remember the backouts i took a horse to brisbane while it was on and 2 nights in a motel without power wasn't fun and people were sick of it recall at the finish it was down to 6 or 7  holding out and joh threatened to put their names and addresses in the paper and they went back, thats how i remember it most were on their side at the start.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-01, 03:34 PM Reply #46 »
yeh arsey i remember the backouts i took a horse to brisbane while it was on and 2 nights in a motel without power wasn't fun and people were sick of it recall at the finish it was down to 6 or 7  holding out and joh threatened to put their names and addresses in the paper and they went back, thats how i remember it most were on their side at the start.

Yes Richo,it was a very  bad time.

This is a 3 part video from the doco Friends & Enemies which gives a glimpse into the past.

http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/friends-and-enemies/clip3/

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-02, 06:50 AM Reply #47 »
The Union was independent politically in my time but many years before it had been affiliated with the ALP.
It disaffiliated in 1957 after the split when the former Premier Vince Gair and all but one of his Cabinet colleagues deserted the ALP and started their breakaway party the QLP.
John Duggan the Transport Minister stuck with the ALP in opposition when the Country Liberal Coalition won the election holding power until ousted by the Labor party with Wayne Goss as Premier in 1989.
 
Vince Gair was given a job in the public service, in the Dept of Labour & Industry.
This would have been before he went to the Senate as I think he later finished as Ambassador to Ireland.
The Minister, John Herbert, created the job especially for Vince.
The union kicked up a fuss about this blatant political patronage but once again we were ignored.
 
There was still  a lot of resentment about how his government   treated the public service when he was  Premier.
I was told by those who knew, that they were treated as second class citizens. That was well  before my time.   
I only met Vince once after his controversial appointment,  he seemed harmless enough at that time.

The union had largely run its own race, we liked our independence and we had good relations with  most other unions without wanting to get in the same bed with them...We  didnít go about trying to poach  their members and they left us alone ,but body snatching was alive in the private sector.

We had few membership disputes, apart from when we attempted to amend our constitution to cover people who were in newly created  occupations and were clamouring to join, but were ineligible due to restrictions of our own constitution, while  other unions had no such restrictions.

We lost out to the Missos when Teacher Aides were introduced as they were regarded as casual (although they werenít in practical terms) and our rules specified members needed to be permanent employees of the Crown.
That was a big loss of potential members for us and an unexpected windfall for the Missos.

Another time in the Industrial Court before the President, Judge Mostyn Hanger, I represented the Union but lost out to our opposition the Clerks Union which had Con McLaughlin, later a District Court Judge representing them.

During the hearing Mossie gave me an easy ride but he kept interrupting  Con .
When Con made a point the Judge would look up at him and ask the most difficult question, only one word ....ďWHYĒ................I was enjoying this.
 
Con was most uncomfortable but  I should have known better than to think we were home and hosed .
When the decision came down it wasnít to be and it was back to the drawing board.
Another potential swastika which didnít make the cockpit.

Pat Bredhauer and many other union officials of his generation avoided the media like the plague but he did speak to Frank Freudenberg occasionally without being quoted.
Frank wrote a weekly political column in the Brisbane Telegraph and kept his eyes wide open and his ear to the ground, he had lots of exclusives,......... pollies loved to leak.

Tom Wallace on the other hand revelled in speaking to the press who were always on the phone looking for a story.
Tom made every post a winner with the press, never withholding anything that could be beefed up into a bit of news.
I followed his lead when it was my turn and the union raised its profile considerably thanks to the efforts of top quality  journos   like Max Jessup, Quentin Dempster, and Harry Williams to name a few.
 
Talking to the press wasnít always  wise, there  were drawbacks  as I found out when I received a call from Sir Lew Edwards, Deputy  Premier & Treasurer ,who was with Sir Joh in Canberra  at the Premiersí Conference this day .
He  told me  they had heard that Jack Stanaway (who had previously worked for Tom Burns when he was ALP leader and was now a  newspaper journo)  had found out about changes  in the pipeline for the superannuation scheme and was about to write it up.

I knew nothing at all about this but it would have been discussed at the Superannuation Board on which the union was represented by the President.
It was clear that they thought he had told Stanaway.If he did it was  probably  done inadvertently as it was of no benefit to us for him to have an exclusive.
The government didnít want Stanaway stealing their thunder and it was put to me if the story got out before the government   could  announce  it all bets were off.

I got hold of the President as soon as I could, explained the position and  left it to him to put the brakes on his mate.
As it turned out Jack Stanaway, did the right thing, allowing  the  government to announce the improvements to the  scheme, and the story  if he ever had one, was yesterdayís news.
 
Flexible working hours in my  opinion  was  the best innovation  in my time with the union. 
It was a great benefit to our members, it cost the government nothing and  was  truly a  WIN, WIN situation for everyone.
 
We had been successful in getting the government to introduce flexible working hours in spite of  some resistance from sections of the Cabinet.
Some  didnít  see  the  advantages for the departments or  appreciate the benefits  it provided for their staffs or  the general  public. 
It was a totally new concept, much  different from the old nine to five operation everyone was used to.

The scheme was on a knife edge at one point when the major afternoon   newspaper ran an exposeí quoting a couple of  anonymous  public servants, ďPeter & PaulĒ ,shooting their mouths off  to a reporter, claiming how easy it was to rort the system.
This caused a negative reaction in the corridors of power and we were concerned that opponents of the scheme could use this as an excuse to cancel it.
This full page  spread in the paper was run without any contact with me, so I complained to the Editor and demanded a right of reply to which he agreed.

Getting the right of reply was one thing, but putting it together was something else.
Composing the rebuttal to nullify the damage was a job for a writer more skilled than me.
I contacted Max Jessup, who I knew well, and asked him to accept this job. I gave him an outline of what was wanted and his job was to put it into words.
 
Max arrived after lunch and it was obvious he had been drinking and I  was very dubious he  could manage  the job in this condition.
Thisíll be a nice mess...... I thought, as I watched him walk unsteadily to  our  Library ďThe Tom Bolger RoomĒ to start working
.
I should never have doubted his ability, drunk or sober he was a master of the written word.
Max did a splendid job and the story was submitted to the paper which published it in full.
And flexible hours remained intact.

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-02, 09:10 AM Reply #48 »
This has been a very interesting read Arsenal and just reaffirms my thoughts that all journos are pisspots. :beer:

I had worked with SEQEB for 10 years and started just a short time after the infamous strikes.
It took a long time for the damage that had been done during the strikes to recede from the general publics memory if it did at all.

I loved my job but admit you felt as an employee that you were public enemy number one.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-02, 09:47 AM Reply #49 »
Keep going Arsenal.....I recall most of this and even the names.  As I said earlier, I knew Vince gair quite well.  He was an interesting bloke, quite likeable and typical of the politician the public has little insight to (I suspect nothing much has changed, even today).  We (my mates from the antisocialism corner) revelled in his part in the downfall of Whitlam.  The story went pretty simply.  

Vince was a DLP Senator and held the balance of power in the Whitlam govt.  Vince was well past his use by date but still as canny as a snake.  Both sides of politics would lobby him for his vote and he was used to doing deals.  Whitlam knew his weaknesses well and, knowing he was looking to retire from representative politics tempted him with a govt post (Ambassador to Ireland, as you say) with all the perks and benefits of an ex poliie and a diplomat.  Vince was a devout catholic (mass on Sunday and several times during the week). He would go down to St Stephens at lunchtime with my dad during the week.  I occasionally joined them.  The Brisbane catholic faith was virtually a branch of the Irish church, so to be offered the office of Ambassador to Ireland was unrefusable and Whitlam knew it.  So off Vince went to Ireland happy as a pig in mud, with perks a politician would kill for.  

Vince held a clear conscience in all of this because he had been to the top as a labor Premier, then hung, drawn and quartered by the ALP left in the 1950's.  He was treated poorly and vindictively, and had a few scores to settle.  His demise split the ALP in half and led to the rise of Frank Nicklan's Country party who brought Joh to cabinet.  The hatred between Jack Duggan and Vince was palpable.  Vince's friendship with Jack Copely was strong and Duggan set out to destroy them both.   But it only made them stronger and the DLP quickly formed and destroyed the ALP in Qld for a generation.  

Ironically, it was labor that created the famous Gerrymander in Qld and it is not well understood that Nicklin simply used it to max advantage.  Frank was an old man but his death was still unexpected.  Jack Pizzy died even more unexpectedly if that is possible and Joh sprang from nowhere, such was the succession planning in those days.

Back to the senate.  Whitlam's folly was to presume Joh would follow convention and appoint a labor person to the Senate vacancy.  That was unbelievably niaive and typical of Whitlam, who had delusions he was Emperor of his ALL his subjects.  Joh, of course, said buggar convention and found some loony tune in Albert Fields who made Pauline Hansen look like a socialist.

The rest is history.  Whitlam enraged and fell at the first hurdle.  The blocking of supply in 1972.  I recall vividly my own reaction to the passing of supply in the House of Reps that 11/11/1972.  I could not believe how dumb Whitlam was in regard managing a crisis.   All he needed was to find a strategist, and quickly.  Radio was the go in those days stay abreast.  Pity Whitlam and his minders were obviously not tuned in.  The Budget bills had been bouncing between the Reps and Senate for weeks and the daily stalemate had become humdrum.  Then on the morning of the 11th the Senate again reject Supply first minute BUT in the sitting before lunch the radio reported rumours that Malcolm Fraser would be seeing the GG.  He saw Fraser first, then Whitlam.  Fraser raced back back to parliament, knowing he was going to be caretaker PM later that day, and was already in Govt mode.  There was a constitutional sequence that had to be followed (withdraw Whitlam's commission as PM, close the Parliament at 3.00pm, summons and appoint Fraser).  Fraser knew he would need supply immediately to make the caretaker role possible, and could easily change policy post an election.  He had an hour of parliamentary sitting between 2.00 and 3.00pm left before the window of opportunity closed.

Emperor Gough went to lunch at the Lodge with his mates to bitch about Kerr and try to contact the Queen.  They forgot to tell the leader of the Reps and Senate to adjourn the parliament when it resumed at 2.00pm.....a fundamental blunder.  I should check Hansard but Iam pretty sure that Fraser marched into the Reps as Opposition leader at 2.00pm and immediately moved to vote on the Budget papers.  The labor members in the Reps knew nothing as Gough had gone to lunch. They were stunned but didn't question the motive.  The Bills were passed without division and the labor boys rejoiced at the seeming collapse of the Opposition resolve.  They thought Fraser has blinked first. Then 30 minutes later they went to the Senate and Reg Withers did simlar.  Crisis over, or so the ALP thought.  Gough had supply and could move on.  The victory was short lived.  Gough finally got wind of what was happening and raced from the Lodge back to Parliament House at 2.30pm.  Then the penny dropped.  David Smith turned up on the steps of the Parliament House at 3.00pm and read the missive from the GG that shut down the Parliament and appointed Malcolm as caretaker PM until an election could be called.  Supply assured.  Kerr probably gave assent to the Supply Bills that day.

The irony was that had Gough voted against his own supply bills after lunch, Kerr would have been checkmated and the Queen would have been forced to consider Gough's call to remove Kerr and retain him as PM.  But the Emperor was too busy raging about the injustice of it all, and forgot to tell his troops what was happening and what the consequences were.  

Such was the legacy of Vince Gair.   I had lost touch with him by the 1970's but I know he would have enjoyed the circus.

More please Arsenal, more.


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