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Down Memory Lane - Blogs - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-02, 09:55 AM Reply #50 »
Mono

Are you a sparky?   emthup   I have some issues with my clothes dryer.  Do you charge mates rates for cash? :love:

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-02, 10:03 AM Reply #51 »
Mono

Are you a sparky?    emthup    I have some issues with my clothes dryer.  Do you charge mates rates for cash? :love:

Norton although I worked in the industry for 10 years or so it was not as a sparky. 

I had a supervisory role of sorts with the installation of underground power and sub station work.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-02, 10:38 AM Reply #52 »
That'l do.  You can stand behind Mrs Norton whilst she does the repair and switch off the mains if necessary.

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-02, 10:46 AM Reply #53 »
  :lol:
gee norton I could tell you some stories of the close shaves we encountered putting the power on for the public.

I took out West End with a wayward crowbar thrust that glanced off some rock and cut through some high voltage cable.  I've never seen peop0le move so quick when it went off. :sweat:

There's something about electricity that can instill fear into you if you don't know what your doing...the fact you can't see it or smell it makes it worse.

But where would we be without it...

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-02, 09:44 PM Reply #54 »
You've got a much better recall than me Norton about the dismissal........very interesting stuff. :clap2:

I never knew anything about Albert Field apart from the fact that he was an official of the Federated Furnishing Trades Union,which was a very small union. :rolleyes:

When I saw him on TV I couldn't believe he could be as dumb as he looked......once he opened his trap.......there was no doubt.  :lol:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-02, 10:00 PM Reply #55 »
Norton will  appreciate this ......it's about the power of prayer.

The union never had a car until my time and Tom Wallace was doing a country tour in his own private vehicle a Ford Zephyr.

We were reimbursed at whatever the current mileage allowances were in the public service about 10c a Km then 1965 or thereabouts.

Tom broke down on the road to Toompine not a car in sight in either direction.

It was getting late and he worried he would be spending  the night on the side of the road and be attacked by marauding animals

So he got out his rosary beads and prayed.

His prayers were answered.................all of a sudden a car came into view..........and he was rescued .......by a Church of England Clergyman. :clap2:


Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-03, 09:13 AM Reply #56 »
Have no doubt, prayer works  :thumbsup: .  When God inspired the prophets and apostles to write the Bible, they set the rules for murderers, thieves, prostitutes, adulterers  :/  and even accountants  :whistle: got a mention but, sadly, jockeys didn't exist then.  So it seems that whilst God listens to a punter's prayer for a winner, the omnipotent is powerless to redirect jockeys to ride well. 

Hopefully with the second coming we can seek a rewrite of the rules but, of, course, by then we will get the race results the day before and everyone should win at the punt  :bop: .  Well, the ones that behaved anyway, can't speak for the misbehavers and kiwis.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-03, 02:09 PM Reply #57 »
The public service was a career service, advancement depended on efficiency and in the event of equality, seniority came into consideration.
The PS regulations provided that only in exceptional circumstances should outsiders be appointed to classified positions which must be advertised.

There  was  a loophole in the form  of an escape clause which allowed many outsiders to be appointed by certifying there were no qualified officers  already employed  who would be suited for the job and positions could be excluded from right of appeal and not advertised if the government so decided.
 
This had been going on for years and while we always kicked up a fuss it fell on deaf ears.
Political patronage was alive and well although it wasnít  applicable in all cases of outside appointments  and  was never  as bad then as it was to become in later times.

So when Pat Killoran the head of the DAIA appointed a guy off the street as Manager of the Deptís Aboriginal  Creations  retail shop in George St, a job in which one of the union Executive had been acting and  was by-passed  when the job became available,  and we decided it was time to test  it  in the Supreme Court.

Jeff Ahearn was the guy bypassed and he showed great guts and determination in allowing the union to use him as a test  case.
We had engaged David Jackson QC who was regarded as the best in the business and we were quietly confident of success.
Unfortunately when the case was set down he was tied up in another case interstate but  our solicitors were able  to secure Marshall Cooke QC  who with Jim Murdoch as Junior ably presented our case.
Jim, now a SC himself ,was our retained Counsel in my time, and is still practising at the Bar as well as training the odd racehorse in his spare time.

Despite the best efforts of our legal team the case was doomed from the start when we drew Judge Angelo Vasta, who was later impeached and removed from office in the aftermath of  the Fitzgerald  Report.

From the 1960ís there was a loose knit organisation called the Combined Industrial Unions Committee of which we were a member.
It consisted of the AWU, Clerks, Shoppies, QSSU, Police, and several smaller unions including one in the Railways represented by Peter Beattie later to become state secretary of the ALP and eventually Premier after Wayne Goss.

The CIUC was very active, the TLC had been a bit lethargic at times and the CIUC stepped up. We were involved in many  issues and on one occasion I recall  we resorted to The Profiteering Prevention Act which I think is no longer in force.
I had the honour of being President from 1983 until I retired.
John Hogg now an ALP Senator took over.

The union affiliated with Public Services International   briefly and I attended one World Congress in Singapore with the President and our two Vice Presidents.
It was a rewarding experience for me meeting our colleagues from around the globe and broadening our minds by  listening  to their stories, exchanging information and understanding how their public services were structured.

We were also associated with ACSPA, another loose grouping of white collar unions, which met occasionally on matters of mutual interest and conducted training seminars.
This was before TUTA the trade union training authority was formed.
Frank Doyle was the first chairman and he was always connecting and encouraging support from us and other unions for the courses TUTA provided.

It was around the early 1980ís that our federation of  interstate  public service unions and associations, the APSF joined the ACTU nationally, bypassing the state TLCís.
The 1985 ACTU conference in Sydney was my first.
Most things were settled beforehand without any public disagreements.
I recall the BLF burning an effigy outside the Town Hall of one high ranking unionist which was pretty disgusting.

I think Simon Crean was President and Bill Kelty secretary.
We had to choose a vice president, there were two candidates, one from the hard left, metal trades groups the other from the moderate Labor Council right in NSW.

Some of our group including  our friends in the POA wanted to support the leftie while we and others were convinced he had nothing in common with public servants while the other one did.
So we went for the guy from NSW, John McBean. 
We had the numbers, McBean got up with a big majority.
The chardonnay socialists got their noses out of joint and went off grumbling with their tails  between their legs.
It was the right decision, Mc Bean turned up trumps.



Offline arthur

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« 2011-Feb-03, 02:16 PM Reply #58 »
When I went to Sunday School . . On the days when I didn't 'wag' it and keep the 'plate money' . .

The nuns taught us that Moses was the first jockey . .  but the Lord kept telling him to come fourth

Apparently Mossy had a favourite horse in the Jerusalem Cup called 'The Tern' considered by many to be a bird . . .  

but he fell at the mile peg, with the course announcer coining the  phrase 'Prophet on Tern, over!!' . .




Shame they don't have Sunday School these days . . Never did us any harm ( :chin:)
« Last Edit: 2011-Feb-03, 02:35 PM by arthur »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-04, 07:26 AM Reply #59 »
It was at this 1985 ACTU Congress at the Sydney Town Hall that I had my first serious setback.
I had felt unwell for a day or so and this day I left early to see a doctor.
We were staying at the Top of The Town in Kings Cross and when I got back asked the desk clerk for directions to a local doctor; he suggested I go to St Vincentís Hospital.
 
It turned out I was having a heart attack and I got attention in the nick of time, I nearly died and was in intensive care for 10 days.
I was off work for months and even when I resumed I was still very weak and took a long time to recover.
Speaking at meetings which was a major part of my job took a lot out of me.
I was on medication but managed to get on with life until the problems resurfaced about three years later.
 
This time I was advised if I wanted to keep on living I should give the job away.
It was a very stressful period, almost   daily conflict, lots of pressure, tension, and it had taken its toll.
I had been at it for 25 years, the last  19 or so in the trenches at or near the top.
I knew it was time to call it a day. I retired on the grounds of ill health in September 1988 three years after suffering my first heart attack.

State Service House in Elizabeth St., which was our home almost from the day the union was born, was sold to a developer, Kevin Seymour I think it was, in the  late 1980ís ,and itís still standing although I have never been back.
In partnership with the Credit Union the Union purchased a five story building in Albert St., next to Festival Hall which enabled staff to be accommodated on the one level rather than how it was in the old offices.

Over the years the union managed to achieve many significant improvements in pay and conditions.
There are too many to mention but some of those I recall were Increases in long service leave, and flexibility  in the option of taking  it, annual leave increased from three to four weeks, five weeks for shift workers ,and improvements to superannuation, shift  allowances, penalty rates  and daily travelling allowances to name a few
 
Locality Allowances replaced the miserable Zone allowances for public servants in the Northern and Western parts of the state and we were instrumental in introducing flexible working hours which are a major benefit and even more flexible today.

Much of our time was spent  in assisting individual members with  a wide variety of work related problems.
 
One case  more of a humanitarian nature  was getting the Federal government to intervene in the case of a Vietnamese  member who  was separated from  his wife after he had fled the country with his children and the Vietnamese government refused  to grant a visa for his wife.

He approached the union in desperation and with the help of Bill Hayden then Foreign Minister the Vietnamese government  eventually relented and she was able to rejoin the family.
As a measure of his appreciation my wife and I were invited to dinner with his family where I met his parish Priest Father  Peter Kennedy for the first time.
 
I got to know Peter Kennedy quite well after that and my wife and I would often go to Sunday Mass in his church St.Maryís in South Brisbane.
Talking to him one day I noticed  that the church  badly needed repainting but they had no funds.

I put the hard word on  Peter Jones,  another  good guy, who was then  head of the Corrective Services Dept  to see if a couple of trusted prisoners could carry out the painting. 
The paint was provided by  Jim Kennedy, Peterís brother,  who  donated the funds ,and the prisoners did the rest.

I was very fortunate having the opportunities that working for the union gave.
Iíve met some great people, none better than the rank and file members who put their trust in us to represent them as vigorously and honestly as our abilities allowed.
 
It was a privilege to have worked with the high quality people on Executive and Council who gave me their loyalty and support and the office and industrial staff who shared the load and kept the engine room running.

I only had to sack one person in my time. She complained to her union but it went no further when they realised she didnít have a leg to stand on.

I mingled with lots of interesting characters, encountered a few con artists, a handful of back stabbing opportunists and white- anters, but mainly  I remember a whole lot of good, decent people.
 
It was great while it lasted.
 
When I retired the Union presented me with a set of golf clubs, bag and buggy and I took lessons from Hughie Dolan at Brisbane GC to learn how to use them.

That started me on another adventure I wouldnít have missed for the world.

 :bye: :bye:

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-04, 09:31 AM Reply #60 »
Arsenal I suppose you would have got to communicate with the then ACTU president Bob Hawke?

I remember while doing a 7 year stint with GMH in Sydney  from 74 -80 I had the pleasure to say G'day and have a chat to Bob when he was helping  the VBU at the time to prevent or help out with the closure of the Pagewood car manufacturing plant.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-04, 06:40 PM Reply #61 »
Mono I only met Hawkey once or twice that was after his ACTU days.

He attended the PSI Congress in Singapore and joined in our stage presentation.

Always enjoyed himself and very personable. :beer:

Offline chuggers

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« 2011-Feb-04, 10:11 PM Reply #62 »
Arsenal,
Be very chuffed what you have achieved. What a man   :clap2: :clap2: A lot of those benefits I'm sure carried on in my  own league.

Heart attack and still alive--legend--I had mine at 40 yrs---52 now--so I need to kiss someone---I keep kissing the Mrs--so far --all good---Arse--you should be very proud.


 :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-05, 09:07 PM Reply #63 »
Thanks Chuggers..........had a lot of luck........some good and not so good........lets hope we keep  our  :heart:  ticking  over for a bit longer. :thumbsup:


One day at a time :beer:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-07, 09:55 PM Reply #64 »
Days At The Races

I was a boy in short pants when my father would take me to the provincial races during school holidays when he wasnít working.
He was a bookies clerk  always working on Saturdays but sometimes didnít have a job on Wednesdays, the only other day races were held back then.

Race meetings were held at  Oxenford, Kilcoy, Esk, Beaudesert, Toogoolawah, Gatton  & Laidley are those I remember.
The amenities werenít too flash at some of them , some of the race day stalls were made of rough timber with sapling branches and hessian on the top to keep out the heat.
Races were from open barriers and sometimes  a horse would jump into the strands when it couldnít be restrained or the jockey might anticipate the start.

One of my early memories is of a horse which  raced in Hack class his name was Cagou Lad.
These races were over 4 furlongs and from what I can remember many were bred from station mares there was one by unidentified sire out  of unidentified mare but that was due to some technical issue with the registration process.

Cagou Lad was top weight the day I first saw him and I noticed his colours seemed to be made of flannelette rather than the satins worn by  other jockeys,which is probably how I can remember him after all those years.
His colours were white with  two or three yellow armbands on the sleeves and  a black cap.
Many years later Time & Tide raced in similar colours which I expect was pure coincidence as it was a gigantic gap in time and ability between the two.

On the way home  my father and the other guys would stop at a pub while I waited in the car and had a red drink brought out, raspberry cordial maybe.
Wherever they pulled up Cliff Pyleís float was already there or would arrive soon after and sometimes if it was a winning day, they would shout his stable boys  in the truck, a  soft drink .

Bookies would call the odds there were no betting boards and no broadcast offcourse but the results always made the Telegraph the afternoon paper with the Last Race edition carrying the final race result in the Stop Press.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-08, 07:21 PM Reply #65 »
When I was working and had money of my own I never missed a  Saturday meeting, starting in the Leger although I did slip down  a peg or two once or twice into the Flat although never at Albion Park. 
By then I had graduated to the Paddock, big time with a Borsalino hat,silver with  a feather.
Everyone wore hats in those days even the strappers wore suits ties and hat.                   
None of this jeans and joggers we see today.

There were no mobile phones  or price fluctuations and runners would leave the course to relay prices to SP bookies by telephones either in nearby houses or from public telephones.
I remember reading something about the government trying to stamp this out but donít recall the details.
There were lots of transfers from the Paddock to the Leger.
I remember seeing blokes running between the two enclosures trying to get a better price or trying to crush a shortener he was on at a longer price.
They were years ahead of Betfair.
Sometimes I would tail one to see what he was backing.

SP betting  was rampant well before the TAB was introduced in the early 60ís.It was open go at Tweed Heads behind a billiard saloon, prices on the board for races in every state and there was one organisation operating on the phones from a private hotel in George St and SPís in every pub in every suburb,in every town and City.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/hats-off-to-fashions-golden-age-of-style/2007/06/01/1180205513889.html

Offline westie

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« 2011-Feb-08, 07:52 PM Reply #66 »
Arsenal
I recall SP bookies still around after the TAB was introduced (remember you had to get your bets on early before some silly deadline) I frequented the Colmslie and Manly Hotels in those days. I also visited all those provincial tracks except Toogoolawah, where is that ?.

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-08, 08:35 PM Reply #67 »
I use to run a book for a well known Sydney SP at our local watering hole...I'll always remember the time the new tab manager (only been in business for 12 months or so) complained to the local police ( 100 mtrs down from the pub) that his business was dropping a lot of turnover and he suspected an illegal SP operation being run from the pub.
Wasn't long before the tip came through that the pub was to be raided.  Naturally when police  raided pub not  a notepad or formguide were to be found with any suspicious bets recorded. 
The all clear was given to resume normal operations.

It  wasn't long before that tab manager was moved on..  :lol:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-08, 08:52 PM Reply #68 »
I use to run a book for a well known Sydney SP at our local watering hole...I'll always remember the time the new tab manager (only been in business for 12 months or so) complained to the local police ( 100 mtrs down from the pub) that his business was dropping a lot of turnover and he suspected an illegal SP operation being run from the pub.
Wasn't long before the tip came through that the pub was to be raided.  Naturally when police  raided pub not  a notepad or formguide were to be found with any suspicious bets recorded. 
The all clear was given to resume normal operations.

It  wasn't long before that tab manager was moved on..   :lol:  

Lots of SP's had agents  paying shilling in the pound commission & not on revenue like TAB & corporates.

Would have been a good earn Mono........ya still haven't spent it   :lol: either

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-08, 08:53 PM Reply #69 »
Arsenal
I recall SP bookies still around after the TAB was introduced (remember you had to get your bets on early before some silly deadline) I frequented the Colmslie and Manly Hotels in those days. I also visited all those provincial tracks except Toogoolawah, where is that ?.

They haven't raced there for yonks Westie but its out past ESK :thumbsup:

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-08, 09:00 PM Reply #70 »
George Freeman Mono?  I note you have the same choice in flamboyant ties. 

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-08, 09:04 PM Reply #71 »
Norton I'm not name dropping here....but he did just live around the corner.

The two up schools were thriving as well in those days...always a good place to get a free drink and a taxi fare home if you did your dough.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-08, 09:26 PM Reply #72 »
Blimey.  I will have to become more cautious dealing with the Cleveland mafia from now on.   BTW I can't do the job on DD's car tomorrow as I had foot surgery Monday and can't run fast.  Turns out only 6 races as well so there was a risk he would have time to watch the car park.

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-08, 09:35 PM Reply #73 »
Norton the mafia have mellowed with age.

Good luck with the foot .  Those ingrown toenails can be painful  :biggrin:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Feb-09, 08:40 AM Reply #74 »
A couple of weeks ago I bought a pair of Ice Sleeves which protect your arms  from the sun when golfing.

I got them from  a golf shop  for$24 a reduction on the RRP of $29.95.

On Sunday I noticed another golfer with something similar they cost him $6 on EBay.

Today I bought a second pair EBay this time 99c USD plus postage$1.19 total cost with EBay charges less than $4AUD.

Should tell Gerry........ from Hardly Normal. :beer:


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