Saturday, October 8, 2011


@PremierMikeRann’s tweet about Gough Whitlam triggered memories of the events of Nov 11th 1975 when Gough’s Government was sacked by Sir John Kerr , the then Governor General who was the Queen‘Representative in Australia ! At that time I was working for NCR in North Sydney and being driven north on the “ CoatHanger ” by one of my bosses after a meeting in the city . Just before midday the “ Breaking News ” announced the outcome of Gough’s meeting that morning at Government House in Canberra and of course there was the recording of his voice saying “ God Save the Queen because nothing will save the Governor General ”

Naturally the Media went ballistic and even more so when Malcolm Fraser was asked to take over in interim Government whilst the House of Representatives was sent to the country in preparation for a general election . The Coalition of Liberals and Country Party went on to win the Election thus returning the country to Conservative Government and some would say stability . Later Bob Hawke would be elected leader of the Labour Party but that is a story for another time and place .

In other blogs I have mentioned meeting Billy Mc Mahon on the Squash court in the late 60’s whilst he was treasurer in John Gorton’s cabinet . The guy I was waiting to play squash with was together with his brother the founders of a Rubbish Compacting business called “ Big Foot ” . Harvey was kind enough to loan me his Bob Lexen designed yacht , “ Big Foot ” , moored in Rose Bay on the Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic period .

Harvey sailed from Sydney with others to Scandinavia some years later , he advised that he was arriving but after several weeks of travelling around arrived in Brighton , UK whilst I was tied up with a tour in the North of England . I only discovered the day he was to fly out how short his visit was to be . His step daughter was living in Brighton at that time so of course family comes first and since returning to Sydney he has retired and moved down the South Coast to his farm . Regretfully I have lost contact as emails to his family seem to have failed either to reach him or he like another friend , that I remain in touch with by occasional phone call has no internet access .

Brian Brown was the veritable personification of “ Mr NCR ” and I had the pleasure of being entertained and welcomed by his family on many occasions through the years . It was always a pleasure to welcome him and his wife into my homes over the years . Lately Dee has been the victim of Cancer so their retirement in Scone has not been as happy as they could have wished . Those remembering the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games will recall the Quarter Horses which Brian together with his committee were responsible for supplying . Somewhere in my Computer photo records I have kept copies of that event and having turned over every stone I am still unable to locate them to liven up this post .

Brian like myself has made investments for retirement that failed to return the success that was hoped for . In the mid seventies he worked as Chairman for the Liberal Premier of New South Wales and would occasionally get the “ nod ” from mates about Shares that were likely to go for a run . Most likely whoever was passing the info had already taken a position and left the “ herd ” to make them richer ! From these flutters I got the “ Share trading Bug ” for a decade or so and did quite well as the market moved higher but I guess in the long term I could have been much wiser to follow other investment avenues and opportunities .

Looking back over the years I recall many people that I wish I was still in touch with , but when Guys marry you are dealing with a new situation , and the new partnership comes first , which can mean that those friends that you enjoyed being “ Jack the Lad ” with , will not risk trawling over memories of “ Single life in the City ” . The Sixties had a certain reputation and Sydney , Melbourne and Perth were right up there as places to be single . Recent times I tried renewing contact with a fellow socialiser from the mid 60’s , now a retired solicitor that had just returned from a European trip . So far he has not found the time to put me in touch with the other member of our occasional Friday night social group of those times . The Peter G. I was seeking out was a barrister not the Doctor recently honoured in Oz .

Not being interested in Cycling or Cycle Races until 1998 meant that most of my time in Oz was such that living in the shadow of Camperdown Velodrome for several years , I was unaware of the Sport and those participating . Occasionally people say to me “ you must know…” and regrettably unless I have met them here in Europe I am at a loss as to their input to the cycling world .

Having stated a desire to ride Perth to Sydney and thence Adelaide for the Tour Down Under should I find the backing , I am yet to hear from anyone offering any kind of encouragement or even support . I have most of the equipment and the fitness level needed but financially the project would require support and would attract huge publicity for the Organisation being promoted . Whilst in Oz I was always happy to help fundraising for Legacy and enjoyed some success whilst working for NCR but that is a story for another time .

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