left pusses on completion of 12 years at the dizzy heights of LSMTP3*.
I moved to W.A. to live and got married to Barbara in November
1978. We have three losers,
Claire and Sarah (20) and Kathryn (17).
The reason I call them losers is because I lost about 8 dozen
king browns betting that they were going to be boys. Claire has a
diploma in Civil Engineering (now going for degree), Sarah is at
university doing a degree in nursing and Kathryn is employed in
My first job when I left was as a plumber’s offsider, digging
trenches and chasing out walls to install piping in new houses. I did
this for about three months and decided this was not going to be my next
career. I then obtained a
position in Kwinana Power Station working for the State Government as a
plant attendant looking after their ashing system – these boilers ran
on coal, gas and oil. I
moved from Kwinana to East Perth Power Station – the ark is not at Mt
Ararat, it was in East Perth. At
one stage I was actually shovelling coal into the bunkers for the
boilers and the rejects from the boiler and mills had to be
wheelbarrowed to large bins to be dumped later.
I worried about asbestos problems after leaving pusses but the
next worry was coal dust on the lungs – sometimes you could not see
three foot in front of you when there were coal dust leaks.
Some mornings when I woke the pillowslip used to be black from
the dust coming out of my skin. I
was glad when they shut down East Perth and I moved to Kwinana again.
I was a Power Plant Operator and later became a Power Station
Operator. I went to TAFE
and got an Advanced Certificate of Engineering (subjects were
Electrotechnology, Thermodynamics, control concepts, fluid mechanics,
dynamics and strength of materials).
I had a headache for 7 months doing this full time.
I got involved in the unions and represented the troops in court
cases, was a committee member of Strategic Automation project to upgrade
the power station and was a member of Wages Competency Standards for
power stations and later assisted with the National Standards. I was
also a member of the Redundancy, Retraining and Redeployment committee.
I hold a National Certificate for all classes of Boilers, all
classes of turbines and steam reciprocating engines. I hold a 330kV
switching ticket. I operated boilers up to 16.5 Mpa (540 degrees C) and
turbines up to 200 MW, gas turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generator
on the end to 24 MW and reverse osmosis plant output 400 tonne per hour.
I got to turn the City of Lights into a dark spot when we went on
strike and shut down (did this about 6 times).
The last time we did it they chased us to give us writs – I
went missing for 24 hours.
doing 21+ years working for the government I took a voluntary
redundancy. I then worked
for Anaconda Nickel at Murrin Murrin (between Leonora and Laverton) two
weeks on/one week off for about six months.
This is one of the most dangerous places I have ever worked.
On a regular basis we had hydrogen sulphide leaks that would put
someone in hospital with eye and lung complaints. I resigned from this
job. On advice, I applied
to Department of Veteran Affairs for a Gold card and after about 4
months was granted a T.P.I. So,
I am now a dottering pensioner and loving it.
To those who knew me when I was on the leaner side have no fear
there is two of me here. I
gave up smoking about 12 years ago and went into a feeding frenzy to
compensate. At the peak of
this frenzy I weighted 19 stone (about 122 kgs).
Over the last 2 years I have been slowly coming down and am about
16 stone – the ultimate aim is about 14 stone.
I have few regrets in life, I did not always get the cards dealt
right but I put this down to a lesson not to get caught in “all things
are good and everyone can be trusted”.
I love my drink, fishing, family, friends and cryptic crosswords,
not necessarily in this order. Life
was meant to be easy – just that money is needed to complete this