Australia

Australia

Australia 1966- 1975

…Reality hit me when I queued up at the employment office. The only job available was with the Metropolitan Water, Drainage and Sewage Board. Trenches had to be dug somewhere in the bush land to accommodate new pipes to be laid down. The only job requirement was the ability to swing a shovel which I firmly attested to. I got the job with meagre pay but if you have nothing you still hope you will get rich one day…

….you may understand the elation I felt when Schenker finally came back to offer me a job in airfreight sales in Sydney…

… There was only one snag which I certainly ignored in order to get the job. I had never done any sales and I was very shy!..

… It took another few months before Edmund Schultz and family appeared. I knew him from a distance as a young, smart go-getter when he was working in exposed positions in Schenker Berlin, and I was just an ignorant apprentice; our paths had crossed but we never spoke before…

…. Edmund had the idea. A little local deli sold us large quantities of chewing gum which we started to bite, suck and form to fit into the holes in the radiator. The driver was not of much help in this exercise owing to the toothless mouth he had. It worked and we managed to get the truck moving the last couple of miles after filling up the cooling system with water. I could not move my jaw for at least two days, talking was a pain due to the muscle cramps I experienced and chewing gum was off my shopping list for many years to come, but we got the business in the end…

…Edmund pushed for my decision regarding WA…

…three weeks later Rosalind and I took our newly-acquired Volkswagen Kombi and drove to Perth with most of our worldly possessions in the back. It took a while as we had to drive some 4,000 km of which around 800 km were still not paved, just some tracks and potholes full of water which made driving a bit dicey at times…

… The office of Quartermaine was in an old building in Fremantle. It reeked of tradition, it creaked in all corners and the wine cellar smelled old and musky. I loved it; joining Murray for wine tastings, which he put on for various groups of people, was always an experience. I learned so much about “experts”, got to recognise the false attributes they gave to the wines they tasted and tried to find a happy medium between bullshit (pardon the French) and ignorance. I am still working on it…

…Pearce Air Force Base in Bullsbrook had a small gliding operation going. Since the base was primarily a flying school with some technical support staff the little gliding club always suffered from a frequent change of members, after they finished their flying training and moved to another base. Some bright commander made the decision and allowed civilians to join up to keep the club going. Dave and I joined and I had my first introduction flight in December 1969. What a feeling sitting in that small bubble of a cockpit being driven around the sky without an engine…