This is these second section of Part 15 which for some reason disappeared, although four fellow bloggers did get to see it first time around. Hopefully you will have seen 15(a) and also part 16 which I posted this week. Next week all being well, part 17 will be ready to go if the gremlins don't get in the way again.
We are now living in Queen's Cresent, Mount Lawley and own a delightful old Willys ute which gets us from A to B which is all we needed at that time.
It was decided that I should look for a job to help boost the coffers along and I saw one advertised for a shorthand-typist at W.O. Johnston and Co., a meat processing firm in Beaufort Street, just a short tram ride from where we were living. There was also a butcher's shop on the premises from where I bought really excellent meat, at a discount of course, and much better than the meat we buy from the supermarkets today, or did I just have sharper teeth back then perhaps.
I quite often took dictation from Mr Fred Johnston (the big boss) who smoked cigars almost endlessly and he had a bad habit of chewing them while he was dictating which at times made it rather difficult to understand him, and then he would take the cigar out of his mouth, break off the chewed part and toss it in the bin. Yuk! I can still see him doing it.
He would also quite often ask me to clean the glass top of his huge desk and it was one of the men in the meat factory that told me to use methylated spirits (I think I am right with that) to give the glass a really first class shine. I didn't enjoy the smell much but it worked well and that desk really shone.
My desk in the office was right next to a wall and on the other side was the main freezer and it was always cold in the office which was great during the summer but I've often wondered if the cold had anything to do with me developing what was then called fibrositis. It was so bad I couldn't get up out of a chair without help and the same with getting in and out of bed as well. There was a dreadful polio epidemic at that time and the first thing Dr Wheeler did when I went to see him was to test me for that disease by having me sit on his examination table with my left stretched out and then I had to bend and put my head on my knees. Fortunately I could do that although it was somewhat painful but it convinced the doctor that I didn't have polio. He gave me some painkillers and ointment to rub into my neck and shoulders and told me to rest as much as possible. This ailment lasted long enough that I had to give nuisance and regretfully leave my job at Johnstons. I eventually recovered in full and was able to carry on a normal life again.
I then began to look for another job and found a temporary position with the W.A. Teacher's Union as secretary to the Secretary of that union, a Mr Ralph Featherstone. The office was situated in a very old building in the eastern end of Murray Street between the fire station and St Mary's cathedral and only a short distance from Victoria Square where I had attended school for 6 years. There was a lass working in the office that I knew from school so it was nice to find a familiar face when I began my job there. At that time the Teacher's Union was setting up a submission for equal pay for female and male teachers and there was a lot of work involved as you can imagine. As they were themselves fighting for equal pay I was paid the male basic wage which if I remember correctly was about £12 a week. Aub was probably at that time earning about £15 a week so we were doing quite well.
Mr Featherstone had been ordained as a Congregational Minister in Bunbury on 23 December, 1930 and continued as a clergyman while holding down jobs in various Western Australian government departments, and in the 1950s he had this job with the Teacher's Union. One day he asked me do some typing on the side for him in the form of a special wedding service for a couple who had come to see him at his church. One was Jewish and the other a Roman Catholic and neither wanted to change their religion to be married in either church so had chosen a church who would be happy to marry for the simple reason they wished to be wed. It was a lovely service they had thought up and Mr Featherstone said the ceremony went very wall, as the did reception which he was invited to attend. I hope that couple had a very happy life together despite their religious differences.
Unfortunately the job with the Teacher's Union was only a temporary one and after six months, when the submission was completed I had to bid farewell to a man who had been a wonderful boss as well as the other people in the office who had been so great to work with. Mr Featherstone died in 1996 at the age of 93.
The next job I had was a temporary one for a firm also in Murray Street but a little closer to town. One of the typists was off sick with measles or chicken pox so I filled in for her for a few weeks until she was well enough to return to work. It was quite a nice off but, for the like of me, I can't remember what their line of business was. I do remember though that the boyfriend of one of the girls played football for the West Perth Football Club so there was quite often a lot of talk about Aussie Rules football. I didn't let on but West Perth was my most 'unfavourite' club as I was an East Perth F.C. supporter.
Again I sought work and applied for and was successful in obtaining work as a stenographer in the office of Browne's Dairy in Charles Street, North Perth. It was a nice office with a great staff and I really enjoyed my work there. Unfortunately I was not destined to stay there as long as I had intended and the reason for this is revealed in part 16 of my story (part 16 was of course posted on Tuesday of this week so those who read it will already know the reason why my working life was cut short.