Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME' by Gertrude Ruston. (pp 198-202)
"Mrs Haning and I were dealing with all the business and correspondence connected with four organisations, the Council of Social Service (COSS), Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Perth Emergency Housekeeper Service (PEHS) and the Childrens Holiday Association Perth and State (CHAPS). In order to keep everything up-to-date, we purchased a tape recorder and I took it home with me at weekends, together with minutes and correspondence, requiring attention.
Quietly on Sunday afternoons I sat comfortably in my lounge room and dealt with all matters arising by dictating to the tape recorder, interspersed with comments for Mrs Haning's benefit, knowing that, as she replayed the tape, she would be able to cope with them in her usual capable manner.
In this way everything was kept up-to-date, including filing and records, and we both worked without interruption in the office. Mrs Haning was a wonderful colleague and helper, and I still value her friendship after so many years.
In order to include new organisations and correct information where necessary we published from the office three more Directories of Social Service Agencies, with considerable help from the voluntary workers of the C.A.B.
This is a mammoth job. Questionnaires have to be distributed to all known organisations, others invited to participate by publicity and, because the greater number did not return their completed forms in time, it was necessary to spend money and effort in writing and telephoning reminders.
Information received had to put into its proper category in alphabetical order, carefully collated and checked, after which quotes had to be obtained for printing etc., and months went by before a finished book was ready for distribution.
The cost of production increased with each edition and COSS had to recoup its expenditure from the sale of the directory, which meant extra work for the office and the accountant.
While at a public meeting one evening at which I had been invited to speak, I was asked by Mrs D. Levinson if I could find something for her old father to do. He was a highly qualified chartered accountant about 80 years of age and retired, so life seemed aimless to him and not worth living. I asked her to send him to see me and, to cut a long story short, he took over keeping all the books and coping with insurance and all financial matters, and I only had to worry about the petty cash.
Fate certainly lends a hand occasionally, and Mr Lester was friend indeed He stayed with the office as long as his health permitted and was very popular with everybody. He did not need a computer - he had one built in!