Thursday, August 16, 2018

This is my Life The Beginning

Going back as far as i can remember,

Why am i saying Ian's Life well I have been called Ian from as early as i can remember being and it stuck


I was living on a farm with my step Fathers, Mother, four sisters and two Brothers at Perillup Western Australia, 30 miles west of Mt Barker, my stepfather Jim we called him Pop, why i don't know, Pop was a prisoner of war, captured by the Germans and later transferred to the Italians, as a prisoner of war Veteran he was allocated a land settlement farm at Perillup, Western Australia. Well lets start with my first interesting experience and major turning point in my life, the day began with a telephone call from my sister Elaine a few days earlier, she had left home to work on a Farm cooking for the Carmody's a father and three Sons, she had only been there a few weeks, the farm was several miles east of Kulin, Western Australia, the call went something like this, they are Shearing here and i have been talking to the shed boss and they need a shed hand, a junior shed hands job is to pick up the wool after the Shearer has finished shearing the sheep, Elaine my Sister thinks the shed boss is interested  in her, so she kidded him along and asked him if he could give me a job in the shed, she said to me i believe they pay good money, i found out later for a junior shed hand the money i received per week was 17 pound, i don't remember what i was thinking at the time after the telephone call but i decided i would give it a go. My Sister being the kind and thoughtful person that she is was always there to to help others. I didn't have many cloths, no proper shoes to work in a shearing shed, no blankets but what little gear i did have would have to do, then i came to the conclusion what am i going to use to pack the few cloths i do have, the only suitable thing i could find that resembled a case was a radio in a little wooden box covered with black vynal with a hinged lid, as the radio wasn't working, i thought this will have to do, so i took the radio out and the little box was my case. Train from Mt Barker and arrived at the Kulin Train Station in the middle of the night, old man Carmody picked me up, someone else was there i think it was Morrie, one of the Sons, Carmody's were one of the early settlers in Kulin, we drove to the farmhouse, a big brick building very solid, it was the original building built in the early settlement days. The shearers had already gone to bed, every thing was dark, I had heard weird stories about shearers and my imagination run wild, the twenty miles drive from the train Station to the farm, all these crazy thoughts were going through my head, I'm going to have to sleep on the wool, or in the wool shed on bags, but as it turned out Morrie said i could sleep in his brothers bed on the veranda as he was away for a few days, the next morning i got up a bit late, the shearers had already started work at seven thirty, After having breakfast with my Sister, the shed Boss came looking for me, i think the main reason, he was trying to get on with my sister, we walked over to the shed, it was all so new to me. My first day was hell, the shearers treated the board boys (Rousies) like shit i nealy gave up, that evening i spoke with my Sister and told her how the shearers swore and used all the F words, i had never heard a swear word up to that time, i was horrified, but later on myself working with the shearer's I was becoming just as good as them at swearing and still use the F word quite often, i have to be very conscious of what im saying when I'm with other people, especially when i get a bit agro about something. Previously my only experience with shearer's was on our land settlement Farm, once a year a shearer would come and shear our sheep, and he was bloody rough compared with shearers i had met and worked with in my later life in the Shearing Teams.
 Going back to the early years of my life, born in the Subiaco Childrens Hospital on 19th November 1941, Subiaco is a suburb of Perth the Capital city of Western Australia, I was one of eight children, third youngest from my Mothers first Marriage, Laurie, Elaine and myself, Mum remarried and had five more, three girls and two boys. Meryl, Colin, Jillian, Maureen and Ross. My Father had also remarried, and had a girl Sandra and boy Kimberly, i spent most of my life with my Mother and step father, My stepfather worked as a share farmer, during my younger life, we lived on many farms, throughout Western Australia, from what i can remember they were mostly good especially for us kids. Although we were a poor family i didn't think about money or where it came from or if we had enough to live, I didn't have many cloths, and seldom wore shoes, but we always had food on the table, i found out in later years Mum was always finding it difficult to keep us in food and clothing. at Christmas we always had presents, as hard up as we were. My step Father Jim we called him Pop would shoot kangaroos and Rabbits, one particular Farm we lived on in South Australia he would trap rabbits for a living and dry the skins to be sold to a trader who would pick them up about once a Month. Pop would set traps of an evening and i would walk around with him, wearing his long kaki ex army Coat, it was too big for me and almost touched the ground, some of the rabits had kittens (baby rabits) i would put them into the large pockets and take them home, at this time there were millions of rabbits in Australia. we also ate rabbits and kangaroos,  Mum made the best baked rabbit stew, Kangaroo tail soup, my favorit and Kangaroo steaks.  At thirteen years old on the farm at Perilup, the age where i was able to help around the Farm, my chores were to, chop the wood, drive the tractor, milk the cows, i also had a small vegetable garden, id dig a trench and empty the dunny into it for fertilizer, this wouldn't go too well in the city. My Mother, Pop and us kids lived on farms all over Western Australia, and for  short time in South Australia, that is another experience of my life i will write about in a later part of this story. Mum tallied up the places she lived while being married to Jim, was over 100, some of the towns we lived in that i can remember. Pingelly, Walgoorlin,  Moora, Mt. Barker, Perillup,  Perenjori my Mums home town, her father Bill Payne was a early settler in Perenjori. He cleared the farm with an axe and lived a very hard life, as most of the early settlers did. 
A short Story about a time i can remember living in Perenjori my Mothers Home town, i was probably about ten. My cousin Norman came to me and said lets go and get some wood, the wood most people used those days was malle roots from a short shrubby tree, most homes had stack's of them in there back yard, so we leave by the back fence, Norman pulled off a couple of pickets, we climbed through and headed across some vacant land with Norm's small rope drawn cart, we came to a picket fence at the back of some ones property, the same process pull off a couple of pickets and climb through, unbeknown to me at the time it was the local policeman's home, this didn't worry Norman he was up to this trick quite often, they wouldn't miss a few mallee roots in a large stack, as the picket fence behind the mallee roots were hidden, after loading the cart we replaced the pickets and headed home. 

The age of fourteen, living at Perilup on my Stepfathers Land settlement Farm.  our neibour recently moved onto a farm about two km down the road, he offered me a job driving a tractor, as he saw me driving the tractor from our Farm when a Fire was out of control in the area, plowing fire breaks around the neibours farms.
Plowing all day until late then I was on the tractor heading home across the paddock i had been plowing on his property and a stump got caught under the tractor and jacked it up and one of the large back wheels was air born, i had no hope of getting it off the stump, it was getting  on dusk and i should have been back at the Homestead of this farmer, as i didn't arrive back to the farm House and it was about 7pm he came looking for me, he had already had a Shower and was dressed in fancy cloths and Japanese Slippers, never seen by me before on a farm, well it was funny seeing him dressed like that walking around the tractor not knowing what to do, the ground was soft in places,  then all of a sudden his foot sunk in the soft ground up to his knee, he lost his slipper, well i laughed and my belly hurt with laughter, he was furious, and he could not see the funny side as i did.


I told the story about going to Tasmania and buying Sewing machines, and a caravan and going shearing with Anni and the baby in the Caravan, then getting the idea to start a business, as Anni made trousers for me, and other shearers wanting them the same. my idea to start a business making Shearers Trousers, we got a loan on a Home in Subiaco, 259 Roberts Road, it started in one of the  Rooms, we had already been to Melbourne and purchased the Machines, I built a large Table  it took up most of the room, we had boarders and survived on my low income as a Delivery driver, this business would be Mail Order same as Milro in Sydney, but I never dreamed it would become so big over the years, the first year we only turned over about 200 Pounds, the Accountant said to give it up, but I persisted and together we continued on, detrimental to our Marriage, I did not realize this until years later, the next year was about triple the turnover, i bought Material as we got orders, every order was a godsend, I perched Electoral Books and found every shearer listed in Western Australia, I sent them an Order form, and slowly the orders were coming, the Business was across the road from the Subiaco Football Oval, and the shearers would call in on the way to or from the Footy, it was like a family business, most thought we wouldn’t survive as Denis Ryan from Milro Mail Order Co. was too big, I never considered taking business off him and our Trousers were $1.00 more in cost than his, as I didn’t want to tread on his toes, and I believed if our price was higher we must be making a profit, not having any experience in Business.

 The Business got bigger and I did not know until years later Anni was detesting it all this time, but only wanted to make amends for what she had done to me, and screwed my life. She got very dominating as she was a strong woman and held this over me knowing, i needed her to do the sewing, we could not afford to employ another Machinist in the early stage of the Business, I had lost a lot of my strength from when I was a Shearer but not my determination.

Once a week I would go to the local Hotel for a relief from the House and Business, some times standing at the bar alone tears would roll down my face, I believe later it must have been depression, I dedicated my life to building the Business, more than I should have as my Son Lance got neglected, he was a loaner and would play in the dirty ground out the back of the shop when we moved the business from the Home, a kind hearted man Neil Barber bought him some sand to play in as I could not afford it. I believe being neglected effected his life to this day, I should have spent more time with him, but the business always took up my time, he was a beautifull baby and young boy but there was a problem, being alone too much i did not understand until later, tell you more about Lance later.

The business was getting bigger and there was a bigger work load on Anni, i tried to encourage her to employ a girl to help but she refused and continued on doing the sewing on her own, she was spending more time at the shop than at home, Lance was being neglected by his Mother, then we had to  move into other premises and it finally became too much for her so finally she agreed to employing another lady to help her with the sewing, I was helping with the Cutting, it wasn’t just sewing as we had a retail shop at the front of the small factory and also mail Order I run the shop and mail Order side of the Business, and did everything apart from sewing.

Anni would spend many nights up to twelve midnight and sometimes to one am in the morning, the tension and stress built up on both our lives, what stressed me most I heard her telling the shearers she was working till 12-1 am and they would ask her where was Ian (me) she would say he was home looking after lance, she run me down many times, to the Shearers, as she was trying to take over the whole business, and it made me look weak and I lost face, this also made me very resentful and our relationship as man and Wife deteriorated, it was very difficult working together with her, our sex life was finished she kept telling the Shearers (Customers) I was Impute’nt,  I lost interest in her and started looking at other Ladies.

As Lance got a little older he and Anni had trips away on a Cruise to New Zealand and several overseas to Germany, they bonded and i felt she was distancing him from me, as i would have to stay and look after the Business, and Cutting the trousers for the Machinist's. 

Yes the inevitable  happened ,i had a relationship with a girl eighteen year, i was twenty nine, she turned me on like you would not believe, she could see what was  wrong with my Marriage and came to the rescue, I was not Impudent, and there was no guilt on my part or having any regret as this girl gave me life, I started to feel good about myself. eventually our relationship was exposed and all hell broke Anni made it look like I was to blame for every-thing,  Anni  run me down to our Customers and staff, and made me out to be a monster. This continued on throughout our marriage and she also run me down to our Son Lance as he got older.

I saw a funny instant one day on a Saturday morning when the Shearers would come to the shop, Anni was telling this Shearer about combs and she had too much to say about the shearing Industry  she only knew what I had told her, but she would always try to take over the conversation from me, well this Shearer put her back in her place he said to her what the Fuck do you know about Shearing, she took off.
 Later we agreed she could look after the Factory and i had control of the Shop and the business, it was my management that turned the business into a gold mine
The Business continued for 25 years and was very successful, one year I remember it turned over 2,500,000 that was just a year or two before I finally went into Voluntary Liquidation, because of a Marriage break up,  Anni  got the Lions share $350,000 and a Unit in Scarborough, I had to borrow 260.000 then a recession we had to have by Paul Keating, and interest going to 23%, but no regrets I got my life back.

We divorced a few years earlier, I left our Home in Karrinyup, 49 Jeanes Rd the one I designed and built over four years, and on weekends and through the night. I left her and moved into a Unit for a couple of years, it was heartbreaking, haveing to be away from lance and after all I had put into the marriage and Business, she wanted out and demanded too much, the Barrister said I was giving her too much but I could not  spend time and Money stressing over fighting her, the friends we had together were not many but they stop being friends with me, looking back they were fuck-witts not real friends, no loss they are the losers.

The Home i Built in Karrinyup WA Australia
This all happened after my Divorce and I took total control of the business, I went to China to buy dungarees, trying to survive as the bank interest was about 22%.
Anni and Lance started a Business identical to "Westline" they pintched all my Information from my Computer and my customer list, one of the Machinist Pauleen Caplan left me and went to work for them. she had a good knowledge of all the Factory.
They cut the price of the trousers and and did every thing they could possibly do to break me. It Did.

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