|Australia has a long history of socialist thought including the publication of newspapers and magazines produced by the Left.
Those interested in this subject are advised to refer to Warren Fahey’s two books on the subject: ‘The Balls of Bob Menzies’ and its later revised edition ‘Ratbags & Rabblerousers’
Harry was a friend of mine in his later years. We had Christmas lunch together for five years and I often saw him at jazz functions. He was a keen labour history student and long time friend of the Maritime Unions. Harry also played jazz for many years and loved a good story!
Sir Frank Packer when he owned the Sydney Daily Telegraph was always on the wharfies backs “they were lazy, drunks and no-hopers.” Stan Moran, the union leader, led a mob of wharfies into the Telegraph building to protest and on the way out he saw a son of an old friend who worked for Packer. When he saw Stan he begged him not to say anything to his family – they think I play piano in a brothel.
Two wharfie nicked off early from the job – the boss came down to ask ‘who’s missing?”
“Burke & Wills.” Came the dry reply.
“Okay” he says, “tell ’em they’re fired!”
The boss and his deputy were not the brightest men.
They were always referred to as ‘the close finish’
There was only a half head between them!
Two steel workers were celebrating one of their birthdays.
Jack said “here’s a toast to long life for you – Maybe you live to be 120 and three months.”
“So what’s the extra three months for?”
“Well, I wouldn’t like to see you die suddenly”
NICKNAMES OF SYDNEY WHARFIES
The undertaker – always sizing people up
Captain Sardine – he came from Norway
Alligator – always bites you for a loan
Barrister – spends most of his time at the bar
Singlets – was never off the worker’s backs
Judge – always sitting on a case
Surgeon – a boss how was always out to knife some one
Doug the Dog – used to call everyone Pal
Preserved peaches – always in the can
Always keen to enlist folklore collectors I asked Harry to write down a few car stickers.
Dressmakers have a steamy side
Carpenters make better studs
Barbers work up a lather
Mathematicians like good figures
Mechanics love a good screw
Tile layers put it in by the foot
Wood workers have more vice nurses make it better
Librarians are stacked
Builders know all about erections
Old plumbers never die – they just go down the drain
8 hour day campaign chant
Eight hours to work eight hours to play
Eight hours to sleep – eight bob a day