My family and I before the word became fashionably had a saying that has stuck to us like glue and we adhere to it, that pun was intended. In the Dutch language ‘fok’ means breeding, but when used in Afrikaans as fuck as in sexual intercourse and is also pronounced the same Dutch way, we always say, ‘Don’t fok with the Lorenzo’s’ if someone tries to put one over us and we turn the tables on them. It again was also true and came in handy for the third time while at the firm, with the first time occurring with the Production Manager. Seeing that Reg had his son installed as Production Manager, and the upholstery foreman had his daughter working casually there, when a vacancy occurred for a spray painter I offered it to my son Harold jnr who was working as a spray-painter at Holden Motors. When another vacancy opened up for a machinist, my other son Chris who worked as a litho-printing machinist filled that position. Both wanted a change to what they were doing, and as I believed and had done, applied allied work is conducive. They both worked out fine, as I knew they would because of working with me in South Africa, and management was pleased with their work ethic. Then my other son Neil who was seeing how well they were doing also wanted in. Not wanting to upset the apple cart I advised him that he would have to work his way up from a machinist laborer, and he too fitted in well.
At the firm we had a Pommy bastard as a shop steward who worked in the upholstery section, but he had been unsuccessfully in trying to get one of his family employed in his section. He wasn’t only a whinger but also a ratbag (a trouble maker) over every minor work discrepancy, and because of that the upholstery foreman wouldn’t give him the time of the day, let alone have another of his family work there. His jealousy of my family working there was all that I could put it down to, for he started making waves about them not having qualifications and because they were my sons they were receiving easier work. When approached by the upholstery foreman about those allegations, which proved to me what a weak arsehole the Pommy and he was, I gathered my sons’ qualification papers together and waited for the opportune moment. It wasn’t long in coming, for my approach was direct to the union-rep when he came around. Producing the papers and explaining that half my workers hadn’t qualification papers due to that most of the work was a process operation, which didn’t require a qualification, and that all my workers were on a basic wage with the rest made up with their bonus earnings, his answer to that was that he was aware of it and that it didn’t go against any union regulations. Requesting him to explaining all of that to the Pommy and to the upholstery foreman, who knew of it but was also trying to be a smart arse, resulted in upsetting him because of me not coming direct to him, which I told him it was none of his bloody business in the first place, and the Pommy handed in his resignation soon after.
With my mother and father settled in Australia, and with my father at loose ends, a young sixty-seven and not eligible for an Australian old age pension because we had sponsored him and my mother, he was looking around for a spare time job to fill in time. My approach to management that it was about time we employed a store-man seeing that requisitions were not issued and the workers just helped themselves to what-ever they required, and that stocks were disappearing, stopped that immediately when my father was employed as a store-man at my suggestion. It didn’t end there, for when Joan was at a loose end and we were inundated with work, she worked as a casual seamstress in the sewing section. What they say about a family that works together stays together worked both ways for us, but also, all good things usually come to an end. Our daughter Regina had by then moved on from Sydney and was living and working in Surfers Paradise to which she instigated our wanting to see the top end of Australia. She was singing the praises of Surfers Paradise so much that when inviting the family to spend the Christmas holidays with her we jumped at the opportunity. The rest of the family, some of them adolescents and the others adults with girlfriends and still living at home, bussed it up to Queensland on a package deal with Joan and me. The pleasant journey, jovial companions, our holiday booking in the heart of Surfers Paradise on Cavill Mall, family Chrissie (Christmas) lunch, explosive New Year beach party, wall to wall flesh, particularly some of the women who only wore the bottom half of their cossie (swimming costume) and flaunted their white pointers (breast), water based lifestyle, combination of live entertainment with eateries and bars on or off the Broadwater, relax and laze places for viewing the beauty of the Gold Coast and the Hinterland, was a memorable and unique experience.
We dragged ourselves back to Melbourne. But that same week after my singing its praises to my sister Rita and brother-in-law, Arthur, the two of us planned up to Surfers to ascertain if there was more than just the glitter and glamor, and to suss (search out) if there were any viable businesses going that were appropriate to our expertise, and we found a few. When we returned home I put mine it up for sale for there were two reasons for that decision. The first was that I had been receiving treatment for arthritis that I attracted due to Melbourne’s extreme cold winters, with physiotherapy first at a hospital and then by a private physiotherapist. Part of my spinal column was becoming calcified because the treatment wasn’t improving the condition and the medication prescribed was only for temporary relief. My doctor who recommended a warmer climate couldn’t have been wiser, because while up in Surfers I didn’t suffer much of the arthritic pains, and we had falling in love with the place. Reg was very upset but also understanding. The difficult problem he envisaged was the designing. Foremen are a dime a dozen, and he knew that someone with my expertise wasn’t there for the asking. My health came first, and even my children who had branched out on their own weren’t taken into consideration. I explored the possibility that an advertisement with the qualifications required might attract the right applicant. There were many who didn’t foot the bill except for one. He was a new immigrant with a family, a draughtsman with designing skills and was familiar with bonus systems, and my son Chris, who was by then the leading hand but not with his expertise, showed him the ropes and steer him in the right direction. My farewell at the firm was a teary one with me included. I though had pulled up roots before and traveled half across the world, and we were only moving interstate. I had our furniture moved to Queensland and put into storage, bought a Volvo and drove up to the Gold Coast with my wife and youngest son Gregory.
My first venture was a takeaway shop in an industrial area. It started off as a five day, nine to five, food businesses, but in a year it became a monstrous seven day, six to six, exhausting no-time-out-for-ourselves business, and that was definitely not what we had come to the Gold Coast for. We sold it, and after that tiring experience for both Joan and me, we just kicked back and enjoyed the paradisaical Surfers Paradise. The rest of our children were slowly filtering up from Melbourne to Surfers because they missed the family togetherness, and we all moved into a five-bedroom home with all the mod-comes, a swimming pool and on the water canal. With all the night clubbing, house parties, beach parties, surfing, boating and fishing or just by soaking up the sun, we became typical Gold Coasters. Not wanting to get back immediately into the cutthroat business of manufacturing, my inclination was to get back into my grass roots of cabinet making and work again with hand tools. When applying for such a position, the manager of Transpack thought I was best suited for dispatching. Although still receiving tradesman’s wages my position was one of collating component parts off cutting lists that were correlated to on site built-in cabinets for high-rise buildings on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. My arthritis problems had by then reduced its severity due to the fantastic warm weather, and I felt as strong as an ox when lifting and packing heavy components such as doors and panels of built-in wardrobes. After a while though I felt myself robbed when watching other cabinetmakers constructing and assembling custom-built furniture, and it was time to move on.
By then all of the treatment and medication taken for my aches and pains had ceased, for the arthritis had disappeared and my calcified spinal column was no more. With the aid of the health giving sun and the assistance of my self-healing method of mind over matter, it had become non-existent. I had tried without success in Melbourne to adopt my strength of mind procedure to rid myself of that debilitating ailment; I though hadn’t taken into consideration the hopelessness of competing against the bone marrow coldness of Melbourne’s winters. Over the years I had no call for doctors or medication of any sort except for that instant. By just using a simple method of concentrating on any physical pain whether it was a headache, from a bruised bump, muscle cramping, stomach-aches or any mind indicated ailment it would diminish in its severity and then go away naturally. My mum had trouble with that in my youth, for like all mum’s she was always ready with painkillers, liniment, ointment and medicine, and would chide me for my pigheadedness when not accepting her thoughtful help. What also helped to assist the arrest of my arthritic condition was when coming across a gentleman in Surfers Paradise who practiced self-healing through meditation, and he on hearing of my aberrations as a child and its ongoing aspects, advised the supplement of his meditation methods to mine.
I couldn’t go back to my favourite serene places on Table Mountain, the pleasantly relaxing localities to unwind in at Liesbeeck River or my favourite at sea when sitting forehead on the anchor hatch with nothing but the horizon bisecting the clear blue sky and glass smooth ocean that the ship was running with, and the only sound was the wash of it against the bow. The tranquility found to implement his method of quite deep concentrated thought was just before daybreak as the peeping and then creeping convex flame-colored sun arose on the horizon in between an early morning cloudless blue sky which reflected on the undulating waves that completed its course and lapped my feet on Surfers Paradise Beach.
At Hawaiian Village Motel, Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise with Joan, Chris my bof-head son and his girlfriend Kerry.
Joan trying to play put-put in Surfers Paradise.
Joan on Surfers Paradise Beach contemplating to get her bathing suit wet or not.
My bathing beauty did it!
Wassup! Hey it’s the Spunk Hunk.
On the corner of Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise then.
On the corner of Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise now.