The Sweep Story.

On the last day of October 2020 was also the last day of a good friend and college, taken by mesothelioma.

It was not a plesent experience for the relatives and people who knew the journey but in the end it was a relief to those knowing the pain and discomfort of the patent.

A story we probably we have all heard before but is close to me and my wife.

Mick (Sweep) and I both are boilermakers, both worked the Evens Deakin shipyard, and both apprentices to that organisation and did the same work. I won’t go into the exposure to asbestos but it was extreme and we both did it without any knowledge of the consequences.

Mick got mesothelioma, I got asbestosis.

Why we were effected differently is in the hands of the medicos for explanation but it certainly makes you think how precious a day is.

But in retrospect we had a great apprenticeship. The best we felt, working and being taught by some true tradesman. No shortcuts, no inaccuracies, it was a culture where you were judged on your product you produced, be it a bracket, a stringer, or a shell plate. Each and every welding run you put down had to be as close to perfect as you can and that standard was adopted by about 98% of the lads and those who failed the mark were really did not last.

The benchmark was set by the Master.

Our Master was Slam Sullivan. No one knew his real first name. A mountain of a man with hands as big as frying pans that you were never silly enough to smart mouth.

That 2% I spoke about was weeded out and addressed often by a smack in the ear or if required a back hander to convince you to consider your attitude to the job.

Oh yes I can hear the cries of violence to the youth but it was mans trade then and you grew up or did not survive. No mummy’s boys, no crying to the big boss as you would be regarded as a wimp

Slam worked on the Story Bridge a time where accuracy was demanded and his experiences and standards were passed on and to his credit turend out tradesmen that were welcomed once knowing your shipyard training in other factories in any other facets of the boiler-making trade.

Mick stuck with the trade his whole life, I divested after about 10 years and went to PMG, Telecom, and Telstra, but did not escape the asbestos exposure as the pits and conduits.

Again though, part of our training was life experiences few experienced.

The years was a melting pot of cultures. Walking distance from Yungabah hostel the landing point of New Australians arriving and having a job almost immediately if you had experience in any part of the shipbuilding industry.

Every day was a learning experience, be it trade or life working alongside of people who were too learning about our culture and us theirs.

Yes the lingo was in todays terms racist and unacceptable but it was common language then yet those of us who really wanted to know how the rest of the world worked it was an open book, in a time in the late 60”s where everything was being challenged from culture, working conditions, life styles, music ,everything that represented authorities including governments.

Some great discussions, ideas and arguments and at time fights but looking back a great base for me that you could never experience in a class room or office job and we had it on tap.

This could be a sad story but I won’t allow it.

Although we both got some shit disease unknowingly we did have some experiences in our youth that would never pass the occupation health and safety standards today and both of us would probably be in jail if we did to each other what was did then.

Setting little traps with welders, tools ,electricity, acetylene and whatever we could invent to get a laugh or get square was all part of learning a trade and character building, and that experiences carry us through life and give us sometimes a different view of life few can accept at times.

To be honest it took years for Mick and me to realise we both worked at the yard as there was about 200 of us covering many trades so we played golf against each other misbehaved accordingly and as age does we did not recognise each other in that light until one afternoon the penny dropped when is saw Mick walk into the clubhouse dressed in his work gear and I said boilermaker, then it all fell into pace, the toolbox was opened and it we started swinging the 4 pound hammer of our youth, driving in the wedges and dogs of the past

He remains in my mind a true tradesman full stop. He stayed and practiced the game to the end and I hope he passed on his standards to his subordinates in trade but I’m pretty sure he passed them on family in another forms and they will live with them.

His legacy remains in many ways.

Thanks for the memories old mate and meet you at the lunch room for the game of 500 with the big school.

Slam No Trumps.

Australia is Not A Company thanks.

It seems the truce is over in the COVIDSafe debate and the ideology is returning as status quo.

As I have stated previously in hope that our politicians realise we are running a country not a company but now it seems the dollar will push the medical science and any science to the back seat where it’s been parked under this government.

When we will we stop following the Trump edict and put people first or when will the politicians stand up and say how many are they deaths are they prepared to accept as a fair trade off to appease lobbyists?

We all know how critical it is for our economy to start that’s not the debate but it’s the timing and the risk of a secondary wave, and after patting ourselves on the back just to be kicked backwards by the irresponsible self centred who really don’t care. We see how quick it moves to spread so it seems this government is putting all the eggs on a App to justify its decisions regardless if public opinion more than sceptical on its taupe and effectiveness.

Yes in a company you plan and enact risk management but as I’ve stated this situation is not a company which this government cannot come to terms with because fact is the people who will be exposed the most are the people are the ones on the coal face that we need to keep the place running or haven’t we learnt that yet either?

Wayne Offer

Do the Hard Yards early on Covid_19

As Aussie’s we all have a responsibility to be responsible and look after each other.

Yeah I thought that when I went to the polls and then greed and self interest reigned so can we trust ourselves in regards to containment of the covid_19?

That’s a question we all need to ask. I’ve sat and listened to people who think this situation is a hoax, I’ve seen it lambasted in cartoons on social media, and I’ve seen our leaders be more concerned about the economic consequences forgetting totally about a national approach across the board direction on a strategy to fight this plague.

It’s been one big duck shove from Federal to State on making decisions on what to do, leaving it to organisers or owners to make decisions and politicians are bouncing off the walls not wanting to loose some sort of political standing.

Don’t answer questions, or answer questions that were not asked so as to stick with the the days narrative.

This is not a game and we may have to be what the Chinese have done and force lockdowns as that strategy is being seen to have succeeded.

Secondly tell me anyone who believes America has prepared itself under Trump and why they should not be on the banned countries entering Australia?

They refused Trump that is to acknowledge its devastating potential until this week, months behind the curve and now its beyond control inside their borders and like Italy we need to act that is if our PM has our country at heart by not angering his political clone.

Yes I am in the target zone and I do have a stake in this, and it’s up to me and my friends to do the right thing by each other asks all of us, but if we do the hard yards early I reckon we will win sooner than later.

WAYNE Offer

Trust and Truth are Targets of the Skeptics.

Regardless of what the skeptics would have you believe our nation is is experiencing a apoplectic event never seen in this countries lifetime, that is ever since white mans presence.

For those of us that are exposed to social media we have seen photoshopped newspapers, photos, data that was impossible to collate at the time due to uninvented technology trotted out as fact designed to influence the unsuspecting public not attuned or caring to partake in public debate period.

It’s said Truth is the first casualty in any war or dispute, and might I add trust to that casualty list.

Taking away trust in areas such as science, medicine, technological gathered data is the task set by those who feel that information will have a monetary effect on their support base only not humanity as a whole.

We as a human race have advanced with the help of evolving technology, from the stone axe head to a iPhone some good some bad, but in laymen’s terms, we embraced the transitions although some chose to remain in the past.

Their choice, but trying to discredit fact via fabrication puts trust and all those who have dedicated their lives challenging theories, scientific outcomes, medical tests as part of proof testing before public release in a position of some sort of blame if the data doesn’t suit your ideology.

The simple fact is now we are experiencing the science we chose to ignore and are paying the price not only here but world wide.

Queens Park Ipswich visit Hits Home

The lead story in today’s paper has hit home even further with me personally after delivering some essential. products to Queens Park yesterday afternoon.

Like many we hear and read the efforts made by the support groups for the homeless but until you see it in real life does the size of the problem hit home.

Support groups like Rotary and Rosies were under the pump as people who you pass in day to day life in shopping centres, street cafes are in fact starving and relying on the vans arriving for just plain basic sustenances.

I’ve stated before that since my arrival in 83 I’ve never seen ipswich so poor. Yesterday confirmed that fact with trumps.

From first hand experiences I know people with disabilities, medical conditions, mental health are consigned to New Start and regarded as bludgers by people who display their total ignorance because the fail a Centrelink Algorithm or some other test set by the system this federal government lives by to protect its surplus.

Well I challenge those in this government to get out and get the aprons on and serve the homeless and underprivileged they are responsible keeping them on the streets.

Giving people the dignity of food and shelter should not be political debate, it’s a humanitarian responsibility that should be non negotiable.

Happy Holidays Scomo, enjoy your Christmas Dinner.

Climate Change Scares off the Autocrats

Born in 1950, I’ve seen how we have progressed from science, medically, industrially, socially, and seen how our standard of living progress at the speed of light.

I’ve been blessed having leaders the standard of Whitlam, Frazer, Killen, Daily, and many others not necessarily of my political beliefs but people with leadership qualities, so when I hear or read old men such as me run away from the hard questions the young or younger ask , then take up the autocratic pose when the hard truth are spoken it a attempt to bully, it goes against the standards we were taught in our youth. That’s what separates Australians from the rest,

So when I see the present so called political leaders refuse or run from answering questions on causes real life tragedies like the fires that are devastating our country, or other weather events totalling dodging the elephant (Climate) and highlighting on what they are doing for the “result”not the “cause” then and throw in a few biblical quotes for affect.

We’ve seen this strategy played out hundreds of times in America after a gun massacre and no one is allowed to question the cause at the time as they regard it disrespectful to the dead or injured and its duly forgotten till the next blood bath and the politicians cower down to the interest groups who give them their leather seats

Well this time it’s changed I reckon. The youth in this country will not be conned by the corrupt establishment any more, and nor will the media. Proactive instead of reactive action is the order not the request and if it’s too hard for those on office they will be removed as the ground rules have changed, and the more governments try to oppress or dismiss the bigger the push becomes.

Yes “the times they are a changing”as Dylan wrote and its the political parasites who have to move over and leave it to the real leaders who care about the people not conglomerates.

From Baby Boomer to the Social Elite?

For us early risers it was a pleasure to get up every morning and turn on the radio and get the world news on our much loved ABC and discuss how lucky we were not to be where the nastiest things were happening in the world.

Today I’m more hesitant to even turn on the radio or tv as daily reports of crime, death by guns, knives, gangs, abductions, domestic violence and child abuse, racial hatred pouring out of the electronics, and we have to ask ourselves why or what have we let our society get to this state in Australia.

After the election I’m in the category of the self interested/ money hoarding baby boomer who only cares about me and my immediate family and the franking credits. Me not I assure you, but obviously many are and the reason we got to where we are is we were fortunate to have governments that saw things like superannuation, health care, 9 day fortnight’s, annual leave loading, employment, pension, and many other perks today we take for granted.

Our society was based on helping up those who were less fortunate, ie. returned war service personnel, TPI’s, widowed women and families all of us in the same boat struggling to get their families a feed let alone a house or property, that come later with the housing commission, another social incentive to get us established.

We were blessed wen we look back, no money but things were simple and we made sure our kids got it easier.

Today we have a greedy society all about “ME”. And we look down on people who’s demographic we were. They now born into poverty have a really tough time getting out and crime becomes a choice, never or rarely thought of back then but for some the only salvation to survive.

Increasing jails, fines are fruitless until we can get the social injustices addressed if not everyone will be living in gated communities scared to take your kids to the park or beach.

This idea of this government of giving only the ones who “have a go” help and thinking the ones on New Start or no start will look after themselves or die is actually playing out in our streets daily.

Looking back we got it pretty right in the early part then we forgot from where we come and must ask ourselves where we got it so wrong, and my answer is when greed outweighed our social responsibility.

Fake Fibre Obsolete On Delivery

As a former employee of Telstra and well trained in the capabilities of what the fibre network is capable of from its inception I struggle with what Australians have been forced to accept with the present NBN.

The network being rolled out as we speak is obselete in its present form and its capacity deliberately limited by this government to retain and protect current media monopolies.

When introduced in its infancy traffic in the fibre tubes was limited, but as technology expanded the capacity is only governed by what is hung on the end, therefore not only businesses ,households, the elderly sent to nursing homes, the sick or injured could have equipment ( health packs as invisaged) available in home ,with direct access to doctors and nursing staff and mobile doctors 24/7 cutting costs across the entire health spectrum. This is only one sector that has been restricted by this governments decision to retain copper and deliver a split network, one for the masses and one for the clients that can reap the benefits if they are wealthy enough.

Communication was legislated as a essential service in this country until privatisation, so their is no reason to get excited when you get a pay for a service that could deliver much more for the same cost, and that equation applies nationally.

It’s like buying a brand new car with 3 good tires and a retread and a free bumper bar thrown in.

Editorial Cut Sees My Health references irrelevant

Invisible People with Invisible Disabilities with Invisible Support.

I wish to raise a subject on behalf of people beligned by our present society by the broad term of dole bludgers.

I agree some people use the system out of pure laziness often stretching back generations however there are some very desperate people caught up in broad perception projected by our politicians that are living a life in abject poverty and can do nothing to break out.

They are the physically disabled, the mentally ill, the ones that just can’t work and do not transition to a disability pension or are in transition or cannot get through the NDS mazes alone.

Support Services for these people has been cut or does not exist so they are left in their houses or rooms if they are fortunate enough struggling to pay rent, food and usually medication last.

Suicide rates among these people is high unfortunately but suits the government data on unemployment hence low on the priority list.

Luckily some medics are sympathetic to this group but the social stigma stays when they have to venture into main stream population to get medications not on the PBS and struggle to pay at the counter.

This issue is not about raising the New Start allowance, although that would help greatly it’s about defining the people who are invisible in the present system.

This issue is in the too hard basket for many politicians regardless of allegiance.

The real issue is getting classification, getting approved or rejected then getting them into care be it NDS or Disability options, not letting them slowly fade into natural attrition.

We are supposed to have a surplus if we listen to the spin so let’s give the least able bodied people some life saving support.

Time for a Life Rethink I think.

As I sit here listening to my wife laughing and talking at a garage sale next door selling crap we just don’t need at our age or we have grown out of the habit or been outdated I do reflect on why I am here this morning and not at my beloved golf course as I have done in various tracks like Rosewood’s and Laidley every Saturday morning for about 30 years.

Yep off to golf, home and review the day, it’s ups and downs my performance and others, what to improve and what to do to improve. All in a bid to lower my handicap and give me some sense of pride in my ability to compete at the highest level I can.

Today I am asking that question about weather I have outdated the lifestyle of golf and all its glory and if golf now should be a pastime instead of the lifestyle it has been for decades.

I look at myself as a sportsman. A fair and honest sportsman. A person who wants to perform at the game highest level on my ability, a person who played off single figures for a short time but mainly hung around 10-13 for decades and shook cages in both B and A grades.

Now as I age, 69 this year and a bit of a lung issue, I find myself drifting out and not enjoying the fact that age and health are slowing me down. I don’t enjoy coming home shagged for two days. I don’t enjoy not performing and knowing I can do better but ….. I have challenged myself with equipment that probably does not suit my age group but I love the personal challenge fo dealing with something tough on the competition field and winning in some way even if it’s only self esteem.

I cannot except the fact it’s fun to have more shots on holes than anyone else. It’s not fun to underperform and be rewarded for it by letting your handicap slide out. That’s not how I play now or ever.

Old mans game and old mans thinking is not what I enjoy and I know the game caters for the majority of people at all levels, it’s my standards, my personal standards I respect more.

Maybe that attitude has been in my blood since I first started playing sport in football competitions back at 10 years old and have carried that in my playing and coaching career, later my trade and business career and now my ageing career.

I guess I’m looking for a new challenge. I think.. I love sport, I love the people who play sport, I love my fellow club members and their company but with time on this place getting shorter by the day I feel it’s time for rethink for what I can challenge myself to.

I have considered re entering the Football Coaching field as a advisory, a caddy for some youngster, a manager for a sportsperson, just to name a few and as you are aware I love writing and politics, which I might add gets me into a bit of strife at the club some times but is talked under hands when I leave.

We have bought a new Subaru Forrester Sport, the most challenging vehicle I have ever driven, and that’s saying a bit as I have driven heavy vehicles, 4x4s, buses and some sporty Mercedes Benz, all with different personalities but this one is special. I reminds you you are the driver and your expected habits compared to your actual habits.

It will upset those who know it all but embarrassing them might just save their life if they choose to take notice. It’s all about choice and ego I suppose.

Any way this is not solving my issues but I am enjoying the off-road trips and visiting places where wildlife is a little more natural. Both of us enjoy that freedom of just stop and listening to the silence and song of nature, and change from living on a main road drag trip at times.

Anyway I’ll still keep playing golf and with this drought going on that too is a pain as tee up takes another level of skill away from my toolkit and I get no jollies from teeing up driver on fairways at all. It’s embarrassing to the integrity of the golf course and inflates faulted egos.

In my football career which extended in semi pro coaching , when you beat a player and he has time to get up and bite your legs it time to consider retiring, you’ve proved you point but the game is catching you up and you will be only remembered by your last game… and I don’t want to be remembered as a old man who played who manipulated a system.

It’s a pastime now nothing more and let the battle for honour boards begin.. without me.

Grumpy old fart aren’t I? And proud of it too. 🖕🖕🖕🖕

PS Hope the garage sale is going well, if not she will be as pissed Ruby the dog is looking over the fence at them….

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