SHIRE OF CORIO ORAL HISTORY
The following story is reproduced in this website with the kind permission of the Geelong Heritage Centre
whose reference for this story is GRS 1437.
NAME OF INTERVIEWEE Mr Morgan
Q. Where were you born and where did you go to school?
A. I was born up at the top end of Fyansford Road, which is now called Autumn Street. The house was on a corner opposite the Cement Works. I was born in 1921. I went to school in Manifold Heights; I also went to Fyansford School. Then I went to the Junior Tech for a short period. Then I started out as an apprentice in the motor trade.
Q. Who with?
A. With S.G. Winkler in Mercer Street. Later, after the war, he went up into Star Street. Also, I was a fitter and turner in the R.A.A.F. for 5 1/4 years.
Q. You weren't at International Harvester by any chance?
A. Air Craft Parts, yes. I was there for three months. Number One Air Craft Parts.
Q. Were you assembling "Fairey Battles"?
A. That's right.
Q. Did you have anything to do with any members of the Shire while you were there?
A. No, not while I was there. At one stage they must have been assembling some type of American Plane. I just forget what it was. Whether it was before the "Battles" I'm not sure.
(See George Park on this subject and John King).
I wasn't there that long, only three months.
Q. What were you doing?
A. Fitter and turner assembling all the bits around the place.
Q. How did you get to work then? That would have been during the war years?
A. Oh yes. I was in the R.A.A.F.
Q. So you were in the R.A.A.F. and you were put over there?
A. They had no barracks out there, so we lived on the site. They even had Anti Air Craft gun implacements in the odd spot. There were about three of them I think.
Q. Well they barricaded the runway off every night, apparently, as well. They had tractor-drawn barricades.
A. Yes, that's right.
Q. So you were there for three months, what did you do after that?
A. Well I went up to Laverton then and I got involved in the engine repair section. We were repairing and doing complete overhauls on "Merlin's" and also "Nelson's". I was there for three and a half years. The last six months of my time there were on the test stands and then I got posted up to 86th squadron, up at Townsville.
After the war, when I was discharged, Winkler, who I worked for, was still in the Navy. So I had no work to go back to. So, not knowing quite what was available I took a job with Australian National Airways, which is now Australian Airlines. I took a job with them in the engine repair section up in Essendon.
I was married by this time and my son had been born during the war years. I had to board up in Melbourne and come home on the week ends. I bought a motor bike to travel up there and back every weekend.
So I gave notice and came back to Geelong and I went into the Employment Centre, in Geelong. I hadn't been there before.
Q. Where was it?
A. It was in one of the Market Square buildings. Somewhere near where the clock is. Anyway I went in there and said I was looking for a job as a motor mechanic. And the girl doing the interviews said, “Are you A Grade?" and I said, “no, not yet.” I'd. just finished serving my time when I went into the R.A.A.F., I said I haven't had the experience or the time to study that. "Well,” she said, “they are only looking for A Grade Mechanics." So I just walked out.
Anyway, I was riding back past Johnston's Park and Winkler's, where I used to work, was being used by Green Star Passenger Service at that time and I just happened to see (when I worked for Winkler we used to do work for Green Star) one of the Lorimers who had known me, was there. So I rode over and he said, "Hi Billy, how long have you been out?" And I said, "about a month," and he said, "what are you doing?", and I said, "nothing, I'm looking for a job." He said, “can you start in the morning?"
So I was with them for twelve months and in the meantime my brother got out of the Navy and he was a tool maker come mechanic and he had been working in the garage up in Plume Street, doing work with Chisholm's over there at Mark Warrick's, doing trucks and looking after their trucks.