Brief History of My Years in the Department

Bruce Lock

July 2007

I commenced work as office boy on 3rd May 1945 under the guidance of senior clerk Hugh Millard. I replaced Val Crowder who moved to the Agriculture Bureau Office. As office boy I shared a desk in the typist room with about ten typists who worked under Gertrude Sullivan the head typist. In those days the department occupied the first and ground floors of the old Education Building. As office boy I was required to clear the mail from box 901E at the GPO twice each day and ride my bike to the weather bureau on West Terrace at midday each day to get the latest weather report.

After about eighteen months as office boy I transferred to the Records section where records of dairy cows were compiled working under Bill McGee.

From there I moved to the Accounts Branch under Accountant Jim McDonald where I worked as an accounts clerk until 1952 when I was invited to understudy Vic Russell as officer in charge of the newly installed Powers Samas Punched Card System. I was immediately placed in charge of the ten or twelve punch operators and quickly learned to be a “hard task master”.

After two and a half year in the position, I was appointed to the position of officer in charge of the punched card installation in the motor vehicle department.

For several years while working in the accounts branch, I rode my bike from home to Greenhill Road to be time keeper for the fruit fly gangs starting at 7.30am each morning for which I was paid 1½ hours overtime.

My wife of 55 years was formerly Melva Gilbertson, a typist who started work in 1944 in the District War Agriculture Committee office located in Liverpool Building, Flinders Street. Melva transferred to the main typing office when that DWAC office closed and of course that’s where we met.

Melva was moved to the Stock Brands section and was eventually appointed Deputy Registrar of Brands under Lawrence Nelson.

In May 1952 prior to our wedding, Melva was required to resign as it was government policy at that time not to employ married women in the Public Service.

Below are some collected photos.

Photo supplied by Bruce Locker   Photo supplied by Bruce Locker

Photo supplied by Bruce Locker   Photo supplied by Bruce Locker

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Nov 2017
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