Dad was the eldest son of Sidney and Ethel. They were ‘dirt poor’ and Dad would tell you how, from his earliest days, he would rather fish than anything else.
He described himself as a wild scrawny kid. He wagged school to fish, left school to fish and he changed schools half a dozen times. His Mum even sent him to St. Bernard’s Catholic School at Matraville hoping the nuns would straighten him out but fishing remained number one.
His Dad was an itinerant sign writer. When his Dad wasn't working my Dad managed to bring home a feed of oysters, cockles or leather jackets. He caught blackfish/ Luderick, the fish that became his favourite, at Bunberra Point near Bunnerong.
By 14 Dad had left school for good. By 15 he was sent away from home because of the depression to the north coast to go fishing as a paid job with his Uncle.
Fishing played a major role in Dad's life and when he married he supplemented his wage by selling fish on the beach at Bondi and to the Bondi Fish Shop. His beloved wife was a ‘fisherman’s widow’, she never complained. He lived and dreamt fishing, he made all his own rods, reels, sinkers and floats and had his name and photo in the newspapers because of it. He also used fishing as an excuse to go shagging…
They called Dad the "Pied Piper." No matter where he fished whether it was the Merk at Bondi where he built the first ladder down the cliff, on a break wall or the banks of the Georges River - when no-one else could catch any Dad would be reeling them in!
Despite his meagre beginnings Dad became a fitter and turner by trade and rose to become a cost investigator, costing weapons and missiles with the Department of Defence, a good provider and an extremely private man with unique esoteric beliefs.
Now he's gone fishing fishing again … Hoo Roo Dad!
Photo taken 1942 ... handsome devil!