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Brisbane Australia - Vale Cairncross Dock, 1943 - 2014


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#1 MartinTimothy

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 05:36 AM

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Brisbane, Abandoned Dry Dock.

Posted to Brisbane when I was in the Australian Army, one day in 1969 myself and a couple of other lads found our way to New Farm Park Ferry Terminal, a light motor tug was going by on the river towing an odd shaped industrial something or other that had in Big letters "Cairncross Dock" hereinafter CXD, I wondered what could it be .. I was to discover it was the Dry Dock gate called the "caison" being conveyed to South Brisbane Dock for service.


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Following discharge from the Army in 1972, I heard employment might be gained on the Brisbane Waterfront if I went to the Painters and Dockers Union rooms located at Kangaroo Point adjacent to the shipyard and "put my name down."


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I did that and secured a couple days employment at Peters Slip just down the road in Baildon Street Kangaroo Point, coincidentally on the Breaksea Spit lightship seen in the insert.

The slipway opened in 1873 I was working there in the 1973 Centenary Year, it closed down in 1987 after the owner committed suicide and his heirs sold the property for real estate .. the Slipway Supervisor sent me to the workshop where TB was working on his car and told me to ask him for the key to the store he had taken that morning.

He had a piece of plywood with a hole bored thru it and was fixing a piece of light metal around the hole, I asked what him what was he making and he told me he was gonna fix a vacuum cleaner hose to the metal, and that the other end went onto the exhaust pipe of his car, he gave me the key and I went back to work .. the next day when I went in the Super who was his bro in law told me he had suicided overnite.


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Federated Ironworkers' Association of Australia.

Work was still a bit patchy there so went to work as an Ironworker at Evans Deaken Ship Repair Facility adjacent to CXD where I made good money as a boilermaker's offsider on shift work, then I went to AUSN another Shipping Company located at CXD where I worked in the rigging gang and obtained a grounding in ship's rigging.

I kept at it for a couple years until 1974 I was still in touch with the P&D's Union and intermittently gained employment throughout that period as an "outsider" in union parlance an "outie," in which capacity I had to pay 20 cents a day union fees .. the union ppl told me the Evans Deaken Shipyard needed scaffolders.

That if I were to enroll at a beginner's course which were held fairly regularly at various TAFE locations in Brisbane, they would put me into the yard as a learner which would be the first step to full union membership, I did all that and went into the union while employed in the shipyard as a scaffolder in December that year.


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Engineers Australia.

Whatever anyone wants to say the Queensland Government then under the tutelage of Joh Bjelke Petersen put its best foot forward by financing the upgrade of the site which was completed in 1972 .. giving the union full range was not in the interests of anyone, insofar as compulsory union membership which gave thugs the right to come onto the job and demand you pay them money to go to work, was the death knell of industrial trade unionism.


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Advanced Deconstruction.

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Large File.

The drydock was opened in 1944 and closed in 1987, it reopened in 1995 before closing again in 2014 and being put up for sale in 2016.

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#2 Atossa

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 06:12 AM



" I was in the Australian Army, one day in 1969... "

Do you have a photo of yourself in uniform ??


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#3 MartinTimothy

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:30 AM

From the very start the concept of the union sending ppl to work off of the street and without any input from the employer was wide open to abuse, the tradition of having members with criminal records came about because due to the nature of dock work when the ship was in there would be a need for casual labor.

It is not glamorous work scraping barnacles off of the bottom of a barge fr instance and provides very limited opportunities for social advancement, you do however get paid and if it is a union job it is pretty good money, the bosses don't care who does it as long as it gets done and as soon as the barnacles are gone so is yr job.

So if you had just come out of jail and wanted to go to work all the union wanted was yr name and as long as you abided by union rules they would send you to work, it was the forerunner of Catalyst Style Contractor employment whereas instead of a labor contractor being the middle man, the union would locate ppl and send them to employers who needed them.

The Painters & Dockers employment roster was not meant to prevent employers having whoever they wanted on the job and hiring their own ppl as they saw fit .. union members had been murdered by standover men who had been infiltrated into the union since the 1950's, culminating in the brutal murder of Pat Shannon Secretary of the Victorian Branch with two civilians in 1973. Link.

The strife had spread to Brisbane by 1974 with the murder of John Wlodarczyc, and came to a head with the murders members Les Batkin and Ron Chapman within days of each other in 1987 .. by that time the Queensland Government had decided it was not in the business of keeping a ship repair facility that was losing money afloat and closed it down.

 

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MT in Vietnam, 1969.

 

Do you have a photo..


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#4 Atossa

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 12:54 AM


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MT in Vietnam, 1969.





Wow... you were in the Vietnam war in 1969 ?

Christmas 1969 [I was in high school] I sent a bunch of Christmas cards to troops in Vietnam [many Americans did that at the time.] One of of my cards reached a paratrooper and we became pen pals... but we never met.

Back then my aunt, uncle and cousins lived in Australia. My cousins grew up there including a cousin who was called my "twin" because we were both born on the same day [just hours apart] same town, same hospital, same doctor. My mother and my aunt even picked out the same baby name, David. We would have had the same first and last name! My mother said to wait maybe one of them would have a girl. My "twin" cousin is David. He lived in Australia for many years, then came back to the states to get his engineering PhD and is now a professor at UT.



Edited by Atossa, 10 October 2019 - 01:25 AM.

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