Newspaper boy returns to his route
Arthur Marshall recalls life of adventures
AT AGE 78, Arthur Marshall has returned to his first job – a newspaper route.
The Gayndah resident said his first job at age eight was working for his father, who distributed Brisbane newspapers during the war.
“At 8.30am I was off to school and finished work at 7pm,” Mr Marshall said.
“At the American offices in Lennon’s Hotel, we’d deliver about 440 papers – one under each door.
“The paper was a tuppence. They would give you a shilling and say ‘keep the change’.
“I learnt it was part of the business to leave it in the till.”
As a boy, he experienced the generosity of American troops.
“I can remember one morning, one of the officers said, ‘Do you love candy?’
“I didn’t know what that was, but my father heard and said, ‘Of course he loves candy’.”
The memory of being loaded with chocolates led him to recall Victory Day.
“Some Americans asked, ‘Do you want a cone, boy?’”
As the young Arthur delighted in licking his double scoop of ice cream, his dad asked, “Where did you get that?”
The young boy assured him he had not taken money from the bank and his dad asked for a lick – but was interrupted by the American sailor saying, “Hey, give that boy back his cone!”
When the family moved to Lindum, newspapers were also delivered to about 500 Indonesian troops in training at nearby Fort Lytton, at the mouth of the Brisbane River.
At age 18 he left newspaper routes behind to become a jackaroo in Quilpie.
“They were the best two years of my life,” Mr Marshall said. “I loved being in country.” A year on the land at Limevale, near Texas, aged five had given him an early affinity for the land.
But life in the country took a different turn when he decided to “become a copper” and found himself working in Roma, where he met his wife.
A return to Brisbane led him to join a finance company for 18 months, before becoming a supervisor for a cleaning company.
With an ethos of “treat people like you want to be treated yourself”, he climbed the ranks to Brisbane branch manager and eventually to manager of the southern region – Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.
Since settling in Gayndah, the father of four has joined the Gayndah Art Gallery and Gayndah Heritage Railway Rail Trail committees.
“I’ve always loved art and have got a collection at home,” Mr Marshall said.
The first pieces in his art collection were acquired in France, where he met his daughter a year from the date she left Australia to travel.
“We went to a little place in France at one of the pubs where local artists’ works were displayed on the wall.”
He “got on famously” with a local artist, from whom he bought eight works, each featuring a little lighthouse.
As the artist had limited English, Mr Marshall never did learn the significance of the lighthouse.
He said the rail trail attracted his interest because of “its 107-year history in Gayndah”.
“It’s a memorial to the railway and what it did for this town and could be made a tourist attraction.”
Arthur Marshall They were the best two years of my life. I loved being in country.
READ ALL ABOUT IT: Gayndah resident Arthur Marshall has had a life of adventure, from newspaper routes to Quilpie jackaroo to keeping Australia clean.