Bob’s birth­day bash

For­mer PT pa­per­boy re­turned home for 80th

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - By KACEE JOHN­STON

A pa­per­boy and Pas­toral Times em­ployee in his youth, for­mer lo­cal Bob Hud­son could not re­sist a trip to the PAS­TORAL TIMES on his re­turn home ear­lier this month.

He set aside the plan­ning for his 80th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions to pop into the of­fice, and see how things are run to­day.

Friends and fam­ily pulled out all stops to help Bob cel­e­brate his birth­day on De­cem­ber 18, a few days be­fore his ac­tual birth­day.

“The lass at the pub (Sports­man’s Arm Ho­tel Mo­tel) even printed a new menu that had ‘Bob’s 80th’ on it,’’ he shared proudly.

Bob, who was born on his grand­mother’s bed in Bal­ranald, had many sto­ries to tell from his 80 years so far.

He played foot­ball in De­niliquin for 10 years, coach­ing his team to the 1957 premier­ship with Jim Jen­nings.

Bob left school when he was 13 and be­gan de­liv­er­ing and sell­ing the PAS­TORAL TIMES in the streets.

It was his first job and he re­ceived 10 shillings a week for the ef­fort.

From 1950 to 1953 Bob left be­hind the pa­per­boy role and sought jobs in other ar­eas, but he was soon back in the pa­per game.

He re­turned to the PT where he was tasked with sort­ing pa­pers and other small jobs.

In 1954 Bob start­ing dab­bling in shear­ing be­fore go­ing on to work with his fa­ther, as a re­frig­er­a­tor me­chanic — one of the top 10 in Aus­tralia at the time.

‘‘That didn’t last long though, be­cause he didn’t pay me,’’ Bob said.

He also did some trans­port work, cart­ing around both race and rodeo horses in 1956.

While it meant he saw vast ar­eas of the coun­try, it was the next job which re­ally gave Bob the chance to travel and ex­plore.

He went on to be­come an em­ployee for Aus­tralia’s first in­te­grated na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice, Post Mas­ter Gen­eral (PMG).

As part of his ser­vice to PMG, Bob spent six years in Pa­pua New Guinea.

Part of his role there was to teach the lo­cals their job, in­clud­ing build­ing man­holes,

He also helped con­struct Pa­pua New Guinea’s first un­der­sea ca­ble, which was all done by hand.

‘‘They did have me­chan­ics and quicker ways to build it, but they didn’t want to put us boys out of a job,’’ he said.

‘‘They were good like that; re­ally looked af­ter us.’’

Pay­ment for their ef­forts was $4 a week, plus a home and food sup­plied.

When the government passed leg­is­la­tion to raise the pay to $11 a week, many of the lo­cal em­ploy­ees were let go.

In 1978, Bob de­cided to go out on his own and started a new ven­ture.

Op­er­at­ing out of Queens­land, he grows a na­tive South Amer­i­can plant called Til­land­sia from seed and dis­trib­utes plants and seeds to places in Aus­tralia, Amer­ica and the Nether­lands.

‘‘The species is slowly be­ing wiped out in South Amer­ica which is a shame as it’s such a beau­ti­ful plant,’’ Bob said.

‘‘I didn’t think it’d be such a good busi­ness but it’s been quite suc­cess­ful.’’

Even from Queens­land, Bob says he still tries to read his ‘lo­cal’ Pas­toral Times pa­per as of­ten as he can.

He said while in De­niliquin he was happy to be re­united with some of his old friends, in­clud­ing foot­ball team­mates, and fam­ily at his birth­day cel­e­bra­tions.

Bob Hud­son took time out of his birth­day bash cel­e­bra­tions to catch up on the lo­cal news.

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