SWOG­GER AND ME

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - CONTENTS - Mal­colm King West Lakes Shore

Mark Dapin’s col­umn (10/8/13) prompted this mem­ory – in 1963 when I was five I ran a small busi­ness at The Ris­ing Sun Ho­tel in Port Wake­field. I sold freshly cooked crabs for six pence each. Old Swog­ger would cook them on the back of the boat and I’d carry them up pip­ing hot in a hes­sian sack to the front bar. We’d catch 100 crabs a day and split the prof­its. Swog­ger had spent three years in a Ja­panese PoW camp. where “please” and “thank you” had been kicked out of him. I liked him. He had a dry sense of hu­mour. One day the lo­cal cop­per fined me three shillings be­cause I didn’t have a crab­bing li­cence. There was no such thing. I told Swog­ger and he just grunted, “those things hap­pen”. That night was a king tide. You had to make sure the boat wasn’t tied too tightly to the wharf, oth­er­wise it would be left dan­gling high and dry. Or worse. Next morn­ing we went down to find the po­lice­man’s boat had sunk. The painter had been too tight and as the tide fell, the weight of the boat had pulled the bow off. It was the cop­per’s pride and joy. “Those things hap­pen,” smiled Swog­ger. That’s all he said.

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