Shay Gap, the Saga continues


Days, date and time meant precious little to me at Shay Gap, I was open seven days a week 52 weeks of the year; the only days the ‘Wet’ didn’t open were Christmas Day and Good Friday, so if I get things out of sequence it really isn’t of any great moment. I was entitled to 7 days off, with free return air fare to Perth, every 3 months.

I took this only once, the second day back in Perth, I was bored to death, and couldn’t get back up to the Pilbara quick enough. In Perth I knew nobody; I’d lost contact with all my old chums,  male and female, and with limited time I couldn’t be bothered trying to make contact ‘for old time’s sake’ . I missed my ‘Wet’ and I missed my boys, it hadn’t taken long for me to think of all the men, as my boys.

It must have been about 4-5 weeks after I took over I was getting ready to open for my morning session, and my morning casual, that day arrived all excited, “What’s up with you”  says me ” we’re going on strike” says he, ( I’ll have to get out of this says me says he business)! “Hello, Hello!” thinks me; strike.

There hadn’t been a strike since I’d been in Shay, although I’d heard that they used to be frequent, and sometimes long. This was no good for me, and my ‘Wet’, if the strike dragged on, then the men drifted into ‘Hedland’, if they had money to spare/waste, and if they didn’t, they couldn’t afford to drink, and I didn’t like that idea one bit.

I must apologize here; back then I was a right wing, conservative/liberal party man, and had not seen the light. God was Bob Menzies, I hang my head in shame!

“What are they going on strike for?” says me “The water cart” says he, it seems that there was a water cart going around, and around, the mine site damping down the dust, and sand, pretty well every minute, of every shift, and the mine management wanted to stop it, except when the dust/sand was really bad; or some such nonsense.

Anyway I thought this was a ridiculous reason for going on strike, so I said to my casual “right I’ll go out too, I’ll close up shop and join the strike, can’t have the management standing over us like this” or words to that effect. He said something like ” What you’ll close up? Won’t open?”

“Too right, I’m with you blokes if they want to fight, I’ll close up shop, and stop and stand with you blokes” “No way I’ll let them treat my boys like this!”; ” Damn their takings and profit, if my boys have to suffer, then so can they”!

With this, my bloke asked if it was okay to go off, and let the men know that I was with them, and what I intended to do; and I told him to get moving quick smart.

He must have been gone best part of an hour, when he got back, he told me that the strike had been called off, there was never a strike my entire time at Shay Gap, and I sometimes wonder if it was because I swore I’d go out and join the men in sympathy; or not.

I never did tell my casuals that I could not close up shop, and go on strike with them. I’d have been breaking the law, our licence required the “Wet”  to open, whether I liked it or not, and not only that, Poone Bros had nothing whatsoever to do with Goldsworthy Mining, and whatever Goldsworthy wanted to do, was their business; but they were convinced that if and when they went on strike, I’d be standing up right there with them.

12 thoughts on “Shay Gap, the Saga continues

  1. Jimmy Hoffa had nothing on you LOL
    Love ya

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we all know what happened to him don’t we Lisa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on LordBeariOfBow and commented:

    Not sure that I like Lisa’s comment on this one 😀


  3. Power to the People!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Did you possess subtlety in those days, MeLud?


    1. I don’t know the meaning of the word, let alone how to spell it, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You made the right move, whether you meant to or not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so at the time GP, I think I’d still do the same thing now socialist that I am! 😈


  6. This was an exciting chapter to me!
    Way to go AND Right on!!! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So it’s alright for me to lie to those poor blokes is it? 👿 🐻 i 😈 Just so that my business wouldn’t suffer? For shame ! 😛 😀
      I think Lisa’s comment; (that’s my Loyal Lisa,) from 3rd Dec 2013,that’s the first one right at the top, was spot on,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HA! Her comment IS great! 😀 😈 :mrgreen:
        And YOUR comment back to hers made me snort-laugh! 😮 😀


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