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Today's quote:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"Where we are"

"Where we are" points to the island's Federal Hotel; my office was right next to it


I never sent this particular postcard but it was this exact same card I sent forty-three years ago -and more than forty-three times - to all my many friends to proudly tell them that I had found a new job and a new home on quaint and remote Thursday Island.

I found this card on the internet, and its inscription "where we are" points to the island's Federal Hotel. My arrow would've pointed to a little house in Douglas Street near the centre of the card where I lived after I had started work as accountant for the Island Industries Board.


My desk was right behind the window to the right of the 'B' in IIB
overlooking the beach and across the sea to Horn and Prince of Wales Island


I've always loved quaint and remote places. The trouble is, so do others. I had the misfortune to work under the dick-tatorship of a cranky old bugger, a former missionary-type who, having discovered the difference between a debit and a credit, passed himself off as an accountant to become manager of what was then the Island Industries Board. Both the archaic accounting "system" he had set up and he himself were due for retirement, but neither one was going to budge, so in the end I did.

As I wrote, I've always loved quaint and remote places - and there are few that are quainter and remoter than Thursday Island - and had it not been for my boss's reign of terror, I might well have stayed forever, as, according to 'Banjo' Paterson's "Thirsty Island", 'the heat, the thirst, the beer, and the Islanders may be trusted to do the rest.'



The chairman of the board (or should that be "the bored"?) gave me a reference of a sort. I flew south, albeit reluctantly, knowing that, professionally speaking, I would have signed my own death warrant had I stayed because Thursday Island was a dead-end whereas I went on to bigger and better jobs in the Solomon Islands (again!), Samoa, Malaysia, Australia, New Guinea (again and again!), Saudi Arabia, Greece ...

It was a case of Thursday Island versus the World, and the world won!

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