Max the Builder – before and during the war, and post war plans
Dad signed up in 1930 and 1937 for the Militia (each time for 3 years). The Militia was similar to the present day Army Reserve. During these years his occupation was shown as clerk or salesman, but at the time of enlisting he was a ‘contractor’. From his letters, and from other comments such as that made in The Footsoldiers that he was ‘a builder from way back’, it is probably fair to assume he was a building contractor. We were certainly told as children that he had been a labourer on the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne during the Depression. This was most likely in 1928 and 29, the two years after he left school.
References to his building work before and during the war, and to his intentions post war are contained in the following posts (I will keep the list updated as the blog unfolds):
5th September 1940 : I’m sure I paid for the plan and although plans even when used remain the property of the architect I never anticipated any trouble there….. In the second matter, …… If I remember correctly I agreed to put a path two feet wide from the kitchen door to the laundry door but ….
14 October 1940: That house you mentioned in Courtney St is reasonably well built. Cook built it. It should be a good letting proposition…(Sounds like his father had asked his opinion re a possible investment property)
25 March 1941 : I had a letter from Mick Mason the other day. He said he’s been out to see you …. Both your letter and his say that building is booming in Hobart and that the paper works are very busy. I think I’ll be looking for something other than building when I get back….
22 May 1941 : extract from Diary entry of May 20 : Cleaned up pit – stacked ammo in corner – Walked to jetty – about 2 miles – and carried timber up – borrowed hammer, new nails from engineers – made two beds – put in shelf – much more convenient – roomier.
5th June 1941 : Building business must be booming at home and the local areas seem to be benefitting a lot. I’ve seen some wonderful ideas here (when I went AWL) and hope to use some of them when I get back.