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A bunch of old fellas walk into a bar...

"WHAT happens at work, stays at work," jokes retired Ipswich Railway Trimmer Don Turner.

He was attending the Trimmers reunion at Banjo's Cafe yesterday reminiscing with Rodney Hogan about the good old days.

"I was his first and only apprentice in 1960," Hogan said of Turner.

"They never gave me another one," Turner joked. "I had nothing left to teach anybody."

Hogan was the only apprentice to go from the shop to the drawing office, he retired in 2000 as manager of the Ipswich Workshop.

"I did a good job," the master said of his apprentice.

Turner, 80 said the reunion was a great chance to have a chat and see some old mates.

Hogan said he was looking forward to catching up on old times and mates he hadn't seen for 12 months.

They'll tell a few jokes but wouldn't let the QT in on any instead saying "what happens at work stays at work".

 

Don Turner and Rod Hogan at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday.
Don Turner and Rod Hogan at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday. Rob Williams

Reunion organiser Lyle Barlow started the event eight years ago.

Barlow said he first started the get together after being told that the trimmers weren't welcome to join the carriage builders reunion.

Though he's not as picky and still invites the carriage builders to his event which is held the Tuesday after Melbourne Cup every year at Banjo's Cafe bar.

Barlow said the day was about sharing stories, having a drink and a meal and checking out who was still alive.

 

Tom Myles and Ray Freeman at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday.
Tom Myles and Ray Freeman at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday. Rob Williams

At it's peak the Ipswich Railway employed 60 trimmers, sadly each year they lose a few of the fellas.

Mr Barlow recalls that there were two prisoner's of war from the Second World War working as trimmers while he was there.

"They had both been captured by the Japanese at Singapore," he said.

"When I found out they were ex-prisoners of war I introduced them to one another."

 

Peter Roche,  Keith Woodford, and Geoff Petersen at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday.
Peter Roche, Keith Woodford, and Geoff Petersen at the QR trimmers reunion at Banjo's Bar on Tuesday. Rob Williams

Mr Barlow recalls one of the men had a copy of his memorial notice that was printed in the Queensland Times.

"He was on a Japanese boat that was torpedoed by an American submarine. He was picked up the next morning by a Japanese gun boat."

You can read the full story at The Workshops Rail Museum.

Mr Barlow was a trimmer until 1973 then he moved onto another job at the railways, after 47 years service they gave him a gold watch.



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