Saturday, June 24, 2006
This column appeared yesterday in the Redland Times, which serves a lively community on Moreton Bay at the front door of Australia's rising economic star, south-east Queensland.
Stan Thorogood, of Ormiston, is keen to clinch a sale through our Free Winter Classifieds Clearance.
Stan, who turns 86 this month, is a devotee of local papers.
He has spent his life hungrily devouring every detail from any printed material.
We certainly want to clinch sales for loyal readers like Mr Thorogood.
"It's terribly important to get information," he says.
"I have been around the world and to lots of places.
"I am interested in what's going on and what people are thinking. I am interested in the readers' letters and the police reports."
Mr Thorogood's free ad offered jarrah bench seats at $25 each.
The seats, which are oiled and in pristine condition, came with a setting but the vendor needs only the table.
The small seats perhaps would suit a balcony, he says.
Mr Thorogood brought his love of information when he migrated to Australia in 1956.
He had started work as a sea cargo officer with P&O but, before the war, joined Imperial Airways at Croydon Airport.
During World War Two, he served with the Army Service Corps in the Middle East, Greece, Italy, Belgium and Germany, rising to corporal.
He then returned to cargo administration with British Airways and took charge of export cargo at London Airport.
He is still bitter his cargo management expertise did not find a better use with Qantas in Australia.
"I ended up as a passenger reservations control adviser," he says.
"Before the big computer systems, all the organisation was done manually.
"We were extracting information from five-letter signals over the phone system. That's why it was called the salt mine."
Mr Thorogood "retired officially" in 1980.
All of which is many years from those jarrah bench seats.
"I have moved nine times in 25 years in New South Wales and Queensland but hopefully I have settled down now," he says.