Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Your Father’s Work History

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:

1)  Sunday, 19 June, is Father’s Day.  Let’s celebrate by writing a blog post about our father, or another significant male ancestor (e.g., a grandfather).


2)  What was your father’s occupation?  What jobs did he have throughout his life?  Do you know his work history?


3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post.


Here’s mine:

I am fortunate that I have a letter and a personal history written by my dad, Ivon Walter Whimpey, which contain details about his work history.

The following is an excerpt from a letter dad sent me back in 1992:

At 14 years I started work at H. G. Folletta & Co, a warehouse for Prestige hosiery & lingerie.  I was in the lingerie department.  After three years I went to Hendersons Springs, an engineering firm, hoping to do war work, but it was mostly civilian work.  When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour I enlisted in the Army.  A week later I would have been prevented from enlisting for I would have been deemed to be in a reserved occupation; needed for war production.  In the Army I spent most of my time at Alice Springs.  After the war I went back to Henderson Springs for a while, then went to work driving for Cyclone Scaffolding.  From there I learnt welding and went to welding gates for Cyclone.  From there to maintenance back at Scaffolding for 12 months.  When that department went to Fisherman’s Bend I left.  I worked at Excavations Pty Ltd at North Balwyn for 12 months and then to Jahco Welding Engineers for the rest of my working life.

From a letter sent from Ivon Whimpey to his daughter Lois Willis dated 14 March 1992

Jahco Welding was originally at Abbotsford, and then later at Bayswater.  One of jobs dad talked about was working on the boilers for Puffing Billy.

Mum and dad moved to Mitcham around 1958, before I was born, so for as long as I could remember dad had been working at Jahco Welding at Bayswater.  He was there for about 30 years, and he retired in December 1987.  I don’t remember ever visiting dad at work, although I remember dad showing me where it was once.  It was at 46 Malvern Street Bayswater.  You can still the name of the firm on the building, although it is now R & J Barr Sandblasting Co. P/L.

Dad’s occupation was listed as boilermaker on my birth certificate, and welder on the electoral rolls.  He was listed as an electric welder on my sister Lynda’s birth certificate in 1957.

Dad wrote a personal history in 2001, in which he provided a few more details about his work history:

                Jobs were hard to find when I left school.  Fortunatly [sic] my Aunty Dorry was a nurse maid to twins and the father of the twins was the Boss of the warehouse for Prestige Lingerie so she got me a job with his establishment.

            After three years with Prestige, the war being on, I obtained a job as a fitter and turner.  When the Japs bombed Pearl Harbour I enlisted in the army

Later, after writing about his 1st wife’s death in 1948, he wrote

                I was working at Cyclone in Abbotsford at the time.  Four and a half years later I married Jean and we went to live in Balwyn

And further on he wrote:

                But going back to my time at Cyclone.  I learnt to weld there.  After I left Cyclone I worked for a Boilermaker firm in Abbotsford and went to night school to get my Welding Certificate.  We made pressure vessels.  Pressure vessels are air tanks and their ilk.

                Our Abbotsford building became too small so the firm moved to Bayswater.  About that time I became a leading hand, shortly to be a joint forman [sic] and then in the last 14 years the single forman [sic].

And he also wrote:

                These days I fill in my time working in the garden and working in the Elderly Citizens Op shop sorting the clothing and the Lingerie.  I’ve come full circle. 

Above excerpts are from “My Journey” written by Ivon Whimpey in 2001

2 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – Your Father’s Work History

  1. You are so lucky to have had your dad describe his work experience in a letter. There are so many more details that only he could supply. I smiled when I read the part about one week later, he wouldn’t have been able to enlist in the army because of his occupation. My father-in-law was in the U.S.Army cavalry in the 1930s and tried and tried to re-enlist, but he wasn’t needed. Then the war started and they wouldn’t take him because he was an instrument repairman for Shell Oil Co.

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