Known to many as ‘the Master’ when a surf boat sweep for Warriewood SLSC during the first years of this great club, Allan has travelled far further during his 80 years then many.

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At anytime we could always hear the shipping tooting and carrying on but on that particular night it was action packed.

A bloke flew over Sydney in his aeroplane and we had a searchlight battery just opposite where we lived down in Holmes street, there were three searchlights there, they were manned by the Women’s Army who we knew through spending all our time over there; so their lights were up and all over the sky, and other lights were up too, from the Bondi area and from Parramatta too somewhere, they were up everywhere. We could hear the ships moving, we could hear the guns going.

To me it was exciting because I was so young but not so to all the adults, they seemed to have a grip on how serious it was.


That was owned by a returned Air Force pilot, a wonderful bloke who became a great friend of all us apprentices, Arthur Tooley. just so I could travel around and wear a suit for a change.

I looked around and a job came up in a company called ‘Pyrotenax’ which were located in Grosvenor Street in the city at this stage.After two years they moved to Leichhardt and I worked there for six or seven years.I was selling electric cable for them – we had a territory- I worked the Northern Beaches area and also Newcastle – I used to go up there every six weeks. I had a new car given to me – always a Holden, I’m a Holden man – this was 1956.BOOM OF COASTAL GUNS WAKES THOUSANDS - LITTLE DAMAGE DONE; ONLY ONE PERSON INJURED . Thousands of people in eastern suburbs were aroused from their sleep by the scream of shells passing overhead and by the boom of coastal defence gunsopening fire.Sydney and Newcastle were shelled from the sea early this morning-probably by submarines. An air-raid alert was sounded shortly before 12.30 a.m. At least five shells fell in Sydney suburbs and others are believed to have fallen in the harbour. A "dud" shell tore through a block of flats in Manion Avenue, Woollahra, and one man was injured. The sound of the shells from the sea was heard in many suburbs, but it seemed loudest in Bondi, Bellevue Hill, Rose Bay, Bronte, Coogee, and Hornsby Technical High to the Intermediate stage – I then went to North Sydney and did my Leaving Certificate as Hornsby didn’t go that far.Hornsby wasn’t much of a school then – the teachers were all returned servicemen, all a bit damaged and not assimilating well back into life here, they weren’t too good to be around. At North Sydney I was studying for exams – that was serious stuff.