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by Max Garroway

(Left to Right) Peter Hooker, Mike Wood, Vince Mee and Max Garroway.


Hudson VH-AGX was stationed at Devonport, Tasmania in February 1959. The weather was unsuitable for photo-survey as the required area in the South-West seemed to be permanently under cloud.

The crew were staying at the Mersey Hotel in East Devonport and there they learnt that a new service station was to be built just up the road and the builder was looking for a contractor to dig the holes for the underground fuel tanks. The crew thought that as there was no flying imminent, they could make a bob on the side and so they undertook to dig the holes. Unfortunately, they did not know that once the surface soil was lifted they would strike clay and then solid rock. After some days of hard yakka the going became well nigh impossible with hand tools so they chucked the job in and a new contractor with pneumatic drills etc took over the job. (He too found the going very hard and the job took much longer than anticipated). The builder was sympathetic and squared off by shouting quite a few beers. This exercise did us no harm and at least it kept us out of the pub. The downside was that we worked up a colossal thirst so the only real winner in this venture was the publican!!

Max Garroway


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