Saturday, 6 December 1986

Pauls moves back to Katherine to work for Bruce

Towards the end of 1986 the Thomsens still hadn't gone buffalo catching and Paul had various jobs picking fruit and working with crocodiles.  Peterboy was still going to school but took Paul to Katherine to work for Bruce.  Peter and Brett had worked for Bruce previously in their school holidays.  They knew him through church.

Paul asked Bruce if he could have a job labouring with him and Bruce asked "can you stand on in the sun all day?".  Paul replied that he was sure he could so Bruce said he'd give him a go.  Pauls first job was shovelling dirt at a new road crossing for a week which nearly killed him with blisters!

Paul and Peter worked at Tindal for a couple of months until Peter went back home to go to school at Taminmin High.  At the time Brett was working with them on excavators and other machinery (Peter and Paul naturally always complained Brett had it easy whilst they sweated in the trenches!).

Paul and Peter moved in with Paul's mum and dad on Riverbank Drive until his parents went back to Darwin in around April the following year (although Peter left earlier to go back to school in Darwin).

Paul then moved in with Brett in a caravan at the back of Bruce and Jeannie's house.

Saturday, 17 May 1986

Gwenny and Graham's 18th

Dad Pattemore with the twins as babies
Gwenny and Graham celebrated their 18th birthday this year at Rob and Jessie's old house (which became the office for their business later).

Paul was living with his Uncle Peter and Aunty Wendy at this time and as they knew the Pattemores through church they attended the celebrations.  Paul had only just started living out there and didn't know many people - he recalls thinking that the girl was pretty cute!

Anyone got a photo of the event?

Saturday, 3 May 1986

Paul goes out to live with Uncle Pete

Being wooed by his cousin Peter about the glories of catching buffalo Paul left his job at Prouds in Casuarina.  He didn't think the job suited him anyway.  His mum was a bit worried that he was giving up a job with prospects of a career but in the end Paul certainly had no regrets.

He had a great time out at the Thomsens where he discovered his love for the bush and for his extended family there.  It was very valuable to spend some time with his Uncle Peter also as he was to pass away a few years later from cancer.  They got to know each other really well and Uncle Peter was like another father figure to Paul.

Paul didn't go catching buffalo this year as things didn't go as intended with Uncle Peter's plans for catching.  He ended up doing a couple of interesting jobs though.

Firstly he worked at the Panorama Mango farm at Middle Point for some nice old greek people.  It was called a mango farm but there was no mangoes when he was there he recalls.   He picked fruit like big queensland blue pumpkins (watch out for the sharp cut stem when catching them!), rock melons, egg plant, water melons, and acres of dreaded zuccinis!  He couldn't believe how quick zuccinis grew - the first job every morning was to walk along the rows of zuccinis as far as the eye could see and carefully pick them and put them in one of the plastic shopping bags he was carrying.  These were left full on the side of the row and picked up later.

He also worked at the Janamba Crocodile farm where he had all sorts of duties like skinning small crocodiles for hides, feeding very big crocodiles, mending fences etc.  He won a radio competition once for people to ring up with the worst job that they had when he told them how he'd have to bansaw maggoty chickens up for the croc meals.

During this time at the Thomsens Paul did a lot of hunting and stuff in the bush with his cousin Peter and others that he really enjoyed.

Monday, 3 February 1986

Gwenny starts University

At the start of 1986 Gwenny began her 4 year Bachelor of Teaching at the Northern Territory University (later Charles Darwin Uni).  She was 17 at the time and had completed her Matric (Year 12) at Darwin Highschool the year before.