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A meeting of Secretaries - past and present

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with ex-ETU WA Branch Secretary Errol Smith. Along with ETU Ex-Assistant Secretary Jim Murie we visited Errol, 93 years young, in his aged care home and, to jog his memory, presented him with a copy of the first ETU report he wrote as Secretary in October 1970.

Jim also relayed the story that, as an apprentice in 1968, it was Errol who signed him up into the Union after he was sacked for complaining that the boss had underpaid him for the first year of his apprenticeship ($10 p/w instead of $12 p/w). A month after being sacked, Errol knocked on Jim’s door handing him his toolbox, $100 cash in owed-wages from his ex-boss and a phone number for a company to carry on his apprenticeship!

We owe a debt of gratitude to the likes of Errol who steered the Union in those days and it’s a timely reminder that those of us currently in leadership roles are custodians of our Union for future generations.

On behalf of all ETU WA past & present members we thank Errol for his lifelong trade Union values and wish him good health for his remaining days.

Peter Carter ETU WA State Secretary

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