A rendezvous with a canny Scotsman of fond memory

August 6, 2013 at 2:32 am (Commentary)

We shall call him Tommy, the name Mrs Walker knew him by many years ago.

It would have been in the very early seventies that Tommy, Mrs Walker and I were in the Rex Hotel in Kings Cross.

At one stage of our drinking session Tommy had the idea of taking Mrs Walker home and as he said “giving her a tickle”. But alas, Elaine as I recall her first name became so inebriated that we had to put her in a taxi with instructions to the driver to take her home.

My main dealings and memory of Tommy were in Angoram a small town on the Sepik River.

There he was into artefact buying and what a canny eye he had for a good piece. He would go upriver and elsewhere and as it were sweat on a piece until he got it.

He had many dealings with a German missionary where each would try to outwit each other in artefact buying and selling – it was all a bit of a game! On one occasion he got the better of the said missionary and scored a valuable pocket watch which he showed off with pride in the Angoram Club.

Tommy when I knew him was a man of reasonably advanced years, but from all reports he was still very fit and sexually active. It would be no exaggeration to say that on numerous occasions he would as it were cut off a slice with one of the local women. In fact he had a reputation of being a demon in the cot.

To the accusation that he may be a corrupting influence on the young women he’d associated with his reply was that they had been corrupted years before he’d got at them.

For those who were fortunate to know Tommy in the old days we would be unable to forget how well he read the Sydney property market. If we’d have taken his advice we’d have all ended up in the money “There’s a nice piece of property in Balmain.”

In appearance Tommy was a man of short to medium height with a bounce in his step, with a face and beard not unlike Ernest Hemingway.

Tommy’s end in Sydney was sad for those who knew him but fitting in many ways. The night before he died, probably of a massive heart attack, he’d spend with Jock McIntyre another Scotsman whom we all knew and liked, having a few drinks. He said goodbye to Jock and went home to his place in Cremorne and died in his sleep.

The aftermath of Tommy’s death was not all a bed of roses for he left his properties and all to his son Davey, and from all reports these were not put to good use.

At least at the judgement seat Tommy could say that he’d made a bob in life and passed it all onto his son. Perhaps that German missionary may have put in a good word for him with the Almighty!

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous said,

    Hardly a rendezvous with destiny or history!

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