666 ABC Canberra Mornings presenter, Alex Sloan, and museum historian, Dr Barry York, are sharing stories from the museum’s oral history collection during September. The latest theme from the collection is ‘bygone jobs’.
Jack Jenkins grew up in the Provisional Parliament House as a teenager as his father was Housekeeper of the building. A small flat in the south-western corner came with the job. Mr Jenkins describes the living conditions in the flat in the 1930s and the atmosphere in the Parliament House back then. And he recalls the roller skating!
Jack Jenkins audio transcript (MS Word)
Jack Jenkins was recorded for the Oral History Program by Ken Begg in 1996. The full interview can be listened to in the Australian Prime Ministers Centre. Please contact the Centre prior to your visit and quote the reference number OHI 11.
Meryl Hunter was a telephonist with the Canberra GPO and the Provisional Parliament House in the late 1940s. She recalls the “incredibly intense” nature of the work and provides an insight into the appreciation parliamentarians had for this vital job.
Meryl Hunter audio transcript (MS Word)
Meryl Hunter was recorded for the Oral History Program by Barry York in 2011. The full interview is not currently available online but can be listened to in the Australian Prime Ministers Centre. Please contact the Centre prior to your visit and quote the reference number OHI 214.
Beryl Hunt worked as a teleprinter operator for several newspapers in the Press Gallery in the 1960s. Teleprinters were replaced by the fax machine in the 1970s and then came personal computers and the Internet.
Beryl Hunt audio transcript (MS Word)
Beryl Hunt was recorded for the Oral History Program by Margaret Dempster in 2003. The full interview can be listened to in the Australian Prime Ministers Centre. Please contact the Centre prior to your visit and quote the reference number OHI 43.
Immortality at 300
Share your memories and experiences of Provisional Parliament House between 1927 and 1988 for your chance to become the 300th oral history recorded in the Museum of Australian Democracy collection.
The winner will receive four audio copies of the 300th oral history interview and a historian guided museum tour. The museum’s oral history collection currently features interviews with librarians, journalists, tradespeople, gardeners, parliamentary staffers, prime ministers, waitresses, stenographers and telephonists who reflect on their memories of Provisional Parliament House.
Terms and conditions apply and entries close 5pm, Friday 28 September 2012.
Share your memories at abc.net.au/canberra.