From 1971 to 1976, Luise Borsje was the Secretary to TVW’s Chief Executive Officer Max Bostock, part of the production team and also involved in setting up the inaugural Xmas Pageant and Director Gerry Swift’s Assistant on “It’s Academic” with Jeff Newman.
Luise kindly emailed this story of a period of high productivity at TVW Channel Seven during the seventies.
When people talk about good old days, my time at TVW was the real thing. I loved going to work…there was always something new to create and working on lots of projects made each day different. We all “bogged” in when required like staying up the full 24 hours of Telethon helping out in whatever shift was required, working every weekend in the lead up to the Christmas Pageant, spending a weekend on the Swan River racing against Jeff Newman in a homemade “bathtub” in the Bathtub Derby…. and lots of other projects. We didn’t mind – we loved it. Reading the other secretaries’ comments about their memories of documents having to be “perfect” made me laugh – I can certainly remember that as well…..heaven forbid you presented a document with mistakes in it. It was so ingrained in us that even after all these years it still bothers me to see documents with mistakes.. (this rushed email excepted)
Luise Borsje in Jeff’s Bathtub when the Birdman Rally was combined with Offshore Power Boat Racing from Two Rocks
Jeff Newman and Luise head to head in the Bathtub Derby on the Swan River in May 1972
We all reminisce about Frank Moss with much fondness. My memory, along with several others, also goes back to us being marched up to Mr Moss’s office to kneel on the floor to have the height of our uniforms measured from the ground – certainly not part of any employment requirement these days!…..all harmless but we were shaking in our boots… And that was in the days of hot pants – but it would never do to have that much leg showing at TVW. We did try to add a few embellishments to change the monotony of the same thing every day, as Jeannette noted – it never worked…..Mr Moss’s footsteps could be heard coming up the rear to have a “talk”. I remember Jeannette Ashley and myself both having a few wigs which we alternated now and then just to give us a different look!
I think I gave poor Frank so much grief. In those days it was compulsory to be a union member and I don’t take lightly to things compulsory. Every time the union recruiter would come to the station I would run and hide in different places in the building and Frank would be pursuing me! He even sent girls into the toilet to find me. It got to be quite stressful for Frank as it happened so often with me running, followed closely behind by him pleading the union’s case. Anyway, the union gave up trying to chase me – sued me instead and I had to go to court!
I also remember the visit from the well endowed English personality “Alexandra the Great”…… she was a sight to behold…… actually defying gravity! and most of the male population were hanging around their doorways in that long corridor during her visit to the station. As they needed a male of impeccable standards to show her around the station, Syd Donovan was chosen from the multitude of volunteers!
Stuart Wagstaff with Alexandra The Great 48
Another time, I can remember we had a camel outside at the back near the workshop, being “interviewed” for a prospective job in the Xmas Pageant. Max & I were both trying to manoeuvre him into position – me at the front and Max (thank God) at the back. The camel was very grumpy that day, refusing to comply, and suddenly we both copped it —- poor Max – he certainly ended up the worst!
Those early days of working on the birth and subsequent years of the Christmas pageant were wonderful. What started out with just a few floats is now so huge and a part of Perth culture. We were such a small team back then. Then in about our 3rd year we had grown so much, we actually had a building in Baden Avenue, Osborne Park to accommodate all our floats and rehearse with the kids on them, making sure each and everyone had a seatbelt. We had dancing troupes everywhere…..it was such a fabulous opportunity for all the groups of young dancers in Perth to showcase their skills to such a large crowd once a year.
TVW secretaries Linda Brownrigg, Anne Pick, Louise Borsje, Jeannette Ashley, Lyndell Carter and Maureen Burgwyn
Editors note: The newspaper reported that these six mini-Santas added an extra touch of glamour to the 1972 Christmas Pageant through the streets of Perth.
As I type, more comes to mind, but as all good things must come to an end, I look forward to catching up in person with lots of the wonderful people I worked with…..a little scary really as we were all nearly 40 years younger!!!
Other Secretary stories…
Stories provided by TVW’s secretaries …
Jeannette Smith (nee Ashley) …
Lyndell Jobson (nee Carter) …
Hilary Everard …
Joy Campbell (nee Heweston) …