January 1941 and Doug is off to RAAF Pearce for six weeks training. Just ground crew as poor vision rules Doug out of flying. Meets Doug Kevan from Norseman days. Station parades, gas masks and surviving in the tropics.
Doug’s cycling life starts in his early teens with the Malvern Star championships. Doug wins the Arrow Consistency Cup and gets his photo in local papers. In Coolgardie he races the Widgiemooltha-Coolgardie (75km). In Norseman it is the longer Norseman-Higginsville (129km). In Kalgoorlie as Secretary for the Eastern Goldfields Cycling Club helps organise the Menzies to Kalgoorlie. Many tales of Hubert Opperman, a later friend and political colleague of Doug’s. In later years Doug was patron of the League of WA Wheelmen from 1959-1976.
Doug tells us about the films and music he watched and listened to in the 1930s and 1940s and also of his favourite actress, Alice Fay, and singer, Bing Crosby.
Theatres of Perth such as Grand Theatre, Prince of Wales Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre, the Royal, Metropole Hotel, Piccadilly Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Plaza Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Embassy Ballroom, Regent Theatre (later the Metro). Suburban theatres such as Amusu Theatre and the Broadway in Vic Park, the State Theatre (later The Astor) in Mt Lawley, Rosemount in North Perth, Wests in Subiaco, New Oxford (now Luna) in Leederville and the Princess in Fremantle. In Norseman it was the Criterion Talkies.
Aged 15 Doug joins the Postmaster General’s Department as telegraph messenger. Many of the messenger boys would go on to prominent positions in the public service. Passes exam and made permanent. Moves departments including to Tax. Then sent to Coolgardie, to Norseman and finally Kalgoorlie until the War. After the war asked to move to Leonora which he refuses and quits.