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Last of the Hand Binding Apprentices, a little History

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Ok, here it is, finally my first Blog, have I done this right? Walking out of Moorabbin Technical College in 1979 after completing year ten, a teacher waiting at the front gate handed me a piece of paper with an address on it, the teacher told me there is an Apprenticeship going in a factory just 250m away from where I lived in Bentleigh, a southern Suburb of Melbourne. It was a Bookbinding Apprenticeship, and in 1980 I was earning $98.00 per week, who would of thought I would be where I am now, still Hand Binding like I was when I was an Apprentice in the early 80's. After my Apprenticeship was completed I worked in the printing Industry till I found a job working for a Master Bookbinder who taught me many skills in restoring old books, at the same time I also worked part time in Melbourne CBD for a Jewellery show case business who custom made Jewellery shop window Displays, both these jobs gave me the experience needed to start my own Book Restoration and Custom Binding business.

It was not till I moved to Queensland and continued my Hand Binding experience working as a Foreman for another Hand Binding Business on Milton Road in Milton, right next to the XXXX Brewery Company, continuing with my working experiences I moved to the Gold Coast a year later and worked for a local printing company and on numerous visits to Brisbane I met a lovely young Preachers Daughter, her name was Levella and 18 months later we were married, we moved to Nerang on the Gold Coast and in my 3m x 3m shed in the Backyard started my own business called Absolute Bookbinding while still working full time in the printing industry, why the name Absolute Bookbinding? My thought was to get the top spot in Yellow Pages, in the Bookbinders section.

In 1994 we had a little Girl, and in the same year was offered a job in Victoria, wanting to move closer to my family we ended up eventually in Ballarat where my Father, who was a Green Keeper (looking after Bowling Greens for almost 40 years) originated, as my Great Great Grandfather was a Wood Cutter for the Gold Miners in the Ballarat Gold fields of the 1850’s, a number of my past family are buried in the Ballarat Historical Cemetery. In 1998 my son was born, he has mild Autism, the same year I found myself unemployed for the very first time in my working career, so I thought this was the perfect time to start my own business full time, I contacted Centrelink and they put me in touch with NEIS (New Enterprise Initiative Scheme) which is assistance in starting up new small businesses, after successfully completing this course it put me on the right path to grow my Unique Business, hence Ballarat Bookbinding and Specialist Printing was born, the specialist printing side of the whole business was that I had a passion for history I started collecting old Letterpress Printing machines.

Below, a current picture of the people I love, my wife and two children, oh, and our two dogs too.

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