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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:416
  • eBook ISBN:9781483524702

Warragamba Dam

Thank God There Were No Greenies

by Red Morgan

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What did it take to build the mighty Warragamba Dam? More than a mountain of concrete........gambling and fights and the ladies of the night, class distinction, rorts and wrangles, the infamous six o'clock swill, death danger, and hard yakka, dirt, floods, fire and sweat and hardships suffered by the pioneer work force and their families. This is one man's reminiscences of his experiences working at the Warragamba Dam construction site from 1946 to 1960. Recounting his experiences with colloquial vigour, Red Morgan entertains with innumerable anecdotes of great times and mateship had by a hard working, hard playing work force. Born into a poor working class family in Swansea, South Wales in 1925 and having spent most of his life in Australia, Red Morgan captures here the rough - and - tumble side of a vital episode in Australia history.


This book is a true story written in the true Australian language, warts and all. It is now January 1946 and World War ll is over and we had travelled halfway around the world to deliver a cargo of high - octane petrol to Sydney. With the war over, it allowed the Captain to pay me off ship so that I could have my injuries attended to, it also allowed me to see the sights of Sydney and get to understand the slang. My visit to Kings Cross was disappointing, too many Honky Tonks and shonky's. The pretty girls that caught my eye like the barmaid at the Edinburgh Castle in Pitt Street who gave me every second beer free because I was a Merchant Seaman. The two waitress' in the restaurant on William Street who gave me half price meals five nights a weeks and also invited me to stay at their unit in Bourke Street two nights a week all in the one bed. I was like a rabbit running from burrow to burrow! Taking a job on Garden Island Dry Dock with the M.W.S & D.B. (Sydney Water Board) the word on everyones lips was "Warragamba" a huge dam to be built on the Warragamba river fifty miles from Sydney. I had heard and dreamed about this country in my childhood days, I now knew I was in the land of milk and honey. Packing my bags I headed west to Warragamba. Turning my head to my left shoulder, I admit it had been a wild ride and if you want to keep sitting there and come along for the rest of the ride you are welcome to, thank you Lady Luck. The book now tells the story of the next fourteen years, it is not all technical, it's about the people, the hardships they had to suffer, the fights with the migrants, the bush fires and floods, the six o'clock swill, the ladies of the night, my marriage to a lovely lady and then the birth of our five children and my many exploits. You must read the book for a hell raising story....let the good times roll.....Red Morgan

About the author

Red Morgan was born into a poor working class family in Swansea, South Wales in 1925. His Father drank away most of the money he earned, leaving his Mother with barely enough money to feed and clothe their family of five - two girls and three boys - Red's younger brother being a cripple form infancy. World War ll was raging in Europe. Red was too young to be called up for the forces but old enough to be drafted into the coal mines which was the next call up. To avoid going down the mines Red, at fifteen, applied for a job with the Norwegian Merchant Marines. Looking so young, they asked Red to bring back a written authority from his Father allowing him to sail on their ships. Red wrote and forged his Fathers signature and got a job on one of the biggest tankers afloat at the time, carry high- octane petrol - one of the most dreaded ships to sail on during the war. During his years in the Merchant Marines he lost his Father, Mother, eldest brother and youngest brother. At wars end he paid off ship in Sydney and started his new life in Australia. Red worked on Australia's Warragamba Dam and still resides in the township of Warragamba.