My life has never been sheltered when it comes to the in’s and out’s of meat.
From as far back as I can remember my parents have been involved in the meat industry
When I was of a very young age my step dad met my mother and the story of my introduction to meat began. My step dad was and still is a butcher by trade, along with his, Grandfather, Father and Brother, his grand father was the founder of the slaughterhouse in Canberra, Australia. By the time I was five my whole family and extended family, Mum, Dad, Sister and all my brothers, a grand total of seven, were all involed in the Canberra slaughter house.
Mum owned the canteen supplying all the meat workers with lunches with my Sister alongside. Dad was grading beef, two step Brothers working on the slaughter floor and my brother working in the boning hall. This made my family the ‘Mafia’ of Canberra Slaughter house.
Most of my school holidays where spent walking every inch of the slaughter house, not the average five to thirteen years olds school holidays.
There were however benefits for a young boy, if a ewe lambed in the holding yard, they were mine to take home as pets, to raise in the backyard. At any one time we would have up to eight young lambs leaping around the yard. Made for a busy school lunch break when I had to come home and feed them.
By the time I was fifteen we had moved to a small but beautiful coastal town, Nambucca Heads, here my Dad returned to his past with his own retail butchers. A very husband and wife operation, with a little help from me making sausages, minced meats and cleaning.
Straight after leaving school I had no interest in butchery at all. The thought of long hours, little pay, hard work and a distinct lack of “chick” pulling power put me off. My challenge was getting to the beach every day to surf. After a fun year of being very poor, it dawned on me that I needed money to do the things that I wanted, and get the girls. So I returned to Canberra to follow in the family traditition of working in the slaughter house. I worked work in the slaughter house packing meat for a year before it was bought out and closed its doors for the final time