Thursday, October 1, 2009


Willie was 2 I.C. at the wholesalers. He was very efficient in the sense that he fussed about organising things all the time. Bruce of course was his boss but he thought that Bruce was too indulgent with the students particularly Richard. He tolerated Richard but didn't really like his humour. He suspected that Richard was behind the graffiti and the smashed ink marker pens (these left an interesting pattern when thrown at the concrete walls and ceiling in the warehouse. They smashed to smithereens because they were made of glass).Willie was very much interested in wine. While Bruce encouraged everyone to take a free bottle home each Saturday and try it to gain experience, he didn't seem to mind what was taken. Willie knew that the students would go straight for the Chateau bottled stuff. Willie 'encouraged' us to take 'interesting' new New Zealand wines. These were invariably made from Baco 22A (white) and Baco 1A (red). Think Bakano, Cresta Dore, 'Hocks', 'Moselles', 'Clarets', and 'Burgundies'.We of course would do so but when Willie wasn't watching switch for a Chateau bottled wine.
Willie went on to run his own wine distribution business and ultimately to realise his dream and own a vineyard and wine brand. I liked Willie and got on well with him (he obviously didn't suspect me of smashing the marker pens). I saw him at his vineyard shortly before he died.


Anonymous said...

Didn't know that Willie had passed on. God bless him.
I do remember Willie best for a story he told of being invited indoors one time he did a delivery, maybe Richard was sick, to a house and an elderly naked lady invited him in! It never happened to me!


Richard (of RBB) said...

Willie, Richie... do you get the connection?
Willie's wife liked to change names to the 'ie' form. There, that's something you didn't know.

Anonymous said...

In the early days Allan was no 2 and Willie was a part time worker who also owned a dairy, not far from the zoo.
Willie went out in the truck, like others did too.
Richard (of RBB)

Anonymous said...

Roger Brown and Les were the first student workers at Murray Roberts, followed by Danny Cotteral who got me a job when he left.
Richard (of RBB)

THE WINE GUY said...


This is true. The above is the word verification!

I'd forgotten about Dan 'the man' Cotteral. He is in China now running a language school.