Vegemite – Aroma and History in Port Melbourne to Preserve
In the early 1970s my father, the late Albert Edward Daley, a boilermaker, often walked across Murphy’s Reserve in Port Melbourne from our home in garden City to the Vegemite factory to work on the boilers.*
My brother John, who died just recently, worked for Hewlett Packard and travelled overseas for the company. Taking along with him his wife Wendy and four young children, he was away for nearly five years, setting up new branches in Germany, California and Singapore.
While overseas, they contacted us by phone to tell us they could not buy Vegemite in Mexico, so our dad bought tins of it from the factory to send to them, much to the delight of the children.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table writing letters to go inside the parcels; there was no internet or mobile phones in these times or places.
Listening to today’s stories of preserving the aroma still coming from the factory on Vegemite Way, we are reminded that one can often smell it as we alight from Westgate Bridge.
Going overseas in those days, to places so far away, was a big adventure. Our parents were a little horrified that they needed this adventure with such a young family, but in the years to come, as Hewlett Packard expanded into many countries around the globe, their travels took them to many parts of the world. Memories, memories and more memories.
* Postscript: In 1976 dad died from working on those boilers in factories around Port Melbourne, having contracted Mesothelioma from asbestos the boilers were lined with. The disease was in his body for some twenty to thirty years before it took the toll of a condition not able to be cured – and not a death one would wish on any family, or any enemy either, as most died within eighteen months.
It was fortunate I was a nurse at the time, so came home to help mum nurse him for the fourteen months after diagnosis until his death, here in the home he bought as a 26 year old single man in 1928 when he was an apprentice boilermaker.