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Geoff Bales

great chats with Bob Fleiner
Geoff Bales caught the travel bug early in life, and he was always destined to ‘fly high.’

This is the story of a Mallee boy, born and bred in a small, isolated township in the far north west of Victoria. Geoff’s father was the local bank teller at Underbool, having married a Gippsland girl some 12 months prior - what a contrast in environment for her! Geoff first drew breath at the Murrayville Bush Nursing Hospital some 60kms to the west of Underbool, which at the time had no medical facilities. As he relates the story, he tells how he was driven home from hospital in the ‘dickie’ seat of an old Ford Tourer which belonged to the Underbool postmaster. His father was employed by the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Ltd, Australia’s second-oldest bank. In early 1943 his father was transferred to Kilmore. Geoff remembers the many hours he and his brother spent at the front fence of their Hume Highway home, watching the war traffic going to and from Puckapunyal Army Camp and beyond! He also vividly remembers the war in Europe ending on the 9th of May, (his mother’s birthday), and being blasted by the school principal for climbing the bell tower to celebrate the occasion. At the ripe old age of 10, Geoff and his younger brother John became successful entrepreneurs, working as cashiers for the local garage proprietor who had just taken delivery of a second-hand Tiger Moth.

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Mallee Living Histories

The Mallee’s Living Histories full editions are available for purchase from Princes Court Community Living Shop.