INK IN THE BLOOD – Doncaster Bowling Club

Bob Urquhart was recently invited to a presentation at the opening of “Ink in the Blood”, an exhibition which depicts the vivid life of Melbourne Newspapers. It is displayed at the Melbourne Town Hall. Andrew Stephenson, ex Age Reporter, made a brochure of what went on in the production of newspapers before computers took over. Producing newspapers involved many hands for production, and dealt in hot metal typesetting. Going to press involved 50 to 60 skilled people on the press floor. But with the introduction of computers, it only needed a handful of staff for production. Andrew Stephenson included articles on different sections of the newspaper industry. One was on the Newsboys, who were an integral part of the the distribution of newsprint. He completed an article on Bob Urquhart on his experiences as a Newsboy in the Melbourne CBD. Bob was introduced to Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, who stated to a group of prominent identities from the newspaper industry, that Bob had sold newspapers, outside, on the corner of the Melbourne Town Hall corner in the late 40’s.

Initially Bob was a tradesman in the printing industry, working in newspapers and commercial printing as a Hand Compositor and a Linotype operator setting up typesetting. He also was involved in Costing and Estimating, and  Production Control in the trade. When computers took over, Bob then worked for the  Victorian  Government in Human Services working with difficult teenagers.

Bob was also a member of the City Newsboys Club in Melbourne. When he had finished selling newspapers for the  day he would then make his way to the Newsboys Club. An evening meal of 3 courses was supplied for 3 pence (1 penny per course). Then it was off to activities in the club rooms, comprising woodwork, shoe repairing, basketball, wrestling, table tennis, swimming, etc. Bob eventually became a leader, coaching young people in wrestling, and his expertise  has produced  Olympic representatives. Bob is still a member of this institution which is now named “The Newsboys Foundation” who financially help and support disadvantage children.