* a collection of stories and memories, in no particular order, from the life and times of John Clarke, who served as a policeman in the Australian Police Force, a great practical joker, he also had a great affinity with people and wildlife, was a champion swimmer, snooker player, loved golf, still loves fishing and is also an artist. I hope you enjoy his recollections - cheers, karin (his daughter)
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At Tottenham, Rex Wiseman, the local Central West Electricity bloke and I, had a business collecting reptiles, mostly goannas, and we used to sell them to a pet shop bloke called Sam Cleary, at Petersham. We would send them down in a big locked box on the train once a fortnight. I was called back home from golf one day by Sally, when all the googies (goannas) got out of their cage and were all running 'round the Police yard.
Rex and I took a load down by car once, and they all got out into the boot and up into the lining of the roof. We caught them all except one, and took them into the pet shop. Later, we caught the last one and sold it to a bloke at Kings Cross (we were staying with Sal's parents at the Fire Station there). This bloke was last seen going into the Pink Pussycat Night Club with the goanna. Years later, there were stories in the papers about this huge goanna living on the rooves of Kings Cross, dining on pigeons!
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We went on holiday and Rex and Maureen were looking after my tame blue bonnett parrot, which was on the ground in his yard in a small cage, when the dog across the road, a miniature fox terrier, was sniffing at the bird. Rex shot it with .22 rat shot (only supposed to sting - will kill rates) and shot the dog dead just as its owner was coming over to get it - quite a few ructions over that!