Me and the AAD by 'Pig Dog' Pete Stevenson

Me & the AAD by by 'Pig Dog' Pete Stevenson

G'day all - my turn to tell you a little about me and the AAD (Australian Antarctic Division).

I’m a builder from Brisbane but lately my preferred profession has been Grotty Yachty, usually found on the Coral Sea. It’s all good fun sailing up and down the east coast of Australia, but then I heard a radio segment about working in Antarctica. Thinking it was time to be useful again I did what I did 27 years ago and applied for a position as a carpenter. This time round, with a couple more decades of experience under my belt, they gave me a job on Macquarie Island.

I knew the job application process was going to be pretty involved and I figured with all the carry-on they must send you down here with some pretty good people. Well, I got that hunch right and here’s my opportunity to let you know what sort of characters you have to deal with.

I’m now known as “Pig Dog” thanks to a comms tech (junior) known as Lord Nelson of Peaches - an obsessive sort of chap that must have his morning peaches at the required temperature, must photograph the dart board if his dart goes in and gets a little antsy if you unplug the network router in the building we’re renovating.

Anyway, I’m not worried what they call me as long as it’s not “late for lunch”. Our field training officer is training us all in Dad Jokes, how do you think he’s doing?

I’ll leave the carpenters out. First off, we know they’re good blokes because most chippies are. Second, one of my offsiders Az gave you a good run down on us in his Station News on the 18th of August.

There's a couple of plant operators (they don’t run the hydroponics setup, that’s our doctor's passion) who operate excavators, telehandlers, tractors and the like. That’s if Middle Class Mike the mechanic has changed the filters and put fuel in them. One of the plant operators Walshy could comb your hair with a 14 tonne excavator, he likes things neat and tidy. But his offsider is the Station Safety fella and he doesn’t approve of using excavators for personal care.

Jords our chef might be responsible for improving me by 10kgs.

Well, we’re up to the licensed trades, precious little group they are.

Plumbers reckon they protect the health of the nation. Beads is a bit of a worrier (always playing with his worry beads). It's not his first trip to Macca so he knows where the pipes are buried. Dingo is always running up to the dam to thaw out the pipes and Freelance Fellini the Flame has reignited his Grade 9 passion for film.

Electricians are special, they usually have three colours of wire to figure out but sometimes five colours on the big jobs. There’s Honest McLaughlin (we think that’s one of those nicknames where a taller person might be called Shorty). Scotty the Shang is known for his darts prowess and he's been here before as well. They were both the backbone of our 76th ANARE champion darts team.

Apprentice of the year NC - supposedly our storeman and noisiest joker here, but always willing to help - can't decide if he wants to be a chippie or a sparky. The plumbers won't indenture him, they can't cope with the noise.

Then there’s our Welder - but we don’t see much of him as he’s usually down in his shed wearing his mask.

Oh I can’t leave out the ring leader - Have A Chat Hatton - trying to keep it all together under the Big Top we call Thunder Dome.

Best thing here is this group (and the ones I haven’t mentioned) of Good Buggers.

- 'Pig Dog' Pete Stevenson a.k.a. Steve Peterson - 2023 winter Chippy - 76th ANARE Macquarie Island.