Yesterday Today | Robert Flynn’s memories of Moran and Cato

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Moran and Cato came to Bathurst in the mid-1930s and built their new premises next door to Coles who had opened a couple of years previously. This new business sold nothing over two shillings and sixpence (25 cents) or half a crown. Robert Flynn, commonly known as ‘Bob’ worked firstly in the Self Help Store in George Street after leaving school. Charlie Taylor asked him if he would like to work for Moran and Cato. “I decided to and was very excited about the prospect,” Bob recalled. He was employed to make the home deliveries on the store’s push bike. Moran and Cato did free home delivery in those days as did most stores. The store had a truck with Jack Cutler doing the bigger deliveries. Bob started work at Moran and Cato in 1938 or 1939 and worked there until entering the Australian Army as an infantryman where he served in such places as New Guinea. Bob’s military history will be in an article in the future. Upon Bob’s return in 1946 after World War 2 he continued his service with Moran and Cato. He recalled a number of the staff during his years which included Charles Taylor (a very capable gentleman who was a showcard and tickets writer, signwriter and window dresser.) Charles could turn his hand to anything and had started work in a local Bathurst corner shop. Other staff were Tom Carah, Harold Keefe, Jack Cutler (on deliveries), Jim Kelly, Pat Sutton, Leonie King, Moyna Hackney, Sheila Fox, Jim Hoolahan, Harry Sutton (on deliveries), Pat O’Brien, Peter Elliott, Jack Wilds (on deliveries), Tom English, Aub Glazebrook, Bob Flynn, Noel Smith (he also worked at Webb’s store) and Reg Yon (on deliveries). Bob found that some products were in short supply due to the war when he returned. “Rationing coupons were still in use and customers had to bring in their current coupons to be able to get certain things, especially tea and sugar are two he remembered,” he said. “Petrol was also still in short supply and rationed, that went on for several years. The store by now had a motorbike to get the customer’s grocery orders, we went from house to house. It was also used to make the grocery deliveries which were delivered regardless of the weather even if it was wet or very cold. “Even if I got sopping wet I still had to stay wet and remain till we finished about 5.30pm or a bit later. “Another of my jobs was to unpack the grocery lines, many of which arrived in wooden boxes. I also did the weighing out. We would start with say sugar on Monday and weigh it out till the shelf was full.” Moran and Cato got special business petrol ration tickets to run their truck after the war and because they were a business they received a larger ration of petrol. Moran and Cato had their own brands of groceries which they had packed for them. These products were a bit cheaper. Bob recalls their “Summergold” brand for such things like one pound tins of apricots, peaches, apples and raspberries, dark plum jam and marmalade. Other products Bob recalled were things like junket tablets, cut orange peel, macaroni and mustard, and there were others. Pat Sutton did the accounts at the store and dockets were written for these. They were either fortnightly accounts which were favoured by the railway workers especially or monthly. Customers were expected to pay them off promptly.

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