The Story So Far...
Yes there is a beginning, it was back in 1938 at a now demolished Wynyard maternity hospital. Yep! Believe it or not I was actually brought into this world kicking and screaming, and haven't stopped since.
Now to the present day. The beginning of this journey started with Tasmania's Senator Brian Harradine [1975 - 1998], who became a particularly important figure in the Australian Senate between December 1994 and March 1996. At this time the makeup of the Senate meant that Senator Harradine's vote combined with that of Labor and the Australian Democrats was just enough to pass government legislation, making his support extremely valuable to either side of politics. To this end the Federal Government was able to establish legislation for the partial sell off of Telstra to the public arena. In 1999 Tasmania was to reap the benefit of one of those deals by way of the establishment of 64 Online Access Centres around the state, of which Burnie was but one.
It is here that the story of "The Old Goat" begins. In September 1999 being a semi retired person had been having difficulty finding something worthwhile to do to fill in my time, and being interested in computers, and inquisitive by nature, walked into the fledgling Burnie Online Access Centre and spoke to David McCormack who was the coordinator at that time, out of that discussion began a journey filled with humour, goodwill, and above all else satisfaction of having been able to assist others who had never before seen, let alone touched a computer.
Many of those still come to that Access Centre today. That humour is still a part of the Centre's culture to the point where registered users from other centres come to enjoy the company, and relaxed atmosphere that is the signature of the Burnie Online Access Centre. It is not, and never will, God forbid, be a place akin to a State library where silence is golden. I am now the longest serving volunteer with a number of others following closely behind me.
One of those is Janine Lillico the "lovely Lola Bunny" aka "Ma'am Wabbitt" or dependant on how this lady treats me, "Myxo Wabbitt". It was Janine who was responsible for my name due to the "stirring" that she received from me and being tongue lashed as a result. "You Old Goat!" It is the result of one of her pranks that this website came into existence.
Then there is the "Ex Pat" Kelvin who now calls Australia home. He is the conscience of the centre when needed. (and not all that often) Added to them we now have Damien "The Little Worry Wart" who is learning all the tricks a little too quickly. All have had in some way an influence on this website.
November 2004 saw the start of what was to become The Friday Aggravate. It was just a few pages of yarns and factual stories, as well as nonsense and images. A few months later, and realizing that it was becoming popular, it became the weekly edition called the "Friday Aggravate" circulated to now 78 recipients in all parts of the world either directly, or as forwarded copies. The multiplication factor is bewildering. It is known to go to the USA, Canada, Europe, and African countries as well as being widely read in Australia. These people will still receive direct issues till the website is fully established, or at least if requested to be direct emailed.
I must now explain why at least three of the pages have music files embedded on them.
Firstly this page, it started as a joke that misfired badly and became what it is in very short time. So why not add the Bee Gee's hit "I started a joke". It was the first thing that sprung to mind at the time.
Secondly the photographic journey to the "Homeland Tour". Now this reminded me of the film set of "South Pacific" and the song Bali Ha'i. The scenery on the day the photo's were taken, I commented that in some ways it reminded me of the internet images from the film. If there is one thing I do enjoy is a good musical stage show or film (see Inspire "Bali Ha'i").
And thirdly the third page to get a music file was "The local kid makes good" very much tongue in cheek this was. The emergence of a fantasy cruise ship line, and how it started out from nothing to a full blown luxury line and all that entailed. So Rod Stewart came to the rescue with his popular hit of the 1980's "Sailing".
Who said that I didn't have a warped sense of humour? You make an innocent statement and see what happens as a result. Now you have some idea of how this website began and will continue to develop.
Lastly, I express my sincere thanks to all others who have assisted along the way. Among them, David McCormack, Maureen Webberley, Nick Hey, and lastly Sonja Vaane, as centre coordinators. Of these Nick who has now returned from the UK to Sydney, Australia, and Sonja (Burnie) have now gained full time employment.
Ms. Sue Hodgetts has now taken over the reins as centre coordinator as of the 19th of February 2007, and I have her in his sights as well. I believe that Sue already realizes the inevitable.
Karissa Townsend ("Miss Kit-Kat") who undertook to manage this website, "Kitten" you are an angel in disguise.
To all the sixteen other volunteers who make life interesting, and those of you who forward stories that the rest read from week to week, my sincere thanks to you also.
"The Old Goat", yep that's me. Thank you for all your help and support along the way, it is a fun trip along a long and winding road.
John "The Old Goat."
"With out your imagination,
You will never make the world laugh."