I was on duty as Supervisor one night at Sydneyradio. It was the end of
a night shift coming up to 7am almost shift change time and I had decided
to bring in a mask which I had picked up while I was in the Navy to show
It was an incredible mask. No one had ever seen anything like it and
it was so life like in appearance. It was of an old withered up man with
long grey hair balding on top, a wrinkled up face with big nose and a
sickly smirk of an expression on its face.
It really was horrible. The mask actually fitted over your head and
covered the whole of your face so that no one would know who you were
unless they knew what you were wearing.
This particular morning one of the operators who was on A-Bay working
ships on HF CW was sitting facing the entrance and shouted out, "Hey Paul,
Billy Brown has just nipped into the toilets. Go and surprise him with
your mask!" Billy Brown was my relief coming on shift.
I quickly put on the mask and headed straight for the toilets. I opened
the first door and checked in the mirror to see if the mask was on straight,
then I turned to open the second door which led into the actual toilet
area to jump out on Billy.
As I opened the door who should be standing there but Mr Clendinning
the Manager of Sydney Radio who had decided for some reason to come in
early that morning. Mr Clendinning nearly passed out and gave out an almighty
I nearly wet myself and ripped the mask off and ran back to the operating
area. As I looked around the room all the operators were rolling around
the floor in laughter.
Mr Clendinning raced into the room red faced and seething. The whole
place went silent, you could have heard a pin drop in the room. As Mr
Clendinning approached me he raised his voice and said "I'm surprised
at you Mr Thomas, what do you think this place is, a theatre restaurant"?
Paul Thomas, VIM
Back to Stories