About Richard Baker
Richard Baker comes from a family established in the Meat Industry. He came to William Angliss in 1962 as an Apprentice Butcher working in Dandenong at Wilsons in Lonsdale Street. At that time there were eight butcher shops in Lonsdale Street and five more in the surrounding area. “All of us made a good living in Dandenong,” he remembered. Now Richard says, there are three Halal Butcher shops in the area and three supermarkets.
In those days if your father was a butcher you did not have to do an apprenticeship but Richard’s father thought it was a good idea for him to train elsewhere. Richard recalls:
It was good coming to William Angliss. I got to meet other apprentices to see what they were doing and learning. The trade was different then. Calves would come in with skins on and these had to be removed. Lambs came in with heads on and offal inside so the heads had to be removed and tongues removed and we had to take brains out and salt down hides.
After finishing his apprenticeship and his national service, Richard’s was encouraged by his father to apply for a job teaching at William Angliss. He remembers his first day:
I was taken to office and introduced to the other staff then I was taken to classroom and introduced to students (I was 27 at the time) and left there for the morning. I can’t remember exactly what I did but I think I talked about the trade. Then I went to Hawthorn Teachers College and did Train the Trainer and Dip Ed eventually!
Richard has been a very innovative teacher and personality in the meat trade. He was awarded a Churchill Scholarship and travelled to Europe where he studied different cuts of meat and muscle quality: matching muscles to cooking method and was a key person in changing from traditional pork cuts to the contemporary lean pork cuts we now use.
Richard believes that butchers always have a happy demeanour because they work such long hours and “being happy is instilled in them right from the start”.
Summary of the InterviewInterviewer: Jill Adams
Interviewee: Richard Baker
Recording Format: MP3
|Apprenticeship, work and student life at WAI
||William Angliss Institute (WAI); apprenticeship; Wilson’s Butcher; butcheries; abattoirs; Dromana; Warragul; Peninsula; Sandringham; Hampton; Dandenong; Lonsdale Street; Dandenong; butcher; halal; supermarkets; Apprenticeship Commission; calves; lambs; tongues; skins; offal; salt down hides; brains; meat; cut; mutton; window; market day; Window dressing; cashier; snitchzel; Dutchman; Kevin Hayden; Derek Hewitt; Benny Rumble; Small Goods; Wattle Park; mentor; army; national service; dicing; Gilly McLean; farmhouses; Gary Broom;
|Butchery at WAI
||Ron Aulich; Keith Stewart; Coffee Academy; canteen; kiosk; baking department; breadcrumbs; hairdressing school; Kevin Hayden; sausage rolls; potbelly stove heater; flue; arithmetic; Barell Scales; Decimal Currency; Benny Rumble; Harry Broom; 1954; Churchill Fellowship; QE2; France
|Teaching at WAI/Butchery Insights
||Ron Day; Fay Moore; 1972; Doug Wogie; Eddie Illingworth; Mel Berryman; The Age; Ray Way; Ben Rumble; Spring Street); Hawthorn Teachers College; Diploma of Education; 1992; South Melbourne; Retail Butcher Shop; Marinades; Stuffing Mix; Progressive Butchery; boning; rolling; seasoning; Pork industry; Canadian; Bendigo Pig Fair; loin; pork chops; four quarters; cutlets; spare ribs; costed; boneless cuts; rind; silverside; 1977; Department of Agriculture; Swyvo knives; Ian Lamb; New Zealand; University of Ontario; Britain; Denmark; Emu Meat; Venison; Camel; WA Department of Agriculture; Europe; 1988; 1990; stewing meat; tender palatable meat; BBQ; Chicken; Western Star Butter; Eggs; Christmas;
||Changing times at WAI
||Staffroom; morning tea; afternoon tea; soldiers; grocery; meat department; Batman Street; Meat Hall; Bobby Stafford; Tommy Tonks; sausages; Benny Rumble; Royal Melbourne Show; Colin Wilson; Wooden Blocks; smoke house; pit; smoulder; gas jet; demonstration room; smallgoods room; helmets; Andrew Ridder; Ridder Fresh; Paul & Steve Moss; Gus Ridder;
||More insights on Butchery
||Sorrento; Frankfurt; Strass; Spencer Street; Salted; tanned; The Age Building; Derrick Hewitt; Volkswagen; Angliss Restaurant; Top Cut;