HARRY Whitehouse, 72, of Livingstone Road, Marrickville, yesterday said he was vigorous and healthy because he had drunk four pints of beer a day during the past 52 years.
Mr Whitehouse (pictured) retired on January 31 from the position of head bottler of Tooheys, Ltd., after working for the firm for 52 years. He said yesterday: “Every day I used to drink four pints of free beer during working hours— one pint at 10am, 12 o’clock, 3pm, and 5pm respectively. “Whenever I felt down in the dumps I looked at my watch and counted the minutes until the next pint would be due, to cheer me up.
“Drinking beer has done me a lot of good. “During the past 52 years I spent only 14 days ill in bed.”
Mr Whitehouse is proud of the fact that regular drinking hasn’t made him fat. He weighs only 10st 2lb. Besides beer, he drinks rum – “It’s a marvellous tonic”.
He was born in Albury, England, in 1875. At 12 he emigrated with his parents to Detroit, USA.
At 17 he joined his brother in Sydney, and became a house-painter at Marrickville. When the painting business became slack in 1894 he took a job at Tooheys’ brewery. At 33 he became head of the bottling department, and supervised bottle washing and filling. He said: “Back in 1908, when we used to wash bottles by hand, we sold 1500 dozen a week.
“Bottle-washing machines were in stalled in 1917. When I retired we sold 25,000 dozen bottles a week.”
Mr. Whitehouse prefers cham (round) bottles to the longer lager bottles.
“They’re easier to carry in your hip pocket,” he explained.
Mr Whitehouse met his wife at a brewers’ picnic in 1897.
“She lost the ladies’ footrace at the picnic, but won me,” he said.
“My wife doesn’t drink, but she approves of my drinking beer. All the same, she voted for 6 o’clock closing.”
– Sydney Daily Telegraph Sunday 11 May 1947.