Chesty Bond – who were the men that created the ‘birth’ of this super-man!

Meet the men who made this possible.

FRANK MORRIS

Chesty Bond is seventy-five years old.

To gaze at him you would swear blind he doesn’t look a day over 30. The square-jawed icon, with his thatch of blond hair, rippling muscles and chiselled chin, had the enterprise of Atlas who had just lifted the world and carried it on his massive shoulders.

The two men responsible for this human dynamo were Ted Maloney, who worked at the ad agency J. Walter Thompson, and Syd Miller, who was one of Australia’s finest commercial artists.

Maloney achieved a lot of success in the advertising business. In his spare time, he was one of Australia’s best-known cooking experts. He received his share of fame as co-author of the cookery book Oh For A French Wife which was published in 1952. The book was a classic soon after its release.

He wrote several other cookery books as well as regular columns on wine and food for newspapers. The other half of the combination was Syd Miller, contributor to some of the leading publications in Australia.

Miller knew of Maloney from way back. The both were acquainted with each other when they worked in the advertising department of Smith’s Weekly. In 1938, when Miller was freelancing he met Maloney, who was now employed at J. Walter Thompson.

To his surprise, Maloney was working on the million pound Bonds account and, after much palaver, Maloney and Miller “were together again.”

Chesty Bond was created by Miller and Maloney and made his debut in the comic section of the Sun newspaper on August 10, 1938. This was Maloney’s dream, to have the newly-charged image character up against the best.

Chesty appeared five times a week and was the first advertising strip of its kind in the world.

But let’s go back to when it all stated.

“Popeye had inspired the idea for Chesty,” recalled Maloney. “Popeye had his spinach so Chesty got his strength from Bond’s singlets.”

Miller had to forego the history adventures series where Bond’s athletic singlets were being used in ‘historical’ situations. The ‘comic strip’ idea seems to hit the nail on the head. He started scribbling immediately to create a strip that would be successful.

“The true Chesty Bond was strong man, not your lumpy weight-lifting type,” Miller said. “He was kind, likeable and good-looking but he was not a male model. He was definitely Australian but acceptable everywhere. He was the heroic straight man.”

Chesty would be an Australian strong-man. Better still, he was made to feel transcendingly powerful whenever he wore his Bonds singlet. Miller scribbled a few heads and then one with a jaw. Chesty’s eyes changed to slits when he was facing danger.

The official Chesty Bond was born.

“During the war, Chesty battled with Hitler, Hirohito, enemy submarines, planes, spies and ships,” Miller said. “He also gave Bonds cotton cut-offs to ambulances, hospitals and volunteer defence forces.”

A prominent retail executive said “Chesty has widespread appeal right across the community. He is well loved. He represents more than just the blond bronzed Aussie. I think he appeals to all Australians, no matter what race or creed.”

Over the years, he went from tabloid cartoon to real-life TV star.

That’s Chesty Bond. And that’s all there to it.

THE TELEPHONE’S LINKED WITH HISTORY …

1912: An automatic wall phone with bell set. Despite the closeness of World War 1 in Europe, one single event dominated the news: the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic. It was the largest ship afloat in the world. After brushing an iceberg in the North Atlantic, late in the evening on April 14, the Titanic sank with the loss of more than 1500 lives. The first automatic telephone exchange was installed at Geelong, Victoria. Walter Burley Griffin, the high-flying American architect, won first prize in a competition to design Australia’s capital city. Construction of the East-West Trans-continental railway began. Swimmer Fanny Durack defeated another Aussie Mina Wylie to become the first Australian woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Stockholm.

New Series: Australian Champs -- Super kid Nat was a champ!

Adapted by Frank Morris                                                    

Robert “Nat” Young’s first major victory, and one of his proudest moments, was in the 1963 Australian Open Surfing Championship.

When the points score was tallied and Nat announced the winner, the legendary Duke Kahanomoku stepped forward and presented Nat with the trophy. For Nat, this was the starting point to a brilliant surfing career.

This was highlighted by his runaway win in the 1966 World Championship at Ocean Beach, San Diego. He won the Australian Championship that year and again in 1967 and 1969.

A strong and intense competitor, Nat maintained his place in the top bracket of world surfing for many years, playing an influential role in establishing Australia as a top surfing nation.

One of his most gratifying achievements was his headline-making success in the 1972 Smirnoff Professional Championship at Makaha Point. After he retired from international surfing, Nat retained his interest in the sport.

He went on to produce some of the most popular and watched surfing films shown in Australia and overseas in a long time.

[Frank Morris used his own material, in addition to the booklet, Hall of Champions, Sport House, Sydney.]

Men’s Shed: Are you missing a yarn with the lads or do want to use your skills!

Some are content to use the traditional Men’s Shed to continue their hobby and learn new skills or pop in for a cuppa and a chat.

FRANK MORRIS

The bloke who came up with the idea of a ‘men’s shed’ should come and have a drink with the tens of thousands of lads throughout Australia who have also reaped some benefits.

The Men’s Shed, is a collective, everywhere, in every nook and cranny of the nation. The role of the Men’s Shed is to play an important part in providing men with a unique meeting place for men to “stay connected” within the community.

“You find that a lot of men retire and they are at a loose end and that’s something that leads to depression,” says a coordinator. “A lot of wives encourage the men to join up. They say it’s a godsend.

“For others, that are alone, it’s a great way to get out of their abode and keep busy.”
It’s vital that a man’s physical and mental wellbeing is being taken care of. “As a consequence, some are looking to spend time in a constructive environment or simply share time with other men who have similar interests,” says News for Seniors.

“A major issue for many men is they don’t take an active interest in their own health and wellbeing. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, men make fewer GP visits that women. Only 40 per cent discuss health issues with professionals and 16 per cent don’t use any medical services at all.
“Men’s Sheds often play a significant role in reducing these problems … by connecting the men with health professionals.

“Most sheds also undertake community work and so there’s an opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and be a positive contributor to the cause.”

Take Bill and Carol (not their real names) for instance. They move intrastate to a small country town and were living quite happily. One day, Bill, who was retired, was deep in conversation at the local pub with several guys about his own age; and then one of them mentioned a place he was reading about called “a men’s shed.”

He went on to say that “this place” is used to build food trolleys destined for local aged care facilities, dog kennels, coffee tables, cubby houses and “all that sort of thing”.

“The men would build these things for the community” said the local guy. “And men came from all over the place who were interested and would join in and take part.”

In the end, Bill was wrapped in “the shed idea” and was keenly interested in the whole concept. All the lads at the pub were “in” and the only problem was: we’re would the Men’s Shed be located.

That was a minor concern. The word is, that everything worked out according to “Hoyle”.

“The group are a mixture of age and cultural backgrounds from the late 50s to 80s.” the coordinator said.
One gentleman said, “This is the best thing I’ve done in years.”

Currently, there are about 1000 sheds of various sizes offering men a place to socialise and share skills, reported News for Seniors.

[The Australian Men’s Shed Association gets financial assistance across Australia. To find a Men’s Shed near you call the Association on 1300 550 009; or email amsa@mensshed.net ]

FRANK MORRIS’ COMING ATTRACTION …

2015: Who was Thomas Cook? … Aussie First – Celebrated novelist Frank Hardy, the battlers’ battler. Was Nellie West’s adultery, as told in Hardy’s Power without Glory, truth or a police plot? Nellie West was supposed to be Ellen Wren, wife of the infamous/famous John Wren (“John West”). This was one of Australia’s most bizarre literary mysteries.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 14 November 14

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