Ted Grant

Ted Grant first went to Wittenoom with his family at the age of twelve – he says his father went up there ‘to make a better life for us’. The family left Wittenoom after nine months because of his father’s concern about the unhealthy environment, and moved to Roebourne. However this meant that Ted found himself working in the school holidays at Point Samson, loading bags of asbestos that came from Wittenoom onto the ships. So, son followed father into a job which involved exposure to the deadly material. On the day his father died of mesothelioma, Ted found that he himself was a victim of the incurable disease.

  • Children
          57.mp3
    Description:
    For Ted Grant Wittenoom was a children’s paradise. Here he describes the landscape, defined above all by the asbestos which was underfoot and in the air.
  • Point Samson
          59.mp3
    Description:
    From 1956 to 1961 Ted Grant spent his school summer holidays working at Port Samson loading asbestos from Wittenoom onto the ships for export. Here he describes what the work was like.
  • Getting Ill
          62.mp3
    Description:
    Despite his childhood in what appeared to him to be the idyllic surroundings of Wittenoom the death of his father brought home to Ted Grant that a shadow hung over his own life as well, as part of the deadly legacy of asbestos
  • Ted at Home
          65.mp3
    Description:
    The deadly legacy of asbestos lives on today in the wider community, where the miracle mineral surrounds us in every facet of our lives. Ted Grant’s work as a fireman gave him more knowledge than most of the insides of our dwellings. Here he talks about how widely asbestos was used as a building material, which endures today in the older homes so many of us live in.
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