1.1 My little girl ran to meet me as I came home from work. She thrust a crumpled note into my hand and pleaded, "Oh Daddy, can we go please, oh please?"
1.2 I looked at the note as we walked in hand-in-hand. It was an invitation from a nearby factory to an open day:
This Christmas The Partnership will be celebrating one hundred and fifty years of successful operation.
To mark this achievement, we are inviting all our neighbours to an open day. Please come and bring your family.
The open day will be next Saturday and we will make it a normal working day so that you will have an opportunity to see The Partnership at work with minimal interruption to your week.
Officially, work starts at 10am and stops at 4pm. We suggest that if you wish to see something of the extent of our manufacturing complex, you arrive as early as possible.
Our kindergarten will be available for your young children for the duration of the day. A plan of our complex is on the other side for your guidance.
1.4 The Partnership is a household word, and nearly everyone buys some of their products, but I have never been very interested in factories.....not so, it seemed, for my small offspring who prattled on: "There’s a Partnership girl in my class at school and she says that they have a wonderful kindy with lovely people to care for them and they learn all sorts of interesting things……and there’s a cafeteria, and games, and a shop, and a little park. And she says her Sunday school is there too. Please can we go?"
1.5 Then my wife chimed in, "I’ve been buying Partnership pegs for years. Some of the women at church are partners’ wives and they certainly identify with their enterprise. Let’s accept."
1.6 It was easy to get there by 10am since I lived nearby, and I dimly acknowledged the rightness of neighbourhood industry as opposed to my three and three quarter hours commuting each day.
Go to next chapter.
From The Partnership, by Graeme Doel.
Converted to HTML by Simon Grant, 2003.