We shall commence our walk down George street at the extreme end of the point where, in very early days, a slaughter-house was established. This stood close to the present Dawes Point Wharf. Some of the meat from this house was carried to the Commissariat Stores, which stand opposite the present George Street Fire Station, and rations were served out on the green opposite the stores to the out-of-barrack convicts on Saturdays.
To ensure an equitable distribution one man was placed with his back to the meat, and as a piece was touched he called a man’s name. The man came forward and received that portion. Alas, officers could devise regulations, but convicts could deride. A simple variation in the form of the question by the man pointing to the meat, as “Who’s this?” instead of “Who’ll have this?” was quite sufficient for the man announcing the name, with the result that the choicer portions were awarded to their friends.
The old Commissariat Stores have their revenge today for that free distribution. They are the home of the State Taxation Department! The late Obed. West states that the distribution took place at the stores which stood near Jamieson street.