in the news...

The role of the butler has, with the advent of technology, significantly changed over the years although many traditions and formalities remain the same...

 Photo: Phillip Biggs, The Examiner.

Photo: Phillip Biggs, The Examiner.

 

The business of being a butler...

The way you take your coffee, what time you wake up every morning and your favourite topics of conversation are all things butler Simon McInerney makes it his business to know.

And when your employers are aristocrats who live in castles, international entertainers and business heavyweights that knowledge can be powerful - but Mr McInerney’s lips are sealed.

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An encounter with Tasmania's only freelance butler

Imagine having a member of staff within your household dedicated to keeping the wine cellar stocked, the laundry fresh, vehicles fuelled and faux pas in etiquette and appearance to a minimum. One could breeze through life with considerably more ease.

Not many are in a position to avail themselves of such an individual these days. But those who are may well engage the services of Simon McInerney, Tasmania’s only freelance butler and one of an elite few in Australia.

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Australia's secret service: inside the world of a butler...

Tasmania-based Simon McInerney, who worked for about two years in Highclere Castle where much of Downton Abbey was filmed, said some of the series still rings true to modern-day butler work.

"Other than the era, it's not completely different," Mr McInerney said.

Mr McInerney, who now works freelance while he sets up a business in Tasmania, said a butler's shift will normally be about 12 hours long, starting at 6am.