Frank Rowland Chapman (1911–1984), known as ‘Sonny’, followed his father into the cabinet-making trade. In 1926, aged 15, Sonny was apprenticed to Standardised Furniture Limited of Marrickville, NSW. From 1930 to 1932, he took a cabinet-making course at Sydney Technical College in Ultimo.

The course included both written and practical components.  By the third year, students were expected to be able to construct drawers with a variety of joints; mitre straight and curved mouldings; prepare and apply veneers; construct ornamental brass work such as bolts and hinges; and make legs of furniture in various styles.

Sonny’s work earned him a scholarship so he could proceed with an additional two-year higher certificate course. The scholarship provided exemption of fees and a grant to buy textbooks and tools. In 1935, Sonny passed the higher qualification of cabinet-making with a credit grade, and was awarded a ‘Certificate of Trade Competency’.

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