Saturday, July 31, 2010


Another great Centralian identity , Mona Byrnes , 86, will be buried in Alice Springs on August 4. Mona was active in many spheres-art, theatre, fund raising - and was a member of the NT Museums and Art Galleries Board . Over the years , this writer contacted Mona for information about Alice activities , past history , and its extraordinary residents .

During one conversation she told how artist , Sidney Nolan , early in his career, had given her a sombre looking painting which she had not liked . She had given it to airline operator , Eddie Connellan, to hang in his office . Years later , while preparing an art exhibition, she retrieved the painting and i t was stored in her house. A fire destroyed the painting . As this post is being written , I have before me a 1982 letter from Eddie Connellan in which he discussed author Xavier Herbert , his (Connellan's) wartime activities and lamented the fiery end of the Nolan painting, then worth a lot of money.

Sadly, when Little Darwin recently attempted to renew contact with Mona at the Old Timers residence in Alice, we were told that she was not in a position to respond. A funeral notice says , in lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Alzheimers Australia NT would be appreciated.