Monday, April 30, 2012


Rude expressions escaped the lips of this writer on reading an article about the late and great NT journalist, Jim Bowditch . The story was in an old clipping , written some time after his death in 1996, under the heading CRACKIN’ PICTURES AND CRACKIN’ YARNS –Images and stories which made the news. There was a picture of Bowditch late in life and the text wrongly stated he had a Cockney accent ; he was not born within the sound of London's Bow Bells and on lobbing in Australia soon found that Pommies were paid less because of their accent, so began to sound somewhat like Clancy of the Overflow, but more refined , not so slow . Instead of saying he had been a COMMANDO in Z Force Special Operations , it had him a COMMANDER

The dismal article then proclaimed that he had been one of the Rats of Tobruk in Tunisia .Wrong . Tobruk is in Libya . Wrong again was the statement that he had won a Walkley Award for journalism in 1957 for his support of the “Wave Hill walk off.” He received his Walkley some years later for coverage of the Sea Fox saga , about happenings aboard a yacht skippered by Hollwood actor –magician, John Calvert , who had a chain smoking chimpanzee aboard when the vessel sailed into Darwin.

Unfortunately, there was no info to identify the author or publication from whence this offending clipping came . Recently admirers of Jim Bowditch , locally, interstate and overseas , were irked to read a piece in the NT News which said that when Bowditch was editor of the paper he used to sit at his desk shirtless, wearing thongs, and threw “hissy fits” which caused reporters to take shelter under desks!. Balderdash is a mild response to this scenario . Little Darwin pointed out at the time that it was incorrect and that there had been a reporter at the News , also named Jim , who did shed his shirt / and type away , taking regular sips from a can to get the creative juices flowing .That Jim, however, never took his shoes off in the office. It was also pointed out that Bowditch had been a decorated WW11 hero , had nightmares about mutilating an enemy soldier to hide an imminent invasion , and self medicated on alcohol .

His name and contribution to the Territory , humanity in general, cannot be sullied by plainly incorrect reports in any publication.- By Peter Simon .