Sunday, July 29, 2012
At the age of 84, he wrote that a long life spent mostly in the bush and wild places had given him a vast knowledge of birds and their ways of life..., “ one learns to love them not only for their cheery ways but also for their great assistance to man in destroying pests.”
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Today’s economic lesson, kiddies , is that money does not grow on trees –as this photo of a Page 3 topless palm tree ( right ) outside Westpac shows . The cruel Toothless Fairy came during the night and gnawed it and the healthy adjoining tree off at the base.
The Casuarina Bradshaw Terrace banking precinct has been tarted up somewhat after Little Darwin repeatedly exposed the unsatisfactory situation. Paint has been splashed about, several palm trees , including a long dead one have been removed from outside Westpac. A hole in concrete pillar has also been filled in (mustn't have a bank collapse as it could rattle the ASX ).
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
A bottle washed up on Mindil Beach , picked up by a long grasser , delivered in a cleft stick to the Little Darwin shipping reporter , contained a surprising message from missing Bulldust Diary columnist / illustrator Peter Burleigh , informing us that his silence is due to the fact that he , sporting a made in China French-type beret, is responsible for maintaining the bilge pumps aboard the impressive looking vessel (above) on the River Yonne , heading for Dijon. Obviously seasick, Burleigh’s billet ended, "Arrrgh,mateys!" We have alerted French security.
Friday, July 20, 2012
During his recent visit, he and his wife, Jude, went out to Moulden and photographed the street named after Douglas -- Lockwood Court. As part of their visit to the Top End, they also drove out to Kakadu and, on what would have been his father’s 94th birthday, went to Malabanbandju Lagoon where Kim had scattered his father’s ashes in 1982. A large Jabiru floated down and looked at them.
Kim’s mother, Ruth, now 99, was well known in Darwin. She was evacuated on the last plane out before the bombing, just after the fall of Singapore. On their return to Darwin, Ruth was involved in several community organisations, including the running of the North Australian Eisteddfod. Douglas died while working on another book about selections from the works of Bill Harney and Ruth completed the project, which was published by Viking O'Neil in 1990 as A Bushman’s Life. Both Kim and his sister, Dee Mason, are published authors.
(PAINFUL) FOOTNOTE : Kim’s sister Dale, now Dee, trod on a stonefish in the Dry season, at Lameroo, outside the walls of the baths. She was screaming with pain as Kim carried her up the cliff and dinked her home on his bike. Their father rushed her to hospital, which had only the previous week or so been delivered its first stonefish anti-toxin.
The son of a poor Greek pearl diver who worked for the Paspalis / Paspaley family in Port Hedland and Darwin, is now worth $100 million and tells how he made his fortune in a new book to be launched on July 27. He is Constantine Souvlis, 86, a property developer and retailer on Queensland’s Fraser Coast, his biography- KING CON-is dedicated to "every Greek who came to Australia to find a better life".
The book has been written by former News Limited, Fairfax, APN News and Media, Channels 10 and 7 journalist and broadcaster Toni McRae, who spent a few months in Darwin in the 1990s editing the then Palmerston Suburban, now the Darwin Sun.
Mr Souvlis AM says he learned from his father Mick how hard work could pave the way to making big money."The trouble was my father forgot all that after he left the Paspaleys and went out on his own commercially fishing and running fish and chip shops with my mother Chrissanthi. He turned to gambling and women and that was the end of the father I used to admire. So I determined never ever to be like him and I made my own way in life."
Mick Souvlis followed Nick to Darwin and worked for him in the pearling industry here for at least a year before eventually moving to Ingham in Queensland with his new wife Chrissanthi. In Ingham, the couple’s first child, Con, was born in September 1925. Con moved to Brisbane with the family and then to Perth where he signed up to fight Japanese in WW2 on the island of Bougainville. After the war , he and his mother bought a fruit shop in Brisbane and in the 1950s Con moved to Maryborough on the Fraser Coast, took one look at the nearby fishing village of Hervey Bay and “I smelt money”. King Con’s foreword has been written by His Eminence, Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.
***King Con’s recommended retail price is $30 and books can be obtained from July 27 from Con Souvlis’ Betta Electrical Store at 138 Freshwater Street, Torquay, Queensland, Fraser Coast, Qld; 4655. Betta Store Phone: 4125 2555 and ask for Rosemarie Wright to place orders.Mr Souvlis’ Betta retail store website is: email@example.com
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
There was talk at the time of the need for the Labor Party to have a national newspaper like the Daily Mirror in Britain . Steedman was connected to an attempt to launch such a venture in 1976 . It involved two groups –Sydney and Melbourne . The Sydney one failed, he says, because it was full of basically dissident newspaper journalists who wanted the office structured like a newspaper, running " tits and bums " and other items like that, which would have made it like a Labor Truth . The capital to run such a paper would have been impossible to raise. On the Melbourne side, he explained , they got bogged down with ideological problems and the size and membership of the collective that would run the paper.
The justification for such a publication reads: We need a strong, healthy, concerted , witty, informative , arousing, controversial and independent newspaper written and produced by blacks for blacks in this country ...We really need a paper that embraces and tells the stories and news and fights for Aborigines in all states ...There are many different groups in the national black community who think, eat, live, and forever believe differently...There is not a single thing in the whole country that all Aboriginals can relate to , except perhaps for discrimination ...
This edition of Mureena contains poetry , an unusual review by Alice Startup of the film FAREWELL UNCLE TOM dealing with slavery in America , ending with her comment that any person seeing the film should not take a weapon with them as you could end up "belting any white person" who comes along. A very light hearted view had to be taken of the film, she wrote, otherwise you would come out"absolutely fuming ."
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Bonnie and Clyde.-Library of Congress photograph.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Does this feline togetherness represent local Darwin media hepcats ?
The perceived shortcomings of the local media were discussed over lattes during a boisterous gathering in a cool spot . A longtime Darwin resident said the trouble with scribes in this town is that they graze in packs , drink with each other, tell each other what great shakes they are, and –wait for it - THE BUGGERS EVEN BREED TOGETHER!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Women wanting to preserve a youthful appearance are offered Dr B. Allen’s (USA) Mexican Walnut Stain for grey hair. An article in a series about women’s work in the war deals with the SOCK DEPOT , started by Mrs Keith Jopp, Elizabeth Bay , Sydney, whose son was a lieutenant . At the time of the writing of the article ,16,637 pair of socks had been knitted .
Friday, July 13, 2012
A Little Darwin correspondent keen on fishing sent this pic of a 7ft long , 111 pound alligator gar caught in a Texas river. The silver haired gent is Jeremy Wade, host of River Monsters, on the Animal World.
While some strongly feel this year is the actual centenary of Canberra, March 12 of next year is the official date marking the laying of three foundation stones for the new bush capital at a ceremony over which Prime Minister Andrew Fisher officiated. At that event, held on Kurrajong Hill, now Capital Hill, were the Governor-General, Lord Denman and Lady Denman, she proclaiming the capital would be called Canberra. The colourful Minister for Home Affairs - King O'Malley- was also involved in the ceremony.
The award winning plan for Canberra , designed by American Walter Burley Griffin, with striking water colour perspectives supplied by his wife , Marion Mahony , one of the first licensed female architects in the world, was accepted in 1912, thus regarded by many as the real birth of the capital.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The hottest thing in journalism more than 100 years ago.
Lamentations over the ruthless slash and burn tactics in the newspaper industry could become the biggest wake in recorded history. The demise of the auriferous period of reporting was recently discussed with deep emotion and animation by a variety of veteran media hands on two occasions in Darwin .
Other well wishers who attended the party at Virginia came from South Australia, Alice Springs and included some media people from Sydney, one still hurt at having recently been made redundant after years in the newspaper game. It was only natural that notes and names were compared, the global state of the media discussed. The peccadilloes and peculiarities of paper people past and present provided a memorable evening of nostalgia and updating . It was a golden night for this old scribe. Alas, the hot metal days have long since melted away - but the memories continue to burn . The cool, sterile era of production which replaced the great hot metal period is in a sad state of disarray- and other technological developments within the next 18 months will further impact on struggling newspapers and television .
Saturday, July 7, 2012
There are fond memories and photographs of that trip- despite being violently ill during a fishing trip in view of Ball’s Pyramid , rising 552metres, said to be the world’s tallest monolith rising out of water , some 23kms south . I have a souvenir–a scar on my left leg due to stabbing myself with a penknife while making a hula skirt from a palm frond for a staff member at Kirby’s Pine Trees guesthouse for a fancy dress party . There were hardly any vehicles on the island, bicycles being the main form of transport.
My aunt Gwen and maid Burniece ; handyman Tex with fish.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The funniest thing about Derby is a sign on its outskirts:
“LET ME DO YOUR DISHES.
DERBY ANTENNA & AERIAL SERVICE.”
Things go downhill after that, although not literally. The place is flatter than a pancake. In fact, Derby almost isn’t there at all. It’s built in a tidal salt pan and its scattering of buildings is the same colour as its sandy marsh surroundings. The mud covers a little bit more of it every day. The tide and the sand flies are a key feature of its reputation. I’ll bet it’s no less miserable today as the day it was founded in 1883. And there are the mosquitoes which stand over the sandflies, mosquitoes at least as big as their night-fighter counterpart of World War Two. Attempt to slap one down and it’ll fly into your ear and eat your brain. The town’s crumbling at the edges but remains an operating port, exporting lead and zinc ore. Derby’s van park – yet another Gateway to the Kimberley - is so crowded even sardines would get claustrophobia.
The town’s highlight is the Pier restaurant at the end of the causeway at the far edge of the sand flats near the jetty. Its small terrace is perfectly located so you stare drop-jawed into the crimson sunset with a chilled Margaret River Chardonnay in hand. Under the veranda a sprinkler system sprays Citronella-and-water mixture through fine nozzles in an attempt to suppress the biting insects. The cool mist is delightful but repels nothing. The tastier individuals among us, your correspondent included, proudly display their red bites for days afterward. The compensation for being the mosquitoes’ meal is a big slab of super-fresh grilled Barramundi (and chips) for $22. The insects are included in the price. It’s still not a sufficient incentive to stay a second night.
After dinner we overhear an argument amongst the fishermen on the pier. A Maori (or Samoan, I couldn’t tell) says “Two hundred years ago I’d be eating you.”
Next morning at Nita’s Cafe in the main street, surrounded by thistles and garbage, we spot a funeral notice taped to the wall. A Smoking Ceremony is to be held for a local Aboriginal woman. A footnote reads “The family requests that people attend sober.”
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
In the annals of Northern Territory activism , the name of Dr John Tomlinson looms large. His relentless pursuit of social justice for the many, his drive to reform government welfare departments , strong opposition to uranium mining and his act of returning an Aboriginal girl, lodged with European foster parents in Darwin, to her family in Arnhem Land made him nigh on notorious . At one stage , it is said , he was the second person after Frank Hardy, author of the controversial Power Without Glory , charged with criminal defamation ; there was further uproar when it was claimed he was teaching what amounted to sabotage at the Darwin Community College and he used photographs of himself struggling with arresting police on the front cover of a two -in -one book which severely criticised Australia’s social welfare system, especially as applied in the Territory.
After marrying high school teacher , Clare Priest, he graduated in Social Work in 1964 and worked with the Commonwealth Department of Social Services for nine months before transferring to the Welfare Branch in Darwin, which controlled the lives of Territory Aboriginals. Tomlinson , in supplied biographical notes, said he was constantly " in strife " with the hierarchy at the branch , headed by Harry Christian Giese –nicknamed “Do it my way” by John . Babe Damaso, an Aboriginal welfare officer , took the "cocky Tomlinson" under his wing and attempted to instil in him a sense of humility and patience . Babe also taught him most of what he knows about fishing in the Top End.
This , he says , is a lesson that the current Federal Government and/or Opposition would do well to heed if they were really interested in using evidenced-based social policy. In 1973, he returned to the Welfare Branch in Darwin as a grade 2 social worker, acting grade 3, with responsibility for the Top End of the NT. His friend, Colin Clague, (featured in the SBS documentary When Colin Met Joyce) had responsibility for the southern half of the Territory.
Three months after the initial meeting of the Council of Civil Liberties, the police officer who had been elected interim secretary placed an advertisement in the NT News declaring the planned meeting of the CCL had been abandoned due to the cyclone. But at the appointed hour of 8pm a small band of the originators and Tom Pauling, later the Administrator ,who had been elected to the Council’s interim executive, entered the rubble-strewn ruins of Brown’s Mart (the agreed site for the subsequent meeting) and a motion was moved thanking the interim committee for their efforts and disbandening them. An election of new office bearers was then held.
After Cyclone Tracy, former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Clem Jones , was appointed El Supremo of the Darwin Reconstruction Commission. There were undoubted sighs of relief among senior staff at the Welfare Branch when Tomlinson took leave from the public service to work as the Social Planner with the Regional Council of Social Development, which was part of the Australian Assistance Plan. One day, a member of staff, Kass Hancock asked him to go to the hand over by Jones , to RCSD, of a demountable office in Casuarina. The speeches were mercifully short, much to the relief of several senior Commission staff.
Jones found a place to sit about 80 metres from the cellblocks and dispatched his senior engineer and senior architect to inspect the site. Clem demanded more details of the young people who had been locked up there and the reasons for their incarceration. About 20 minutes later the engineer and architect returned and announced that whilst the main building would need to be demolished the cellblocks were structurally sound but would need re-roofing. Clem exploded: "Structurally sound- my arse! I can see significant cracks in the walls from here." Engineer and architect beat a hasty retreat in the direction of the cellblocks, returning five minutes later , confirming they too could now agree there were structural faults and recommended immediate demolition because of the safety hazard the site presented. Clem pointed to the completely intact gymnasium and asked "Do you want that knocked down too?" Kass replied , "No, we plan to hold dances there for young people."
After the screening, the police produced a search warrant, which Tomlinson read and then refused to relinquish, demanding a copy be given to him. A struggle ensued which the cameraman dutifully recorded and the front cover of next day’s News was entirely devoted to photos of the struggle. In a book some years later, Tomlinson used the photos with the caption "showing the author helping the police with their enquiries".[ Both copies of the videotapes were the same. For those who believe in conspiracy stories and UFOs , it was said that, at the time of the break-in of the RCSD office, the doctored tape was inserted in the box containing the original footage, which was removed. Richard Nixon would surely not have had to resign had there been such skilful plumbers working for him, instead of the Watergate amateurs.]
Darwin Community College
In May of 1977, Tomlinson , a lecturer at the DCC, was the centre of a major argument about academic freedom when it was alleged he advocated sabotage in a course for the Associate Diploma of Community Work. Police were sent to the college without prior consultation with the acting principal .Once again he was the subject of lively debate in the media and parliament. Many students from this course did field placements at the Unemployed Workers’ Union and Colie.
People’s Poems and Struggles
* Tomlinson bites mud crab instead of fat cat . A Black Snake once sank its fangs into John at Fogg Dam and he spent a night in hospital.
In 1986 he studied full-time for his PhD. at Murdoch University, his marriage to Clare breaking up late that year. His degree was finally awarded in 1989. In 1987 he was appointed Director of the ACT Council of Social Service and lived in Canberra until 1993 when he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Community Work at the Queensland University of Technology.
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