Bookie Blake ,standing with pencil, at Fannie Bay Racecourse.
Kerry and I both went on memorable fishing expeditions with Peter Blake . On one , Kerry recalled sitting in car before sunrise, at a swampy location down the track , eating lumpy sandwiches Peter had made which consisted of corned beef and mayonnaise, not really to Kerry's liking. Eager to go , still dark , Peter had jumped out with his fishing gear and waded into the swamp , wherebuffaloes wallowed, poisonous snakes were plenty...true Crocodile Dundee territory.
After cyclonic weather, Peter and I set out for some serious fishing at Fogg Dam, near Darwin , where heavy rain had caused flooding which cut several channels through the earthen wall , barramundi escaping . We were expertly clad , both wearing overalls , gumboots, carrying smart rods imported from Sydney , where Peter had been involved with the innovative Fishing News paper which provided fishing news to a commercial radio station , and had written many zany fishing columns for the Kings Cross Whisper, a publication which sold like hot cakes and barramundi fillets in batter across Australia .
Now living in Melbourne , journalist Kim Lockwood recalled another fishing trip involving a party of reporters from Darwin who went out to the fabulous Nourlangie safari camp . Peter Blake and Chris Lindsay were in one tinnie , Kim and I in another . As I recall , the water was seething with fish sensing the monsoonal rain would soon enable them to escape the landlocked lagoon into the floodplains .
Fishing in the dark for about four hours , Kim says we two only caught five barra between us . The others caught a whopping 33 which must have just about sunk the boat . When a lamp was turned on to land a fish , we were eaten alive by insects. We stopped at a creek on the way back to clean the fish and slept for an hour on the side of the road, then went home . He put his fish in the freezer-only for Cyclone Tracy to kill the freezer and ruin the fish a few days later. The prized , large barramundi I buried after the cyclone forced itself to the surface like a hot air balloon many days later in a gas filled plastic bag .
Sandra and Kerry , involved in publication of gardening magazines , left and started Arnhem Nursery . The Star eventually folded .
Blake had left for America before the sale of the paper ,which owed him about $1300 in holiday pay . He had instructed Sandra Byrnes, who looked after money matters on the paper, to hold it for a rainy day , when the money would be needed, perhaps on a visit back to Australia .