On a mission to meet 100 Townsville Bulletin readers and hear their stories , the latest editor of the newspaper , Jenna Cairney , beamed from an article on February 26 , headed A SNIP ABOVE THE REST , about Bennett's Barber Shop at the Rising Sun shopping centre. It included a photograph and an interview with the pleasant proprietor , Kay Bennett , who has worked wonders on this old writer's thinly thatched topknot. Missing from the report was mention of and the photo of eye-catching " Stewart", below, on the wall above customer seating in the salon .
One thing that immediately grabs your attention upon entering the snippery is the large deer trophy . A white tailed deer , it has a most interesting background . It is named Stewart , because it came from Stewart Island , at the tip of the South Island of New Zealand, famous for its oysters , some huskies from early polar explorations ended up there .
An uncle of the proprietor , a deer culler in New Zealand for many years, into taxidermy, had mounted Stewart and brought it with him when he moved to Australia, where he was hired to cull feral deer in various parts of New South Wales . It was a major operation packing Stewart up and transporting him all the way to Townsville without being damaged .
On being made aware of this background to Stewart while having my dank locks trimmed by Ms. Bennett, I suggested her relative may have known the former Kiwi deer hunter , larrikin and author , Barry Crump who was a media celebrity in the l960s before Australia's Paul Hogan came on the scene .
Crump, I told the tonsorial artist , had written a colourful book about deer shooting in New Zealand , A Good Keen Man . I am not sure if the book mentioned a ranger had ground up deer antler and used it as aphrodisiac sprinkled on his porridge ; the story goes his wife left soon after .
Crump also came to Australia and went crocodile shooting in North Queensland,experiencing many wild adventures in the Cooktown region , resulting in another book , The Gulf . In all , he sold a million copies of his many books . On my last visit to the hairdresser, Ms. Bennett wrote down the name of Crump's first named book to refer to her uncle to see his response . As I am a barber starver , it will be a long time afore I learn what he had to say .
This blog recently exclusively reported that the Townsville media had failed to pick up the fact that a large amount of counterfeit American $100 bills had been found on Magnetic Island .
However, it did report that phoney Australian currency on which there was CHINESE writing had been found in Townsville . The Townsville Bulletin was informed by Little Darwin about the American find on the island, but there was no response, which makes you wonder about what makes news . There is clearly a major story here... fake Australian and American currency , Chinese connection, a printing press ? What further clues do local reporters need to spring into action ?
However, after the Australian Financial Review broke the major news that the mayor of Townsville is to pay Clive Palmer $50,000 for an alleged defamatory comment about him in respect of the closure of the nickel refinery , the Townsville Bulletin responded with a tiny single column item on P10. Surely a front page story?
CARGO CULT REPORTING
It seems every time a cruise ship comes into port in Queensland the media makes extravagant claims about the money that will be injected into the local economy . There is this formula of claiming an average passenger spends X amount of money, so multiply it by the number of passengers and you have a pile of hoot . More cruise ships are expected in Townsville and the cargo cult reporting is rife , as it was in connection with the recent Air Niugini link between the city and Port Moresby , which does not seem to be showering the Queen City of the North or PNG with treasures from the sky.
Notice no reporter from Townsville has jumped on an Air Nuigini flight to Port Moresby to cover the unravelling earthquake disaster in PNG and the mass evacuation of people in another area due to a volcanic eruption .
Not so very long ago, an American naval vessel visited Cairns and the cargo cult mentality came out in the media saying the visitors were expected to spend a bundle. One exasperated local resident in the Cairns Post said why not just welcome the Americans and not worry about extracting money from them .
People off cruise ships have been known to pop into op shops in Townsville and Darwin . Recently there was a report from Broome that passengers off cruise ships were putting a burden on local health facilities because they did not want to pay for shipboard medical services. More on cruise ships later.