Sunday, January 31, 2016


Phew! Where to start ? When  it comes to family research , my wife is a tenacious genealogist  who  makes Miss  Marple's   findings  and  deductions  pretty  dull. 

At times she shouts  Eureka! after tracking  down  a missing link she has been chasing  for  decades.

During the  past few weeks,  emails have been flying backwards  and forwards between  Australia  and   England  in   an extensive search  which  has been going on  for  30 years   for  a  friend  in  Blighty,  first met in  Darwin ,  now cooking a sweet  and sour pheasant , according to  her  just  in  email .

In addition , in recent days ,  the  sleuth   has  made   astounding discoveries about our   family in   New  Zealand   and  Australia  and  received  unexpected  photos  from   long   lost  relatives

One of   the  surprising   photographs , taken in 1942  , was of me  , aged four, with  a  cousin  wearing  his first Salvation Army  band  uniform  in Sydney  ; for a time I lived with  a  family of  musical  Salvationists. 

I can remember  bandsmen parading  up  and down  the side of the  house in Leichhardt loudly playing , apparently practising , perhaps  for  competitions.

When I was a child , for  some  strange reason ,  I stuck a  shirt collar  stud up  my nostril , did not tell anybody, which  resulted  in  frequent nose  bleeds. A brain  tumour was diagnosed .  However , while I was living at Leichhardt a  tambourine playing Salvationist  took me to a  more alert medico who  peered up my hooter , inserted  tweezers ,  pulled out  the stud  and unleashed a torrent of  foul smelling  blood and  maybe  a cry of  Hallelujah.

 Close examination of  the welcome  Salvation Army photos which kept  on coming  in  and    further  online  research   unravelled a  story which  started  to  read  like   Damon  Runyan's  Guys and  Dolls .

A  snap which grabbed my attention showed  my Kiwi paternal grandfather, left , with a walking stick , accompanied by a grandson, taken by a  street  photographer in postwar  Sydney . In  the background  is a  poster for Joe Taylor's Celebrity Club in York Street  , owned by  a man mentioned in  the  David  Hickie  book , The Prince and  the  Premier ,  covering the rise of organised  crime  in Australia .  Taylor , a racehorse owner and huge gambler , was  said to have  been  the biggest  power behind Sydney's  illegal  gaming  rackets for   many years. The Premier in  the  book  being Sir Robin Askin , a keen gambler  who received  brown paper bags , not containing  an  Oslo lunch.  The   notorious  Lennie  McPherson  rated  a  mention .
One   of  those who  worked as a  bouncer  for Taylor , referred to  as The Boss ,  at  Thommo's Two Up School   , was  Jack Gibson, an amateur boxer and prominent footballer , who  did  some North Queensland cane cutting in his early days ,   described as Australia's greatest  ever  rugby league coach , including  not very  successful  NSW state of  origin  sides .
This  blogger  has some knowledge of Thommo's, which became  a floating  two up school, that  operated  at times  in  bush near the House of David ,  bottled beer  available ,  where  my  unsuspecting  Australian  maternal  grandmother  was  taken  one  night  and she was  fearful of  being caught  in  a  police raid . She told me of  being led by my uncle through bush , seeing lights in the distance , men  standing about  in   rings .

In 1950 , columnist Arthur Helliwell , from the British Sunday publication , People , lobbed in Sydney on  a world tour  .  Sydney , he wrote, was  a rough, tough, money-mad, good time city, where  uncouth, swearing  "sports" loved racetracks  and  two up gambling schools.

He specifically mentioned  Joe Taylor's Celebrity Club  and Sammy Lee's  nightclub where the  food , music  and floor shows  compared  with Mayfair's best. He even visited  Thommo's  Two  Up  School  and was  impressed by the cockatoos  who  kept watch  and whistled loudly  when a  stranger  was spotted .
After  a  good  look round , he wrote :

Sydney has an underworld  that puts anything  I have seen in London, New York, Paris or even Marseilles in the shade . Its sordid , lawless  East End  terrorised by a riff-raff of  thugs, hoodlums , gunmen  and larrikins , who would  make the spivs  of Soho's  naughty square mile  look  like characters from a charm school is more dangerous  than  the  jungle  after  dark .   

Was  this photograph of my grandfather , who married a Salvation Army matron he met in New Zealand , near a poster for Taylor's Celebrity Club  deliberate-showing  the  devil is everywhere or  intended to be  a joke ? In  1948 Taylor gave vaudeville artist, producer and entrepreneur  Queenie Paul  the job of  organising   entertainment for   customers and  she  hired  leggy  female  singers  , American entertainers  were  brought out  ,   female  groups  from Sydney, Sunkissed Girls ,  toured   Singapore  and  Malaya .  

In recent years , a Sydney newspaper recalled  Thommo's Two Up  School , referring to  the new  casino  in  Darwin at Mindil Beach where  you could  toss    pennies    legally  in  comfy  surroundings .   
Among the  snaps  of  people   in  the  Salvation Army in Sydney was the above wartime group  photo of  a band at Leichhardt (incorrectly spelt in the pic ), now a trendy  suburb, abounding in sinners and gamblers ?, probably  without  a  Salvation Army  group  to  save lost  souls .  Another photograph,  dated October 1951, is  a group   of  solo horn players  inside  the Salvation Army Campsie  Citadel, described as  one of the three  best   in Sydney .  

A  further  surprise, unearthed  by my wife in recent days ,  is the fact that her great grandmother  , teacher  Eleanor Dumper,  whose brother-in-law was  the London publisher  John  Dent, was  listed  as  a suffragette  in 1892  in New Zealand . Women  there  voted for  the first time  on November 18, 1893. The same year, Elizabeth Yates was voted mayor of Onehunga, Auckland , the first such post  held by a female in the British Empire .  


From  a  pawpaw  tree  groaning  with  large  fruit ,  weighing  three and a  half  kilos ,  as  much  as  a newborn baby ,  picked  on  Magnetic Island  and  will  be used  by  the  Queen of  the  Jungle  to  feed  critters , including accursed possums which  last  night were  upsetting  our  nesting Curlew , one having to be donged with  a  broom.

Friday, January 29, 2016


In his recent speech  at  the National  Press  Club in Canberra ,  Cape York Peninsula Partnership  chairman , Noel Pearson , praised independent   South  Australian senator, Nick Xenophon,  saying he was  the  best example of a new  radical  centre  force needed  to  improve   the  Australian  political  system,  which  had failed  indigenous  affairs , now in deep  crisis.

Xenophon , pictured above   with  a  Ned Kelly  helmet on his bookcase  , used in  a stunt to  highlight  the plight of  Australian manufacturing , entered  South  Australian  politics  on  the single issue of no more  poker machines-one  armed bandits-  becoming aware  through his  legal practice of  the serious  community gambling  problem.

Now  he is a well known nation politician  and  is  increasing  bailing up  sitting politicians  with  the  formation of  the  Nick  Xenophon  Team (NXT) , taking on major political  parties  in the House of  Representatives  and  Senate .
NXT candidates  named : Marie Rowland , a psychologist and counsellor , will stand  against  ousted  former PM Tony Abbott  , who   says  he  will saddle up again   in  the  seat  of  Warringah ... while she acknowledges  it is a formidable task to  knock Abbott  off his bike, she is inspired by Maxine McKew  defeating  John Howard  and  independent Cathy Gowan   downing  frontbencher Sophie Mirabella;   Dr Matthew  Wright  from the Flinders Medical Centre , who    served  in the Solomon Islands , Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste  , will  give  irksome Innovations Minister  Christopher   Pyne  a  run for his money  in  Sturt ; there is an  interesting  situation  in  Mayo where  Rebekha Sharkie , former staffer  of Cities Minister Jamie Briggs who was  recently forced to resign over an episode in Hong Kong involving him and a female public servant  , is rarin' to go ; In Higgins ,mining consultant  and event manager  Nancy  Bassett is taking on Assistant  Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer ;  in  the seat of Groom , where  sitting member Ian Macfarlane ,the dumped  former Industry Minister  ,who  has threatened to leave the  Liberals and  join the Nationals ,  will be challenged   by Josie Townsend , former  publicist and  marketing  specialist.
Senate banditos  Xenophon and John Madigan, the  latter a  former  blacksmith and  boilermaker  
 Canberra is on the nose in Adelaide  over  the ham fisted handling of the new submarine contract  and   destruction of the car industry .  Senator Xenophon  will  use  this situation  to   torpedo  the  Feds and , to use a  quaint Liberal  leader expression ,  drive  over the  bastards in  an  NXT  staff   tank  , secretly  built  for Nick  at  the  doomed  Elizabeth  GMH plant , playing  deafening Jimmy  Barnes  songs. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016


With the nation still reeling  from the summer of  sport, it is a good time to display some of  Little Darwin's  sporting  memorabilia , the latest being  the  1978  45rpm record  put out  during Kerry Packer's  World Series Cricket  period , l977 to  l979 ,  which  shook up and reshaped the  game globally . Our copy found  in  Townsville .
The above 1981  autographed  first day cover displaying caricatures of  famous  Australian  sportsmen in stamps  by  the  late  newspaper war correspondent , artist and cartoonist  Tony Rafty  of  Sydney, supplied  by  Magnetic Island researcher  Gary Davies . Those  shown are jockey Darby Munro, cricketer Victor Trumper , tennis ace  Sir Norman Brookes  and  billiard  champion  Walter   Lindrum.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Scoop  war zone  report   by  William  Boot  sent  by carrier  pigeon , quickly  made into  a tasty , aphrodisiac  pie  for  media  baron   Lord Coot , rumoured to  be  smitten  by  a  young  chorus  girl .

CRIMEA:  Nothing much happened here today- except for the usual  hand to hand fighting  and  backstabbing   among   the  Redfaced  Coalition  forces  in  the  dangerous  Broad Church  area  . There  are , however, growing signs that Lord Turnbull of  Ebenezer  and  Cayman  will bravely lead  a  death defying   charge in  a vicious  battle which  could see him  quickly stripped  of  his   cardigan, balaclava , fleecy  lined   jodhpurs  and  crown  if  he  fails to  rout  the  enemy from within .

Indicators  of  a looming  bloody   battle  is  the  fact  that  wily   Lord  Turnbull  has  given his  favourite  warhorse  a  double shot  of  cobalt and  his closest  admirer , Lucy Nightingale,  has trimmed  many a wick  and bought  gallons of  kero  to keep her  lamp shining at night  as she tends to the vast  number of   wounded  soldiers  expected  from  the  true  blue  conflict. 
Ms Nightingale, daughter of  a well  to do family, was given  a cricket bat by her daddy  when she was just a toddler  and  told   to  dong  the snotty-nosed  children of  republicans  when  she  went   to   kindergarten  and  played with  them in the sandpit , especially  on Australia Day.  

Modern  Sydney showing   Redfaced Coalition  electorate  battlelines
Much of  the bloody fighting will undoubtedly take place in  the  tribal  areas   around Sebastopol,   also known as  the  old  Tartar  capital of   Sydney , where warlords   plot  and dispense  favours ,  onerous tasks  which  can  lead  to  dehydration and a thirst for  Grange  and  Coke...whichever  is  your  poison .

Monday, January 25, 2016


Abra  photo of  Pelicans making  an  Owzat! (fish) catch  in  Cairns .


The  exquisite Sunbirds of Magnetic Island make nests in extraordinary  places. They can be  seen flying about examining  odd spots  for a  nest , zooming away, coming back for  a further  inspection, animated twittering taking place between  them.
Currently  this  blogger  is being entertained  by two Sunbirds which have taken a liking to the long  light  cord  for  the fluro  in the   carport    outside the   den . From the wildlife point of view it  seems to be a desirable position -location, location- as  there  is a wasp nest  at the  top of  the cord.

During the past three days the Sunbirds have regularly  been swinging about on the cord and  a moment ago  one of them had  a piece of  grass in its beak and seemed intent on attaching  it to the knob at the end of the  cord ,indicating a  start to  nest building . On several occasions  a bird  has hovered like a Humming Bird  outside  Little Darwin's  fetid   den  and  peered in at  the teetering  piles of  books, newspaper  clippings,  spiderwebs , files , New  Zealand flag , dust .
When the screen door was deliberately left  open, one of  the  birds flew just  inside the  den , hovered , and  examined  the  cluttered  neighbourhood. Later the daring  bird  flew  right  inside,did  a circuit  of the room and  darted out. 
Soon after , a wasp flew in and bumped angrily about the  den and will have to be removed  pronto  after  this  goes to  press . 

From time to time , one of the birds  examines the cord  while its  partner sits on the  car side  rear  vision mirror on the driver's side  watching intently , pausing now and  again to  admire itself  in  the  mirror .  

After  an hour or  so  break from  pecking away at this  post  it was discovered that  the  busy Sunbirds had added a piece of fibrous vegetable   material   daubed  in  what appears  to  be   spiderwebs  to  the end of  the  cord .
Sunbird nest dangling from  a  thin strand  of  bougainvillea .
At the  nearby residence of  the  Queen of  the Jungle, where  an old  Kookaburra   has been taken in for some R and R  , Sunbirds  took a  shine to a  cotton  garden  glove  which had been washed and hung on a back  verandah  line to  dry. Repeated attempts to  build  a  nest  on  the  glove    failed  because the  glove  kept   falling  to  the  ground .An example of a finished nest in a precarious  position  is shown below, left

Putting the finishing touches to this item, a Kookaburra was  heard outside the den , Curlews began screeching , on going out to see what was  wrong, our adult Curlews , with wings outstretched, were  seen rush at the Kookaburra, which was on the ground , and  forced  it  to fly away.  Kookaburras are known to eat  Sunbirds and by chasing it away the Curlews could  be  said  to  be  protecting  their  little  mates .

While  walking  along the verandah  to  tell my wife  about all  the entertaining Sunbird activities  and   drama going on  in  our menagerie , several of  those  large lizards  munched   by the  Kookaburras , mentioned  previously  in  this  blog,   scuttled  away  among  potplants .

Returning to the den, it was  found that by leaving the screen door open for the wasp to escape, another  had  flown  in . 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016


CANBERRA : The government is  refusing to  deny or confirm  a strong   report   that  a  prominent  politician  has been offered  a  top  job  as  Australia's first ambassador to  Kazakhstan.

This  is despite the fact  that  Kazakhstan's famous  globetrotting ,highly respected  television reporter, Borat Sagdiyev , announced  the  shock appointment  a week ago, without naming  the  lucky person  because of  state Australia  

In  an exclusive  interview with  Borat in Malibu, California , where  he is still stalking  Bay Watch star  Pamela Anderson , view matrimony , he  told Little Darwin   celebrity roundsman , Ned Nong , Kazakhstan  residents  are besides themselves with joy at  the appointment, and can hardly wait for the  mystery  ambassador to  arrive  by a  Lego  built   submarine ,  bumboat  or  helicopter . 

Strangely  , Borat refused a payment  to name the politician who will fill this  important  position , but claimed the  person  would  feel at  home in the  large  Central Asian  country , once  occupied by ferocious  Genghis Khan ,  an ancestor of the dreaded Ming  the  Merciless, which  formerly  was  part  of  Russia.
Borat made the startling statement that former  Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey  had  wanted  the  choice   Kazakhstan  post  but  had  to reluctantly  settle  for  the Washington   job  instead .  


Tuesday, January 19, 2016


An  early view of the Green Island Underwater Observatory  is included in a Cairns  and  district, North Queensland , foldout  viewcard  posted  by a  Kiwi tourist  to Wellington , New  Zealand , in June 1962 , with  comments . Much appreciated was the weather, tropical fruit- mandarins, pawpaws,  custard  apples  and  pineapples. The railcar   trip to Kuranda , where the station was like a huge fernery, with staghorns  and orchids, impressed .  Beer , it seems, was  also  sold  at  the station.
Several  views  of the  Cairns  CBD, now  very much  changed ,  are  included as well  as  canefields  and  the Tully Falls  at  Ravenshoe .   

Monday, January 18, 2016


Taken  well over a month ago ,this photograph  of  the resident Curlew family includes the stretched out , ungainly  chick  which  was  growing  rapidly as  if  on steroids . It was  getting close  to a size where it could fend  for itself and not  fall victim  to  a  marauding  Barking Owl  at  night. At times it was seen stretch its long wings as  if  about to fly in the near future. While  absent  from the island  for  about  a week , the  chick was   found  to  be alive and  much bigger  on  our return .

Then it disappeared . A  week  went by  during which it was felt another  chick,  the sixth ,   had come to  a  sticky end . However, early  this morning,  there was a welcome  surprise- three Curlews , one of  them  apparently  the  missing  chick  .  Instead   of  being  welcomed home by  its parents  , it  was given  a good pecking , which  adults   do  when  they  want  to be  alone  to  produce  more eggs.
 The  unwanted  chick came to  the  backdoor seeking a  feed , which it got, along  with  another peck from  a  parent . This  is supposedly  the  end  of   the mating   season  and other  Curlews  in the area  are  acting "strangely"...shrieking ,  hissing , wailing  at  night , driving interlopers  out of   their  territory .
Last night  there  was an SOS  from the Queen of the Jungle asking for antiseptic to treat a Torres Strait  Pigeon , about five days old, with a  gash  in  its  head . It had apparently fallen or been blown out of its flimsy nest and  parents had been seen trying to pick it up .  If it recovers , it may join Larry the  Lorikeet and his favourite teddy bear  on  a  romantic  yacht  trip  to Mission Beach , a popular  fly  inn  for  Torresians ...Unfortunately, the  bird  did  not  survive.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


NEW YORK : When  Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull visits  the  Big Apple he will  hire  the  famous  Ghostbusters  team  in a  frantic  bid  to stop  the  massive stream  of  evil  ectoplasm   flowing through Coalition members, especially in  New South Wales . 

The impact of  the  so  called   River  of  Slime has  become evident  among the Tories  and  their  hayseed  mates . Liberals are threatening to  resign and  become Nationals ; Nationals are demanding  another Cabinet  position and  are  fighting  over this  and   the  leadership  of  the  Nats  as  Warren Truss is expected  to  exit  left  ; a disgruntled  group  of  NSW  Liberals has  been plotting  to oust sitting members   forcing  PM  Turnbull  to say he will not  tolerate such action   ;  Bronwyn Bishop and  Bill  Heffernan  are being urged  to  disappear...Bronwyn possibly a cabin flight attendant with Alitalia and Heffernan  as a trainer of sniffer  dogs to detect pipe  bombs  ; the  imminent  reshuffle of  portfolios  has  got  many on  edge ; inflammatory  statements  by  ousted  former ministers  have been  embarrassing  the   Turnbull  government.

The   spreading  brawl  in the  government  came after a love in and clam bake   at exclusive  Vaucluse  when  all  the  pollies  went for a  dip in a  stream on a private beach . Suddenly, all the party  was  engulfed by a pinkish river of slime ,  ectoplasm , just  like the one that  hit  New York , causing chaos, fear  and loathing ,  and  gave  birth to  Ghostbusters ll.

Ever since  that  horrific Vaucluse episode  the Coalition has become  full of negative  attitudes , like the people  of  New York .  It has  even been claimed that Lucy Turnbull described  the  Coalition as  looking like  a  mess of seething  yabbies about to be tossed into  boiling water. This colourful statement  could result  in  her  being  signed  up  for  a cooking series on SBS as has been Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott's former chief of  staff .
Meanwhile, Little Darwin is reliably informed   that   the  former Australian Treasurer, Joe Hockey, now our  gilded ambassador in  New York, has  arranged  for  the  Ghostbusters   car, above ,  to  drive  Turnbull  about  the Big Apple ,a copy of which will be shipped to Australia and used as the PM's official transport  . Car buffs   will instantly  recognise  the  limo  as  being  similar to  the  last Holden  produced  in  Australia at  the  doomed  Elizabeth  plant  in South Australia, reduced to Japanese  scrapmetal  by the dynamic gremlins , Abbott and  Hockey.

FOOTNOTE: An indication of  the  sad state of  the  once mighty  American  car industry is  the  fact that  the  latest General  Motors model  launched in the US has  been  made  in China .  

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Like Kansas City, just about everything is  up to date on  Magnetic Island. A former Papua New Guinea barge, extensively refurbished in Townsville,North Queensland,  and  named  Magnetic , above ,went  into  service over  the  holiday period. Our camera  captured  views of  the gleaming  vessel on a run , below  on the top deck  looking back to the island . 
In other island developments, Cafe Mia at Nelly Bay  is  undergoing  a refit and  paint  and will reopen  as  the  Curlew CafĂ© .  In  earlier years  it was  called Possums .    Recently opened at Arcadia  is  the gleaming  Tamarind Tea House , built  by Phil  Hamblyn ,  under and  around  century  old  Tamarind trees.
Topside  study  in  blue  and  white  .

Friday, January 15, 2016


Important questions.
A large number of  corporate vultures are said to  be circling the  well  and  truly plucked Dick Smith  chain  which has  left  3300  employees  in  393  stores here and in NZ uncertain of their future.

The latest  news  is  that a Dick Smith  high flyer  has stepped down .This  blogger , unlike  local   reporters,  visited several  Dick  Smith stores  in Townsville to see what was  happening and to explore the possibility of buying a camera .  Neither shop  had a camera  in stock and each  presented a hollowed out appearance. A member of  the  public commented it was a "bloody shame " what has happened to the business. In  his comments on the  crash  , Dick  Smith mentioned "greed".
There must  be  an  investigation  into  this tragic state of affairs, involving the ASX, the  float which  made  a  bundle for those involved,  then  how  the  company was allowed  crash soon after ... The   founder of  the business , the  admirable Dick Smith , of course , is not involved with the company , having  sold it to Woolworths  years ago. The national  grocery duopoly  with its  fingers in many other pies  , could not  run the business and sold it off to  private equity  firm Anchorage Capital Partners ,who floated it on the share market  at $2.20 a share , valuing it at  $520million . Now ,two years later, it is in the hands of receivers  called in by a syndicate of lenders  including National Australia  Bank  and HSBC. The receivers  have inflamed thousands of  gift cardholders and  voucher holders by saying they will not honour them or refund  deposits on goods . 

Dick Smith's  magazine  featured  here  raises  valid questions   about   many  Australian  issues ... extreme  capitalism  and endless growth , our future population , Australian ownership. Other matters of  interest for Australia are asset stripping  of  companies , shorting the  market-and the world (see The Big Short Inside the Doomsday Machine   by  Michael  Lewis  which exposes  Wall Street)  , creative prospectus   writing .

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Start mowing the garden and you  are often joined by one or more  Kookaburras intent on  snaffling  a   tasty , bite -sized lizard ,which are  given a tenderising whack or  two before  being  swallowed.  Fast  moving  lizards at  times survive  an  attack and exhibit damaged , bitten off  tails ,  like the ones  below , to show for  the  close encounter with  death .
Soon after  starting to mow today, two Kookaburras , both young and scruffy looking , arrived on the scene  and  took  up  positions from which they could  detect any  movement . One made an unsuccessful  dive on a lizard, and  they both departed soon  after . Lizard  below  with  tempting, undamaged long  tail.
Curlews  followed  the  mower  picking up  moths  and beetles. A sudden  movement attracted  attention-a  large Wasp  dragging  a  bigger Cicada . It was  attempting to  lift  the victim  up  the wall to seal it in  its nest under the  eaves , but  it   kept   on   dropping  the  catch.
Eventually  the  frustrated  Wasp gave up  trying to carry  its  paralysed prey up  the  wall and  buried  it  in  a  cleared  dirt  patch.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


CANBERRA : Despite this still  being  the silly season , the suggestion that  dumped  PM Tony Abbott  has  had a  face  lift is  truly   gobsmacking ,  and  wins  points  for   originality   if  bogus  ,  no doubt  deliberately spread  by  Laborites  and  the CFMEU using  the old  CIA  trick  of   spreading   false   information and absurd destabilising  rumours. 

 Nevertheless ,  several   people   claim  that  after  Abbott’s   jaw  hit  the floor  when  he was voted  out of  office , he went out  and  got  a  kisser  tuck  to improve  his  image . They  even  claim to  have  seen  operation  lines  on  both  sides  of  his  face  running up  to  his  distinctive ears .  Cruel cartoonists, like the devilishly brilliant    David Rowe  of  the  Australian Financial Review , certainly did not present PM Abbott as  an oil painting ,  facial  wrinkles  drooping   like   his  budgie  smugglers, see below .

As  further evidence ,  purveyors of  the Abbott  make over  fantasy point   out  that  in that strange  ABC TV report by Sabra Lane  about  the  paintings  in  Abbott’s office , he  looked  incredibly  smooth faced , sandpapered even ,  especially so  when he  delivered one of  his  stock ,  instant  Heh  Heh laughs , like those  of former Treasurer and  thwarted PM aspirant ,  Peter Costello,  when  asked  about  having  described  some of  the parliamentary art  collection  as   avant garde  crap.  
According  to this nonsensical  story , it is further claimed   the new polished , young looking visage of Abbott  indicates he is going to stand for  re-election   in  the seat  of   Warringah , which  he   has  held   for  several   decades , and could end up  with  egg  or  a  whipped  cream  pie  in  the  face  like  John  Howard.


Friday, January 8, 2016


Tony Abbott  failed to throw his weight behind the call to  reduce the tax on tampons  and he  got the chop ; now  his pea in a pod  mate , Joe Hockey , is threatened by a militant, very vocal,  hip hopping Yankee  tampon  team .

TAMPA BAY , FLORIDA: Donald  Trump and his wig  have  been blown off the front pages of American newspapers by  the shock  announcement that a team of  marching  tampons  has  been  formed  here  to monster the new Australian ambassador, Joe Hockey , each time he appears in public  for failing to remove the  sales tax on  sanitary items when he was the federal Treasurer .

The  powerful world wide Tampon Sisterhood  decided to give Hockey  hell , although  he  declared tampons were very important, did  Sweet Fannie Adams  to  cut  the tax  on  them  Down Under .

In France, the stunned  government slashed  the tampon tax  by  half  after women  there staged a  massive  demo . Placard  waving    dancing   tampons  also scared the pants off  male  Pommie  politicians in London  .

At  the time  the tampon tax was   raised  in Australia, a Canberra  activist  said Hockey  seemed  more  interested  in  cigars  than tampons.

In America , anti-tampon tax  activists   have threatened to give Hockey the rough end of  a  pineapple treatment over  his  failure to help Aussie  women .

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there will be no inquiry into who leaked  the photograph to the media  of accident prone former Cities Minister Jamie Briggs    with a  female  public servant in  Hong Kong .- News item .

LONDON: Seeking revenge for Malcolm Turnbull's leading part in the Peter Wright  Spy  Catcher court  case in Australia ,  MI5 has launched a  secret plot to make  life  difficult for the PM.

Little  Darwin can  reveal the dastardly campaign against the PM is codenamed  We Love Lucy , but not that Republican Ratfink, according to our  spy correspondent , Argus Tuft , a former  Geelong Grammar  prefect, frequently caught and caned  for  smoking Cuban cigars  behind the  bike shed in a  grubby  raincoat .

Tuft sensationally claims  MI5 has  formed an  evil  alliance with  the Opus Dei cabal in  government and  media circles   to   undermine and embarrass Turnbull. MI5 and the  Tory  British Government  tried to stop  the Spy Catcher  case being heard and have never forgiven him for  revealing  Sir Roger Hollis, MI5  director,who set up the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), was  a  Russian spy, the so called Fifth Man in  the British intelligence  service.

 Also mentioned was that  jolly other knight, Sir Anthony Blunt, a former  wartime MI5 operative , and surveyor of  the Queen's art, who was also named  a  Russian spy.

 In a midnight meeting on the Embankment , Tuft  was  informed  that  MI5 had warned Turnbull   that  the  leak of the Honkers  photograph  was just the beginning . With  willing  local support from nameless collaborators, the agency had built up  a bank of   photographs of government  politicians which with a bit of  photo shopping could  make  the entire Turnbull  Cabinet look like unflattering  Daily Telegraph front  page  idiots ,  clownish jib jabbers .

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Text message to editor of Northern Territory News on December 18 asked if another  visit  to China by the Chief Minister and a "chosen few" meant  more assets were being  discounted  for  Christmas or  the  Boxing Day  sales .

WASHINGTON: Defence  top brass here are  fuming over the deal to allow a Chinese company to build a  huge, combined  dim sim and Fortune Cookie factory next to the American Pine Gap spy base  at Alice Springs .

An angry four and  a half star  general, who often appears on Fox News , baying for Julian Assange's head , exclusively told Little Darwin  the factory will be higher  than  the  world's tallest  tower  in  Dubai .

"Right next to Pine Gap !" he  screamed  in disbelief .""What is going on in the Northern Territory-first handing the Darwin Port over to a Chinese company and now  this?" 

The  general  stunned our   reporter , wearing a trendy flak jacket and an All The Way With LBJ  pin ,  souvenir of a  great moment  between two nations when the  Tory NSW premier with a love of brown paper bags   said to drive over the   Aussies  demonstrating against the Vietnam war ,  by  revealing   that  a  tap of all  Territory communications discovered  the  government is  even going to allow the latest Chinese  aircraft  carrier,recently in Brisbane, to take part in  this year's Henley on Todd  Regatta from which it  could easily bombard  Pine Gap  with  flour  bombs  and  water cannon .

It has even  been  suggested  that  former federal treasurer Joe Hockey could be  expelled  as  the Aussie ambassador because of the American  anger , making him the shortest serving ambassador in  the history of  diplomacy  and  jobs  for the boys.
The irate general  revealed  the US Defence Department  has obtained a sample of the  Fortune Cookies and their messages  , which include obvious  bogus sayings by  Confucius , that will be produced  in  the  suspicious  steaming  dim  sim  factory printery .

One  inscrutable  saying , clearly  not the  words of  that wise old Oriental gentleman, nevertheless   goes :  Confucius  say sand  in  Vaseline  jar  not as  irritating  as   sand castles  in  South China  Sea . 

Jumping up and down , the  general said  this Fortune Cookie proved the Chinese   were  taking the piss out  of the most  powerful nation  on earth  with  the  help  of  the  pissant Northern Territory government. The general intimated  someone's ass  could  end up in a sling  after this snafu Down Under , which  will   upset  the RSPCA   and  threaten  the  very ANZUS  Treaty .



Silent Pearls by John Lamb, covers the half century before war in the Pacific – this book arose out of an examination of a few remaining Japanese headstones and investigation of the stories that lay behind them. It is thoroughly original research which contributes greatly to the knowledge of the early history of Darwin (Palmerston). Up to a few years ago most people thought there were only a few Chinese and no Japanese buried in the old cemeteries of Darwin.  The book identifies the deaths of more than 100 Japanese in the Northern Territory between 1891 and 1941.  It identifies every one of the 45 Japanese listed on the 31 remaining headstones; explains the cause and circumstances of all the deaths, and uses them as a scaffold on which to build the history of pearling in the Territory.  In so doing it brings to light the massive contribution of more than a thousand Japanese to the early development of the Territory. Their industrious efforts contributing more than a million pounds (£) in pearl-shell exports alone.  ISBN: 9780994457301 (paperback) – in total 242 pages.
Available from Genealogical Society of the NT PO Box 37212 Winnellie NT 0821, email, or Secretary 0412 018 015.Cost – $48.00 – cost for posting interstate $15.00 P&H – NT postage will be cheaper.

Friday, January 1, 2016


What this nation needs more than a 15  cent cigar for puffed up  men of  finance  are   more prickle farmers like former Darwin ABC journalist and musician , the late Mike  Hayes , whose  life  on  an odd  hobby farm at Gundaroo , near  Canberra, with  his  blushing child bride ,  became  a long running  source  of  entertainment  on  radio  and  in  books.

One of  his  10 books, seen  here ,  was recently acquired during  another   grand  tour of  Townsville op shops. Born in  England , Mike spent time in Sri Lanka  with his parents before coming to Australia , grew up in  Melbourne, became a journalist at the  Age, went to Darwin for the ABC where  he   made an  impact on  the  Top End.
In Darwin at the  time of Cyclone Tracy in 1974  , his early reports of the devastation  were heard  across the nation  and  repeated   at  anniversaries of the natural  disaster   down through   the  years and  in ABC  promos . A Darwin  band he played in went under the name Brown Sugar  because  it was rough and unrefined , he explained .
 Fishy yarn. 
Acknowledged as one of  the pioneers of Country Music , he  and his  brother  formed  the Hayes Brothers  band  and their Bluegrass Ramblers  was said to be Australia's  first true  bluegrass  group.
Another claim to fame for  Mike was  winning  the highly  prestigious World  Yarn Spinning  Championship   in Darwin, downing  veteran  raconteur  and  former NT yarn spinning champion,  Communist  author  and  song writer , Frank Hardy.
Mike is captured above in a Little Darwin photo  hamming it  up in  Darwin , the suggestion  being  he was engaged in  a new exciting  and highly  dangerous  sport  catching  Killer  Whales with a bow and arrow... or a tame , tiny Tommy Ruff .
After the cyclone , Mike went to the Canberra office of the ABC and once more became  a  local  hit  , winning  a large   national  following through  his hilarious   Prickle  Farm  radio talks  and  books . 
Moving away from the Prickle Farm at Gundaroo, he and his child bride  became  deeply involved  in community and  environmental issues. The bride became the  Mayor of Kempsey and Mike, a freelancer , wrote a regular column for the  Sydney Morning   Herald .  He  died in 2003 at the age of 58  shortly after being the subject  of an Australian Story on  ABC television.
In a matter of public interest  in the Senate , it was said  that Mike, with a huge social and political conscience , had been well known by many in the parliamentary  press gallery . Through his  Prickle Farm series  he  had become  larger  than  life, outrageously caustic and an astute observer of human nature.