Wednesday, August 31, 2022


Nonsense  pix  by  Vallis.


Shipping Reporter .


Magnetic Island .Shipping Reporter .

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


 The  Magneti  Island  Medical  Centre , now  known  as  Clements  Medical , provided  the  background  for   this   passing  photo of a cyclist  carrying a  long  piece of  bamboo  and  a   tree log.  He  was  followed by  another  jouster  wielding  a  bamboo  lance . Quirky snaps  by  our  hallucinating,  frequently   caned   Shipping   Reporter . 




 While our Shipping Reporter was  checking out  Magnetic Island , a new  correspondent , another old salt,  captured   the  Indonesian  naval  training   sailing ship   KRI Bima Suci  outward  bound  from  Townsville ,  Sydney  the  next  port  of  call. 


 With Magnetic Island   about  to be  invaded by yachts from  near and far , for a week of racing ,our Shipping Reporter has discovered a mysterious situation  over  there :  a  pair of   good  shoes   abandoned  at   the lookout  at  the  entrance to   the safe  harbour , which  provides  a panoramic view of Cleveland  Bay  and  the  island

An   island resident  has been missing for   weeks , his disappearance  now  seemingly   off   the radar of mainland media.  Items of his clothing  were  found at Nelly  Bay . Are  these  shoes , which look like moccasins , connected  with  another    missing person, our waterfront roundsman asks . 

The  shoes are not far from  the mysterious  mutilated  mermaid  which   first appeared as an intact   fibreglass  legendary  creature of  the deep .  Over  the  months, the mermaid was   beheaded, had  her arms  ripped off   and  in  one outrage even had  an imitation  head  of then Prime Minister  Scott  Morrison   placed   atop  her  maltreated  body.

The  intrepid Shipping   Reporter clambered over rocks to provide  the latest photograph of  the  mermaid  which shows the  pullover   which  was  placed   over her  top  has been removed  , exposing some of  the  pieces of wood which  had  been  screwed  to  her   tormented  torso   to  form   rough arms .


Cairns.  Abra  photo.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Sunday, August 28, 2022


Border  crossing Mexicans  considered on  Magnetic  Island .

Saturday, August 27, 2022


 When you approach the  highway  border  between  the   Northern Territory  and  Queensland   from the Territory , you  would  not  be  surprised  to see  signs  warning  of   cane  toads ,  prickly pear , pockets of  ranters  and   other  Bananaland   scourges such as  Panama Disease and Coalition Codswallop .

However  , seasoned  travellers   last week  were   taken  aback   when   they  drove up to  the border  , saw  the   large Welcome to  Queensland   sign , with   puzzling  plain  white  backs  of   two   smaller  signs   attached    to   the   uprights  .

Upon  investigation  , they  were  found to  be  corflutes  for  the   pistol- packing   Member  for Kennedy , Bob  Katter,  and   Sunshine  State   Senator  "Please explain "  Pauline  Hanson .  

Obviously,  border  security  is  lacking  if    pollies  can   attache   their   kissers  to  the  NQ Corral fence     and   possibly  distract    drivers .    In  days  gone  by  , you  often saw signs  saying  POST NO BILLS . It  is  obvious  that  there  should  be  one  today , POST  NO  POLLIES ON THE   BORDER . 

 The   comment  was  made that it was surprising that nobody had used  the corflutes  for   target  practise  as  so  many outback  signs  are   riddled.

 Katter would probably not  have  complained  if  his  smiling cowboy   image  had  been plugged, because recently he   called for  all high school   students,  including  girls , to be given rifles  and  trained at  armouries as part  of  a  plan  to  defend  Australia .

It  was revealed that gun lobby groups   made   donations  amounting to $615,000  to  Katter's electoral  war chest over a decade,$330,000 last financial year  

When it comes to  support for  gun-slinging,  it is  recalled  that a sting by  the Al Jazeera   news  organisation  revealed that   Hanson"s  One National   Party  had  sought  millions  of  dollars  from   America's National Rifle Association   in a  bid  to change  gun  ownership  laws  in  Australia .      

Friday, August 26, 2022


Townsville . Abra photo .


 Magnetic  Island  notice board  , above , offering   crew for  a  Kiwi  cruise.  Below  a  view  from  the  trailer  boat   club   regular  monthly boot  sale     at   Fannie   Bay, Darwin , sent  by our contract picker  who  reported on the smart phone that  there were only  three   sellers  , no  oddities or  books  bought   for  this  blog .

Thursday, August 25, 2022


Two items  from a  bound in volume of   Darwin's   1940s  Northern Standard newspaper , published by  the powerful  North Australian Workers' Union,  paint  an  interesting  picture of  the  difference between  a  sick , possibly  beer  swilling  editor  and  the  nation's   idle  rich-  into  wine, gin , scotch , possibly champers .On  the other  hand ,  the paper was   regarded as being  run by  Communists, so vodka could have been  consumed as well.  

The editorial  staff  would have  had   justification  to  feel  crook  and  thirsty  soon  after  this   January  14 , l941   editorial  because  the  Japanese bombed   Darwin  on   February  19, 1942.  


Protective mother . Vallis  photos .


 Right  now  this  blog  is  in  danger of   sinking  beneath  a  tidal   wave of   interesting   newspaper  cuttings , files  , books , ephemera  , old  photos ,  mixed inserts and  articles  in  American  art  magazines, emails from  far- flung  correspondents  .

One 1960s clipping, above,  from the Northern Territory  News, brought back memories of  Darwin  character  Donald  Charles  Duncan , shown  here  in  hospital  after surviving  a  night  drifting about in shark and crocodile   infested   waters .

 The  girls  in  the  photo  were responsible for saving him because they saw him  early in the morning floating by the wharf  , naked , except for  one sock, croaking,  "Help! " 

An  English remittance man , he was  a cleaner in the newspaper office  in the old Tin Bank  and was well  known  as  Dapper Donald  and  Drunken Duncan , because of  his drinking. His escapades  and  death in Western Australia  were covered in  the recently launched biography , Big Jim, about the crusading NT News editor, James  Frederick  Bowditch  .

Donald  fell into the  harbour  while  looking for   Bert Cummins, skipper of the  former  Hayles   Barrier  Reef   tourist  vessel  Malita, launched  in 1929,   which was   running supplies  from Darwin to   Portuguese Timor for an American oil drilling company . Dapper   Don , hoping  to get  a job aboard the  boat, toppled  in when he  went  searching  for  Cummins, who  went  on  to run the   Lion's  Den  Hotel  ,named after a tin mine, at  Helenvale , near Cooktown,   in   North  Queensland .

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


Included    in the  Douglas  Stewart Fine Books  , Melbourne ,  annual  offering  20  percent off  items  $5000 or  less  in a  coupon code  sale , is  the  following  rare  volume about  Australian  women for  $1000  after discount.  


'A book about Australian women 'was published on the eve of International Women’s Year and following the establishment of the Office for Women’s Affairs by the Whitlam government in 1973. The book, described as a ‘collective portrait’, featured interviews by writer and artist Virginia Fraser, along with 131 photographs by Carol Jerrems of women from various walks of life. Some, such as Wendy Saddington, were already well known; others, such as Anne Summers, subsequently became prominent in their fields.

Photographs by Carol Jerrems. Text edited by Virginia Fraser. Melbourne : Outback Press, 1974. Quarto, illustrated wrappers (a few light handling marks), pp.141; [3], illustrated in black and white. Design and layout of the photographic pages by Carol Jerrems. Includes portraits of Ann Summers, Bobby Sykes, Carol Jerrems, Dawn Fitzpatrick, Ewa Pachucka, Grace Cossington Smith, Jackie Mitelman, Jennie Boddington, Joy Jerrems, Kate Fitzpatrick, Kath Walker, Linda Jackson, Linda Piper, Margaret Tucker, Rosslyn Johnson, Sandy Mitchel, Thancoupie, Virginia Fraser and many other Australian women.

The short run  sale , which ends August 31 , includes the  34 volume collected  works  of  Sir Winston Churchill  for $3880 and  the first Australian edition of Charles Darwin's On  the origin of species   for $580. Several  items related  to  the  Ern  Mallee  literary  hoax.


 A dramatic scene  at a busy  Townsville   intersection  made  a  big impact on the Queen of  the  Jungle . It  has   caused   her  to  animatedly  deliver    details of   the   event  over  and  over  , giggle  hysterically .  She  was a passenger  in a   bus which  pulled up  at   a  Ross River Road intersection  when  a  woman  was  noticed  waving  a  placard. 

It read : JESUS  IS COMING  on one side  , THE END IS NIGH  on the other .   Naturally , this caused   the  passengers  to gape .  But , dear  sinners,   there  was  more .  Standing  nearby was   a  voluptuous   woman  in  black  , with  Wellington  boots  , tattoos.

The bus driver   turned   around  and made  a  colourful  comment .   Townsville  bus drivers  are  friendly  folk, unlike the Four Horsemen of  the  Apocalypse .  There is  none of  this do not talk to  the  driver whilst  bus is in  motion.

They   often  have  a  mag  with   passengers, discuss     the   'Curry , Mount Isa ,  one  even  heard   name  his  favourite   drink , footie, etc . 

 An  indication  that  Townsville's wicked past    has  caught up  with   it  is  the  fact  that  at  long last  the  clock  on  the  heritage  listed  old  post office   building  is   finally  working  atop  what  is  now a  brewery . The  clock  had   not  worked   for   yonks ,which irked our Shipping Reporter ,saying  it  was  like  allowing  Big Ben of London  not  to  work for years, without  anybody in authority  caring .   The fact  that the town clock  did no work  was  raised  long ago by   roving  Pommie  reporter,  Tony  Robinson , now Sir  Tony, when  he  passed through Townsville  making another  interesting  documentary .

Monday, August 22, 2022




The   goings on in  Queensland   in  the l980s -including  the  reign  of   Joh-Bjelke-Petersen -  are covered in  this  1989 volume , found  in a  North Queensland dump shop. It consists of  satirical columns   written  by  Lawrie  Kavanagh   which   appeared  in  the   Brisbane Courier  Mail .

The revelations  of  the  Fitzgerald Inquiry into  Queensland   are  covered in a  racy   fashion  under  headings such  as SOUNDS  OF  CORRUPTION ,  AT LEAST THE  ANARCHY'S GONE  , the latter opening with  the explanatory statement  that  after  almost  20 years by  a righteous Christian who believed  that  with  God  on  your side  you  could  do  no wrong ? 

As a  result , the  Fitzgerald  probe had  revealed   graft  , corruption,  pimps, prostitutes ,illegal gambling ,conflict of  interest , jobs and  knighthoods  for the boys , use of police as government stormtroopers   and  spies against  opponents , thousands of  anonymous dollars falling out of the sky for the party and  friends  . 

Kavanagh , tongue obviously in cheek , went   on  to say  that  at  least there was no anarchy on the streets ,thank God-Sir Johannes-Bjelke-Petersen's major concern  and his  legacy. 

There  is mention of staggering sums of  anonymous cash raining down on the National Party  without  so  much as  a  receipt. 

With a  background as  a  sports reporter , Kavanagh cleverly wrote up the  heavyweight championship  fight  between  Hopalong  (John )Howard and  Hercules (Bob) Hawke   with the involvement of  Queensland  amateur lightweight  champeen, Joh  Peanutsen , who fancied himself  becoming  the  Prime  MInister   of  Australia . 

There is a  foreword  by the late  Queensland   federal Liberal  politician  Sir James  Killen ,  a  barrister  , former Minister for  the Navy and   Defence  , praising  Kavanagh's  writing style .  He  said  Kavanagh  took a clear delight in  using  the  lances of  language  against mean manoeuvres , shabby attitudes  and boorish manners .  KIllen ,who  enjoyed  jokes  and  racehorses , did some writing himself. He  was 81 when he died in 2007; Gough Whitlam  delivered his  eulogy    

This  blog  had to give  first aid  to the book cover in the   form of  a rub down with a  gluestick  because  the  cover  illustration  had   unravelled . 

Sunday, August 21, 2022





A few days old , two  Curlew chicks  found  themselves  separated from their  mother  because  of  a  border  made  up of  pavers  stacked two and three   deep. They  ran  along  the wall , called  by  their  concerned parents.  Eventually , one  was able  to clamber on top of the barrier , but not the other .Finally, an entry  point  was  made  by  Vallis  removing  a  paver , and   they all  became  united .  


With so much attention being given to the  record number of  Independents voted in  at  the last  federal  election  , into  this  blog  wheeled  the   superb , scuffed  book , full of information  on  boisterous  early  Queensland  political battles ,  centred  on   a  key  , colourful  figure  , Tom  Aikens .

 We  told  Darwin  resident  Bob  White , who had  lived in  Townsville  ,  that  the  book  had come  our  way , did he  know  anything  about Aikens  ?  He  responded  with an  amusing anecdote , thus : 

Tom, the irrepressible ,well known member for Townsville South. When going to Brisbane sittings of Parliament, would ride his push bike to the railway station in Townsville, put it in the guard's van, and get out at Roma Street Station and  ride to his  Parliament  house  digs  around  the  corner. 

A famous old time character of  my era. He knew most  people by name, and always up  for  a  chat.

He  is renowned for an occasion in Townsville , walking along the Hermit Park main drag -Charters Towers Road- talking to constituents ( meet and greet ) on  a  busy Saturday morning ,saying  hello .

 One lady , Mrs  McGrath , with some other women , was standing  waiting for a  bus .

 Aiken  asked  how her good husband Jack was  these days . She replied he had  died  last  year .  Aiken said he was  very  sorry to  hear ,  that  Jack had  been  a  great bloke,  and  after  passing on  condolences , moved  on .

On his way back some time later, he greeted her once more and asked how her  good husband Jack  was getting on .  She replied :"Still Dead". It  was  a  well   known  story.

Born in 1900, Aikens  was in parliament for more than 20 years , 77  when     finally  voted  out. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022


Vallis .


Alert  chick near its mother  after two late nights  of uproar in which a  Barking  Owl  got  the other hatchling  in  the backyard . Meanwhile  , another  two  birds have  hatched  in  the  front  of  the  property . 

Apart from owls   Curlews elsewhere  have been under  attack    from Currawongs  and  there are  lots  of  Kookaburras  about , some  Crows  chased   away .


Approaching  Mataranka  at  Sunrise 



With members  of  the  Coalition calling on   the  happy clapping   Member for  Cook  and 57 other positions to  disappear into  the   wilderness  ,  this strange  application  for  an important   position  in   the  powerful  Yunbenun Magnetic Island   ALP  branch  was  delivered   by  stuffed  pigeon  post. It  is believed a  member of  the branch   has a moth- eaten  T-shirt which  reads  NORMAN GUNSTON  FOR PM,  which  would  fit  ScoMo.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 Michael  Rockefeller  /  Jackson Pollock  / Margaret Vine /   Big  Jim Bowditch 

A storage bin   containing   a  run of   l980s   American   art  magazines that once  belonged  to  the  late  Australian  art  and  history  researcher ,  pottery  and textile collector, feminist,  editor  , Margaret  Vine , of Magnetic  Island ,Queensland , has  brought to  light   many  features   and   dazzling   advertisements   of   interest .

 Of   particular notice is  an  article  about  the  opening of the  new   Michael C. Rockefeller Wing in the Metropolitan  Museum of Art . containing  more than 1500  art objects from Africa, Pacific Islands and Pre-Columbian and native America .  It  was  named  after  the  son  of  Nelson  Rockefeller,a former American Vice -President  and  New York Governor , who disappeared in 1961 on  an  anthropological  collecting  expedition ,covered in Little Darwin , among  the  Asmat  people of  Dutch  New Guinea  

It just so happens that Michael Rockefeller's disappearance was  mentioned in  Darwin  in   late  June  at the launch of  Big Jim,  biography of  the  crusading  editor  of  the   Northern Territory News , James Frederick Bowditch.

Bowditch  had  planned  to  parachute  into  the  area  to  see  if   he could  find  Rockefeller. At  the book launch  it was suggested  the incredible  proposal  by  Bowditch  would be included in  a  proposed  Northern Territory Media  Museum .(More later.)

 Margaret Vine often    underlined  text and  added  margin  comments   in  books  and   magazines.. Though  now  faint  due to the passage of time , a December  1981  article on  the  stormy marriage  of  Lee Kasner and Jackson Pollock ,by  New York Times  reporter  Grace Glueck ,  received her  close  attention

Aspects of Pollock's  development and style are underlined , his  heavy drinking . In respect of  Krasner's  artistic career , underlined is the statement that  she had  been held back by the  misogonyny of the New York School  and  the   fact that  in 1984 she  was to be  given a  rare  restrospective   for  a  woman  by  the  Museum of  Modern Art   

A  1982  report from  London  about an  exhibition  by  English painter Richard Sickert was  obviously closely  read by Margaret, one paragraph awarded an  exclamation mark .  He   is    described  as  having  been a rather   pathetic  old terror  in a bold check suit who wrote attention seeking letters  to  The Times and painted as if  he did not give a  damn, blatantly cribbing from  newspaper  photographs and Punch cartoons ; he also managed  to  squeeze in  three  wives.

 More  items of interest  from  the  magazines  are  likely to  be run  in  Little Darwin  at   some  stage. 

 Architecture was  another  subject which interested  Margaret Vine , early Brisbane architecture one aspect .  However,  this  blog  recently found  a  worn  l969  book, A history of Architecture in France, by T. W. West, University of  London Press, displaying  her distinctive  underlining  of  text and  margin notes  in ink.      


Plans are  afoot to  surround   the  Australian and   British parliament  buildings  on October 8  as  part of the  growing  call   to  bring   Julian  Assange  home   and  get  America to  drop its  charges against him . In  other  developments :

* James  Packer of Crown Casino  donated  $250,000  to the  Assange  Campaign .

* A Free Assange  rally  is held  every Tuesday  outside  the  Adelaide electorate office  of  Foreign  Affairs  Minister ,  Penny Wong .

* There  are  repeated  calls  for   the  Albanese Government to make  more than a  "Quiet Diplomacy " approach  in   London  and   the   USA  in  the  Assange case .



 CANBERRA :  In  stunning   shock  revelations  ,  award  winning  political reporter Argus Tuft  today revealed  Scott  Morrison   had  secretly  appointed  himself  Minister  for  Silly  Walks  and  ordered   God  to ordain  him    the  Vicar  of  Dibley next  leap  year.

The   appointment   of  ScoMo  as    Silly  Minister, a  position  much  sought after  by  many   highly   qualified  members  of  the  Coalition ,  was  carried  out at Government  House  during  the witching hour  , to the accompaniment   of    Chinese  fireworks. 

According to  Argus Tuft , ScoMo ,   specially  kitted out  in   silly  attire , below , befitting  the  important  ministry , caused  the  Governor-General   to collapse  , laughing .   

The  only other politician present, he says ,  was   Senator Michaelia Cash  who  was   blindfolded, gagged and  had  plugs in  her ear-holes so  that  she knew  nothing  that   went   on.

More Importantly, she could  not  speak , so   did  not disturb  the sleep of  Black  Rod  who  had  been  suffering  from  insomnia  for  months. 

.Ace reporter Tuft  also  revealed   the  incredible  reason   why  ScoMo   had  not  attended  the  opening of the new  parliament .  With  the help of  England's Minister for Silly Haircuts,  Boris Johnson, ScoMo  was  in  London  making  plans  to  be ordained by  God   the   next  Vicar  of  Dibley in another secret ceremony , performed in the  Tower of London ,without  the  Archbishop of Canterbury  being informed . .  

ScoMo  told  God  that  the Vicar  of  Dibley had lost the  capacity to tell fibs  to  the congregation  and  the   parish  committee  was  a  collection of  muddle-headed bums,like  the National Party .  ScoMo   promised  to  wear  a royal  blue  dog collar   and a  vest  with more   colours   than  Jacob's  coat  of  many  hues  when  inducted  into   the  new position .  

News of  his  audacious plan to oust  the popular  Vicar  leaked  out  yesterday; there was a  windy    demo  by  parishioners   against  the  proposed   Orstralian  usurper.