Sunday, April 30, 2023


Two crocodiles have been trapped recently at  Harney Beach ,  across  from   Darwin ,  named  after  author and  bushman  Bill Harney. The most recent one was a 3metre  female  ; three  weeks ago ,  a   4metre  male  was   caught  by  rangers .  After retiring from the Native Affairs Branch in l947 , Harney built  himself  a  hut   at  Darwin's  Two  Fellah Creek . 

Sucker watch  by  Vallis .

Fishermen on   the   Picnic Bay   Jetty , Magnetic  Island , above ,   have  been  catching  numbers  of  eel-like Remora ,  called  suckerfish ,  which  attach   themselved  to   sharks ,  whales,  turtles  and  rays   and   go  along  for   the   wild   ride .  


 LONDON :  A  strong royal command   has  been issued   for an  Australian  and  any  of  his  rowdy  mates  to  be  given  VIP   treatment  in   Buckingham  Palace   during  the  wild   coronation   ceremonies, and  for   the  rest  of   the  year .

Little  Darwin understands  the  lucky  person  is    Peter Burleigh ,  a  former  bohemian illustrator  and  advertising guru , shown above departing    Australia    for   the   Mother Country   back  in  l969  ,  on a  diplomatic  mission  to  show  the   Poms  that  Orstralians   are   not   uncouth  descendants  of   convicts  obsessed  with  kangaroos ,  meat  pies  .  

This  Burleigh  chap , apparently  a drop out from university  architecture studies  , produced   bizarre   drawings for   a   questionable   Melbourne   magazine ,  Broadside , edited  by  Pete Steedman ,  who dressed like a  bikie  in  denim and  leather jacket  , carried a  shiv , and  was related  to   Guy   Fawkes  who   tried  to  blow up  Westminster . 

In fact , the  True Blue , Reds  under the Bed ,  Menzies Government  considered  charging  Steedman with  treason because of his  stand against the Vietnam war  , which would have seen him locked up in the Tower  of   London , flogged daily  and  fed   on  stuffed  ravens .

 So why  is  King Charles  prepared to give  Burleigh  and his  suspect cobbers the  keys to  Buck Palace and   its  well  stocked  wine  cellar  ?

The reason  is revealed in the last  comicstrip   Burleigh   drew  for    Broadside in which he   said he was  taking a  food parcel  to  London for  Prince  Charles and  also to warn  the Brits  that   weirdo  comedian  Barry Humphries  was  a  "twisted intellectual ." 

In that  strip  he proudly drew himself ,above , in a  turned up slouch hat ,brandishing  a personal letter of introduction from the Victorian  Premier , Henry Bolte , declaring  Peter  Burleigh  is    fair dinkum , a china plate .  It went  on to say he  comes from the  greatest  little state in Australia and would love to be  on  the  "feed  bag  with   youse." 

Because   Burleigh    personally delivered   the food parcel to Chiller -kept under his  sweaty armpit  during the flight- the leftovers  fed to the greedy palace Corgis, Prince Charles told Little Darwin  he feels obligated to  give   Pete , his  wife, Jude, and  any  other  mates ,  a   knees  up.

 Our monarch also  observed  that    he  and  Burleigh  both have  prominent  ears indicating their could  be  a  royal  blood  link  through  Basil Sweetlips .

Like  graffiti you see in a public convenience, the puzzling name Basil Sweetlips  oft  appeared  in   Burleigh   cartoons , without  explanation.. 

Tracked down in  France , in a fancy eatery , Peter Burleigh responded to the  royal  beano promise  by  King  Charles lll  by saying he did not want  to be served  any  of  the   coronation  quiche  crap  while  he   is lodged in the  palace  with  his   many  roistering   mates   from  yesteryear . 

Saturday, April 29, 2023


Townsville  sign.
Island Ranger  vessel  Magnetic Island .

Friday, April 28, 2023



Special by Aeronautical Correspondent, Abra .

Thursday, April 27, 2023


Townsville . Shipping Reporter .

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


A book which once belonged to the library of  the Daring Class destroyer   HMAS  Voyager  , sliced in two  and sunk with the loss of  82 lives, after it collided with  the  Royal  Australian Navy  aircraft carrier HMAS   Melbourne,   off  Jervis Bay,  on  February 10, l964, has surfaced  .

 Published by Frederick Muller Limited, London, the  1956  book is  entitled  Mysteries of the Sea, by  Robert  de la Croix, translated from the French by  James  Cleugh, a collection of maritime disasters , including  a strange account  of   the   celebrated  Marie  Celeste

It  bears  one Voyager  library stamp  and  four others of   the   R.A.N.   Education Service  Ship's Library , non-fiction section .

The  rarity was recently  brought  to  Townsville   by  Darwin  resident  Bob  White , his early schooling  received  in the Queensland city ,  who  had a   Navy friend , with whom he had played  football in Darwin ,who  had  been aboard the Voyager and  died in  the  collision which took part during a night-time  manoeuvre . 

The  friend  had  been  running the  Navy Oil Fuel Installation at Stokes Hill Wharf , Darwin,   but  had to  do  sea time duty from time to time  , and that was  how  he  came to  be  aboard  the  destroyer , a victim of  Australia's largest   peacetime navaL  disaster. 

White   said  Navy  ship  library  books  were often "dropped  off "  back about  the  l960s and   possibly exchanged. When they became superfluous they were disposed of in various ways .This was how he had possibly obtained the  book.The Voyager  stamp had made him  keep it  for  sentimental  reasons.

There were two  Royal Commissions into the disaster  , a  navigational error blamed   for the  collision.  In the second investigation  it  was revealed the  Voyager captain , Duncan Stephens, had a drinking problem . There   were  claims  of  a  cover up .  

The  Minister for the Navy from l964 - l966,  responsible  for dealing with the ramifications , was  Fred Chaney senior , later  Administrator of the  Northern Territory, 1970-l973.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


It can now be revealed that  Barry Humphries  provided   Russia  with details of  the  outrageous  Australian  government  treatment    of   artists  , writers  and    talented  , myopic  women   from   Moonee   Ponds . 

In an  exclusive   dispatch  from  Moscow , using  the  thinly disguised name  ,  Beria Humphivitch ,  the   patriotic  Australian   told  the truth about  Down Under   in  a  lengthy  shock   document    run  in   the  Melbourne   high class  publication, Broadside, edited by  activist   Pete  Steedman , on September  18 , l969 , who  went on  to  become   an   ALP  politician . 

Briefly ,  it  said  a terrifying document  signed by dozens of Australian  artists,  writers and  intellectuals  had  been smuggled into Russia telling  the  horrendous story of how the  works  of talented  men and women  were suppressed  by  the State .

Some were even  being forcibly restrained by the State from fleeing to the free  world . Recently, a young satirist  ,  as  a protest , had  turned himself into  a human torch,  warning picture follows.

 Many writers and artists, it said ,  refused to wear the  official lapel badge I AM A LONG- HAIRED  OVERPAID POOFTAH and were being subjected to a crippling  "artist  tax. "

It went on to say that hundreds of stories  were pouring into the Soviet Union revealing  that many writers were  forced to bury their  manuscripts  and bank statements  underground . 

It cited the case  of an Aboriginal  wrestler and  intellectual , who managed to elude customs officials ,   tried to swim to Siberia , but  had been  washed up  in Bulgaria . Still  pinned to his briefs  was a bloodstained badge : I  AM   A FRIZZY- HAIRED  OVERPAID  BLACK  POOFTAH . He had  died  soon  after .

The  gruesome report  included  the following  photo  of  the remains after the   self immolation  of the  satirist , with  the caption : The death of  an artist  as  a Taxpayer .
Following  the death of Barry Humphries , Pete Steedman  recalled   the comedian performing  once  at    a Melbourne university  in the  early  l960s. Pete  edited   two  university  newspapers, Lot's Wife and Farrago  .

Published fortnightly, Broadside, run by David Syme and Company Limited , was  a wide ranging  publication which  covered   the Vietnam War, art,  theatre,  books ,Aboriginal  affairs  , censorship , and chess also ran talented cartoonists and illustrators  such as  Michael  Leunig  and  Peter  Burleigh . Did  a muscular  Russian female  pothole  filler  , Olga from   the  Volga , inspire   Dame  Edna  ? 

Monday, April 24, 2023


Cairns by  Abra .


Above cartoon by  David Rowe of Australian Financial Review ,  both on   ABC  Insiders  Talking  Pictures  with  Mike  Bowers .

Sunday, April 23, 2023


 The  following   story  may  well  turn  up  on  the  ABC's  popular   Gardening Australian  television  show  in  the  Frequently  Asked  Questions  segment .   It   runs   thus :

I  have  a  green  finger  , should I  poke  it  in  a  dainty  dish  of  succulents  when  I  notice  that  something  seems  to  have   nibbled    the  leaves  ? 

 Answer : No-silly Greenie-because it could be a large ,green  ,greedy,stinging caterpillar , see  above, and  when  you  touch it  with  you r dainty   index  finger  you will  yelp  madly with pain  and your  digit will swell  up  and turn red  like  a  waratah .

Incidentally,  you  have a  snake  loose  in  the  front  garden , do  not  poke  it   with   your   finger !!!

Saturday, April 22, 2023



Born in London  in  1834, George Arthur Walstab , dux of the Merchant Taylor' School at 16,  was in France at the  time of  the Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte  coup  d'etat  of  December  l851. 

The Walstab family came to Melbourne in the early 1850s    during  the  Victorian  goldrush ,the father  setting up  as  an auctioneer  and estate agent . 

Young George signed up  as a   cadet  police  officer   and   served in  Mounted Police  escorts  guarding  consignments  from  the  diggings .

Soon after the Eureka stockade revolt , he  resigned and went to  India  where he  served  as a cavalryman in the Mutiny, keen on  swordsmanship, often giving fencing demonstrations   in   his   younger   days .

It was said  his  campaigning  ended  when he  was severely wounded in the leg, which forced him  to  abandon  his  sword  for  the  pen .

Soon  after , he  joined the  "celebrated  newspaper ",  The Calcutta  Englishman , becoming a  sub editor and  then  its editor in  his  middle  twenties .

In 1864 he had  published  in  Calcutta  a novel, Back,or,Pique, Repique and Capot  , which  was  well received in  London . In Calcutta he  met and married  Mary Anne  Nolan   in  1861, with whom  he  returned to  Melbourne where-"in his prime "- he became one of its best known  figures  .

With a vast knowledge of  French language and literature, he wrote for The Argus  and  Herald . In September  1865 he became the first editor of  A.H. Massina's  the  Australian  Journal , which  in  its 76th year of  publication in  l942  ran  a  small  feature about  him , with the above  photo,  now  in  the  Little  Darwin Collection .

During  his  busy  period in Melbourne  he wrote novels , edited the Austrasian Monthly Review , was involved with  Marcus Clarke  in the Colonial Monthly , was a smart  dresser  , took up acting , and was a founding member of  the  bohemian Yorick  Club.   

At one stage he was appointed a clerk in the Department of Lands Survey and by  l880 was receiving  400 pound  a year , the highest paid public servant . Late in life  he  wrote leaders for  the  Melbourne  Herald ; he   died in 1907.  


Recycled fish , available for seconds , one of many interesting items and paintings   in   the  Reef  Bar  Cafe  , Picnic  Bay , Magnetic  Island .

Friday, April 21, 2023


Vallis. Not created with  artificial intelligence .



Thursday, April 20, 2023


Taiwanese owned , Panama registered, bulk carrier , Tai Shine 

Golden Creation  tanker  , built 2015, Panama flag .
Asian Bulker ,Singapore registered .Shipping Reporter  pix.



Vallis .



Abra .

Tuesday, April 18, 2023



One of the many  superb  displays mounted  by the Special Collections   section  of  James Cook University ,Townsville, in the Eddie Koiki Mabo  Library ,  is  about  Bill Bowyang  , with an   informative  letter  from   publisher ,  historian , author  and artist  , the  late  Glenville  Pike.   In the handwritten  information, under Pike's  Pinevale Publishing  company letterhead  , Glenville   states  that  Bill Bowyang -Frank Vennard, of Bowen-  wrote about the bush  for  the North Queensland Register  for about 30 years  until his  death  in 1947. 

By Peter Simon

The extensive contributions  were  run on  a page under the heading On The Track , another  historica l feature ,  On the Top  Rail .

Pike took over the latter page  in 1947 under the heading Around The Campfire.

Bill Bowyang, he wrote ,  had  been a famous bush writer in his day , "his little works" valuable  now  (l994).   He  had  experienced  trouble  selling them  for "two  bob" (two shillings ) in 1937-1940.

Born in l884  on Vindex Station , his middle name Vindex,   near Winton, while his parents were on a droving trip. Vennard  worked  at many jobs, canecutting, wool pressing and  carried  his swag  from 1912-13. After  the evacuation  from Gallipoli  in WWl , he  wrote  for Egyptian  and  British newspapers, often  highlighting  the antics and humour of Australian soldiers; he   served in the Camel Corps , in Libya and Gaza ,  was badly wounded .

While in hospital  awaiting  his return to Australia, he  was approached  by David Barker  who  had been involved  in the production of   the Anzac Book, in London , and was made editor  of  The Kia-Ora Coo-ee magazine for the   Australian Infantry Force   in  Egypt  and Palestine , with a monthly circulation of  3000  which rose to  15,000.

Back in   Sydney  at  the Randwick Military  Hospital , he  became involved with J.F. Archibald of  the Sydney  Bulletin and  for nearly  two years worked on  the new Smith's Weekly , providing  short stories and  other literary items . Then  he  headed up  to Bowen, North Queensland , where he died at the  age of   67. 

Hero of  the North -Glenville Pike ,below.

I first met Glenville , his Kiwi mother , also a writer and poet ,  and "aunty" , their dog, in Darwin, when I went to work on the Northern Territory News  in l958.  They called at the newspaper  office ,  the women sat in the  shade  with the dog , while Glenville  went  inside  and  transacted   business.  

The  editor of  the  paper ,  Jim  Bowditch , urged  me  and other  staff  to  buy  any  of  Glenville's  extensive  output , which included   hand-painted  Christmas cards  and the North  Australian  Monthly magazine , printed in Townsville ,  as  he  said  the  trio  lived  the  life  of  church mice . 

Acting on Jim's instruction, I still have a complete set  of  the North Australian Monthly , several of  Pike's books  and fond memories of  Glenville, his mother and aunt . At one stage I even considered buying the  Pike  property in  the  Darwin rural area. 

Over  the  years,  I helped him out  in some of his  ventures , making photos or  copies  available.    

When he was living near Mareeba , where he had a trunk filled with his extensive  literary  and publishing  output ,  a substantial  library , my wife and  I  called on him and  his second wife , a  jovial  Eurasian  woman .

As  a  special treat , they would go into  Mareeba  for  a  meal . His wife  went  to a Chinese   eatery ; Glenville , headed to  another cafe   that  served  good old  Australian  steak and  eggs , not   this  Chinese tucker which he did not like . 

 His first  wife  had been an  American woman  whose ex- husband had been a wealthy New York plastic surgeon  who gave her a new  Cadillac sports car   each   birthday .

Late in  life  , in Townsville for medical tests , Glenville  visited   Magnetic Island  and  recalled old  times  in  Darwin , Cairns  and  elsewhere  in  the  north .  



Monday, April 17, 2023



 Fresh  figure of  saint   atop  Castle Hill , Townsville .

Saturday, April 15, 2023


By  Abra .


Friday, April 14, 2023


 Opening at the Charles Darwin University  Art  Gallery Casuarina Campus, April 19 ,at  6pm , running through to July 15, the exhibition celebrates  the l966 Wave Hill  Walk-off , when Vincent Lingiari AM  led  Gurindji,Mudburra ,Bilinarra, Ngarinyman and Warlpiri peoples on a strike from  Wave Hill Station , in the Victoria River District . It  eventuated in the first historic handback of  lands  to First Nations  Australians in l975, under the Whitlam  ALP  Government , and the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act,1976.

Thursday, April 13, 2023


 Rerun of a November 2010 post in  Little Darwin's gonzo series- REWIND THE  PRESS !-which  revealed  the  Northern Territory's  colourful  media  past 

As The Star, an independent newspaper run by Kerry and Sandra Byrnes  , which challenged the  Murdoch owned  Northern Territory News,  grew in popularity, various groups,including the  NT government, tried to influence its content. 

At first, it was not realised how big an impact the paper was having on the Darwin establishment. Because the paper often took the NT government to task, it was wrongly labelled an ALP paper.

Legal threats
In the minds of government members and their media minders, however, it was so regarded. The fact that John Waters,QC, an ALP stalwart , handled the legal side of the paper , including threats of legal action , of which there were a goodly number, added weight to the conviction that it was a Labor paper.

Kerry Byrnes recalled an occasion at a function in the Victoria Hotel when he was “bailed up “ by Chief Minister , Paul “Porky” Everingham, accompanied by his press secretary , Peter Murphy , a former Star editor , and berated because the paper never had anything good to say about his government. Over and over ,

 Everingham drawled , “Why don’t you like us? ” Byrnes replied that it was not a matter of liking the government - it was all talk and no action. The paper was taking the government to task for that inaction. (In a taped interview, Kerry recently said the situation changed. Everingham did become a good CM and things did happen for the betterment of Darwin . )

Pinko  commie 

The animosity towards The Star from some in the big end of town became evident at an unusual encounter during a polocrosse day at Fred’s Pass Reserve one weekend . Kerry was sitting -“knee deep in horse shit and empty white cans “- when a group of prominent businessmen , one a large , gruff millionaire , drew nigh.

The corpulent fellow , who later suicided, bellowed at Kerry and went on about his " fucking, pinko, commie " newspaper . He demanded to know how you could get anything positive in the double expletive newspaper . Responding in kind, Kerry told him he could buy The Star and would then have to contend with the editor . (The editor at the time was Peter Blake who, Kerry said, would tell any proprietor who performed like the millionaire where to go in no uncertain way .)

The juiced up businessman enthusiastically embraced the suggestion to buy the offending publication and emphatically stated he would call round at 9 am on Monday and purchase the despicable rag . Returning home from the rowdier than usual equestrian event , Kerry related the surprising news to Sandra. They spent the weekend “ on cloud nine,” spending the money they had not yet received on European cruises, new cars, paying off debt. There would be no more creditors ringing up-like the banks which “ went ballistic ” from the first day of the paper .

On the Monday , Kerry rushed in early and got the staff to spruce up the place to make it look a glittering prize for the new owner. Someone was sent up the road to get fresh coffee and cakes. At the appointed hour, the tycoon did not arrive ; by 10.30 it was evident that he was not going to show, so everybody got stuck into the coffee and cakes.

Two weeks later, again at polocrosse , Kerry saw the well-heeled fellow, a little tired and emotional, and asked him why he had not kept the appointment to buy The Star . He responded by saying he had no recollection of the episode. The Star blithely proceeded along its merry way 

Letter from US President 

The Star had regular columnists and contributors like activists, agronomist Rob Wesley – Smith and welfare officer John Tomlinson, deeply involved in the Freedom for East Timor movement, civil liberties and the Gurindjis ,to name a few issues . Wes received a letter from US President –Elect, Jimmy Carter , re Timor. A 1976 fishing column by E.M. O’Neil , a nom de plume ,included a picture of the pollution at the Gove wharf ore loading facilities , which is still going on today, according to a recent report in the NT News, which quoted Alcan as saying it may cost up to $100milllion to overcome.

One of Kerry Byrnes’s many tasks was virtually that of a bagman to make sure there was enough money in the kitty to pay the workforce , that grew to 35, each week and meet the monthly overheads , which kept him racing about like a doped greyhound.

A representative of the Printing and Kindred Industries Employees' Union (PKIEU) rang Kerry and said he wanted to inspect the newspaper , enrol members and check conditions. Keeping the whole operation running fairly smoothly without any unforeseen disruptions was a major concern in those early days. The thought of a union coming in and somehow throwing a spanner in the works caused alarm bells to ring. Kerry told the PKIEU man that all the staff were paid above award rates and fringe benefits included cartons of beer for regular piss ups , free party tucker- cakes, biscuits , garlic bread and garlic prawns . Our employees just luv us , mate , the union rep was told .

Ticklish problem 
The fact that a green frog in the ladies toilet tickled the girls, causing them to scream , was not made known to the PKIEU in case a black ban was placed on the dunny or , worse still, the entire premises placed in quarantine until deloused .
Nevertheless , the union official insisted that he would visit. Kerry went into the factory and broke the news to a German printer , who immediately reacted angrily , shouting fuck several times in an aggressive Prussian way. 

On hearing his outburst , other staff wanted to know what was wrong . The angry German said Kerry was sooling the union onto everybody . Something of a League of Nations , the staff included nationals of France, New Zealand , Scandinavia and Britain , who responded in a similar fashion as the German,whose surname, oddly enough , gave the impression he was a Pommie . The emphatic consensus was that they did not want any union dues deducted from their pay.

Santamaria on the line !

Fearing an insurrection in the factory and disruption to the harmonious running of the business, Kerry spoke to a right wing union official in Sussex Street, Sydney,about the union situation. As a result of that conversation, Kerry was surprised to receive a number of telephone calls from the Catholic Action leader, B. A. Santamaria, who warned about the danger of allowing “Communist unions” into the workplace. During one of those conversations, Santamaria addressed him as “son”, and asked Kerry , a Catholic, where he had been educated . On stating Marcellin College , Camberwell , Melbourne, run by the Marist Brothers, Santamaria said he knew it well.

A small business started to take out a full page advertisement which, Kerry said , was like a tiny corner shop running a six page advert. The owner invited Kerry and Sandra to a dinner party at his home , a fortress like building , with steel shutters and a generator , where you could imagine a drawbridge being drawn up to protect it from invasion by an unwashed horde at a time of revolution .

Goosesteppers, limp fallers 

As the evening progressed , disparaging comments were made about blackfellows, Asians, Vietnamese refugees and what they were doing to Australia. Sandra took umbrage at what was being said ,saying they sounded like a nest of Aryan goosesteppers , and they left . Thereafter, the fellow from the extreme right wing group ,which included several doctors, pulled his advert and scowled at Kerry whenever he saw him in the street.

Kerry and Sandra had an unusual experience at a function for Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Kerry was approached by the PM’s security men who said they wanted to eject The Star photographer because he was drunk. Kerry issued an invitation to be his guest, and the snapper was given the bum’s rush. We hasten to point out that photographer was not Barry Ledwidge . At another political dinner , an exhausted scribe fell face first into a plate of potatoes . His wife was informed that her husband was embedded in the tatties, and resignedly said he was always doing things like that .

A much read regular column, SCURRILOUS ,contained snappy ,short items, often upset some in high places. Several late night telephone calls were received by an editor from a prominent man who not only applauded the paper for its stance against the NT government in a certain contentious matter , but urged a continuation of the campaign . One item , probably more, resulted in phone taps.

Surprising indeed were the legion of people who wanted to provide news tips , supply interesting scuttlebutt and arrange documents to fall from the back of trucks. Alleged drug dealers were named and details of odd behaviour by well to do people were provided. The walls of The Star, including the ladies loo with its girl- eating frog, would have been papered with writs had they published all the juicy bits.

News complains to Press Council 

Another lively column , Star Spots, also stirred up the town . From time to time ,the columns took a shot at the News and the paper became incredibly sensitive . Several complaints were made to the Australian Press Council by the News about comments made about it in The Star. As these complaints had to be made in writing , a copy was duly forwarded to The Star for a response, which caused much mirth as the details were read out to all and sundry .

The Star gave these complaints a run in the paper, with additional comment , further stirring the possum. The Press Council became puzzled about the complaints , and one of its members actually rang The Star and expressed surprise at the attitude of the News. After all , this was an exchange between journos who at times went in hard on members of the public , yet seemed to cry foul when subjected to banter by their own kind.

After leaving The Star, veteran photographer and graphic artist , Barry Ledwidge, applied for a job at the News. Editor John Hogan , a Kiwi rugger bugger , marched out of his office, pointed at him, and said he would never get a job on the paper because he had worked at The Star.  (Hogan  went on to be   an  editor of  the  Townsville Bulletin .)

However, other ex-Star photographers who did get work at the News were Clive Hyde, recently retired chief photographer at the NT News, and the peripatetic Beat  Errisman ,who is attracted back to Darwin from Europe like a bee to  honey.

Yet another lively column, From the Longgrass , featured a drawing by an artist called Wicking -now a popular cartoonist at the NT News.

Media talent ,one scruffy 

Through the newspaper’s portals passed a stream of journos – Andy Bruyn , now the Channel Nine ,Darwin, chief; Rex Clark , government media adviser, Channel 7, Queensland ,high flyer ; American Toni Gragg (Kelly) , who had covered the Cuban missile crisis for the US Navy , an all rounder , PR , government media advisor , later spent a time in the Hong Kong Department of Monuments and Antiquities. Val Smith , experienced in many aspects of printing, went on to run her own rural newspaper in Darwin .

Of the many editors who passed through The Star, John Loizou was the best one from the management’s point of view in that he was able to keep the costs down. A former NT News reporter who had been forced out of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy, he found it hard to get back onto the paper, probably because he had played an active part in the strike over the editor appointed to replace Jim Bowditch. On his return to Darwin , he was forced to work as a council employee . 

Later taken back by the News, he became the productive editor of the Sunday Territorian and was recently praised by NT News reporter Nigel Adlam for his performance there . From Vietnam , where he now works, Louizou this month wondered what the capitalist Byrnes team thought when he wrote in The Star that his heroes had been Lenin and Marx

The wardrobe of one reporter who often slept on the premises ran to two shirts only . Each day he would take off the crumpled shirt he had slept in, open a drawer and take out the other shirt, in similar condition ,which he had stuffed in the previous morning , slip it on and go forth to face a crisp newsy world.

Reporter  bashed 

A reporter was knocked down and kicked by men at night over a story . During the thumping the assailants said the reporter would not write any more stories about a well known Darwin person as he would receive another bashing. Silly fellows-the man they mentioned got another big run in the very next edition, despite the fact that the reporter had an arm in a sling .

Kerry and Sandra were included in a trade mission to Hong Kong and had an interesting discussion with representatives of the Hong Kong Star who had strong memories of the legion of Australian journalists who had worked on the paper. Apart from their involvement with the newspaper, Sandra and Kerry had dealings with David Astley,who started a nursery supply business ,Tropigro , in Darwin and got them to print a tropical gardening magazine . 

After two issues , he left to become manager of Channel 8, later Channel 9. Kerry and Sandra enthusiastically continued production of the magazine, becoming deeply interested in tropical gardening in the process.  The magazine attracted national advertisers and there was widespread readership in northern Australia and some enthusiastic overseas readers. Through the magazine they made many contacts with nurserymen, horticulturists and enthusiasts. Sandra ,Kerry and family once travelled from Cairns as far south as Sydney selling the magazine to newsagents and other outlets .

When the paper was sold to  South Australian  trucking and  media  magnate , Allan  Scott , of Mount Gambier , Kerry and  Sandra  ran  Arnhem  Nursery  at  Humpty  Doo, still run  by  the  family .  

Other magazines they produced were the monthly Darwin Visitor ,which promoted tourism , and separate ones for hockey with the enthusiastic support of businessman Keith Kemp and Aussie Rules Football with the involvement of Aldo Roscetto and Bob Elix, into which they put a lot of time and effort.