Wednesday, May 31, 2023


 Seagulls  are  increasingly   making  their  mark   on  a  strange colony   atop  a pylon  at  the  Nelly Bay   ferry  landing  .  It  consists of  an odd  assortment  of    tiny  items , said  to  be  children's  playthings,  found  on  vessels .  Another unusual   photo  from  the  phosphate seeking Shipping  Reporter  . 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023



Magnetic Island. Vallis 


 Standout  vessel in Townsville  , the  general cargo ship  AAL Bangkok , flying  under  the  flag  of  Cyprus,  now heading for Korea , and  other  port  activity   captured  on  film  by  the  roving / raving   Shipping  Reporter  . 


 Bush-stone Curlew  sitting on a   bowl,  pretending to be  a celebrity chef . Anybody  for  short  soup ? 

BIRTH OF THE MOUNT ISA MAIL-Continuing saga of the Northern Territory Crusading Editor,"Big Jim " Bowditch

 Rerun of  a May 13,2013 post in Little Darwin.

A typical do-it-yourself  Kiwi, Ross Annabell  is shown   with a deer he shot  and ,  a  120 camera  hanging about his neck,  down  inside the  steaming  crater   of   Mount Tarawera  which  exploded in the 1880s, devastating  a  large part of  the  Bay of  Plenty in the North Island.

After freelancing in North Queensland for 10 months from a base in Mareeba , journalist Ross Annabell returned to the Mackay Mercury newspaper and was surprised to receive a letter from Eric White and Associates,Sydney, in November l952 asking him if he would like to be the editor of a new weekly newspaper in the mining town  of  Mount Isa .

By Peter  Simon

Annabell, destined to become closely involved  with  Bowditch  and  Bob  Freeden , mentioned  in the  previous post , NO NEWS IN THE TRUTH , was offered  the  position because he  had applied in l950 for the job as the first editor of the NT News, but had not received a reply to his  letter. Then ,“ out of the blue ”, some two years later, he was offered the editorship of a new newspaper to be called the Mount  Isa Mail , on a salary of 20 pound ($40) a week, plus two percent commission on any advertising contracts he could write. He accepted the position to start  mid-January but , luckily, did not resign from the Mercury as plans for the paper were delayed several months.

In April , Annabell was flown to Sydney and in an interview with Eric White and Don Whitington  was confirmed as editor and given many instructions on how they wanted the paper run . They told him they had 20,000 pound  ($40,000 ) capital to start the paper and he firmly believed they had received some financial assistance from the mining company. Annabell was instructed to set up an office in the Isa then travel to Townsville and go by rail around the west for a fortnight selling advertising  space and gathering copy for the paper . The paper would be printed in  Darwin at  the NT News.

Both White and Whitington , he felt , had spoken to mine management who were “desperate ” to have a local paper to counter the strong union influence in the town. As a result of that visit to Sydney, Annabell resigned from the Mercury immediately, booked a flight to Isa for late May , the aim being to have the first newpaper out on July 3. He tried to leave the Mercury earlier but the management made him work out his month’s notice , finally departing for Mt Isa on May 26. By this time, Eric White and Associates were in a “ big panic ” because they had heard that a journalist with access to financial backing was trying to buy the newspaper in the nearby township of  Cloncurry with plans to also produce a paper for Mt Isa , beating them to the punch.

Annabell arrived in the Isa  and discovered that the temporary office which had been arranged for him was to be demolished in two weeks. Therefore his first task was to find a new office , engage an office girl and  have a phone connected . After that he had to get cracking on stories and advertising for the first issue. The local MP , a Labor man , was suspicious about the paper . Entertainment in Isa consisted of picture theatres, pubs and  a  brothel -all of  which did a roaring trade.


Dilligently doing the rounds on a motorbike , whipping up adverts and copy for the new paper, Annabell was told that a Sydney company had rung a Mt Isa timber and hardware firm seeking land on which to build a newspaper office and printery. This intelligence was quickly passed on and had caused further consternation at Eric White’s . Then a rumour  went about the town that the journalist said to be keen to move into Mt Isa had offered 12,000 pound($24,000) for the nearby Cloncurry Advocate plant and buildings. Sydney made counter offers until it eventually succeeded  in buying the rundown plant ; it was later moved to Mt Isa. The plant was so primitive that the metal for the linotype machines had to be melted down each day in a wood -fired trough in the backyard .

However, during the months Annabell was in the Isa he was on his own and the Cloncurry paper had not yet been bought . The first edition of the paper came out on Friday, June 26, l953, and consisted of four broadsheet pages. Prominence was given to a Sydney court case in which a man linked with plans to start up a rival paper in Mt Isa had been charged with embezzzling funds from Universal Business Directories. Eric White  and Associates had known of the forthcoming court case and had instructed Annabell that he should mention it about town . This was intended to  undermine a potential competitor.

One of the stories in the first edition was about two police officers in Camooweal who had been charged with assault and sacked . Annabell had a personal interest in the case -the magistrate was the father of a  girlfriend Ross had in Mackay. Later on ,  Annabell met one of the policemen in the case who had moved to the Northern Territory and  he took the journalist on a shooting trip .

As planned, the Mail was printed in Darwin and flown down to Annabell for distribution. During his time in Mt Isa he led a busy life which included parties at the hospital, drinking sessions at 2 am in the  pathology department with nurses and  being  driven home in an ambulance.

Having successfuly launched the Mt Isa paper, he was then directed to Darwin in September to help the NT News in its quest to torpedo the union owned Northern Standard. He was obviously well respected in the Isa because a farewell party was held for him at which the local shire chairman got into a fight because someone shouted him down during a speech praising Ross for his efforts in starting the Mail .  The small, hard working  journalist , Mac Jeffers-"the Midget Sub" - was sent down from Darwin to take his place, but for  a  time operated from the  Cloncurry Advocate premises . Once  the paper was printed it was railed to Mt Isa.  Eventually the Cloncurry plant was moved to a site  in Mt Isa , but the paper was never much of a goer, eventually bought by Rupert Murdoch. 

Monday, May 29, 2023



Photos by Aeronautical Correspondent, Abra 

Saturday, May 27, 2023


 Exclusive   first  photograph of Australia's  AUKUS  nuclear submarine  during   secret  trials  on the  Great Barrier  Reef .  Made  to  look  like the harmless  trunk of  a  floating  coolibah tree  , it  was snapped off  Magnetic Island   by  the Shipping Reporter  while he was  doing another check on the  island's mutilated,  rapidly diminishing in  size,   mermaid  whose  tragic story is  soon to  be  made  into  a  Disney  epic .    



Townsville and Magnetic  Island .  Shipping Reporter .

Thursday, May 25, 2023



Fireman,waterside worker, saxophonist, manager of the Darwin Workers' Club, the late Brian Manning,next to his Bedford truck , now in the national collection, Canberra,  speaking at a  rally. 

Involved in   many  campaigns, he was  closely associated with the crusading editor of the  Northern Territory News, the late "Big Jim" Bowditch.  One of  the campaigns  involved   the  so called Stayput Malays , former  pearl divers  the  federal government   wanted  to  deport  from  Darwin.

To prevent them being arrested  , Manning and   Bowditch , late at night , sped down the track with the Malays  to escape the tightening   police   dragnet .

A  tyre  blew on the car  Bowditch was   drving with the stayputs  and  ran into  the bush; no one was  hurt.   Manning   provided  a  spare tyre , and  the  Malays were  hidden on a farm near Batchelor , eventually allowed to remain  in  Australia. 

Manning was involved in the East Timor   freedom struggle , his  truck, below, supports  Fretilin  and rails against the  cover  up   over   the  murder of   the  Balibo  Five  and  Roger  East .    There is a large Waterside Workers' Federation  sign  on  the  front.  

The   truck was   used to run supplies and supporters to the  Gurindji  strikers  who were backed  by  wharfies , other organisations and  Communist author  Frank Hardy ,  resulting in Aboriginal  land rights.  (Photos, from various collections,   forwarded  by  Rob Wesley-Smith .)

Wednesday, May 24, 2023



‘Australian heritage’ made real by a Bedford truck


Dr Christine Tarbett-Buckley

Thursday 1 June
Charles Darwin University Art Gallery at 12:30pm
All welcome

Banner #6 of the Gurindji freedom banners, featuring the Bedford truck during the Wave Hill strike. Reproduced courtesy of Karungkarni Art and Culture.

Dr Christine Tarbett-Buckley will consider the story of the rusted Bedford truck that was used by unionists, Brian Manning and Dexter Daniels to transport provisions to the Gurindji during the Wave Hill Strike in 1966. Its ordinary appeal as a Ford-manufactured utility vehicle was heightened by its association with the Aboriginal protest by Gurindji peoples, causing it become an icon of ‘Australian heritage’ due to its part in the strike which prompted the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) 1976. The truck is now part of the National Museum of Australia collection. 

Dr Tarbett-Buckley will narrate the story of the Bedford truck between temporal and spatial settings and elaborate on how the truck materialised as ‘Australian heritage’, symbolically asserting the Australian state as a polity reconciling differences between its First Nations and other peoples. The situational and historical contexts of the truck will be discussed to reveal aspects of the nation’s past, present and emergent histories.


The Bedford truck on display in the National Museum of Australia, Canberra. Photograph by Michael Wells,  2017.

Dr  Tarbett-Buckley has research interests in institutional practice domains of heritage. She was awarded her Doctorate by CDU in 2022. Her doctoral thesis examined social and material characteristics of Australian heritage in the Northern Territory. Christine previously worked as the Head of Collections at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). Originally trained as an archaeologist in Ireland, she has resided in the Territory since 1991. Christine is an honorary Emeritus Curator at MAGNT and an Adjunct Research Associate with the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University.

Monday, May 22, 2023


 As a   result of   the   ABC's  Late Night  Live   recent  coverage  of   the   documentary produced by Robert George , The Many Loves of Geoffrey Dutton , poet, author, editor and critic  , member of a prominent  South  Australian family,  here is  a  repeat of  a  2014  related  Little  Darwin  special  outlining   a   Magnetic  Island   connection .    

Collector and  researcher , Gary  Davies , of   Magnetic Island ,seen on the  right ,  with   the  footscraper he  bought  at  the grand  1978  Dutton   estate  contents  sale.

Years  after  the auction , dealers  and collectors  spoke in  awe  about  the  event , the   Duttons  said  to be regarded as South Australian  royalty  in  their   heyday .

Francis  Dutton  made  a  fortune  in mining  , became  the  SA Premier and  later  the  state’s Agent –General  in  London.

The   day  of  the  auction  ,  Anlaby ,  with  its  elegant , long  driveway,  large courtyard  surrounded  by numerous buildings ,  a   folly overlooking the  tennis court  ,which also  served both  as a  grandstand  and   a  water tower,   had  shrunk  to  a  small   holding .

 Professor    Geoffrey  Dutton,    born   in 1928 ,   had   literary and  publishing interests  and  upset  the  conservative Adelaide Club with his republican views . He resorted to pig farming in a vain  and  desperate   bid  to   keep   the  estate  going .  

During  his  time  running  Anlaby   literary and artistic  guests included  Patrick White,  Yevtoshenko ,  Max Harris ,  Sidney Nolan  and   John  Olsen.

Buyers came from many  parts of Australia for  the closed  circuit  television auction,staged in a large tent. Gary, a keen  secondhand dealer ,drove  to  the  property  early , eager to  have   a   close   look  at   what   was   offering .   

He noticed there were trucks unloading old wares  and suspected the auction was  being "padded out"- a common activity  in Adelaide ( and elsewhere )-to cash in on well-  attended sales . Because of this ,Gary  said he closely studied  the printed  catalogue  and checked, as much as possible,  that items  he  was interested in came from the  estate. 

As  mentioned  earlier  in  Little Darwin ,  Gary, keen on Australian literature, had  taken  a  copy of  Geoffrey Dutton’s  poems   to  Anlaby  and  got him to autograph it for him.

Like so many in the big crowd, Gary and his wife  explored  the  sprawling  estate , a  woman , believed to  be Geoffrey Dutton’s wife,, the prominent artist and author Ninette,came up and  said  they  were  in an area  not  open  to  the  public .  The   huge  library , built  up  over the years , had already been sold to a prominent bookdealer, thought to   be   from   Melbourne.  


Items  of  interest  included  model  yachts  and  the radiator  and other  spare  parts  for  the  25hp , four cylinder , Talbot  car   driven   from   Adelaide  to   Darwin    by   Harry Dutton-Geoffrey’s  father - and Murray Aunger in  1908.   Aboriginal artefacts  said to have  been given  to the  two pioneers on  the  Darwin  car trip  were   included  in  the  auction .
 In  what  had  been an  office , Gary  bought  the  paper  files , ephemera. This   included  a circa 1890s , large leather bound   stationery sample catalogue  with  pages bearing watermarks and  envelopes - described as a beautiful work of art  by Gary . On a  spike was a cluster of  paperwork , some addressed to Squire Dutton, related to stumpjump  ploughs , steam engines , brochure  after  brochure , receipts  with  duty stamps attached  , correspondence .

A wonderful  buy , for a mere  six  to eight dollars each, were  a quantity of  shearers  forms,   two or  three metres long , like pews , each  branded  H. R. Dutton  on  the base .  When  the  Dutton  empire was riding the  golden fleece boom- Anlaby  Australia's  first sheep stud-  it took  seven  months for a  large team of  shearers  to clip   some 70,000 sheep .

Other purchases  included  the billiard cue  holder, above, used as an umbrella  and walking stick  stand. The smal l table  is  also from Anlaby.

When  Gary  was  living  in  Bordertown , SA , the National Trust  bought  some of  the shearers  forms and  other  items from  the  Anlaby auction. 


Another person who attended  the  auction  is  former  Melbourne and  Adelaide antique dealer , Alan Jones , who recently  moved  from   Malaysia  to  Ireland  with  his  wife , Pat.    His  Adelaide business, at  Largs,   went under the deceptive  name , The Junkery .  An  avid collector , he is a man of   many skills  and  even  turns  wire coat  hangers  into   model  aeroplanes . 

Over the phone from Ireland , he recalled  the   Anlaby  sale .  A  great  buy , he said ,  had  been  a  Huon Pine  desk  with   lift   up  leather  panels . 

Being a keen collector of nautical  items , he  also bought a  photograph  which  appeared to  be  a  bridal  party  posing  against  the colonial  South Australian  gunboat , Protector, skippered at one stage  by  Captain Creswell,  father  of  the   Royal  Australian  Navy.

In 1900 ,  the  Protector headed for  the Boxer Rebellion  in China , but arrived   after  the  siege . During WWII the vessel  was  recquisitioned  by the  US Army  and on a  voyage to  New Guinea was damaged in a collision  with a tug at Gladstone  and  ended up  a  rusting  hulk  on Queensland's  Heron Island , still  visible  today.


This writer visited  Anlaby  several  times  in the l980s  and  met  its then owners , Dutchman Hans  Alders and his  wife, Gill, from  Echuca, Victoria , who put  much time  and effort into restoring  the glory of  the homestead , turning  it  into  a  bed and  breakfast . 

They  brought  with  them  from  Echuca  an impressive collection  of early horse- drawn  vehicles, including  a  sombre, glass  sided  hearse , complete with  black plumes,  a  Cobb and Co. coach .  Gill threw herself  into  restoring the massive rose gardens which had  made Anlaby famous worldwide , there  being  14 gardeners  at  the   time .

In  his  autobiographical , Out In The Open , Geoffrey  Dutton wrote  that his  mother  had a  gun with  which she shot  rosellas attacking  her  roses . While entertaining Lady Spencer,  whose  son , John  Althorp , Princess Diana's father , working as an ADC  at Government House in Adelaide,   she  shot  a  bird on the wing   which  fell into the   guest's  teacup.

 Dutton went on to say  his  mother    complained  that  between  rats , rosellas   and   the Labor Party  it  was difficult to get a  decent rose  to grow.

As I walked  about  Anlaby , in an empty  building running off the courtyard , hanging  from  a  nail  was  an early Glass  car tyre  , with an attached faded  note  saying  it  was used on  the  run  from  Adelaide  to  Darwin.

The Alders   asked  me  to keep an eye out for anything  related to  Anlaby, Gill especially  interested   in  books on  old roses.  A 1935 souvenir  booklet  I  bought at  auction  stated that  in the nearby   town of Eudunda , Francis Dutton had  been known locally as “the Squire.” 

 While rummaging through  a jumble of books in a Port Adelaide secondhand shop , I found  a 1903  revised   and enlarged  edition  of the  Poems of Henry Clarence  Kendall , containing  a Henry Dutton bookplate, Geoffrey  Dutton’s paternal  grandfather.

Fossicking  through  an  op shop in Angaston ,I  came  across several boxes of paperbacks , mainly  Sun Books, and  some letters  from Geoffrey Dutton , co-founder of  the publishing house ,  all of  which I  bought . One  of  the letters related to the  break up in the early 1980s  between Dutton  and his  wife , renowned enameller, artist and broadcaster  Ninette,  greatly interested in  gardens  and  wildflowers . After living  in Canberra for a time , she moved to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

 There was a  copy of Geoffrey  Dutton’s book, published by Penguin/Viking, about  Australian  literature –Snow on the Saltbush –the cover of  which  was  by artist John Olsen, who had signed  the  title  page.  

One  misty July when my  wife and I visited  Anlaby  it  presented  an English  vista  with  jonquils , paper whites  and  snowdrops  in  profusion. We also went to  a nearby  old church  built  as a memorial to Helen Elizabeth Dutton  and  16 - year - old  Ethel  Dutton, the  latter having  been drowned  at  Granite Island , Victor Harbour , after being swept  into the sea  by  a  large  wave  in  1892.

Sunday, May 21, 2023



 The answer to this  nonsensical query -the  DAT MERCURY , from  the  Dong - A Tanker (DAT)  Corporation , Busan, South Korea ,  an oil / chemical carrier  , just  one year old  , built in China , docked   in  Townsville , sailing  under the Marshall Islands  flag . Heading on this weird  post  inspired by line in   American  Amos  'n' Andy  Show  of  the  l950s. 




Saturday, May 20, 2023


Confucius  say make  hay while sun shines  before  old age  turns you into  fodder  for  medical  industry  and   Big   Pharma .


Super energised Townsville  paddler . 

Friday, May 19, 2023


 A large  part of  the Magnetic Island   birdlife  has been  under stress  recently  due to the  fact that  the Queen of  the  Jungle   went into Townsville  University   Hospital   for  a  much needed   hip operation . Her  absence  disrupted   the  regular  daily feeding   of   the  many  birds  that  visit   the  royal   estate .

In fact, it is a recognised   welcoming  drop inn   by  all  birds , resident  and passing  .  Why  she even  places   her long   grey  hair  in  containers for birds to  take  and   use   building   nests .  Spanish  Moss  is also available for  nest  construction.  

In the past , her  largest  aviary was  used  to study the life  of  Torres Strait Pigeons .

While  the Queen was absent ,  large numbers of  concerned   Curlews , above ,  daily   gathered   outside  the  portcullis  , keen to  hear  her  latest medical   report  , and an  indication of   when things  will  get back to  normal  on  the   chuck  wagon  side .

One  Curlew , which goes under the name , Daddy, has  a  harem ,  yet hangs out a  lot on his own , and  is  fed  chicken  hearts, often  in  short  supply .

Another  irksome   Curlew  has a habit of flying in about  2am , squawking loudly  outside  the  Queen's bedchamber,   demanding   to   be  fed. 

Many   noisy  Cockatoos   visit   and one is nicknamed Naughty  because in his search for  food  he  pulls  open  any containers on  the  back  verandah  and  throwns  them down on  the  ground . 

One of the pampered  Kookaburras  in a  flap  due to the Queen's  operation  was the above cute one   which   regularly  lands  near  her , seated on the back verandah,  and  opens  his   beak ,  indicating  he  needs   feeding.

Missing   of late has been a cheeky Currawong  she helped ,  who  responded by  flying in from time to time, sitting on the back of her chair, playing with her   hair , nibbling   an  ear .  


 Mark Twain  famously  said  reports of  his  death  were  greatly  exaggerated  . In  the  case of  John Brady , believed to have been born in Ireland ,   who became   an expert  horseman  and drover in Western Australia and the Northern Territory , known  as  Boomerang Jack ,  the  cause of  his death on the Barkly Stock Route on December  25,1926  is  unclear.

According to  a report in the  Townsville Daily Bulletin of December  19,1941 ,  the police officer who buried Brady stated  the deceased , on horseback , feeling  unwell, suffering   from beri-beri,  went  totally blind  and had to be led  for four days by  a " black boy. "  After asking  the   boy  to help him down from the horse, he  collapsed  and  died as soon as he  reached the ground.

However, another  account of his   demise,   in the  Centralian Advocate , Alice Springs ,  said  he  had   died  from  malaria.

Yet another  version , in the  North Australian  Monthly of  January  1957, claimed   Brady had  died  after he  was thrown from  his  horse , dragged  by  the  leg ,  kicked  .

This intriguing  story is another    great yarn  from Progenitor, journal of  the  Genealogical Society of  the Northern  Territory, Darwin. 

The nickname  Boomerang Jack is also something of a  mystery  as  the   article   puzzlingly  states that  it  is  " presumably  a  reference  to  his  body shape." 

In 1918  he had been arrested at Wave Hill  Station and   charged with the  attempted murder , by shooting, of the  manager, Hunter Loder . After two trials, he was found not  guilty .  

His grave is in an area  fenced off from stock on the main Barkly Stock Route ,25km past the turnoff  to  Eva  Downs Station . In his  will , Brady  left his estate  to  a sister -Mrs Dellar Whittaker, known as  Della Ross  c/-Ruth Thorman, San Francisco, USA. She in  turn  had a  headstone erected on  the grave. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023


Views  from an  archive of private photographs  documenting  the visit of His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales ( the future  Edward Vlll) to Australia  and  New Zealand in  1920, annotated  by the Prince himself ,or finally  forming part of his  correspondence  with  his  mistress, Freda Dudley Ward . 

It is priced at   $5000  by  Douglas  Stewart  Fine Books, Melbourne  ,who are  taking part in the current  event . The  Australian Prime Minister , Billy Hughes , who appears in the above snaps  , left  in top hat with brolly , and right , shaking hands with  the  prince, was the subject of   disparaging comments by  Edward .

Background information about the collection says the photos  were originally enclosed in different letters that formed part of Edward’s correspondence with his mistress, Freda Dudley Ward, between 1918 and 1921. The Prince’s manuscript captions were written exclusively for  her  benefit.The bookshop provides  the  following  colourful information.

The subject matter covered in this small group of photographs includes various events on the Prince’s Australasian itinerary. His annotations reveal his general ennui, disdain for ceremony, and probably a complete lack of suitability to  the future role of monarch. His passion for horseracing is made evident from the shots of him taken at Ascot Races in Brisbane (where he broke a track racing record) and at Riccarton Races, Christchurch. He is also shown participating in a rugby match at Jervis Bay. But undoubtedly the most noteworthy images are the two shots that show him meeting Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes, of whom the Prince had a very low opinion. One rudely shows only the back of Hughes, dismissing him as a person of absolutely no consequence or standing, and the other mocks  Hughes with  a  deliberate and sarcastic misspelling of his name. 

In the Prince’s letter which originally accompanied the two latter photos, Edward wrote from Government House, Melbourne on 27 May 1920: ‘Fredie darling no words of mine could ever describe to you the pompousness & state of my landing or my first official progress through this city (the capital) to the “palace”! 

Vast carriages drawn by 4 horses were provided for us & after being received by Ferguson (the G.G.) & hundreds of other bearded old men, we drove solemnly for 2 hrs through the streets in cocked hats till I thought I would die!’ Edward later  abdicated  " for love "  to marry divorced American socialite  Wallis  Simpson . 

 Apart from the interesting  royal photos, Douglas Stewart's stall at the fair   has  a considerable number of  early  volumes  dealing  with   China,, Captain Cook's voyage  , Antarctic exploration , the  Congo , art  and Japanese  varnishing   in  its  50  offering  covering 500  years  of  publishing .



The    large book sale  at  the men's shed  on   Magnetic Island   yielded   a  welcome clutch of works by  English  novelist, playwright , screenwriter, broadcaster  , editor ,  J. B. Priestley (1894-1984) .

 Each  one    contained   the   bookplate  of  the   late  Donald  Simpson , a  Townsvile born   teacher,  who became the headmaster of a British   school , promoted   new  mathematics ,  produced  Gilbert and Sullivan plays  ,  retired  to  Magnetic  Island  and armed with a camera  wrote   prolifically  about  its   plants ,  available  on  online  today . 

Obviously, he  was  a  Priestley  fan . Included  in  his collection  was a copy of  the  l940  Postscripts, a compilation of  the  weekly  powerful  talks    Priestley   read  over  the  BBC  to  bolster  the   nation  against  the  German attacks  , covering  a  period from  June  5, l940, after the  Dunkirk  withdrawal ,  to  October  20, 1940.

In  l942 he was   co-founder  of the socialist  Common Wealth  Party . It is said  his political broadcasts  and his hopes for a better Britain after the war helped the  Labour  Party's landslide victory in 1945 .He was also a founding member  of  the Campaign for  Nuclear  Disarmament .

In the aptly named   Delight  volume,  consisting of a  114  pieces he wrote ,covering a wide range of  subjects , Priestley  recalled  he was 16  when  the   first   article   he  had published ,  in  a London humorous weekly.

 His schoolteacher father  presented  him with a  fourpenny cigar  to  mark the  occasion . Working as a reporter   and spending   a considerable amount of  time  in a pub  gets  gets a  mention , also his  dislike  of  hectic   New  York .
This blog  has mentioned that when James Frederick Bowditch  went to Alice Springs  after WWll, he  joined  the local theatrical group  and  one of  the shows  he  performed in was  Priestley's  They  Came to a City . Bowditch went  on  to  become  a fearless, crusading   Northern  Territory   editor .


 National IPAN Forum, Sunday, May 21, 4pm AEST.

Join us to explore the implications of the US-Australia Force Posture Agreement (FPA) and Initiatives (USFPI’s) and to contribute to the development of a campaign to terminate the FPA.

Our Concerns include the increasing militarisation in Australia and the US undermining Australian Sovereignty and setting Australia up as a launch pad for war against China by:

.Stationing nuclear-capable strategic bombers in the Northern Territory.

.Increased US troop rotations.

.Rotation of US Virginia class nuclear powered submarines (SSNs) at HMAS Stirling, Garden Island, WA commencing in 2027.