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■ On the 50th anniversary this week, the Observer’s Mark Richardson speaks with The Seekers: Bruce Woodley, Keith Potger, Judith Durham and Athol Guy. See Page 4. And there is a page of fantastic nostalgia photos on Page 23.

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Page 2 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 3

City Desk



The hottest news about Melbourne’s A-listers

The Buzz Extra concert for Tina Book re-published

● Tina Arena

■ One of the several talented alumni from St Columba’s College, Essendon - Tina Arena - will perform an additional concert at Hamer Hall on Wednesday, February 13. The two encore concerts follow three performances in July-August. She will be backed by the Tina Arena Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Buc. Tina’s performances include Chains, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Golden Eye and Cry Me A River. As Tina says: “Not bad for a girl from Moonee Ponds.”

Under The Clocks Simon Crean launches collection FILE PHOTO

● Don Charlwood ■ All The Green Year, penned by the late Melbourne author Don Charlwood, has been re-published and will be launched tonight (Wed.) at The Barn, Montsalvat, Eltham. Michael McGirr will pay tribute to Mr Charlwood, who died in June this year at the age of 96.



● Stan Grant ■ TV newsman Stan Grant is returning to Australia to host a new 11pm program, Newsnight, on Sky News from January 28. He will be International Editor. He returns from Beijing.

Yum Cha ■ Kira Jantzen of Spice and Soul PR advises thatChinatown’s Lt Bourke St will come alive on Sunday, March 3 next year with the World’s Largest Yum Cha, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

● Alan Brough and cast in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ■ A celebrated cast and a flying car will land in Melbourne on January 30 for the season of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to be staged at Her Majesty’s Theatre. David Hobson, Rachael Beck,Alan Brough, Jennifer Vuletic, Peter Carooll, George Kapiniaris and Tyler Coppin will lead a company of 80 - and the flying car! The show has opened in Sydney o rave reviews. Melbourne publicist Julie Cavanagh says bookings may be made through Ticketek, 1-300 795 012. Producer Tim Lawson says: “I could not be happier with the way Chitty has been embraced by Sydney audiences and critics alike, but most excited about bringing the show to my hometown of Melbourne and the incredible Her Majesty's Theatre. “The show is an absolute joy for all ages packed with romance, comedy and adventure.” Playing the role of Caractacus Potts will be one of Australia's best-known singers and recording artists, tenor David Hobson; the role of Truly Scrumptious will be played by Rachael Beck. The role of Baron Bomburst/Lord Scrumptious will be played by Alan Brough; actress and singer Jennifer Vuletic will play Baroness Bomburst/ Miss Phillips; veteran of the Australian stage, Peter Carroll will play Grandpa Potts. George Kapiniaris will play Goran. Versatile and accomplished performer Tyler Coppin will play Child Catcher/Junkman.

Melbourne Moments Human candle

Charity night

■ Melburnians are being invited to form the ‘Human Candle’ at Federation Square on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) that is shown on the national Carols By Candlelight telecast on Channel 9. Glow-sticks will be available for purchase. ■ Ticketmaster is offering 30 per cent discounts to Saturday’s concert (Dec.8) at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda, by US comedienne Sarah Silverman. ■ Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has been named as the Sidney Sax Medallist iven annually by the Public Health Association of Australia.

■ The National Stroke Foundation is having a charity evening tomorrow (Thurs.) at the Comedy Theatre, to see More Sex Please ... We’re Seniors. There is a two-for-one ticket offer, for a total of $69. Quote the word ‘radio’. ■ Christine Assange, mother of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, is to attend a Port Melbourne fashion event this Friday (Dec, 7). Ms Assange will be at the 2012 Graduating Students runway fashion event at the Australian Academy of Design, 220 Ingles St, Port Melbourne. Tickets are $25 through Moshtix.

● Christine Assange

● Federal Arts Minister Simon Crean ■ Some 12,000 photographs of key events in Australia’s early history – the entirety of Fairfax Media’s collection of historic glass-plate negatives – have been donated to the National Library of Australia and will soon be available online. Chair of the National Library of Australia, Ryan Stokes, this week accepted the donation at a ceremony at the Fairfax Media head office. Arts Minister Simon Crean said the extraordinary collection tells the Australian story through photographs. “If a picture paints a thousand words, then Fairfax Media has painted hundreds of thousands with this collection,” Mr Crean said. “This photographic collection will become a treasured and comprehensive visual record of key events in Australia’s early history. “The majority of the collection covers events from 1900 to 1930 including the departure of troops for World War I, peace celebrations in Sydney, the opening of the first Parliament, royal visits, early sporting heroes, including a large negative of Phar Lap, and early aviation. “The collection will be made accessible within Australia and internationally through the Library’s website and Trove, the Library’s national discovery service. It will also be accessible through search engines like Google. “The collection will become an invaluable resource for Australian researchers, historians, and the Australian public.” Previously stored, and managed by Fairfax Media, the collection has been donated to the National Library of Australia to ensure the long term care of the collection, and to make the collection accessible to all Australians. “The Australian Government is proud to have supported the donation with $425,500 in funding to the National Library of Australia through the National Cultural Heritage Account, to enable the Library to safely store, catalogue and digitise the collection,” Mr Crean said. Mr Crean thanked Fairfax Media for its generous donation noting that the safekeeping of the collection is now guaranteed in perpetuity for the Australian people.

Dark Knight Rises

● Actor Ben Mendelsohn was excited to be interviewed by 3AW entertainment reporter Donna Demaio. He played the supporting role of John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises.

Page 4 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mark Richardson ♥ Straight from the heart


Ladies and Gentlemen, The Seekers

■ Melbourne's iconic Arts Centre was the ideal venue to celebrate the 50th Birthday of Melbourne's iconic band The Seekers. Monday (Dec 3) marked exactly 50 years to the day since the four original members sang together as a group. Yesterday, the Stalls Foyer at Hamer Hall was bursting with music industry icons, journalists, news crews and photographers; as the world's longest performing band (still with the original lineup) celebrated their Jubilee milestone, taking their place in the history books as the pop phenomenon that put Australia on the international music map. I was amazed to learn that their journey began in Melbourne after traditional jazz singer Judy Durham started a new day job at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. On that day in 1962, she met account executive Athol Guy, another budding musician, and he invited her to sit in with his mates Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley, who performed together as The Seekers in a little South Yarra coffee lounge, called Treble Clef. Before their official Jubilee cake cutting celebrations, guests enjoyed a special tribute video featuring footage and celebrities from around the world who sent congratulatory messages and anecdotal stories - including; Cliff Richard, Olivia NewtonJohn, Rolf Harris, Andre Rieu and The Hollies (and many others) and further wished the success for their National Tour in March 2013. My Seekers fact finding mission revealed (among many others): ■ Australia's first group ever to

Fab Four Porch Thoughts reach No 1 on the UK charts with their first three singles ■ Their hit song The Carnival Is Over outsold everyone, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in 1965 ■ Georgy Girl (No. 1 hit): first Australian group to reach No 1 on UK and USA charts, and nominated for an AcademyAward'BestOriginalSong' ■ Jointly named 'Australians Of The Year 1967' ■ Record holders for Australian television ratings for their 1967 TV spectacular The Seekers Down Under ■ Quadruple platinum award recipients for their 1993 25 Year Reunion Celebration live in concert video 1994 ■ ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees 1995. With worldwide recognition, a string of music accolades and history making achievements, it's no wonder that 50 years on, The Seekers are still touching the hearts of fans - some who've been with them from the very start - and others, like me, who has happily jump on board along the way. With the media spotlight on The Seekers, I couldn't help but to wonder what celebrating 50 years meant to each of our musical icons, many refer to our national treasures. "Bruce, Athol, Judith and Keith, what thoughts in terms of your incredible 50 year journey spring to mind when I simply say, The Seekers?"

● The Seekers: Bruce Woodley, Athol Guy, Judith Durham and Keith Potger

Athol Guy

Bruce Woodley

My 50 years as an organic 'Seeker’. I often reflect in public presentations over the years, that you could simply not manufacture any aspect of what happened to Judith, Keith, Bruce and myself. During our initial years together, later reunions and now the celebrations of 50 years of our treasure chest of music. So much music and so many careers today are forged from the formulaic mould of perceived 'fashionability' alone - which is an element never to be denied, but often lacking the great creative spark that made the 60s 'The Music Olympics Of The Millenium!' How humble and proud I am to look back and reflect on the amazing musical legacy I share with my lifelong friends.

So many memories and highlights whirl around in my head, it's difficult to short list them but here goes: The first #1, Wembley concert, 200,000 fans at the Music Bowl, Australians of The Year 1967, Royal Command Performance, Montreal Expo, more hits, recording at Abbey Road, the US tour, the genius of Tom Springfield, writing with Paul Simon in New York, being at the Bridge Over Troubled Water recording session with Simon and Garfunkel, The Seekers getting kicked out of Kenya, our old Bedford van, living in London in the 60s, Bob Whittaker our friend and photographer, the final breakup of the group, some sadness and regret, coming home, losing my mum Ethel Irene, reforming again in 1993, brilliant concerts, redemption, John Kovac and more tours. It's been a wonderful ride with my dear friends. And it's not over yet.

Judith Durham I am sitting (on my porch) taking a moment of calm because outside there is a whirlwind! That whirlwind is created by the energy of the many people who have worked so tirelessly towards the Seekers 50th Birthday Celebration. It's been a day full of joy and full of amazement and we're all still here, the only group that still has its original members after 50 years. Here at the Arts Centre, we are celebrating with stars of the music industry and other VIPs; our day is blessed by so many honoured guests we can hardly believe it. We have a new album out - The Golden Jubilee Album - 50 Tracks For 50 Years - with two brand new tracks never before recorded by us. I sit here thinking of all the wonderful people who have made all this possible and I send my heartfelt thanks to all our fans worldwide, both old and new, who have loved us and supported us whether it be for 50 years or five months. I'd like to sit here dreaming of our wonderful day but I think I must rise from my porch chair and go back to being part of the whirlwind that is creating such a wonderful celebration for us. I send my love to everyone.

Keith Potger Parents, brother, family, adventure, Judith, Athol, Bruce, optimism, fun, music, friendship, hardship, loneliness, adversity, lyrics, relationships, freedom, love, hate, inequality, bonds, losses, gains, openness, humility, guilt, sadness, poverty, happiness, London, guitars, pride, awards, Melbourne, recordings, Sydney, Perth, advantage, concerts, belief, Colombo, disappointment, lovers, marriage, son, daughter, grandsons, granddaughters, homes, friends, hugs, recognition, success, ambition, wealth, Paris, comfort, stolen, life, praise, warmth, hate, acknowledgement, disempowerment, sacrifice, complexity, simplixity, wandering, wondering, seeking, Buddhism, secularism, comfort, disadvantage, original, indigenous, vote, suspicion, disenfranchisement, conflict, joy, gratitude, sanctuary, sun, renewable, abuse, tumult, war, extremism, deprivation, compassion, unAustralian, vitriol, entertainment, ignorance, water, hunger, greed, trust, death

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 5

Page 6 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

People Melbourne

■ Fairfax Radio men Ken Francis (Nightline, 3AW) and Peter Van (Magic 1278) were pictured at The Survivors lunch late last month. Peter is recovering from a shoulder injury after a serious fall on a wet suburban street.

Send news to

Organs Of The Goldfields

● Michele Benuzzi is returning from Italy to present a harpsichord recital of Spanish music in Organs of the Goldfields, Ballarat. Cheryl Threadgold has the details in the Observer Showbiz section this week.

MasterChef mystery dish ■ The Ten Network’s financial woes saw them seemingly unable to print sufficient invitations for most of Melbourne’s showbiz media to attend Friday’s MasterChef launch at Shannon Bennett's Bistro Vue. Amongst those not to receive inviattions were Melbourne weekly showbiz bible, the Melbourne Observer; and a number of journalists from The Age including Postcode 3000 columnist Suzanne Carbone. The British chef Marco Pierre White nonetheles caught up with Ms Carbone at an unidentified Melbourne location. Seriously. ● British chef Marco Pierre White and Suzanne Carbone

Some Guy!

Last shows for‘More Sex’

● Guy Sebastian ■ X-Factor judge Guy Sebastian has announced extra shows for his national Get Along tour. Guy will now perform two shows at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda, on Friday-Saturday, April 5-6. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster, 136 100, says publicist Angela Ceberano.

● Actor Michael Veitch and director Pip Mushin, part of the More Sex Please ... We’re Seniorsshow, are involved in this week’s final shows at The Comedy Theatre, The final show is scheduled for 1pm Sunday (Dec.9). Editor Ash Long replies to John-Michael Howson’s accusation that the Observer has been unfair in its coverage of reviews of the show. See Page 45.

Signing-off at RRR


● Tom Elliott this week farewelled his friends at Melbourne radio station RRR. He has been part of The Breakfasters and other programs for 20 years. Tom takes over the 3AW ‘Drive’ program, 3pm-6pm, early in the new year.

Fax: 1-800 231 312

● Comedian Russell Peters is coming to Melbourne. Observer columnist Di Rolle has all the details. See Page 8.

40th wedding anniversary

■ Melbourne showbiz couple John and Cecile Blackman celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary at the weekend. JB, those shoes! Melbourne


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 7

Breaking News

It’s All About You!



City Desk: A-Listers at work ................ Page 3 Mark Richardson: The Seekers interview .. Page 4 Melbourne People: Been and seen ......... Page 6 Di Rolle: Fashionista sistas .................. Page 8 News: Kapalos likely to join Seven ........ Page 9 Long Shots: Vale Rob Allison .............. Page 10 Melb. Confidential: Not so Spotless ...... Page 11 Pictorial: Theatre opening night .......... Page 12 Yvonne Lawrence: Life and style .......... Page 13 Kevin Trask: Vera Lynn profile ............. Page 16 Readers Club: Birthdays, fun ............... Page 37 James Sherlock Cheryl Threadgold Julie Houghton Aaron Rourke

The Messiah in Melbourne ■ Australians pride themselves on the number of world records achieved, and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic is proud to be the world record holder for singing the greatest unbroken sequence of annual Messiah performances. This Sunday (Dec. 9) at 5pm in the Melbourne Town Hall, the RMP will sing its world-record breaking 233rd performance of this magnificent work. "And that's only the recorded RMP subscription performances," says incumbent RMP Music Director and Chief Conductor Andrew Wailes. Soloists soprano Siobhan Stagg, mezzosoprano Dominica Matthews, tenor Daniel Todd and bass Nathan Lay will join the RMP Choir and Orchestra, which means more than 130 singers and instrumentalists on stage, all creating a wall of sound to reverberate around the historic walls of Melbourne Town Hall. During 2012, the RMP choir has diversified into becoming the choir for Melbourne's major events, with RMP choristers performing at occasions such as the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, the Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner, the AFL Grand Final, the Melbourne Cup, leading to them being heard and seen by a world-wide audience of more than 350 million people. Many local music lovers say that coming to the Messiah in Melbourne Town Hall is an annual Christmas celebration that they hold dear and would never miss. "It's quite remarkable that we have loyal audience members who have been attending every year for over half a century", says Wailes. "For some people, our Messiah is their going to church for Christmas, and a real family tradition. There is always a wonderful atmosphere that surrounds this concert and

Observer Showbiz

Latest News

● Andrew Wailes seems to herald in Christmas in Melbourne." Tickets are available from www. or Enquiries: 0418 102 356. - Julie Houghton

● Joan Webster ■ The Country Fire Authority Fireready safety brochure has it wrong on many fronts, claims Victorian bushfire expert Joan Webster. “:The CFA will have a lot to answer for if its pro-evacuation policy goes wrong,” says Ms Webster of Castlemaine. “The Fireready 2012-13 edition is all about leaving ... it has not one sentence on how to do this safely,” Ms Webster said. “(There is) not one page on sheltering safely. Doing so unsafely caused 27 per cent of Black Saturday deaths. “(There is) not one paragraph on how to defend safely. And there is nothing on personal safely by being protectively clothed.” Ms Webster says errors, inaccuracies and contradictions abound. Ms Webster says an assertion that “no house can withstand a fire on a Code Red day” is backed by evidence. “Grassfire can surge at speeds of up to 45-kmh,” the Fireready brochure claims. Ms Webster counters: “The highest speed clocked fror grassfires is 22kmh.


■ Disclosure by a doctor to her mother than Jennifer Dunne had been in hospital did not warrant a $50,000 damages pay-out, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found. Ms Dunne took the Victorian Aboriginal Healkth Service Co-Operative tothe Tribunal, applying for financial compensation because private health information had been released without permission. Tribunal Member Anna Dea found that a privacy breach had occurred, but to take no further action. The Tribunal heard that Dr M Belfrage, employed by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Co-Operative approached Dunne’s mother and asked how Mrs Dunne was going in hospital.. Ms Dunne said that she and her mother had been estranged

for many years. She said that the disclosure hurt and embarrassed her and has had a serious impact on other areas of her life. The VAHS denied that there had been any breach of the law. It said the discussion was part of the doctor engaging with and offering support to Ms Dunne’s mother. Ms Dea said Ms Dunne wanted the $50,000 to be used for VAHS staff reharding Aboriginal cultural sensitivities, and for a public apology to be offered. The Tribunal heard that Dr Belfrage approached Ms

Dunne’s mother in the general waiting area of the VAHS clinic, offering condolences of the death of another daughter. Dr Belfrage, who is Medical Director at the clinic, said it was usual for staff to offer condolences when a patient’s relative had passed away, and to enquire after the health and well-being of the relations of patients. “This is part of making the VAHS clinic welcoming and comfortable for its Aboriginal patients and can be seen as a sign of respect,” the Tribunal heard. Dr Belfrage approached Ms Dunne a week later and related the conversation with her mother. Ms Dunne said her privacy and human rights: “Don’t you think the law applies to us because we are aboriginals?” Mr Dunne saidf to the doctor.

Flashes Around Victoria

Placed on sex register ■ Dean Hutchinson, of Bellchambers Ct, Lara, 41, father of seven, has been put on the sex offenders' register for eight years over child pornography charges.. He pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court to five counts of knowingly possessing child pornography, reports the Geelong Advertiser.

Police cells ‘prison’ ■ Wangaratta Police Station has held up to 20 prisoners since about September, reports The Chronicle. In a report on prison crowding across Victoria, it is stated that up to 34 per cent of the jail population may be in accommodation that does not meet Corrections Victoria standards.

$135,000 fish fines ■ Portland fisherman Roderick McDonald, 59, of Dougherties Rd, has been hit with $135,300 in fines and penalties at Warrnambool County Court for fisheries and criminal charged relating to rock lobster fishing, says the Portland Observer.

Pair held at gunpoint ■ A man and a woman were allegedly held at gunpoint for two hours during a domestic dispute in Kingower, west of Inglewood, on Saturday, reports the Bendigo Advertiser, quoting Det. Sen. Const. Steve Atkinson

Mike McColl Jones

Top 5 THE TOP 5 THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS 5. Make sure Ketut makes an honest woman of Rhonda. 4. Ensure that entrance through the Pearly Gates doesn't require a MYKI card. 3. Find a way to leave all politicians here. 2. Can we please stop pretending that the Southern Star Observation Wheel will ever be completed. 1. Just once, could Peter Slipper be ‘bumped’ down to Economy!


Page 8 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

People Watching ■ ‘People watching’ has to be one of the best pastimes that I enjoy. ‘People watching’ at airports is the best. It’s relaxing and I find I just disappear and become engrossed in watching the hustle and bustle around me. People become so preoccupied that they don’t realise that I am watching them and at the same time someone is probably most likely watching me. I find it fascinating. Grandmothers with their grandchildren, husbands with their wives, travellers getting lost in the hustle and bustle of checking in and going with the flow of travel. It is most entertaining and a great education I find as to how we species work and get affected by the same things: the lateness of the flight, the wrong gates, the luggage not being there, the wrong seats being allocated, no food on planes, announcements that planes will be five minutes late. They throw not only me - but fellow passengers - into a zone not like any other. I love travelling and I love people watching. I love the feeling of being in no man’s land for that brief moment. There is a great sense of freedom I find in being in airports. Very soon of course I get to my destination and enter the world again and get on with the day-to-day business of work and being part of the community. But the blending in and the being part of the travelling family is something I really enjoy.

Home Sweet Home ■ The appreciation of opening my front door and nesting, and getting on with the day at home and into my work, is one of life’s pure joys as far as I am concerned. Some people who are coming back to Melbourne and who have been here many times and consider it home are Soweto Gospel Choir. They love coming to Melbourne and have announced they will return to Australia to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with one show only on Saturday, March 9. At Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, the concert will run 90 minutes. Since their first-ever paid performance in Frankston in 2003 this extraordinary choir have travelled the world, won an Emmy, two Grammys, plus an Oscar nomination, and have just completed their sixth album! Their 10 year-anniversary concert will feature some recent songs as well as the favourites that have made them one of the world’s most popular choirs. Presented by Andrew Kay and Associates, Andrew said “Over the past 10 years Soweto Gospel Choir has brought joy into the lives of audiences all over the world, Andrew added, “ They have collaborated, recorded and performed with artists including Bono and U2, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Peter Gabriel, Josh Grobin as well as Andre Rieu. “They have performed in front of Bill Clinton , Oprah Winfrey and of course their spiritual fathers, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. “But it all started in Australia in 2003 with their first-ever ticketed performance 10 years ago at the Frankston Arts Centre. “The streets of Soweto to the streets of Frankston felt like a long journey 10 years ago. And it was. “Since that day, the Choir has gone from unknown to heralded around the world as one of the great vocal ensembles. “The choir is thrilled to be coming back to Australia to be part of Womadadelaide, and visit Perth, Brisbane and Sydney to perform at the Sydney Opera House and to share their 10th birthday celebration with Australian audiences that made it all possible.” Tickets are on sale now. Bookings for the one Melbourne show on Saturday, March 9, - visit or phone 9699 3333.



I love my job!

■ Yvonne Lawrence, P13 ■ Nick Le Souef, P16 ■ Kevin Trask, P16 ■ James Sherlock, P50 ■ Aaron Rourke, P50 ■ Cheryl Threadgold, P51 ■ Ted Ryan, P55


■ Hot off the presses! I am a big fashionista’s sister. My sister Debi Rolle is Design Director for Cue and she has just shot the Winter 13 campaign, Shot last week in Sydney, featuring Meghan Collison Vogue Italia Cover and Proenza Schouler FW 12 – a huge name in fashion. Two young guys who have just opened up an amazing store in New York: Debi was there six weeks after it opened, and Dutch model Elza Luijendijk, Prada and Versace F12 campaign both flew in to Sydney exclusively on Cue and was shot by Derek Henderson, one of Australia’s leading fashion photographers. Debi said she had the best two days with the best crew and two girls who love modelling and really know how to work it. Hot off the presses is one of the fashion shots for the campaign that will be launched in February next year.

● Elza Luijendijk and Meghan Collison Photo: Derek Henderson This is big fashion will be with a new host, news. Cue continues to and team captains lead the fashion pack. …be careful ABC as the show worked just fine with Adam Hills, Myf Warhurst and Alan Brough at the helm. ■ I heard on the What is that old grapevine that Spicks saying: why fix or & Specks, the fabu- change something lously successful tele- when it ain’t broke? vision show with perSpicks and Specks fect formula for top is a generational thing rating program, is – does Gen Y really coming back next have nostalgia? I year. don’t think so! Unfortunately for me and other viewers who loved the show, it

Memo ABC: take care

● Soweto Gospel Choir

with leading Melbourne publicist DI ROLLE

tended comedy show in the history of Oman, the UnitedArab Emirates, Lebanon, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and his home country of Canada – with audiences between 3000 to 16,000 fans attending the shows. In Dubai, Peters was the fastest selling concert in the history of the Emirates – outselling Madonna. On November 10, Peters became the first comedian to play Brooklyn’s new Barclays Centre. More than 10,000 fans attended the show, making it the largest comedy show ever in the history of New York City borough. Listed on the Forbes List as one of the top 10 highest earning comics in the US in 2009 and 2010, Russell Peters has spent the past 23 years

● Di Rolle, Debi Rolle at Caulfield Park winter 1956 building a career to appeared on The Tobecome one of the big- night Show with Jay gest comics in the Leno, Jimmy Kimmell world. Live, and on HBO, Thanks to YouTube CNN, MTV, BBC and and a global following, Al Jazeera. Peters has sold-out Melbourne audiarenas from Madison ences will see Russell Square Garden to the Peters on Thursday, Sydney Opera House. March 7 at Rod LaPeters has also ver Arena. performed to the Book at Ticketek troops in Afghanistan, 132 849 Iraq and on the USS Eisenhower and Tickets on sale HMCS Winnipeg, and now.

Next week with Di Rolle

Busy year

■ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 will see lots of overseas comedians visiting our shores, but before the comedy festival gets under way I really recommend Russell Peters. After setting attendance records around the world, the global comedy rock star returns to Australia with his Notorious World Tour. Russell Peters Notorious World Tour has been setting sales and attendances records around the world since the launch of the tour in Muscat in March. The tour has become the highest at-

● ABC Radio’s Tony Delroy with Di Rolle Melbourne


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 9

Showbiz News

KAPALOS TO JOIN 7 NETWORK Soiree at Merricks


Listen to the Melbourne Observer on your radio WEDNESDAYS 1.15AM. Jim Sherlock discusses movies/ DVDs with Andrew McLaren.

Dry or not?

10AM. Editor Ash Long talks with Denis Scanlan on The Pulse 94.7 10PM. Rob Foenander presents Country Crossroads on Casey 97.7 FM

■ The people of Cam-berwell are voting on whether Hoi’s Kitchen at 762 Burke Rd should be allowed a restaurant and cafe licence allowing it to serve liquor. Voting concludes on December 17.

THURSDAYS 9.15AM. Editor Ash Long talks with Bob and Judy Phillips on 3RPP. 10PM. Kevin Trask presents The Time Tunnel with Walter Williams

TV hunt ■ The Marngrook Footy Show, the indigenous program axed by the ABC, says it is still looking for a TV home in 2013.

Sign-off ■ A Melbourne man, who has had his good share of 3AW radio air time, has announced that he will no longer be heard on the station. ‘Lindsey of Kew’ (Howatt) told broadcaster Alan Pearsall at the weekend to say he was leaving Australia on Saturday morning and would not be back. Report, Page 48

● Lindsey of Kew

FRIDAYS ● Helen Kapalos ■ Sacked Channel 10 newsreader Helen Kapalos looks certain to become the new host of Channel 7’s Today Tonight. Kapalos met with Seven’s retiring news and current affairs, Peter Meakin, in Sydney last week, after she returned from her holiday in New York. Seven is looking to revamp Today Tonight, in its evening ratings war with the Nine Network’s A Current Affair. Neil Mooney, a former A Current Affair producer, is to become Director of Public Affairs at Seven. Channel 10 last month told Kapalos that they would not renew her contract which is due to expire in March. Lawyers for Kapalos and Seven are reviewing the contract.

VIC. TEACHER ORDER REVOKED ■ A Victorian Institute of Teaching order that disqualified teacher Anthony Walter Battello (also known as Antonio Walter Battello) has been revoked. On June 29, Battello was found convicted of the sexual offence of one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16. The Institute disqualified Battello’s registration on the same day. On September 10, the conviction was quahed on appeal. “From September 10, 2012, Anthony Walter Battello may be registered, subject to payment of registration fees,” the Victorian Institute of Teaching said in a Victoria Government Gazette notice.

Melbourne Observations with Matt Bissett-Johnson

● Peter Smitheram and Lucy Nicolson star in Viva Espania on December 16 at 12 noon at the Blue Stone Lane Winery, Merricks. ■ Viva Espania – a Spanish soiree and three-course lunch – can be enjoyed on Sunday, December 16 at 12 noon in the glorious surrounds of Blue Stone Lane Winery, Myers Road, Merricks. Presented by Diva@Large in conjunction with the support of Veraison Restaurant, this special event is to help raise much needed funds for Connor House, Tanti Ave, Mornington, a respite facility for adults with a disability and for Karingal Konnections Respite Service, to assist in the cost of activities for their clients. Following the Spanish feast, a floor-show featuring highlights from Man Of La Mancha will feature Melbourne City Opera mezzo soprano Lucy Nicolson, tenor Peter Smitheram and Flamenco guitarist, Dave Bell. Lucy believes that Man Of La Mancha’s theme of living the impossible dream and achieving the unachievable, is representative of this worthy fundraising cause. The event is being presented in conjunction with the 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, commemorated on Monday this week (Dec. 3). Connor House is a cause close to Lucy’s heart as her son Jack regularly accesses respite care there, offering crucial support for Lucy and her family. Bookings are essential as seating is limited. Visit Veraison’s website to book tickets: Enquiries: 5249 6361 or email - Cheryl Threadgold

‘Misconduct by teacher’ ■ Gavan Michael Connell has had his regisration cancelled by the Victorian Institute of Teaching after a finding of serious misconduct. Anne Sarros, Chair of the Disciplinary Proceedings Committee of the VIT, says that the Institute Pmay find a teacher has engaged in serious misconduct, has been seriously incompetent and/or is not fit to teach and may make a determination including the cancellation of the registration of the teacher. Connell was found guilty in October of serious misconduct and not fit to teach. and his registration to teach was cancelled effective from October 10. A notice has been printed in the Victoria Government Gazette.

AM. Ted Ryan talks racing with Denis Scanlan on The Pulse 94.7 2.30PM. Jim Sherlock talks movies/DVDs with Denis Walter on 3AW

SUNDAYS 9AM. Mike McColl Jones talks the Top 5 with Bob Phillips on 3RPP. 12 NOON. Kevin Trask presents That’s Entertainment on 96.5FM. 8.20PM. Kevin Trask presents The Time Tunnel on Remember When.

MONDAYS 2PM. Yvonne Lawrence presents Life And Style on 3WBC 94.1FM 8PM. Len Baker presents Harness Review on 97.9FM 10PM. Kevin Trask presents Memories Are Made Of This on 4BC

TUESDAYS 6AM. Rob Foenander presents The Big Breakfast on 88.3 Southern FM

ALSO BE LISTENING FOR Julie Houghton discusses the arts on 3MBS-FM, 3MBS Digital, Online

AND WATCH FOR Country Crossroads TV show on Aurora Channel 183, Foxtel

✔ IN PRINT: Your weekly newspaper, across Victoria ✔ ONLINE: Available worldwide ✔ ON RADIO: Online ✔ ON TV: On Foxtel

Page 10 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 Melbourne


Ash On Wednesday


New Home for Freemasonry

Our Doors are Open!

Masonic Centre of Victoria to be redeveloped

Artist's impression of the project viewed from Victoria Parade. The Grand Master of Freemasons Victoria, Bob Jones, has announced that Freemasons Victoria has reached an agreement with the highly respected development company, the Mirvac Group, to redevelop the Masonic Centre of Victoria, subject to member ratification. The decision to develop the Masonic Centre of Victoria, otherwise known as the Dallas Brooks Centre, into a state-of-theart building with purpose-built facilities for members is monumental for Freemasonry in Victoria. The redevelopment is anticipated to include: ● New state-of-the-art Masonic facilities to cater for Lodges and the organisation's Secretariat; ● Over 250 new residential dwellings in a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, sympathetic to the East Melbourne environment, providing exceptional views on all sides; ● An overall design approach that incorporates mature trees and natural light to enhance public amenity and visual impact; and ● An impressive Albert Street frontage to fit the character and spirit of the East Melbourne precinct. The new built form will meet the objectives of the Planning Act and is not expected to increase overshadowing of the Fitzroy Gardens. The redevelopment is subject to members' ratification and planning approvals. Should the project receive the green light, Mirvac will lead the detailed planning and design approval process, working with the relevant planning authorities, stakeholders and neighbours. "We are very pleased to have Mirvac and their design partner Bates Smart as the developer of this exciting project," Mr Jones said. Both firms are recognised as leaders in their respective fields with a proven track record of highly respected developments. Bates Smart are a prominent East Melbourne architect firm and designed the premium ‘150 Clarendon’ (The Mercy) redevelopment. "Material changes to the site are not expected to take place for at least 12-18 months," said Mr Jones, "but we are looking forward to the day our members can enjoy new facilities whilst maintaining a presence on the site." To find out more about Freemasonry, how to become a member, attend upcoming public events, or to take a tour of the Masonic Centre, please visit or 'Like' our Facebook page, freemasonsvic for the most up to date information.

■ Melbourne creative Frank Howson is staging Genesis To Broadway at Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, from Tuesday (December 11). “From the Middle East via Spain and arriving in Manhattan, Genesis To Broadway is a celebration of storytelling and music. African beats meet flamenco rhythms and soaring melodies combine with comedy, pathos and joy in this uplifting musical journey through the ages,” Frank says “From early songs of worship, folk, opera and musical theatre giants such as Gershwin, Lloyd Webber and beyond. Genesis To Broadway is an insightful, funny, musical gift that includes some of the greatest showstoppers ever written.” International awardwinning pianist/composer Warren Wills is joined by a superb cast of singers, actorsand musicians, featuring Fem Belling and Andrew Dunne. Tickets: (online): www. or phone 8290 7000. December 11-16. Performance Times: Tuesday-Saturday 8pm. Sunday 6.30pm. Matinees Saturday and Sunday 2pm. $46 (Full Price) $38 (Concession).

Talks with Derryn Hinch ■ Radio man Keith McGowan tells www. that: "It is not difficult to get in the shit when you’re a broadcaster on a talk station. “And I sure did by playing the Dickens Cider ad on air once too often. I thought my days at 3AW were over. "I spoke to Derryn about my problem and he said 'Hang on, I did that too', and he added "You tell them if they sack you, they’ll have to sack me too.'."

● Keith McGowan


People Mr Robert Crichton Allison

● Frank Howson

Long Shots


with Ash Long, Editor “For the cause that lacks assistance, ‘Gainst the wrongs that need resistance For the future in the distance, And the good that we can do”


Go to christmas.andre

Foolish fraudster ● André Rieu ■ There are many André Rieu fans in Melbourne, and one of them has a chance to win a VIP trip to one of his concerts at his home town Maastricht. Rieu has a 24-day Advent calendar at his website with prizes including signed CDs, DVDs, tickets and books.

■ Long Shots hates email spam as much as anyone ... but we actually feel a little sorry for the foolish fraudster who is sending out junk this week in the name of America’s Central Intelligence Agency. There has to be tears before bedtime in that episode.

The Melbourne Observer is printed by Streamline Press, 155 Johnston St, Fitzroy, for the publisher, Ash Long, for Local Media Pty Ltd, ABN 67 096 680 063, of the registered office, 30 Glen Gully Road, Eltham, Distributed by All Day Distribution. Responsibility for election and referendum comment is accepted by the Editor, Ash Long. Copyright © 2012, Local Media Pty Ltd (ACN 096 680 063).

● Rob Allison with the Unknown Soldier ■ Mebourne funeral director Rob Allison AM has died at the age of 93. He passed away on Tuesday last week (Nov. 27). He was husband of the late Vera, father of Clive and Marian, father-in-law of Catherine and Alan. A service will be held at 10am on Thrusday next week (Dec. 13) at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 251 High St, Kew, with arrangements in the hands of Allison Monkhouse. The family business is now in the hands of its sixth generation. Rob Allison was educated at Ivanhoe Grammar School. Mr Allison stemmed from the generations of founders of the prominent funeral repatriation service, which Thomas Allison opened in Camberwell, London in 1801. Thomas’s son, John Allison, moved to Melbourne later in 1860 and carried on his family’s business. In the early 1900s, the funeral firm became known for its embalming skills. They carried out the first burial at Fawkner Cemetery, Melbourne, for the daughter of a local family. Her burial had to be delayed as the new cemetery would not be ready for six months. However, her family wanted her to be view her on the day of the funeral. Her body needed to be comprehensively embalmed to meet fulfill their wishes. The company’s skill in this area helped to make the firm's name widespread. In 1942, Rob had married his wife Vera (nee Andrews) and in so doing John Allison Monkhouse (Melbourne) and TJ Andrews (Sydney) became part of the same business. In the 1960s, he opened the only crematorium in the Australian capital, Canberra. In 1978, he was chosen by the Prime Minister’s Department to arrange the service for the long-serving Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. As a result, the protocol for State funerals was established. In 1993, Rob also assisted in the repatriation and funeral services for Australia's first Unknown Soldier. A tribute from management and staff at Allison Monkhouse reads: “He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, those whose lives he touched and for the amazing contribution he made to the funeral industry”.

Observer Treasury Thought For The Week ■ “A false report, if believed during three days, may be of great service to the government.” - Catherine de Medici, 1849

Observer Curmudgeon


■ “An open foe may prove a curse, “But a pretended friend is worse.” Contents of Court Lists are intended for information purposes only. The lists are extracted from - John Gay, Fables, 1727 Court Lists, as supplied to the public, by the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, often one week prior to publication date; for current Court lists, please contact the Court. Further details of cases are available at The Melbourne Observer shall in no event accept any liability for loss or damage suffered by any person or body due to information provided. The information is provided on the basis that persons accessing it undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No inference of a party’s guilt or innocence should be made by publication of their name as a defendant. Court schedules may be changed at any time for any reason, including withdrawal of the action by the Plaintiff/Applicant. E&OE.

Text For The Week

■ “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” - Proverbs 10:12

Have the Melbourne Observer delivered to your letterbox every week. Phone: 1-800 231 311

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 11

Confidential Melbourne

Talk is cheap, gossip is priceless

Hinch speculation as Matt White quits

Bitch Melbourne’s Secrets

Death of Prime Minister Harold Holt’s mistress

● Matt White

■ Matt White quit his post as host of Seven’s Today Tonight on Friday night, at the exact time when Derryn Hinch might have become available for the job. Hinch broadcast his final radio show on 3AW, but denied he was taking on the TT job, which looks likely to go to sacked Ten newsreader Helen Kapalos. “I’m Manuel: I know nothing. I wouldn’t host TT in current format and 7 wouldn’t ask me,” Hinch said at the weekend.


Proud Chic

● Derryn Hinch


● Prime Minister Harold Holt ■ Marjorie Gillespie, the lover of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, has died at age 94. Gillespie was with Holt on the Portsea back beach in December 1967, just prior to him disappearing in the waves. Gillespie told the ABC: “''He was trying to come back. This was the stage when the water seemed to boil up into colossal waves. Then there was nothing. There was nothing anyone could have done.'' - with Sue Deenim

■ Mr Ulf Ronnie Lindskog, 45, of Middle Park, has pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to four charges of insider trading. The charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission relate to seven separate orders Lindskog placed last year to purchase a total of 88,676 shares in Spotless Group Ltd. At the time, Lindskog was a member of a consulting team working with multinational private equity firms on a proposed takeover of Spotless in 2011. ASIC alleges that at the time Lindskog purchased the shares in Spotless, he possessed inside information concerning the intentions of the private equity firms regarding a proposed takeover bid for Spotless. The alleged insider trading was identified by ASIC’s Market Surveillance Team and referred to ASIC’s Market Integrity Enforcement Team for investigation. Lindskog has been committed for a sentencing hearing in the County Court on February 26. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter. This is the 23rd insider trading action ASIC has brought since January 2009. Of those, 14 have been successfully prosecuted, with eight cases finalised and six awaiting sentencing, of which five defendants, including Lindskog, have pleaded guilty and one defendant has been found guilty by a Supreme Court

Disclaimers over Tommy ● Marjorie Gillespie, Harold Holt’s lover, speaks with a Police Inspector at Cheviot Beach after the Prime Minister’s disappearance in 1967.

Psychologist at Tribunal ■ Bendigo psychologist Ms Meddwyn Coleman is facing the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal following a complaint from a female patient. VCAT members Noreen Megay, Gwenneth Crawford and Dr John Farhall have heard allegations that Ms Coleman transgressed professional boundaries. Ms Coleman is alleged to have offered paid work to the patient, socialised with the woman and her partner, had dinner and drinks, bouight gifts, gave the woman a hug, and proposed to enter into a financial arrangement. The case continues.

■ Who remembers 3AW’s short-lived flamboyant Hollywood correspondent Tommy Lightfoot Garrett, who appeared on the Ernie Sigley program ... before the Little Aussie Battler and his show disappeared? Tommy claimed in US court documents that “millions” of Aussies listened to his spot with Ern. He lists his career as having a stint as Editor- ● Tommy Garrett in-Chief of a Los Angeles newspaper, Canyon News. He boasted a similar position at the San Francisco News; a publication which seems shy to having a SF street address. Now Canyon News has added a disclaimer about Tommy’s past works: “This article was a contribution made by an outside agency or person. The content has not been verified by Canyon News. Please exercise your due diligence prior to relying on this article for factual information.”

■ Advance Business Finance Pty Ltd is due to make a claim against Proud Chic Mega Meats (Hampton Park) at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning (Wed.), when a pre-hearing conference is scheduled for 11.30am. A claim is being made regarding an alleged breach of contract/ arrangement (nonpayment).

Air tight?

Hear It Here First

Big spit for Tottie ■ Melbourne actress Tottie Goldsmith has been left with a bad taste in her mouth. The Chantoozie posted a Twitter message at the weekend: “I really should wear my contacts, I brushed my teeth with Canasten tonight.” “Canesten effectively treats fungal infection ... including vaginal thrush, tinea, ringworm, jock itch and nappy rash,” says the Bayer website. ● Tottie Goldsmith ■ The final Mebourne radio ratings figures for 2012 are due to be released on Tuesday (Dec. 11). The Rumour Mill hears that several ‘pink slips’ are being prepared for next week.

Plans for radio duo? ■ Does Fairfax Radio, owner of 3AW and Magic 1278, have expanded plans for ‘Grubby and Dee Dee’ (Peter Stubbs and Diane Dunleavy) next year? The pair, contracted to present the Weekend Break program on Saturdays and Sundays whilst football takes a break, have previously conducted the breakfast shows on Fox FM and Gold 104.3 FM.

● Grubby and Dee Dee: Peter Stubbs and Diane Dunleavy

■ Is there a prominent Melbourne radio identity who is yet to sign a contract for the coming year?

Out of school ■ Brian Joffe is due this morning (Wed.) to make an allegation that the King David School has not paid for services rendered. An administration officer at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court is due to hear the civil claim at 11.30am. The Court records show that an application is being made by Joffe for an instalment order to be put into place.

Breakup ■ The partnership behind Rowville Chiro & Physio, has been dissolved. The partners were Dunne Chiropractic Pty Ltd as trustee for Tim Dunne Family Trust and Timothy Peter McCurdy and Olivia Milne as trustee for Tivia Holdings Family Trust. A dissolution notice was published in the Victoria Government Gazette on Thursday.

Page 12 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Melbourne People

Wizard Of Oz MLOC Photos: Malcolm Threadgold

● MLOC President Margot Sephton, with front-ofhouse manager Barbara Mendleson

● Heather King and Kevin Seerup

● Stel Papoutsidis and Leah Osburn

● Director Lucy Nicolson, with Tony Hosemans.

● Sheila Whitson and Tony Pearson

● Alexa Harrington and Elyse Barker

● Catherine Guo and Heidi Farrer

● Domonique O’Connor and daughter Giselle

● Jan and Muffy Peddersen

● Luke Hart and Sean Hawkins.

● Taffy Keyt with daughter-in law Joanne Keyt

● Lighting director Michael Richardson Melbourne


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 13

Showbiz Extra

Stars align to support local biz


■ There has been minor complications in the recovery of Melbourne TV star Bert Newton following quadruple heart surgery, his wife Patti said on Monday night. Bert Newton had a 5½-hour operation at Epworth Hospital, Richmond, 10 days ago, and was now out of intensive care, Patti said in his weekly radio spot on 3AW’s Nightline. Patti said the Epworth medical team had explained that whilst the surgery had proceeded satisfactorily, it was the ‘journey’ of recovery that often provided challenges. Gentle physiotherapy was part of

● Bert Newton

the process. Bert had not seen any visitors, and did not want any, Patti told Nightline co-hosts and long-time friends Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady. Patti said there had been many ‘get well’ messages from show business colleagues, many of them by text messages on Patti’s mobile phone. Bert, 74, was anxious for news of his grandchildren on Patti’s daily visits. Patti described a report in one of the glossy magazines as rubbish. Bert’s long-time recovery will include time in hospital and at home, with a new lifestyle recommended.

■ Channel Ten’s Good Chef Bad Chef, Adrian Richardson; local band Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow; together with City of Yarra Mayor, Jackie Fristacky have come together to shine a light on a new community campaign to support local business. All three call the inner north home and are joining together to encourage locals to explore their neck of the woods as part of the Discover Your Own Backyard campaign, launched by Yarra City Council this week. Local ambassadors include Andrew Maher, Gwendolynne Burkin, Peter Corlett and Alexander Gow.

● Adrian Richardson


Observer Life & Style

News Briefs


Nissan fined

■ We are indeed fortunate if we find in a lifetime ‘one unforgettable character’. Little did I think when I first met that wonderful storyteller Bryce Courtenay, that he would make such an impact on me and become my ‘unforgettable character.’ Sadly, Bryce died last month, and I keep thinking of him. I think of his endless words of encouragement to me, all accompanied by his terrific sense of humour. We liked one another from the moment we met, and from then on it just got better. Bryce was so passionate about everything, whether it was running a marathon, or what he was going to plant in his garden at the weekend. I remember reading an article written by Bryce long before I met him. He so impressed me with his words that I copied the article and sent it to my Director, suggesting that he give it to all his staff to read. I was motivated, and thought that the writer made so much sense. Little did I think that he would become a friend at a later date? Wasn’t I indeed fortunate that I was given the chance to interview him when a new book was published? I could never understand why critics panned his books. He called it literary snobbery, and I often wondered if he was stung by the criticism. All he was interested in was that people read. Did any other Australian authors give the help and advice to budding writers that Bryce did?

Fans delighted by ‘Jessica’ ■ Bryce told me how his book Jessica came to be written. He received a phone call from a woman who told him she had a story about her aunt that would make a good book. And indeed she did. He spent time telling her how to set about writing the saga, while all the time, wishing that the story was his to write. Six months later the woman wrote to him and told him that she couldn’t do it justice and would he like to write it. He had so much enjoyment writing the story and Jessica was published to his fans’ delight. It was an instant best seller. I’m not sure why Jessica appealed to me. Perhaps it was because I knew what living in the country was all about, and how there were often many family secrets. I asked Bryce why such a sad ending, because it just wasn’t fair. He laughed when I told him I cried when I turned the last page. I didn’t want the story to end, and I thought that the heroine deserved more.

Bryce’s regrets over his son ■ That of course brought on a wonderful discussion about how Bryce saw life. I really loved that man. I loved his passion, his enthusiasm for life, his kindness, his generosity, and his skill as a storyteller. How could the reader not be moved when he wrote the sad story after his youngest son, a haemophiliac,

Yvonne’s Column

dren. And nobody cared if they were a bit out of shape. Everyone was there to get fit. There is a health,wellness and social program specifically tailored to retired or semi-retired members aged 60 plus years. What a terrific program for a lonely person with the social outings and specific group fitness classes. Joining this group you will receive personalised care and tuition. I wonder how many matches have been made around the pool. It’s a novel way of meeting someone. Gosh, with all my week taken up, I’ll have to make room for a couple of laps around the pool. Who am I kidding? I’ll be lucky if I can manage a Zumba dance workout at the end of the course. Well at least it’s good to see where some of my rates are going. So, congratulations to the Whitehorse Council. Aqualink Nunawading. Phone 9878 4576.

Hating the heat with Yvonne Lawrence

who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion and died. April Fools Day was the book and he told the story warts and all. He still became emotional as we discussed the book, and I had the feeling that he was punishing himself for not doing more for his son. He was the recipient of many awards and given an honorary doctorate by the University of Newcastle plus he had millions of loyal readers around the world. I’m going to miss his advice and encouragement, and just batting the breeze with this amazing man. I’ve kept a copy of one radio interview I did with him, and I smile when I listen to it. It was Bryce as his best and I will cherish it. Vale Bryce Courtenay.

Time to get into shape ■ The time has come as the walrus said, and I knew it was time for me to get into shape. I’d been talking about Aqualink Nunawading on radio and I thought I should really put my money where my mouth was. My doctors had been encouraging me to swim and do the exercises in a heated pool as therapy. They felt it would ease the back pain. Only a female would think of bathers with a built in bra, and where to purchase them. I’m sure it was thinking of unveiling myself poolside that put me off. However, membership was free before the end of November, so what did I have to lose? And if I didn’t like it I didn’t have to go back was my negative thinking. So I talked Peter into joining with me and off we went.

My rates at work ■ I’ve never seen such happy mums and their chil-

■ Writing this week’s column in 40 degree heat is a marathon. My fingers are slipping off the keyboard, and my hair is wet through and hanging in long strips. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate the heat. Last week Ken Lyons, a radio colleague was talking about my column and encouraging listeners to buy the Melbourne Observer. He was describing the sort of column I write and said that I write a lot about my memories. I didn’t realise that I reminisce so much, and it made me think when do we reminisce. I suppose a person would have to have lived a bit of life to have something to remember, but in retrospect, I do think about my mother a lot and the great life I experienced growing up.

■ Nissan Motor Co (Australia) Pty Ltd has paid three infringement notices totalling $19,800 and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for misleading advertising.

Circus comes to town ■ Ovo, a production by Cirque du Soleil, will premiere at the blue-and-yellow Big Top at Docklands on January 17. Some 25 performances have been added to the schedule.

New CEO ■ International aid agency Oxfam Australia has appointed Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke as its Chief Executive, taking up the reins held for 11 years by Andrew Hewett.

Smart meters: take notice


■ Perhaps I like to share, but as Ken said he enjoyed my column, and I can’t change my style, I’ll just keep on remembering. And mum used to tell me that when the temperature rose, you should serve a hot dinner and forget about salads. She also advocated a hot cup of tea. Oh heck, I’m doing it again. I should be acclimatised to the heat seeing I was born in Mildura, but I’m not. I love the snow and the furs that go with winter. But this day was beyond description. In fact. The men came to install the smart meter today and I was too hot to argue. They looked as if they had been given the rounds of the kitchen all morning from disgruntled homeowners and were prepared to do battle with me. I had to face the inevitable, the Government has made it law that we have to have them installed whether we like it or not. However, wait until the first bill comes in and if it is sky high they are going to hear from me, in spades! Yvonne, Contact: Editor, Melbourne Observer, P.O. Box 1278, Research 3095 Radio 3WBC 94.1 FM, P.O. Box 159, Box Hill 3128

■ Australian industry superannuation fund Hostplus and the Arts Centre Melbourne have sealed the deal on a five-year partnership to support key education and training programs, as well as public-facing major events.

Carols at Macedon ■ Ensemble Gombert will broadcast on ABC Classic FM on Saturday December 15, but first they will perform at Carols at historic Duneira on Mt Macedon.

Page 14 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Buying Guide

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - Page 15

Page 16 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

■ Vera Lynn is a famous English singer whose voice was heard during the Second World War singing songs of hope and inspiration. Vera Lynn was called the ‘Sweetheart of the Forces’ and has been loved and respected throughout the world for more than 70 years. Vera Margaret Welch was born in 1917 in East Ham in London. Vera began singing when she was seven and used her grandmother's maiden name of ‘Lynn’ for her stage name. Vera Lynn made her first radio broadcast at the age of 18 when she was singing with The Joe Loss Band. Her voice could be heard on recordings singing with various popular dance bands. Vera released her first solo song Up The Wooden Hill tT Bedfordshire in 1936. In 1939 she was under contract to Decca Records and recorded We'll Meet Again for the first time with Arthur Young, who later became musical director at Channel 9 in Melbourne. In 1941 Vera married Harry Lewis, who was a musician. Harry became her manager. During the War years she had a radio program tiled Sincerely Yours where she sang and read messages from families to service men and women. Her hit songs We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs Of Dover, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and There'll Always Be An England were tremendously popular during the war years. She also appeared in three British films We'll

ing her career including Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1959 and then in 1975 was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Vera has published three books Vocal Refrain, We'll Meet Again and Some Sunny Day. Vera Lynn performed in Melbourne in 1962 and returned again in 1972. My friend, the late musical director Tony Osborne, made several albums with Vera during the 1960s. Her last public singing appearance was in 1995 at the celebrations to mark the fifty years since the end of World War II. I must say that Melbourne's own Dorothy Baker does a beautiful job of singing the popular songs of Vera Lynn. In 2009, at the age of 92, Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist have a number one album on the British album chart with We'll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn Only recently Dame Vera came out in support of the underprivileged residents in her local area. At the age of 95, Dame Vera Lynn is still thinking of other people. Recent photos show Vera to be looking great and we wish her every health and happiness. - Kevin Trask

Whatever Happened To ... Vera Lynn By Kevin Trask of 3AW and 96.5 Inner FM Meet Again, Rhythm Serenade and One Exciting Night. Vera toured in countries such as Egypt, India and Burma to entertain the troops and visited many military hospitals. In 1947 Vera Lynn gave birth to her only daughter, Virginia. She became the first UK artist to go to the top of the hit parade in the US with her hit song Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart. Vera appeared in radio and television shows in England and the US. She has devoted much of her time to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. Vera Lynn has received many awards dur-

● Dame Vera Lynn

The Time Tunnel - with Bruce amd Phil- Sundays at 8.20pm on 3AW That's Entertainment - 96.5FM Sundays at 12 Noon. 96.5FM is streaming on the internet. To listen, go to and follow prompts.


■ As I mentioned last week, it was "off again". This time to Coober Pedy, via Streaky Bay. I picked up a couple of childhood mates, Robin Tuckerman and Keith Forbes, and off we trotted. I wasn't in a particular hurry, so we made it to Adelaide on the first night. The first port of call was to collect some opals from a friend in Hahndorf, a delightful little German town in the Adelaide hills, reeking of its Teutonic heritage, only a few kilometres off the highway. Then on to the Arkaba pub, an old favourite. There's supposed to be a ‘rivalry’ between Adelaide and Melbourne; my misguided Adelaide mates always tell me this. But it's a mystery to me! I point out a wonderful city with its picturesque parks and wonderful beaches and wines and succulent restaurants, and the absence of traffic jams. The only problem I have with Adelaide is its occasional lack of street signs, which has meant that I often get lost in the city. So the three of us settled down to a delightful evening in the Arkaba, lubricated by some of South Australia's finest. Then, after a somewhat bleary start, on to Streaky Bay, the actual beginning of our journey. Normally I would just keep heading north after I reached Port Augusta, but in this case it was westward ho. I'm not sure of the statistics involved, and I'm sure it's not the case, but I could well believe that South Australia supplies the rest of the world with wheat. There are golden fields of the grain stretching to the horizon in every direction. And silos dot the landscape at the drop of a hat. These fields are interrupted with quiet and friendly little villages. As with the majority of South Australian dwellings and businesses, they are constructed mainly of local stone, and are indeed picturesque little hamlets. There is Iron Knob, Kimba, Kyancutta, Minnipa and Poochera. Then, finally, later in the afternoon, Streaky Bay and its delights of the deep. Here we met up with a few more mates who had made their own way there - Jed Richards and his dad Chris, from Adelaide, and Ben Barrow and John Mansell from Blairgowrie.

The Outback Legend

with Nick Le Souef Lightning Ridge Opals 175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Phone 9654 4444 As with any gathering of seven males we initially tentatively got to know each other, and after lashings of oysters, and plenty more of South Australia's finest, our party was off and running. ■ The object of the whole journey was, as I intimated last week, a leisurely drive up the Gawler Ranges Track, from Wirrula, just north of Streaky Bay, to Kingoonya. Then on to Coober Pedy. Often pleasurable events or journeys become a little romanticised with the passage of time, and I was anticipating that this may have been the case with this particular drive, because I enjoyed it so much last time, a decade or so ago. However, it lived up to my expectations. Whilst certainly not a serious four wheel drive track, it's nevertheless a bush road, just requiring a high clearance. We all had four wheel drives anyhow. A few feral cats were initially encountered roaming around, with an inquisitive sand goanna standing on its hind legs in the middle of the road

before scuttling off. And a few stumpies waddling across the track. Then a family of emus, and a few roos basking in the shade beside the road. But the most interesting encounter was a hairy nosed wombat - I had heard that they roamed around the area, but I'd never seen one. There he was sunning himself on a mound in the salt bush. I stopped the car and walked on towards him. Then a cloud of dust and he darted down his burrow. And plenty of parrots and finches fluttering around. ■ But the highlight of this particular track is the spectacular geography. We encountered the odd bed here and there across the top of the Eyre Peninsula, but now there were some serious salt lakes! There's nothing like suddenly encountering a snow-white salt lake bed glistening in the brilliant sunshine - always a spectacular sight, and there are dozens of them dotted along this journey. I walked down onto a couple - a crusty layer of salt crunching beneath my shoes. A few distant purple glowing hills interrupting the flat, constantly changing, plains. But equally spectacular were, later in the trip, rolling white Sahara-like sand dunes. Then there was an interesting phenomenon at a place known as ‘Skull Tank’. A structure had been built, with corrugated iron sheets being supported by the trunks of a few local saplings. It resembled a shed, mysteriously too low for people, but ideal for sheep. However, its purpose was to collect morning dew, which was then funnelled into several large galvanised tanks, providing water for thirsty passers-by. ■ The destination here was Kingoonya. I first went there in the sixties, when it was a bustling little railway town on the main north-south road, then just a bumpy bush track. There were three of us on our way to Coober Pedy. We left the train there, then hitch-hiked the remaining 181 miles. Eventually an empty car-carrying semi -trailer arrived, and he offered us the bare upper deck. Freezing cold, rugged-up in our

● Kingoonya Hotel: now open

sleeping bags barely able to breathe through the thick swirling dust, and bouncing around on the hard steel surface from the vicious corrugations, it was the worst trip I've ever experienced! Then the next time, as I noted last week, long after the bitumen highway had bypassed the town, it was completely empty, a ghost town. Now, however there are sparks of life. Fuel is now available at the mere swipe of a credit card, and the pub is about to re-open. We missed the opening - a day too early. New owner John Brett had turned up to take over, but only had a trailer full of warm beer, and he couldn't find the keys to the pub anyway. I would have loved to be a part of this grand re-opening! - Nick Le Souef ‘The Outback Legend’

From The Outer




With John Pasquarelli

■ John Pasquarelli is on leave, and in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. His column will return when he does., - John Pasquarelli:

New board of directors ■ Volunteering Australia’s new Executive Committee of the Board is comprised of office bearers Paul Lynch (President, Board Appointee), Tim Jackson (Vice-President, President of Board of Volunteering SA and NT), Matt Rutter (Treasurer, President of the Board of Volunteering WA) and Dianne Carlos (Secretary and Public Officer, President of the Board of Volunteering ACT.)

Poet at free Watsonia event ■ Australian poet Les Murray was at a free event last night (Tues.) held at the Watsonia Library, supported by the Eltham Bookshop. Murray spoke about and read poetry from his 40-year career. The bookseller Merra Govil said refreshments were served for attendees following Murray’s readings.

Melbourne Observer. 121205A. December 5, 2012. Part A. Pages 1-16  

Melbourne Observer. 121205A. December 5, 2012. Part A. Pages 1-16

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