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Page 2 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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Melbourne Observer Advertising Press+Online+Google+SocialMedia+Editorial Our advertisers are making news Art enthusiasts
Get well soon Tom
■ One of our regular Observer advertisers every week is Jenny Pihan Fine Art (see Page 21). Jenny tells us that her 2014 art year begins with Premier Art Exhibition featuring four uniquely talented artists: Patricia Moran, Fu Hong, Peter Smales and Do Noble. The exhibition will open at the Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Caulfield, at 6.30pm on Wednesday, March 26. The exhibition is open until April 13. More details are available from Jenny, phone 0417 368 807, or see the website: www.jennypihanfineart.com.au
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Advertisers’ Index ● Tom Blakeley, 10 ■ Last week we introduced you to 10-yearold hunting enthusiast Tom Blakeley of Winchelsea. What a week ahead there was for Tom. On Friday, Tom was rushed to hospital in Geelong, to be treated for appendicitis. We hear that Tom’s mum, Charlotte, in charge at Burong Equestrian Centre (see ad on Page 45) never left Tom’s side, sleeping on the hospital floor for three days. That’s love and dedication for you! The Observer sends ‘get well soon’ wishes to Tom.
Now Showing ■ Tom Schouten from Metro Cinemas Boronia says the current line-up of movies is very popular indeed. Now showing are Last Vegas, Robo-Cop and Mandela. More details are on Page 47 of this week’s Observer.
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Page 4 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Mark Richardson ♥ Straight from the heart
Is love, is good: Tommy and Joan ■ This coming Friday, we will not only wake with the weekend happy dance buzzing in our feet, for many, our hearts will also be beating to the powerful tune that only February 14 continues to bring; igniting our souls to express our feelings for our special someone on Valentine's Day. Having spent an evening in Melbourne's Chinatown in late January reporting on film producer and director Frank Howson, who was producing a music video clip for artist Kole Dysart for his song Hong Kong Lover, I met to Kole's supportive parents - Australian showbiz veterans of stage, television and film, Tommy Dysart and Joan Brockenshire. By simply chatting and enjoying Tommy and Joan's company on the sidelines, I couldn't help but wonder if Valentine's Day had come early, or whether their relationship of more than four decades, had perhaps began with Cupid playing the lead role in what appeared to me, to be a match made in heaven. They were clearly still best friends and very much in love. Crossing paths at a party hosted by J.C. Williamsons in the grand foyer of Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre in the late 60s, the two (then) aspiring performers with just a pocket full of dreams and burning ambition to speak louder than the other, agreed, disagreed, thought about it and finally gave up the fight by agreeing through gritted teeth, that they were destined to be together, forever. Immediately going on to perform alongside each other in the production of Man Of La Mancha at the Comedy Theatre, Tommy and Joan's love blossomed and decided to break convention by sharing an apartment together in St Kilda out of wedlock. In their early days living St Kilda, Tommy recalls handing Joan his weekly pay packets (according to Tommy, 43 years on, nothing has changed …but Joan strongly disagrees) as they mapped out their showbiz career paths before eloping to
Valentine Porch Thoughts
Northcote to tie the knot. After several major disagreements, break-ups and according to Tommy, four marriage proposals later (although Joan lost count after the seventh) on St Patrick's Day on March 17, 1971, Cupid's work was finally done, their 'I dos' finally prevailed. Being a couple that are considered by many within the Australian showbiz industry as living 'royalty' and described by Frank Howson as being, 'the salt of the earth', I met with up Tommy and Joan in Sandringham to find out how they will be celebrating Valentine's Day and what they consider to be the keys to their successful relationship. Being a couple that seem so in love, do you still celebrate Valentine's Day? Tommy: Yes, I will be giving a special flower to Joannie on Friday. This is following the tradition of, 'say it with flowers'. Flowers are expensive these days and with me being a Scot, I shall present Joannie with a single bloom. I am a man of few words. By all accounts, you had such a rocky relationship before you married. What was the key to overcoming your differences? Joan: You have to go with the highs and lows in relationships. I believe if you truly love your partner then you want everything possible for them. We happened to be in the same business and we started working to-
● Tommy Dysart and Joan Brockenshire gether. We always tried to achieve Tommy being a proud Scot? always admired your love to persomething for each other. That's the Tommy: Coincidently, Nat King form, darling.' way we have been our entire mar- Cole was born on the same day in Tommy: Joannie and I were once ried life. The key was working at 1919. Nat was both our favourite casting for a show so we called casteverything, together. We do the same singer and he still is. His magical ing director and choreographer at JC thing with our son, Kole, all working voice charmed us all the way to the Williamsons, Betty Pounder. We together on his music and video clip altar. Nat's song, 'The very thought told Betty we were looking for a girl to help him find his happiness. of you' is still our favourite song. who could sing, dance and act who Tommy: I quickly learnt to agree There wasn't any argument nam- had plenty of vibe about her. Betty with Joannie on everything. (If you ing our son after him; except our told us, “you are looking for a young put that in the interview, please un- Kole is spelt with a 'K'. Joan Brockenshire and believe me, derline it, twice!) What's one thing that you have there isn't any such animal”. I also With several marriage propos- always admired about each other know this is so true. 'Joannie, you als between you both, what was one that you rarely remind each other are the animal I love.' of your favourites? about these days, but you'd love to What is your Porch Thought for Joan: When we travelled with express on this Valentine's Day? the day? the La Mancha company from Joan: The way Tommy would Joan: I love the trees. I talk to Melbourne to Adelaide by sleeper walk to work, even from when he trees and pat them. I appreciate our on the train (in single berths). Four was a young boy that his dad was trees but it makes me think about all feet protruding from one berth, proud of, way before I met him. the people around the world who Tommy's voice was heard by ev- During his early working days, don't have trees and perhaps live in eryone on the train with, “Will you Tommy would walk and even run to refugee camps. I want everyone to marry me?” Everyone could hear perform anywhere, even after re- pray for these people all together as him. I couldn't resist and said, “yes” ceiving a last minute phone call to I believe if we all pray at the same (again). play a small part. No job was too far time, change can happen. Pray for Tommy: Yes I agree with away. He stopped everything and those less fortunate than ourselves. Joannie on that one. would walk for miles just to perform. Tommy: I don't have a Porsche Why did you decide to elope on He has always been dedicated and thought, it's a GoGo mobile thought. St Patrick's Day, particularly with passionate about his work. 'I have - Mark Richardson
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 5
It’s All About You!
‘Delicious Divas’ opens Observer new Bayswater theatre In This 80-Page Edition
This show is stuffed
● Award-winning director, producer and writer, Brian Henson ■ The Melbourne International Comedy director, and improvisational guru Patrick Festival presents Henson Alternative’s Pup- Bristow, Puppet Up! – Uncensored invites pet Up! – Uncensored (US) at the Princess audiences to witness the other side of The Theatre, Melbourne from March 27-30 and Jim Henson Company and what happens April 8-20 at 7.30pm. when the camera stops rolling. This live show that lets loose the perilous This ‘psychotic puppet party’ features a and provocative elements of comedy on stage few reprisals of Henson classics, originally with a bunch of fine-looking puppets, is a night created by young Jim Henson, Jane Henson of major laughs, but not for minors. and Frank Oz that haven’t been seen by live Featuring more than 60 original Jim audiences in decades. Henson puppets - a motley group of characSometimes dark, certainly innovative, and ters will be brought to life by a cast of six always hilarious, the scenes in Puppet Up! world-class puppeteers of The Jim Henson reiterate the marvellous possibilities of pupCompany in a night of off-the-cuff comedy. pets in the hands of masters like these. Anything goes as Puppet Up's cupboard of Each Puppet Up! show is a unique experitechnicolor puppets – animals, humans, aliens, ence due to its spontaneous nature - and each hot-dogs, and crabs – treat the audience to a performance is different, showcasing the wit, puppet comedy variety show. technique, and that trademark Henson dryThis production delivers ‘two shows in one’ ness and sly anarchy. as the hilarious puppet action is projected live Venue: Princess Theatre, 163 Spring St., on large screens flanking the stage, while the Melbourne puppeteers race around below – displaying Dates and Times: March 27-30, April 8their skills in full view of the audience. 20 (no show Mon) at 7.30pm It’s Whose Line Is It Anyway meets SaturTickets: $45 - $69.90 day Night Live meets The Muppets. Booking: comedyfestival.com.au Created by award-winning director, proAdult concepts, swearing. Duration 75 minducer, and writer Brian Henson and actor, utes. - Cheryl Threadgold
● Jen Biggs, Alice Bottomley, Cecile Caminel, Trish Carr, Carly Daley and Julia Roper star in Delicious Divas, opening at Stageworx, Bayswater, tomorrow (Feb. 13). ■ An exciting week has arrived for Trish Carr and Les Marton, with the opening of Delicious Divas, the first show in their new theatre, Stageworx, at 3/21 Stud Road, Bayswater. It has been Trish and Les’s long-time dream to create a boutique performance space, and the result is a 71-seat raked theatre which is available for hire for both performance and rehearsal. The versatile space also has recording facilities with an onsite 48-channel digital recording studio. This Bayswater address is also the location of Trish and Les’s lighting/sound/ design business Lightwavez, and building the Stageworx Theatre means Trish and Les can now provide a show room for customers to see and hear lighting and audio equipment in a real theatre environment, and provide space for hire for rehearsals, product launches and live recording and video production. Their company Have You Seen It Productions is presenting Delicious Divas from February 13-22, and promises ‘a delightful night of entertainment from some of Melbourne’s most talented female performers.’ Delicious Divas is a variety show featuring the Divas’ favourite music. Enjoy Broadway classics, soul and contemporary pieces, as well as something from the magnificent Edith Piaf, all combined within a fairy tale to ensure pleasing all ages. Directed by Julia Roper and Trish Carr, and with musical direction by Craig Minty, the cast includes Jen Biggs, Alice Bottomley, Cecile Caminel, Trish Carr, Carly Daley and Julia Roper. Performances are February 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 8.00pm. Tickets are $20 and bookings can be made on www.trybooking.com.EDIN Enquiries: Val 9751 2886 or theatre 9729 8368. - Cheryl Threadgold
Mark Richardson: Tommy and Joan ........ Page 4 Ash: Around town, been and seen ........ Page 6 The Barrel: Magic 1278 makes changes .. Page 7 Di Rolle: Lisa Marie Presley to visit ........ Page 8 Melb. Confidential: Derryn’s latest gong .. Page 9 Long Shots: Launch of new newspaper .. Page 10 Travel and Wine: David Ellis reports ...... Page 12 Yvonne Lawrence: Favourite columnist .. Page 13 Gavin Wood: Live from West Hollywood .. Page 15 Kevin Trask: Jane Withers profile ........ Page 16 Win prizes: Observer Readers’ Club ...... Page 18 More on movies Top 10 lists Local Theatre Country music
Latest News Flashes Around Victoria
Drugs: guilty plea ■ Four people who ran a sophisticated drug ring during 2012 have pleaded guilty to supplying Victoria’s north-east with $3.5 million worth of ice and ecstasy. Aaron Dalton, 31, originally of Wangaratta, admitted his role as ringleader of the drug ring, reports The Chronicle.
Top National quits ■ Jeanette Powell, State Member for Shepparton, has announced she will not be running for the seat in the state election this year, reports the Shepparton News.
Back in society ■ Jaymie Shafto, 22, ice addict and thief, of Norlane, facing court on a swag of charges, has been released back into the community with a condition she not use drugs.
Grant for radio ■ Central Victorian Gospel Radio Inc is to receive $5000 through the State Government's ‘Be Heard’ initiative to help youth.
‘Officer blows .06’ ■ An off-duty Police officer was allegedly detected drink driving in Chadstone at the weekend. The male sergeant from a specialist area was intercepted on Warrigal Rd. He allegedly recorded an blood alcohol level of .066 and was issued with a penalty notice.
Weather Forecast ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Today (Wed.). Partly cloudy. 17°-32° Thurs. Cloudy. 20°-36° Fri. Chance of rain. 19°-26° Sat. Chance of rain. 19°-25° Sun. Chance of storm. 16°-26°
Mike McColl Jones
Top 5 THE T OP 5 SIGNS TOP THA T IT’S THAT REALL Y BL OOD Y HO T REALLY BLOOD OODY HOT 5. Rhonda and Ketut are just shaking hands 4. Swans in the Botanic Gardens have removed their cygnets. 3. Mum Rollettes are perspiring. 2. Eagle Rock is being performed by Daddy Hot. 1. Flashers are using Coppertone
Page 6 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
● Marty Rhone ■ Australian music legend and theatre icon, Marty Rhone, will join the upcoming multi-million dollar production of The King And I in the featured role of The Kralahome. Also joining ensemble roles will be Novy Bereber, Iggy Cabral and Erin James. Lisa McCune will play English governess Anna Leonowens opposite baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as The King, in the Brisbane and Sydney seasons. In Melbourne, the King will be played by international star Jason Lee Scott.
● Shane Warne Photo: Shannon Morris ■ International cricket star Shane Warne proved a hit at the Crown Aussie Millions welcome party. It comes as Crown Melbourne has been awarded 'Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year' for 2014, at the prestigious International Gaming Awards in London, announced Media Reelations Manager Natasha Stipanov.
Ash The Melbourne Observer Editor Ash Long is heard: ● 8.45am Wed., with Ron Burke, 3NRG-FM Sunbury ● 10am Wed., with Denis Scanlan, Pulse 94.7 Geelong ● 9.15am Thu., with Bob and Judy Phillips, 3RPP Peninsula
Media girls party
■ Melbourne theatre identity Chris Ryan, who appears with Alan Pearsall, on 3AW weekend overnight program, is holidaying in Bali. ■ Observer columnist Julie Houghton and her husband Allan have been having their annual summer break at Phillip Island. ■ Radio industry staffer Judith Dix returns to live in Melbourne this week. She will be on Western Port. ■ Parliamentarian Michael Danby has visited ex-MP André Haermeyer in Europe.
Strong crowds at St Kilda
At Festival ● George Donikian and Helen Kapalos were pictured at the Antipodes Festival in Melbourne at the weekend. Lonsdale St was filled with politicians and patriots.
● Chrissie Swan, Melbourne Mix 101.1 breakfast show co-host, is pictured with Jane Kennedy of Working Dog Productions, at a weekend summer party.
● John Safran and Fr Bob Maguire ■ Words by the Bay: Bayside Literary Series will feature John Safran and Fr Bob Maguire discussing words on Sunday (Feb.16), at Brighton Library, Wilson St, $5 plus gold coin donation.
● Kingswood perform to a strong crowd at the St Kilda Festival on Sunday. Photo: Jim Lee ■ The St Kilda Festival, Australia’s largest annual music festival, drew to a close on Sunday. In its 34th year, the nineday program showcased a wide range of outstanding artists, engaging activities, interactive workshops and family fun. Despite the strong winds, thousands of festival lovers enjoyed performances from acclaimed music artists including The Bamboos, Art Vs Science and Alison Wonderland. Festival Producer Adele Denison was proud to deliver Australia’s biggest stage for both emerging artists and established musicians, with more than 150 artists performing in more than 50 venues during the Festival. Crowds of more than 300,000 turned out to support emerging Australian talent. This year Live N Local expanded to South Melbourne and Port Melbourne.. The final day included stunt shows by Lukey Luke, roaming Giant Teddy Bears on stilts and every kind of dance under the sun, from Bollywood and Swing to the sizzling Brazilian Showgirls.
Two short plays
Jazz award ■ Final nominations are being called for the 2014 Australian Jazz BellAwards will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony on Thursday May 1 at The Plaza Ballroom, Regent Theatre, Collins St, Melbourne.
The Logies ■ TV Week magazine has now opened voting for the upcoming 56th annual Logie Awards. Voting is open via the website until March 2 . The awards will be presented at the Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne, on April 27.
● Ian McGregor (Tom) and Marianne Collopy (Amanda) in Heidelberg Theatre Company’s production of The Glass Menagerie. Photo: David Belton ■ Heidelberg Theatre Company presents Tennessee Williams’s classic play The Glass Menagerie, under the direction of Karen Wakeham, from February 20 – March 8 at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on February 23 and March 2, at 36 Turnham Ave, Rosanna. Tickets: $25 Full, $22 concession (not Seniors). Bookings: 9457 4117 htc.org.au - Cheryl Threadgold
Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Musical ■ Doorstep Arts will present the powerhouse rock musical Next To Normal at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre's Drama Theatre, March 14-22. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards, Next To Normal is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Book tickets at www.gpac.org.au or by phoning 5225 1200.
● The Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Rippon Lea House and Gardens, 192 Hotham St, Elsternwick, will be held from 11am-4pm on Sunday, February 23.
● Diana Trask ■ The Melbourne Observer has a special offer for readers. Diana Trask’s Daughter of Australia CD is available for $20, including postage. A discount coupon is on Page 41 of this week’s issue.
In Brief ■ The Australian Radio page on Facebook, administered by the Melbourne Observer newspaper, has just exceeded the 900-member mark. ■ Playhouse Players Inc. has moved to a broader based name instead of Kew Court House Arts Association. ■ Movies Under The Stars at Yarra’s Edge will be held on Thurs., Feb. 20 and 27 at Point Park, Docklands.. First two attractions are The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Sapphires. ■ The Lauriston Out Loud Music Festival will take place at Lauriston Girls’ School in Huntingtower Rd, Armadale on Sunday, March 2. ■ The Moonee Valley Festival will be held at Queens Park, Moonee Ponds, on Sunday, February 23.
● Sharon Karina in A Wife’s Revenge and Lian Low in Hyperreality. Photo: Hayden Golder ■ The Australasian Chinese Theatre Company presents their summer program on February 21, 22 and 23 at 8.30pm at 11 Cole Street, Brighton. Company founder, Moni Lai Storz, says Hyperreality and A Wife’s Revenge are two short plays dealing with topics that Chinese people are often frightened to talk about. Hyperreality by Lian Low deals with lesbianism, and A Wife’s Revenge by Moni Lai Storz, tells of a husband’s infidelity. Tickets: $25/$12. Bookings: www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=73528 Enquiries: 0419 367 261 - Cheryl Threadgold
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 7
Lucy Durack in ‘Private Lives’ Kiri’s 70th birthday
Briefs Boss out
THE BARREL ‘Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.’ ‘Out with the old’
● Peter Meakin ■ Anthony Flannery, Channel 10’s Head of News and Current Affairs has resigned. He departs on February 28. Former Seven exec, Peter Meakin, is due to start as Executive Director of News and Current Affairs on Monday (Feb. 17). ■ Light FM Melbourne breakfast show host Ken Green has signed with 96five Brisbane.
● Leon Ford and Lucy Durack ■ When Noel Coward died in 1973, they broke the mould. This 20th century master of wit and theatricality has never been copied, but thankfully his name lives on through his songs and plays, such as the current Melbourne Theatre Company production of Private Lives. Coward always found relationships and the flawed humans within them endlessly fascinating as a source of both drama and comedy. In Private Lives, Amanda has just married Victor while Elyot has just married Sibyl. Coincidentally, both new married couples end up at the same hotel in France with adjoining balconies, and suddenly old passions flare and flames are ignited. Stand by for fireworks, as the play rolls along to its climax. Directed by MTC Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong, Private Lives stars Nadine Garner as Amanda, John Leary as Elyot, Lucy Durack as Sibyl, Leon Ford as Victor and veteran Melbourne comic actor Julie Forsyth as the hapless maid. Private Lives runs until March 8 at the Sumner Theatre in Southbank. www.mtc.com.au - Julie Houghton
● Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ■ New Zealand's Dame Kiri te Kanawa has had a stellar operatic career in England and Europe at all the major opera houses. She sang to an audience of millions across the globe when she performed Handel's Let The Bright Seraphim at the wedding of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. Turning 70 is a reason for putting your feet up for some people, but this energetic Dame is celebrating with a 70th Birthday Gala Tour of Australia, which kicks off at Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday May 10 at 7.30 pm and Sunday May 11 at 4 pm. This a rare opportunity to hear Dame Kiri in action live in our hometown. www.melbournerecital.com.au - Julie Houghton
Bright lights at Fed Sq. ● Philip Brady ■ Nightline and Remember When radio co-host Philip Brady has not let his hip injury stop him from resuming his world travel schedule. After suffering a Hong Kong hipbreak, the 3AW personality left Melbourne late last week to fly to Oslo.
■ The Australian premiere of an interactive installation at Fed Square called Constellaction, is showing as part of Pause Fest 2014. Using your mobile phone, you can ignite light waves across 400 small lights in this interactive light installation at Federation Square from February 13-21, 8.30pm 11.30pm. The display of blinking lights, by Polish new media artists pan-Generator is made up of 400 small, lightsensitive tetrahedrons, which will flash under the light from mobile phones, igniting nearby tetrahedrons into a light wave. Move the tetrahedrons around to form shapes and light up one or many.outdoor activities.
Melbourne Observations with Matt Bissett-Johnson
The piece was designed to encourage people to experiment with their creativity with technology, and
received its world premiere at the Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland in September . Tired of interactive installations driven by complex, centralised software and hardware, the group designed an installation that is based on very simple and autonomous building blocks. The only component of this interactive installation/ experience are small, vacuum formed tetrahedrons. Atists will be on-site to guide the public each night. This sounds like the perfect fun, family and free activity to take the kids to while the weather is ideal for outdoor activities. - Julie Houghton
Prisoners paid ■ An award of damages has been made to former prisoner Nicholas Patrick Broughan in a claim against the State. The award money, excluding legal costs and medical expenses, has been paid into the Prisoner Compensation Quarantine Fund, where it will be held for a period of 12 months from January 16. Creditors and victims in relation to criminal acts of Nicholas Patrick Broughan are invited to seek further information from the Secretary of the Department of Justice, phone 1800 819 817. Similarly, an award of damages has been made to former prisoner Adrian Service, says a Government Gazette notice.
● Brad McNally, Gary Hoffman ■ Media can be a brutal industry. At Melbourne radio station Magic 1278 is seeing some sharp words aimed at outgoing General Manager Gary Hoffman. Hoffman, a popular Melbourne media figure who guided the radio station for 16 years, has been the target of the barbs from Brad McNally, a Perthbased programmer who has been given responsibility to develop the Magic stations in Melbourne and Brisbane. Hoffman resigned just before Christmas. McNally first had a shot at the programming: “It has gone from a very broad based and self indulgent oldies station to a station that’s core is 60s and 70s oldies.” Then he had a go at the image built over the years by Hoffman, former Fairfax General Manager Graham Mott, and the Magic team: “I believe the station needed a complete new coat of paint, so we have rebranded the station completely. It is now - the songs you know and love.” The Magic 1278 on-air personality stays the same for now: Kevin John and Jane Holmes, Peter O’Callaghan, Ric Ditchburn, Peter Van, Ward Everaadt, Brendan McGreal, Alan Pearsall and Dave Ferguson. Ferguson has alo just taken over as Operations Manager, with Darelle Kearins appointed as Music Director. Owners, Fairfax Radio, have closed the digital radio station, Buckle, which had been programmed by Hoffman.
Bob mocks Christians ■ That pompous practitioner of heat and smoke, Bob Hart, caused a stir at the weekend, mocking Christians. Hart, retired from the Herald Sun, but still on air weekly - talking about barbecues - with 3AW’s Denis Walter, said that he could not believe that anyone could see Christianity as “as anything other than nonsensical, hateful tosh espoused by the intellectually challenged”. Hart was in fierce debate with journalist Bryan Patterson, who until recently compiled the popular Faithworks column in the Sunday Herald Sun. Hart, commenting on Facebook, said: “Intellectually challenged by a Christian? Sounds a bit like being savaged by a sheep.” Of Heaven, Bob Hart says: “I have already concluded that the joint will be crammed with folk with whom I would rather not have a beer.” Hart described Patterson’s spiritual columns as “God-bothering tosh”
● Silly old sausage: Bob Hart
Page 8 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
At Melbourne Recital Centre
Di Human condition
● Philip Seymour Hoffman ■ Talking with a girlfriend on the phone, we were discussing the sudden and tragic death of the much loved Oscar winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. When the news was released to us all in the early hours, it united us with the rest of the world at such a meaningless loss. His performance in Capote is just awesome and his scenes in The Talented Mr Ripley breathtaking. I was asking: “Why, why does such great talent, leaving us agog at this awful news and the horror of heroin?” My friend said to me: “it’s the human condition”. I find this ‘human condition’ most interesting tirrently. With the Sochi Games in our lounge room;and with Schappelle Corby. She has long been an interest of mine. I have followed her - excuse the pun - home-grown story from the beginning. We have to remember that we are indeed among some interesting times. American writer, Maya Angelou, wrote of the human condition, “I am always talking about the human condition and about American society in particular, what it is like to be human, what makes us weep, what makes us fall and stumble and somehow rise and go from darkness into darkness and that darkness carpeted.” So, in celebration of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I went through my DVD collection and plan to sit quietly one Sunday afternoon and watch it. In the mean time I have a column to write!
● Lisa O’Neill (see story, top right)
I love my job!
■ It’s only fair to mention a couple of wonderful artists coming to perform at the Melbourne Recital Centre. I do love a singer and musician from Ireland. I don’t think personally I can go past an Irish entertainer coming to perform on stage in Australia. Lisa O’Neill will be making her Australian debut when she comes to perform with another fabulous Irish entertainer, Glen Hansard. The Cavan singer-songwriter was hidden as part of David Gray’s band in London, but out front on her own she is the real deal. Her voice is marmite for some, marmalade for others. She won last year The Meteor Choice Music Prize – Irish Album of the Year 2013 shortlist. The overall winning Album of the Year will be selected by a judging panel at the Live Awards Event in Dublin on February 27. She has a stunning voice, sprite like but an old soul singing. The kind of voice that might sit as easily on a Carter Family recording. It’s a tender and expressive instrument, but possesses a Midlands Irish flintness. She will sing songs from her second album Same Cloth or Not. O’Neill grew up in Ballyhaise in the Midlands. Cavan, by the way, is the county town of County Cavan. The town lies in Ulster, in the north of Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland. Lisa O’Neill will perform on Friday, March 14. Melbourne Recital Centre with Glen Hansard. Bookings: melbournerecital.com.au or phone 9699 3333.
For Lisa Marie to visit Melbourne ■ I first saw Lisa Marie Presley when she was here eight years ago. She was fabulous. So I was very thrilled to hear she is returning. She is worth seeing. Lisa Marie will perform with her fivepiece band for eight Australian shows only when she tours in March as part of her Storm and Grace World Tour. It's the first time she has been back. With all the hoopla that has surrounded her, it's easy to forget that Lisa Marie Presley is at heart a simple Southern girl whose earliest musical memories are of obsessively listening to 45s in her bedroom at Graceland and of her dad catching her singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror at the age of three. My sisters and I used to do that . My brother played the best air guitar with his cricket bat! Memphis-born Presley reclaims those roots on her latest album Storm and Grace, released in Australia in 2012. The album is an Americana-inspired showcase for her song writing talent and smouldering alto voice, produced with elegant restraint by 12time Grammy Award winner T Bone Burnett. Storm And Grace is a marked departure from Presley's previous albums, 2003's gold certified To Whom It May Concern and 2005's Now What, which both debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 chart. "I love the songs, but I think I was hiding behind a lot of sonic
with leading Melbourne publicist DI ROLLE
"As a passionate child sponsor, Lisa Marie has the ability to touch the hearts and minds of fans and inspire them to consider the difference they can make to the lives of children around the world," said Mr Costello. Lisa Marie Presley will perform at Arts Centre, Melbourne, Playhouse on Tuesday, March 25. Bookings: www. artscentremelbourne. com.au or phone 1300 182 183. A must see. You definitely see her fabulous Dad in her and hear him in that fabulous voice.
● Lisa Marie Presley layers because it was World Vision chief scary to go out there," executive, Tim CosPresley says. tello. "It's easier to bury yourself in the noise so you don't stand out. This album is a lot more stripped-down and naked, both musically and lyrically." On her Australian tour Presley will be introducing fans to her new charity partner, World Vision. Working in approximately 100 countries for more than 60 years, World Vision addresses the root causes of poverty through, community development, disaster preparedness and response, and advocacy. ● Roberto Fonseca By asking her fans to join her in making the world a better place for children, Lisa is adding her ■ Beautiful Greek Australian soprano Elena voice to other World Xanthoudakis has returned to Australia for a Vision artists, whose series of performances. She will perform with her group Triokroma fans have already in the Salon at Melbourne Recital Centre tosponsored mkore than one million children. morrow (Thurs., Feb. 13) at 6pm. It’s a perfect time to pop in after work or on Presley and her family sponsor chil- the way home . Enjoy a great hour-long perfordren in Zambia, mance of piano, voice and clarinet. Tickets are from $28 and are available from Myanmar, Ghana and www.melbournerecital.com.au or phone 9699 Kenya. "World Vision 3333, or at the box office on the night. Australia is honoured ■ It’s almost time for the Aussie Rules players to partner with Lisa to start playing, which is great. In the meantime enjoy Sochi on Channel 10. Marie Presley on her upcoming Storm And Don’t forget HG and Roy every weeknight. My Grace tour," said timer is set already.
Tall and sexy ■ He’s from Cuba. He is tall and he is sexy. He is talented. He is Grammy nominated. His name is Roberto Fonseca and he is coming to Melbourne Recital Centre. With their fifth birthday celebrations well and truly completed, Melbourne Recital Centre, by arrangement with Alison Pearl, presents the fabulous pianist and composer on Tuesday, March 11. He will perform at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. The rightful heir to the Buena Vista Social Club legacy, Fonseca had the daunting job of filling the shoes of his hero the late, great Ruben Gonzalez. Fonseca ended up becoming the star of the show. Now a solo artist in his own right, Roberto incorporates traditional African, Brazilian and Cuban music with a vibrant, panoramic mix of whistle-able tunes and euphoric improvisations. He has certainly established himself as one of the most innovative and charismatic musicians of his generation. He has grabbed Cuban music by the horns, and launched it into unexplored dimensions and sounds with his new global quintet. Touring his rave reviewed new album YO (which means ‘I’ in Spanish), this tantalising work blends traditional acoustic instruments with elements of electronica, and pays homage to Cuba’s African roots while striking forwards with red-hot grooves and electronic beats that flawlessly updates Cuba’s musical lineage. I have been told that he is an electrifying, uninhibited live performer. When Roberto plays, the music seeps from every pore in his body. The Guardian said “A rousing demonstration of what can happen when a great Cuban pianist becomes obsessed with Africa. Fonseca is the finest fusion exponent in Cuba.” Sydney journalist John Shand is a huge fan of Roberto’s – and he wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald in a review when Roberto was in Australia in 2010: “The music is so svelte it is like sliding between satin sheets, with Fonseca’s ingenuity and capacity for generating beauty apparently limitless.” Direct from headlining Womad in Adelaide and a mega world tour, Roberto Fonseca will perform with a group of the most outstanding musicians. It is certainly one of the live shows to catch in 2014 at Melbourne Recital Centre. Tuesday, March 11. 7.30pm, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. 90 minute performance including interval. Tickets from $45 Bookings: visit melbournerecital.com.au or phone 9699 3333. It’s marked in my calendar. - Di Rolle
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 9
Talk is cheap, gossip is priceless
3AW’s unusual survey has loaded questions
Bitch Melbourne’s Secrets
B2B lawyers split ■ Members of an East Melbourne law firm has dissolved their partnership. David Samuel Lurie, Matthew Dominic Sweeney and Rhonda May Arnott, who have traded as B2B Lawyers at Jolimont St, have given n notice that they have dissolved their partnership.. As from January 1, a new partnership of Lurie and Sweeney is trading as B2B Lawyers at the same address.
Todd to tour Victoria
■ Melbourne media industry analysts are bemused by a 3AW survey aimed at listeners, with some questions only allowing positive answers about their presenters. The online survey, conducted by Qualtrics, for Fairfax Radio, offers the opportunity for participants to win an Apple iPad if they complete the 30-minute questionnair. One question asks participants to choose one of four descriptions for morning host Neil Mitchell. No negative options are avilable: ■ He gives better information on the issues. ■ He better represents my own views. ■ He is credible and I trust him more than anyone else. ■ He is fun and entertaining. Participants are asked to select six words to describe 3AW. There are no negative options available. The descriptions comprise: daring, agenda driven, entrertaining, thought provoking, informative, objective, balanced, genuine, honest, credible, controversial, engaging, provocative, relatable, conservative, reliable and intelligent.
● Tom Elliott: 3AW spell his name incorrectly in survey “This type of survey enavles 3AW advertising representatives to approach potential clients and use the loaded results to describe views of survey participants,” said a major radio advertising buyer. “The trouble is that on some of the questions, the interactive survey freezes if the participant fails to complete the six favoured words, or doesn’t agree with the answers prepared by the survey company.”
The survey seeks to identify listeners’ views on each of the presenters from 5.30am until midnight. It asks about ‘time spent listening’ to 3AW and other stations, with comparisons to 12 months ago. It asks if people are listening by radio, at home, at work, in the car and the type of device used. It asks about favourite segments and for the names of other presenters that listeners would like to hear on the station. Perhaps the survey company could get to know the current 3AW line-up better. Drive presenter Tom Elliott’s name is incorrectly spelt throughout the survey.
Cop this ■ Organisers of a reunion of exresidents of struggle town Reservoir are miffed that their Edwardes Park Lake gathering did not even score a ‘walkthrough’ by local Police. Organisers jokingly say the lack of Rezza rozzers was an insult to the group’s tough history.
Derryn accepts Rumour Mill gong by remote ● Kevin Trask with Todd McKenney ■ If you only know Todd McKenney from his persona as the grumpy judge on Dancing With The Stars, you owe it to yourself to see him in action as an all-singing, all-dancing performer. Long before his TV exposure, Todd was building a solid music theatre career in shows like 42nd Street where he had to be both a fabulous singer and tap dancer. But it was being cast as Peter Allen in the original Australian production of The Boy From Oz where he really hit his straps. Having seen Todd in both the original and the revival Boy From Oz shows,it seems he was born to bring Peter Allen to life. So it seems appropriate that in April he starts a tour right around Victoria and New South Wales as Todd McKenney Sings Peter Allen, though he promises the show will also include songs from his earlier musical theatre performances, and he will tell stories and anecdotes about Peter … as well as sharing the goss from DWTS. Todd is a born entertainer, and in a move that Peter Allen would have approved, he starts the tour on Friday April 4 in Bendigo, then heads north to Mildura and arrives for his Melbourne show on Friday April 11 at The Palms At Crown, before heading north. www.toddmckenney.com.au - Julie Houghton
On the payroll ■ Former County Court judge, David Anthony Talbot Jones, will still be permitted to be paid a judicial pension while he holds any office or place of profit while engaged to undertake a review under the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act, according to a notice in the Victoria Government Gazette.
■ Broadcaster Derryn Hinch has not let his 50day jail term get in the way of him accepting a Variety award. Before being sent to prison, he pre-recorded an acceptance speech in appreciation of being inducted into the Variety Australia national honour roll. Hinch addressed the dinner gathering about his favourite topic: Hinch. He said he had been ● Derryn Hinch “avoidably detained”, repeating his mantra about serving the jail term rather than paying the $100,000 fine imposed by Mr Justice Kaye of the Supreme Court. Hinch spoke about having been jailed, fine and put under house arrest on a variety of criminal charges over the years. He told the Variety audience that he had designed the Variety logo, which had been adopted by the charity organisation at state, national and international levels. He pledged that he and Variety stalwart Doug Christie would find a venue for the Bikeathon to get to air. The project started at Melbourne radio station 3AK, moved to 3AW where it was dropped in 2012, and has raised more than $2 million over the years. Hinch promised to be at a Variety function after he is released from jail: “The spirit hasn’t been dampened.” He ‘celebrated’ his 70th birthday on Sunday. Hinch’s devoted personal assistant, Annette Philpott, has been keeping the broadcaster’s fans up-todate on his condition. His Human Headline website says he will be released from Langi Kal Kal prison, in just over 22 days, on Friday, March 7.
Hear It Here First
Real Housewives debut ■ Which Melbourne scribbler is a little bit obsessed with the new TV series, The Real Housewives of Melbourne, yet qualifies for neither ‘real’ nor ‘housewife’? The TV show starts on cable channel, Arena, at 8.30pm on Sunday, February 23. ■ Miracle Christian Center Inc has asked for a Dandenong Court hearing today at 11am to allege non-payment in a civil action against Daniel Hagen.
Picking up the tab ■ Which Melbourne school principal has been wining and dining high-wealth parents and friends, with the aim of raising $1 million in donated funds, at $100,000 each?
■ Melbourne Grammar School has asked for a Registars’ Pre-Hearing Conference at 10.30am today (Wed.) at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where a civil claim against John Warwick is due to be alleged for “work and labour done”.
● Geoff Shaw ■ Maverick Frankston MLA Geoff Shaw set off a record for the number of insults broadcast in one editorial by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell last week. ‘Mitch’ applied the following descriptions: ‘arrogant’, ‘apparently self-obsessed’, ‘traitor’, ‘destroyer’, ‘political thug’, ‘political bully’, ‘brave from a distance’ and a ‘game player’. No Christmas card from Mr Shaw this December, Neil?
Rate up ■ State AttorneyGeneral Robert Clark has this month raised the penalty interest rate from 10 per cent per annum to 11.5%.
Fizzer ■ The fireworks and street party at the Whittlesea Country Music Festival had to be cancelled on Saturday afternoon due to extreme fire conditions.
Page 10 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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Ash On Wednesday
‘Get your Paper’ ■ I have never met Melbourne property developer Morry Schwartz ... but I think I like him. Schwartz is about to start a new newspaper, The Saturday Paper, which will sell at Melbourne newsagents for $3, each weekend from March 1. Already the publisher of The Monthly and Quarterly Essay, Schwartz has big plans for TSP. The closest publishing parallel is Nation Review, created by the Observer’s founder Gordon Barton in 1970. We are likely to see a 32-page paper, with writers including Mungo McCallum, Robert Manne, David Marr, Hamish McDonald, Kirsty Simpson and Sophie Morris. Helen Razer will write on television. His media kit says the paper will have 100,000 circulation that also includes Sydney and Canberra. A report says he is prepared to give the project two years to gain traction. One press report says The Saturday Paper will have no ads. The website, however, says full-page ads are available for $8500 plus GST. Good luck with that, Morry.
with Kenneth Mulholland
ATV -0 TV-0 -0.. 196 19699.
● Morry Schwartz: starting a newspaper
Lessons ■ I worked on a very similar newspaper, Nation Review, 44 years ago! It started life as The Sunday Review, 20 times cheaper at 15 cents a copy, rolling off the presses at Fisherman’s Bend (Port Melbourne). Limited by Sundayonly sales, it became The Review, sliding back to Friday, then Thursday print schedules. Whilst it attained sales of 30,000 at its peak, the paper that became Nation Review sold more like 10,000 copies. It spawned a sister newspaper, The Living Daylights, for a little while. When Gordon Barton tired of his proprietorship, Melbourne publisher Geoff Gold had a go. So did Lady Mary Montagu. Another Observer publisher, Peter Isaacson, even had a crack. Every incarnation has been a licence to lose money. But cash isn’t the only measure. Nation Review brought us cartoonist Michael Leunig. Business Manager Barry Watts used to clean up Leunig’s bin each night, and made books from the scraps! ‘The Ferret’ brought us writers such as Barry McKenzie, Germaine Greer, John Hepworth, Bob Ellis, Phillip Adams, John Hindle - at a time when Australia dearly needed them.
Melbourne TV Memories
with Ash Long “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”
Observer Treasury Thought For The Week ■ “The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” - Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Observer Curmudgeon ■ “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” - William Shakespeare, King Lear
Text For The Week ■ “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.” - 2 Thessalonians 1:3 Contents of Court Lists are intended for information purposes only. The lists are extracted from 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 www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au 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.
■ It wasn't a 'Made it, Ma! Top of the world!' moment. It was a singularly school-ground memory, on the roof of ATV-0 that particular late Sunday afternoon, all those 45 years ago. What I mean by that is: remember when you were in sixth grade at primary school and amongst the 'big kids' and then the next year you moved on to secondary school and suddenly you discovered that you had been relegated to the bottom of the tree? That is what I was feeling. I'd kidded myself that when I moved from Channel 7 to O it would be a breeze. Paul Dethridge had done it and so could I. Well he had, to a certain extent, and he was a confident guy. I wasn't, and any semblance of confidence began to plummet when I realizsd that this was no hick outfit. This newest channel had a number of people who knew what they were doing and where they wanted to go. I'd missed the first four years and felt it ... no ... knew it. John Haddy had previously left 7 and gone to 0, and he was an experienced cameraman. However, for some reason, he decided that 0 wasn't 'the go' and went back to Dorcas St. Alf Potter seems to have taken him in as a black sheep returning to the fold. Haddy eventually left again and followed aspiring film director John Dickson, as his film cameraman. A likable rogue, Dave Doogood, breezed through 0, after leaving 7 on his way North to another life. I stuttered on, fumbling my way from day to day. “Give me a key shot!” What the hell is a key shot? I'm on the blunt end of a television camera and don't know the terminology. Ken Mott, directing Roy Haystack and Katrina Pye, says, 'Camera 1, just give me a nice shot.' I really want to do that, but dither between Roy, settling on Katrina. What he really means is that he wants a static background pic somewhere on the set to roll the closing credits over. I'm too thick to catch on first time up. In the new year of 1969, after I had clambered down from ATV-0’s roof, back into reality, I began to feel the heat, and didn't like it. But the heat I felt was personal and nothing to do with the real fires. That new year, casting back my mind, there were big fires in the Dandenongs, and 0 had a fixed camera trained on the mountains, positioned in the open doors of the 0 canteen. Dethridge, again, was one of the guys manning that eye into the hills not too far off. What was I doing? Shivering in my boots mainly. I felt completely out of my depth. I felt that being a B-grade cameraman was beyond me. That I was just faking it. And I was completely rattled when I was rostered on Uptight and crammed into Studio C. Uptight went live to air at 8 in the morning until mid day. I was totally unprepared. I didn't know the people in it, had never heard the music, felt trapped amongst it all. There were girls on rostrums shimmying away, bands tooth-pasting themselves onto tiny sets and my fellow camera men, jiving away to stuff that simply flabbergasted me. “Oofff! Oofff! You looked so pretty, as you were ridin' along ...” When Russell Morris, who I had never heard of, launched into The Real Thing, I was lost in the oblivion of sound and sight. A background of Brian And The Juniors, World Of Sport and Sunny Side Up, did not qualify me for the claustrophobic, sound-wall and visual rear-projection pyrotechnics of Ross Wylie and Co. I was more comfortable when working with Paul Dethridge, particularly when he and I were assigned to a new show called New Talent Time in Studio A. This was hosted by Jimmy Hannan, and Ralph Baker, as Deadly Earnest, and directed by Rob Weekes. I think my first encounter with this director. I hadn't got to know Ralph then and certainly didn't know Weekes. Paul and I were subjected to a style of direction we had never encountered. Rob Weekes was inclined toward, almost out of control, enthusiastic lunacy. He was a literal loose cannon in the control room, rocketing about it, crashing his roller chair against the back wall and rebounding with renewed energy. Turn To Page 13
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 11
Hotels and Cafes Historic Photo Collection
● Oriental Hotel, between Spring St and Exhibition St. 1959.
● Sandingham Palace Coffee House, Beach Rd. Circa 1910.
● Oakrood Tea Gardens, St Kilda Beach Tram Terminus. Circa 1920.
● The Stage Coach. Queens Road, Albert Park. 1967.
● Public bar, Savcoy Plaza Hotel, Spencer St, Melbourne. 1957,
● Duke of Wellington Hotel. Flinders St, Melbourne. 1964.
● Vice-Regal party at Traralgon, outside Grand Junction Hotel. Circa 1894
● Commercial Hotel, Ballan. 1963.
Page 12 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
with David Ellis
Fopdoodles, bedpressers and amatorrulists ■ When he wrote his celebrated Dictionary of the English Language back in the mid-18th century, lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson and seven assistants took eight years to complete the job – in today’s terms a seemingly inordinately long time. But across the English Channel, a French publishing house had 40 academics spend nearly four decades producing their first major dictionary, while in Italy another publisher took 30 years to get theirs done and into print. The Johnson dictionary was by no means England’s first, with the “Wordbook” having been published in 1538, and a dozen or so others in the years before Johnson’s. But his was the most-commonly referred to – and most trusted – until the Oxford English Dictionary came along 150 years later. And today, visitors to London can drop into the house just off London’s famed Fleet Street, and see for themselves the garret Johnson and his team toiled away in for those eight laborious years. When finally completed in April 1755, A Dictionary of the English Language comprised two-volumes containing 43,000 entries, with 100,000 definitions of word meanings attributed to hundreds of earlier writers Dr Johnson referred to and quoted. One apparently simple word could
● Dr Samuel Johnson by 18th century painter Joshua Reynolds, depicting how Johnson was partially blind
Observer Wines & Liqueurs
with David Ellis
High note from deepest South Africa ■ We're certainly not averse to a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc on a hot day – nor any other day for that matter – and one we particularly enjoyed over the recent holidays was not from Australia nor even from New Zealand… it hailed all the way from South Africa. And interestingly from near Cape Agulhas, the cool-climate, southernmost point on the African continent, and made from grapes grown on what was found in 2001 by a group of friends looking for a vineyard site, as a decrepit, run-down, one-time wheat farm. Bottled under a First Sighting label this 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is a rewarding drop that reflects it’s slowripening from one of the region’s wettest winters with accompanying cool and frosty nights, and followed by a dry January with top summer temperatures of just 29C. With 15 per cent Semillon blended into its base 85 per cent Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a wine with nice tropical and citrus fruit flavours that takes well to chilling. At $18 match it with fish, pork chops, other white meats, or even sushi; the First Sighting name comes from the “first sighting” of the African continent by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias way back in 1488. If you have difficulty finding it, get onto importers Africape Wines who have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
One to note ■ Chain of Ponds has released another great quaffer for hot weather enjoyment, a 2013 Novello Rosé to simply enjoy on its own or to put on the table with summery seafood salads, cheese platters, tapas or as a nice foil to curries and other spicy dishes. Really vibrant pink in colour, it has a bouquet all about strawberries and cream and suggestions of fresh raspberries, with strawberries and raspberries on the palate, and all balanced with a quite subtle spicy finish and a sweetness that’s not-overpowering. Good buying at $18 it’s a rewarding blend of Sangiovese (72 per cent) and Pinot Noir (28 per cent) for summertime enjoyment.
Pictured ■ All the way from South Africa – history in the naming, rewarding in the drinking. ■ Quaff this one on a hot summer’s day, you’ll not be disappointed.
attract vast explanations in his dictionary. ‘Put,’ for instance, was given an extraordinary 100+ meanings, takingup five pages. And so large and cumbersome were the initial two volumes that they were later broken down into four – that when stacked one on top of the other, stood well over 25cm (nearly a foot) thick, and as the pages were 46cm X 50cm in size, their combined weight was 9.5kg (21 pounds.) Samuel Johnson was an extraordinarily colourful and charismatic person, with an exceptionally brilliant mind. He was a teacher, journalist, essayist, poet, literary critic, biographer and book editor, yet almost all his life lived near-penniless. His teaching career had ended while still quite young, students complaining of his “unusual” behaviour, which included appearing clumsy through being both partially blind and deaf, and also suffering involuntary head-shaking, gesticulating, grunting, emitting half-whistles and making sudden “clucking” sounds with his tongue. It was only well-after his death that doctors started to record a condition that was to become known as Tourette Syndrome – Samuel Johnson’s nowobvious problem. Yet despite his ailment, Dr Johnson has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history,” and “the secondmost quoted English writer after William Shakespeare,” although he was not without detractors in high places. One stated publicly that his dictionary was “imperfect and faulty,” another that it was “grammatically and historically contemptible” and a third that “nearly one-third is as much a language of the Hottentots as it is of the English…” But conversely, when two society ladies complimented him on having left vulgar words out of his dictionary, the ever-witty Dr Johnson feigned surprise, gasping: “What, my dears – you have been looking for them, have you?” The tens of thousands who today visit the home where he wrote his dictionary, obviously have more admiration than Johnson’s critics. Found at number 17 on the small pedestrian-only Gough Square off Fleet Street, the circa-1700 building is “4 bay windows wide and 5 storeys high” (as chronicled when Johnson lived there,) and is as sparsely furnished today as in his struggling times. In fact the only times he had money of any significance was when writing spasmodically for the Gentleman’s Magazine, fascinatingly described as “a repository of all things worth mentioning … a digest of news and commentary on anything from market prices to Latin poetry, divinity, philosophy and morality… fact or fantasy” and which was published for over 190 years from 1731 to 1922. And again when he was paid 1500 English Guineas in instalments (around AU$250,000 today) by a group of London booksellers to write his dictionary. And how words have changed: Dr Johnson’s dictionary had cruise defined as a small cup, fireman a man of violent passions, fake a coil of rope, and urinator as a diver who searches under the sea. Equally words that have gone out of use included bedpresser that Dr Johnson defined as a heavy and lazy fellow, fopdoodle as a fool, odontalgick a toothache, and an amatorrulist as an insignificant little lover … Dr Johnson’s House is open Monday to Saturday 11am to 5pm; details www.drjohnsonshouse.org
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 13
Melbourne TV Memories
By Kenneth Mulholland
New chum finds his way at Channel 0 From Page 10 His wild eyes and hyper, upbeat manner went with the aim of the show, and Baker's style. The judges were Mary Hardy, John- Michael Howson, Stan Rofe and Vi Greenhalf. Thanks to Chris Keating for reminding me of names.. Mostly, Rob praised Dethridge and me. Always optimistic, Rob smashed about the control room, directing with fingers clicking: Take 3! Take 1! Yes!' Linda Ray was his Director’s Assistant. Lovely girl, and quietly capable of coping with his lunacy. The show was short-lived. February 1969 to midway 1969. But Robbie Weekes's crazy enthusiasm was the catalyst that eventually propelled him into a further career at the ABC. A remarkable man. A remarkable loony.
In the meantime I was trying to cope with the system, the equipment, my fellow work mates and my shortcomings. At the conclusion of each show, each News, each task, I breathed a silent sigh of relief. OBs, that is remote broadcasts, troubled me too. I didn't like travelling away from Melbourne. I felt isolated and missed Maria. And not being in control... Good Morning Mister Doubleday 1969, was initially directed by Ron Way and the interiors were shot in Studio A. I was camera 4. I dreaded it because I was so sub-standard and Mr Way blocked this light-weight comedy with the belief that all his camera crew were capable. There was one scene in a deserted
house where live mice were released on the set; one of which I had to follow when its handler let it loose in a dimly lit room. As usual, I got the worst camera head to tilt and pan with and finding focus in the gloom was, for me at least, almost impossible. Whether the shot was used I never knew. Another time I had to track across the set, zooming in and holding focus on one of the cast, ending in a closeup. Another tricky move ending almost in tears ... almost. I just managed to get lucky on the third take. And it all took place with the director and my three other camera crew members watching intently. Another silent sigh of relief. What I came to detest was the credo of that time. The theory was
that you had to 'knock the other bloke off!' In other words, come up with a better shot, a better move than the other fellows. This was designed to keep the camera crew in direct competition with each other, thus ensuring that they stayed on their toes, always striving to be the best and so giving the director the best choice of selection. Maybe I was on the wrong tram, but I considered co-operation, working as a team, helping each other, was the better way to go. Forty five years later, my view has not changed. So, I was at odds right from the outset. True, it was much the same at 7, although back there I was too foolish to even think about the idea. In any event that was what Barry Cross was instilling into us underlings at the time.
On the positive side, Barry had discovered Rudy Bretz and his written work Techniques of Television Production. He told me to read it, and loaned me a copy. It explained a phrase that Barry often spat out like a curse, “Unmotivated Bullshit!” I kind of got the message: The camera moves when something happens to prompt it to move. Pretty simple; action-reaction. Of course Barry was a complex character. In 1961 I was in awe of him every time he came into the 7 mailroom. he was only a couple of years older than me, although I didn't know that at the time, and he had a reputation as a 'Wild Guy.' In 1962, he and the others set sail for England. ● Turn To Page 16
Observer Life & Style
Try to chill out over this weather
■ Ugh! What about this weather? I read where scientist have come up with the idea that going into a chilled room and shivering for half an hour has the same effect as an hour of medium effort on a bike and will take off inches. So perhaps dieting will become a thing of the past and dieting is out. The new fad to take hold maybe out with the saunas and in with a personal chill room! So what hope do I have when there’s not a shiver to be found?
Oh, my garden!
■ My poor garden. It looks as if it has given up the ghost. The beautiful ferns, which form part of my back garden, have been badly sun burnt, curled up their fronds and now look as if they are waving a deathbed goodbye. Tried lots of water, but it doesn’t make a scrap of difference to their appearance. And those bulbs that are waiting in the wings, just beneath surface gathering up their strength in preparation for the first signs of spring, are probably saying their goodbye, never to reappear.
■ My ‘other half’ is celebrating a birthday during the week and I’m trying to think up something different in the way of a party. We both loathe surprise parties, so whatever I do will have to be with his approval. Talking about birthdays the other night we recalled some of the best birthdays we’ve had, and with whom. Some have been overseas and we’ve even staged a picnic style celebration. We’ve enjoyed them all, but not as much as a dinner we had to celebrate my birthday one year. And it was all without my knowledge.
Feast of feasts
■ A new restaurant had opened at Southbank and the owner had casually invited us to dinner. Italians are very romantic and the thought that they can make someone happy is all they need to prepare the feast of all feasts. I’d reviewed his restaurant when it opened and given it a thumbs up for ambience, service and two thumbs up for food. I never did find out how he remembered it was my birthday because I was so completely knocked out by the most wonderful night of my life. I simply forgot to ask. When we arrived I was surprised that there didn’t appear to be many guests in the dining area, but who cared, I was looking forward to an Italian feast. We were shown to our table, which was in
● Antonio Carluccio
Not perfect with Yvonne Lawrence email@example.com
the centre of the room and seated six. Casting my eyes around I did see a couple of food writers seated at another table. We nodded, and they raised their glasses to me. So, I thought, they are in the know too, and raised my glass to acknowledge their greeting. Suddenly there was an excited hum in the room and a man was shown to my table.
Kissed my hand ■ I was introduced to the famous Antonio Carluccio. He kissed my hand, and from then on the night was unbelievable. Food is probably the most important thing in every Italian’s life. Whatever else is happening, meals must appear. The quality of the ingredients must be the best, and the cooking must be superlative. Thinking of the chef in the kitchen knowing that the great Carluccio was in the room made me a little nervous for him. I, on the other hand, was still feeling that my night could never be surpassed. I still remember something that Antonio had said in a magazine interview. “My mother was very wise. She said that when God created Italy, He looked from a bird’s eye view and found it was too beautiful. “To provide a balancing element, he created the Italians! “She also said that Jesus must have been Italian, firstly because He lived at home until the age of 33, secondly because He believed his mother to be a virgin, and thirdly because the mother believed her son a god.
■ Armed with these two gospels, I went out into the world to find out the truth. Over the years I discovered that Italians are by no means as perfect as I had thought, but I also recognised the one thing that unites all Italians, food, glorious food.” The talk, food and drink continued, and I was completely under his spell. There was a lull in the conversation and as if by royal command a magnificent voice almost equal to that of Lucciano Pavarotti filled the room and a superb Puccini aria enveloped the diners. And not only the voice, but also dancers in wonderful costumes entered into the room encircling our tables. We were in awe, and when it was completed we all rose in our seats and showed them how much we had enjoyed the singing and dancing. It really was so emotional, and my companion was the famous Antonio. I love everything about Italy – the food, the music, the art and the history of this romantic country. The owner had indeed remembered my birthday, and knowing how much I enjoyed Italian food, he couldn’t allow my birthday to go unremarked seeing that his friend Antonio Carluccio was visiting Melbourne. What a truly wondrous night. I just didn’t want it to end.
Best birthday ever ■ Peter and I reminisced about this wonderful dining experience and we decided it was the best birthday night ever. So much so, although it is Peter’s birthday he has booked me into a course to learn Italian. He said that it was something I’d always wanted to do, but never found the time. Now I have the time. Now how is that for a wonderful man who
loves his mate. It’s so Italian really. Thinking about my husband’s birthday, which falls in the middle of the month, had me spending a day searching through recipe books for inspiration. Birthdays are an important day in our calendar, and we like to celebrate with something different every year. I’ve had some doozies in my time. Mostly due to the creative mind of my other half. And because we’ve been together for a lot of years, we are together no matter whose birthday we celebrate. So, it’s back to the drawing board to plan something different for Peter.
Wait for the cool ■ I haven’t cooked for so long, I’ll never find my way around my kitchen – Peter has changed it around to his way. Planning something to be staged in the garden, could never surpass Carluccio’s night, but how can I be sure there wouldn’t be a heat wave, or that the heavens would open up and we’d be washed out. It is Melbourne after all. I’ll come up with something when the weather is cool.
From the heart ■ What a wonderful tribute to Keith McGowan from Ash Long in the Melbourne Observer. It was written from the heart, and considering Ash’s health at the time, it was a tremendous effort. I’m sure we will save that special edition along with all the good things we keep. Keep cool y’hear. Ciao - Yvonne Contact: Editor, Melbourne Observer P.O. Box 1278, Research, 3095
Page 14 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Monash supports local charities
Joining forces to donate to Life Education
● Life Education Gippsland Committee Chair Helen Hoppner and Deputy Chair Les Hunt receive a donation from Freemasons Victoria's Jack Huxtable and Ian Coad. ■ Life Education Gippsland has them to make healthy life choices", been in desperate need of funds, to Jack said. support their mobile learning centre The travelling classroom will also a travelling classroom that teaches include a wheelchair ramp allowing children about healthy eating, drug and easier access for children with disalcohol awareness, bullying, stranger abilities and will be available for use danger and cyber safety. by primary school student in term 1 of Freemasons Victoria and the Pub- next year. lic Charitable Foundation joined Ms Hoppner said that in order to forces to contribute $30,000 towards expand Life Education's service this initiative which enabled the pur- across Gippsland, it was imperative chase of the Life Education van. that support was forthcoming from Jack Huxtable and Ian Coad of local business and the community. Morwell Lodge No. 202 presented Life "This generous donation from FreeEducation Gippsland Committee masons Victoria and the Public Chair Helen Hoppner with the cheque. Charitable Foundation as it allowed "We wanted to make a contribu- us to take possession of the van a lot tion which would assist in the devel- sooner than we thought possible," Ms opment of our young people and help Hoppner said.
● Freemasons Victoria's John Berhang and Kevin Fowler presenting cheque to Matthew Yates and Lynn Carter of CPEC. ■ Monash Lodge No 938 has this year supported two local charities in Glen Waverley both with a contribution from the Board of Benevolence. First, on October 10, a cheque for $2000 was presented to the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre for the purchase of a second skin mobility suit which assists very young children with this condition to control their movements and function more normally. The second donation was for $4000 to Bestchance on October 29. Bestchance is an organisation that provides a wide range of family support and training services. The donation went to the purchase of children's play equipment. ■ Freemasonry is the oldest and largest existing fraternal organisation in the world. Freemasonry is a society that brings together millions of people, across the world, in a fraternal manner, of all nations, religions, political beliefs, and all social backgrounds. It comprises an estimated 5 million members world wide with more than 12,000 in Victoria.
Monash provides helping hand
● Freemasons Victoria's John Berhang and Kevin Fowler, Chairman of the Social and Community Awareness Committee and scholarship recipients Ranya 'Mae' Li and Bowen Li. ■ Monash Lodge No 938 in conjunction with the Freemasons Victoria Board of Benevolence presented two scholarships at Mt Waverley Secondary College on December 4. These scholarships of $750 each were presented to the male and female year 10 student who most displayed the qualities espoused by Freemasonry. The money will be held by the school and issued to the students in vouchers to assist with the expenses of their VCE studies.
Funds help keep youth on the road ■ If you're an avid reader of the Sunraysia Daily (Mildura), you would have noticed a great article 'Funds Help Keep Youth on the Road', (Jan. 30). The Mildura Lodge No. 170 has donated $500 towards the L2P Program, a Learner Driver Mentor Program that helps young people who don't have access to a Supervising Driver or vehicle to achieve 120 hours of driving practice required to progress on to P-plates. The Program, funded partly by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), is implemented by Vic Roads and managed by SunAssist. Ian Monteath, who has been a mentor driver since the Program began, said that the funds raised by the Mildura Lodge will help SunAssist to cover running costs such as fuel and professional lessons. L2P Program Coordinator Jenny Gibbons said that the Program continues to be successful thanks to its 27 volunteers, and a vehicle that has been donated by Gary Davison of Davison Motor Group. "We need to look more at local
● Mildura Masonic Lodge members including Jim Mason, left, and Ian Monteath, showing their support for the Mildura L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program. Since October 2010, the Mildura sources of funding and support. We don't want to cut things back because L2P Program has seen 15 young feit's been such a successful program, males and 16 young males ages 16so we really need to get the commu- 21 years old gain their Probationary licences. nity behind us", Jenny said.
● To find out more about Freemasonry, how to become a member, or attend upcoming public events, please visit www.freemasonsvic.net.au or ’Like’ our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/freemasonsvic for the most up to date information. ● Don't miss the 2013 summer series of Freemasons: The Inside Story, airing Monday nights at 8:30pm on Channel 31, or visit www.C31.org.au to watch it online, until February 24, 2014.
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Page 15
Aussies bring footy to the States All Aboard ■ Union Station in the Heart of Los Angeles. Many movies have been shot at Los Angeles Union Station just like its counterpart in New York, Grand Central Station. A visit to Los Angeles would be wasted if you don't go down to Union Station and just soak up the atmosphere. It's a star in its own right. A strange, graceful LA. marriage of Spanish Colonial and streamline modern styles. Opened in 1939, the last of the great American train stations. With the advent of the new Metro line, Union Station is busier than ever with 10 times the traffic that it experienced in its prosperous early years. Chances are that it is going to get busier. New retailers have popped up to sell their wares. Wetzel's Pretzels, Subway, Starbucks, See's Candies, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and the convenience shop Famima. Mystery, history and grandeur sums up Union Station. It's a vast space and you can fit a five-storey building inside. Near the information booth, when you look up, you will see the ceilings in four different rooms. Each one is different. They look like wood but they are concrete. The huge chandeliers are 10 ft across and weigh 3000 pounds, the weight of a small car. Some 75,000 people per day pass through Union Station and as the Metro system expands over the next few years that number will swell to 100,000. www.metrolinktrains.com
Latest concerts ■ Just announced concerts around LA: ■ Diana Krall. Friday,April 4. Valley Performing Arts Centre. ■ Lily Tomlin. Friday, May 9. Valley Performing Arts Centre valleyperformingarts center.org ■ Kansas 40th Anniversary. March 1. La Mirada Theatre ■ An Evening with Jerry Lewis. March 15. La Mirada Theatre ■ The Oak Ridge Boys. May 17. La Mirada Theatre www.lamirada theatre.com
From my suite at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Suites comes this week's news.
Amazing Los Angeles
Sav, the Redskin
■ After the huge success for the NFL Superbowl. more Aussies are getting into the NFL. The National Football League had 111 million people watching the Super Bowl. Annual revenue for the NFL is $11.4 billion. The Gatorade sponsorship alone is $2.3 billion for 10 years. Maybe that's why AFL boss Andrew Demetriou was a guest of the NFL. I hope he has brought back some ideas. Saverio Rocca is an Australian-born American football punter for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He made his debut playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. ‘Sav’ has come a long way from his days at Arden St playing for the Kangaroos. Ben Graham, formerly from Geelong, is a punter with Detroit Lions and is the only player to be named a captain of both an AFL and NFL side. He was the first Australian to have played in a Super Bowl. The first AFL player to breakthrough the NFL was Darren Bennett originally from Melbourne F.C. and now Darren lives with his family in San Diego. Darren is regarded as one of the greatest players of the 1990s and a member of the NFL 1990s All Decade Team. Darren certainly held the torch and opened the door for more AFL players to try out with American teams. Darren helps Australians to transition into the NFL. He has helped Mat McBriar who played college AFL and now is a punter with the Pittsburg Steelers. Pictured celebrating Saverio's successes are North Melbourne players, Leigh Colbert, former director Alan Johnson, Saverio Rocca and North Melbourne legend, Glen Archer.
Well heeled travellers ■ The number of affluent travelers has increased in the last few years and more of those travellers are women according to a report from MMGY Global and the Harrison Group. Affluent travellers are defined as those with an annual household income of $250,000 or more; make up 6 per cent of the leisure travel market, the Portrait of American Travellers report says. Women make up the majority of those travellers at 54 per cent, up from 42 per centin 2010. Affluent travellers' top destinations in the next two years will be Italy, France, Australia, Spain and Canada.
● Celebrating Sav Rocco's successes are North Melbourne player Leigh Colbert, former director Alan Johnson, Saverio Rocca and North Melbourne legend, Glen Archer.
From my Suite at the Ramada Plaza Complex on Santa Monica Blvd
Another Aussie restaurant on Sunset Boulevard ■ A super new restaurant has opened on Sunset Boulevard. Look out for ‘Vaucluse’, a high-end restaurant owned and operated by husband and wife, Brad and Claire Cox, originally from Wagga in New South Wales, Wayne Carey country. The restaurant is already turning heads of the Beverly Hills set after just opening. It is becoming the ideal place for homesick Australians in Tinseltown. Brad is bringing a mix of Australian recipes with a healthy food outlook. The restaurant used to be the home of Charlie Chaplin on Sunset at 8210 Sunset Boulevard. Get this: Martinis range from $10 to $100,000. Now that instantly had Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills booking in for the expensive martinis. No one has ordered the big one but one customer did purchase the baby $10,000 martini. www.vauclusecalifornia.com
● Los Angeles skyline ■ Like you, I travel. I visit other cities, I see other sights, and I shop, dine and take in the arts. But there is one thing I realise each time when I return to Los Angeles, this is the greatest scene in the world. I am not alone in that feeling, in a world that has gone (what else?) over the top with superlatives; Los Angeles is one city that seems to beg them. Phrases I often hear bandied about include "entertainment capital of the world", "culture capital of the 21st century", "dining mecca" and "shopping paradise”. Every one of those descriptions appears to be true and the Ramada West Hollywood puts you in proximity to it all. I'd like to share a little of what I love most about LA. The real stuff, without, if possible, going over the top. I love the contrasts - I love being able to ski in the morning and enjoy an ocean swim in the afternoon. I love going to Farmers Market in a T-shirt then to a theatre opening in a tuxedo. I love exploring the city's neighbourhoods, its urban splendoir and its eccentricities. I love that if I went to a museum every week of the year - if you count the smaller museums, nearly every day of the year, I still could not see them all. I love watching people shop and seeing their joy when they find the perfect item. I love watching the sushi chef shape his exquisite treats and the smell of garlic and basil in a trattoria. I love it when the Dodgers win. I love that I almost never have to wear a sweater or tie and that I always need my sunglasses. I love seeing this city as a backdrop in all those movies and TV shows. I love that something new opens every day. I love that there's always the promise of more, that creativity is fostered and that dreams come true. Most of all, I love helping fellow travellers to discover everything that LA has to offer. Whether your shopping tastes run to the glamour of Rodeo Drive or the edginess of Melrose Avenue, it's here. Whether you seek the richest museum in the world (The Getty), the most happening world-class orchestra (the Los Angeles Philharmonic) or the hippest nightlife on the planet - it's here. Legendary beaches, studio tours and chefs with household names - they're here. Star-struck? You might spot a celebrity or two in the course of your day. The ones who don't live here love to spend time here, likely for the same reasons that I do. I'm guessing that by the end of your stay you'll have discovered reasons of your own, many reasons, and that you'll find that one stay isn't enough. Welcome to Los Angeles. This time and next, I hope you will find it as relaxing and as stimulating and as amazing as I do. Oh, and don't forget your sunglasses.
Order the $100K martini
● Vaucluse On Sunset
■ So if you would like to order the $100,000 martini on Sunset all you have to do is contact Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org as I have managed to secure a terrific holiday deal for all readers of the Melbourne Observer. When you are planning your next trip to Los Angeles come and stay at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Suites, 8585 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood. Please mention the 'Melbourne Observer' when you book and you will receive the special rate of the day. Happy holidays, See you real soon, Gavin Wood
Page 16 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
■ The age of the major child actor film star seems to have faded. In the 1930s Shirley Temple became a major box office star at 20th Century Fox and when they were looking for another child film star Jane Withers was selected and signed to a studio contract. Jane Withers was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1926 and began her show business career at the age of three and soon had her own local radio show. She specialised in singing and imitating famous film stars. Jane moved to Hollywood with her mother and began to get work as a model and then worked as an extra in films for three years. Jane started to get bit parts before landing the pivotal role of Joy Smythe opposite Shirley Temple in the 1934 film Bright Eyes. Her character was the opposite of Shirley who pulled the head off a doll and told Shirley there was no ‘Santy Clause’. You can watch the whole colourised film of Bright Eyes on YouTube. The public loved her and Jane starred in many films during the 1940s working with the Fox, Columbia and Republic Studios. Some of her films included The Holy Terror, Johnny Doughboy, The North Star, My Best Gal and Paddy O'Day. Jane rang the studio boss of Republic Pictures at the age of 12 and negotiated the loan of Gene Autry to star opposite her in the Fox Stu-
Whatever Happened To ... Jane Withers By Kevin Trask of 3AW and 96.5 Inner FM dios film Shooting High. Jane was a very strong willed lady from an early age - but at the same time an adorable and beautiful person. She insisted on the same crew in all of her films at Twentieth Century Fox and they became a sort of working family. In 1947 Jane retired from films and married William P Moss. They moved to Texas and had three children but sadly the marriage ended in divorce in 1955. In 1955 Jane married for the second time and her husband Kenneth Errair was a member of the singing group The Four Freshmen. It was a wonderful marriage that produced two children but sadly Kenneth was killed in a plane crash in 1968.
● Jane Withers In 1954 Jane suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and was hospitalised for a year. In 1956 Jane was cast in the film Giant and played the supporting role of Vashti Snythe. During the filming she became a good friend of James Dean and he used to visit her home where they enjoyed reading The Bible together. She called him ‘Number Three Son"’. There was a routine where Jane would wash his favourite pink shirt for him on a regular basis she still treasures that shirt she was washing at the time he died. Jane Withers was in almost 50 films during his career. She played guest roles in television shows such as The Munsters, The Love Boat, Hart To Hart and Murder She Wrote. Jane found fame again in a series of televi-
sion commercials for a cleaning product when she played Josephine the Plumber for 14 years. Jane has collected dolls, stamps and memorabilia all of her life and recently donated 6000 dolls to the History Museum in Los Angeles. She still has 8000 dolls and 2500 Teddy Bears. President Roosevelt was one of her biggest fans and when Jane asked him for the loan of a train, so that she could tour her doll collection throughout the US, he agreed and the project raised $2½ million for the war effort. Sadly her son Randy died of cancer in 1983. These days Jane is in retirement and proud of her children and grandchildren. I am pleased to advise that Jane Withers will be our special interview guest on That's Entertainment, at 12 Noon on Sunday (Feb. 16) on 96.5 FM, thanks to the fabulous work of our producer David Miller. I hope you can tune in - it is one of our most fascinating interviews with a beautiful lady and you will love it. We will also be talking with Todd McKenney on the program about his new Peter Allen show. Kevin Trask The Time Tunnel - with Bruce & PhilSundays at 8.20pm on 3AW That's Entertainment - 96.5FM Sundays at 12Noon 96.5FM is streaming on the internet. To listen, go to www.innerfm.org.au and follow the prompts.
In search of the big Black Cats ■ Although I lamented my mate Keith McGowan's passing last week, I knew that he'd be still about. And so it is this week. As I've previously mentioned, I often spoke on air with him about Australia's mystery big ‘black cats’ and other related ‘sightings’. To be greeted by sceptical guffaws. One such episode concerned a
mate of mine, big Arthur, who was visiting Alice a few years ago. We settled in at Scotty's Pub, and I initially asked him: "Arthur you've been in the bush a bit - have you seen any of these big black cats roaming around?" His eyes narrowed - "Why?" "I'm interested in these things and try to find out more about them."
TV Memories From Page 13 When they returned in 63 or 64 I again encountered the dark character, the aloof, cool being that was Barry Cross. At a party at the Nepean Highway flat of John Haddy, Paul Dethridge and Bob Meillon, Barry just grooved away to Needles And Pinza, and other new songs on his own all night. We never spoke. But in 1969 Barry, as head cameraman, had to speak. “You drove the crane camera at Seven didn't you?” “I did, it's a back-steer.” “I know what it is.” He had a way of speaking that was a deep, barking nasal growl. 'The one in Studio A is a crabbing crane. Think you can handle it? On Showcase. It wasn't really a question, more of a statement. “Umm. .. Well ...” “Right. You'll be driving it Wednesday.” “Next Wednesday? I'll need a bit of prac ...” “Yeah, yeah. We'll get to that later.” Getting to that later amounted to the night before, after the News. “Back steer like Seven's. Hit this pedal and turn the wheel and it drops into crabbing. All four wheels react so the thing travels sideways. Hit it again and it slips into back steer again. Got it?” “Er yes ... I'll need to practice on it.” “You're doing the late news. You can have a go between then and now. I'm going to the pub. You coming?” “Think I'll just have a practice first.” “You do that. But don't hit the brakes.” When he'd gone I climbed up onto the driver's platform and tentatively eased the speed control forward,
gently turning the steering wheel and pushing my foot down on the pedal. Clunk! The gears meshed and suddenly the machine was moving sideways to the right. Wow! I tried slipping back into back steer. Yep, easy. Back to crab. No worries. moving at faster speed. Clunk! In. Clunk! Out. Moving faster, I had to use the brakes. No worries, they worked well. I didn't know why Barry had said not to use them. Perhaps he thought they were a bit grabby and could jolt the camera shot. I took that machine through its paces, forward, backward, sideways all over the empty studio floor, getting used to the feel of the steering, crabbing, growing in confidence... After an hour I felt sure that I could handle the thing. I coasted back into the bay between the audience seating, halted, climbed down and began to haul in the ropes of camera cable... Then stared in horror at the studio floor. All across those pale blue tiles were the scars of the crane's wheels where they had gripped, stripping off the surface every time the brakes were applied. Aghast, I realised what that warning had actually meant. In a panic, I drove to the nearest service station and bought up all the cleaning products I could find. That night, up until it was time for The Late News, I was on hands and knees scrubbing, scrubbing...and then scrubbing. After the News, I returned, to find the cleaners shaking their heads as they plied their polishers over the studio floor. Barry met me at the clock card Machine, seven o'clock on the morrow. “I told you not to hit the brakes!” “You didn't tell me why?” He fumed silently as we went over to Studio A.
"Nah". I knew that was Bulldust! After a few more beers, it all came tumbling out! "Me and me mate were driving along the Moroka Road about 11 one night when this bloody Tassie Tiger jumped out and ran along in front of us. I looked at my mate and said: "We never saw that!" That was 11 years ago and I haven't spoken about it since." After talking about this on air, Keith said to me: "You know, as much as I laugh at you about these things, I did see a big brown cat in the hills a few years ago. But I'll never admit it to anyone - not even you!" ■ And a few years ago I had the great pleasure of introducing Keith to another valued friend of mine - Ted Egan. We called him ‘His Tedness’ when he was the NT Governor. He roamed around Ted's sturdy abode, marvelling at its construction walls about a foot thick made of compacted sand. After that meeting Keith would always look him up on his visits, and interviewed him a few times. Now Ted has recently had another honour bestowed upon him. John Williams recently presented him with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. His career has spanned 40 years, and he's recorded nearly 30 albums, many of which have accompanied me on my journeys along the Stuart Highway; and he's written 10 books, most of which I've read. He's always documented people and events of the bush, having arrived in the NT in 1949 from Victorian suburban Coburg at age 16. I've spent many an evening of discourse with him and Nerys, pondering life's questions, over some hearty bottles of red wine, to end up reclining on his couch till the early hours when I was in a fit state to drive home.
The Outback Legend
his Pilton Hilton at Barrow Creek. And my mate Dave would take about two hours to get to the Rock, 450 kms distant. There was always controversy, which still lingers, as to whether this was in fact a danger. The overall contention of most Territorians is that most fatalities are the result of a combination of unroadworthy vehicles and excess alcohol, rather than speed per se. The distances are so vast, and 100 kmh is totally boring, so all drivers, myself included, chose a comfortable speed to watch the miles go by, usually about 140. I must confess to being pinged a couple of times after I entered into South Australia, with old habits dying hard.
■ Imagine if only 63 per cent of school-age kids in Sorrento turned up for school, with the parents too drunk to get them off in time. with Nick Le Souef Or who just didn't care whether they went or not, or just having the Lightning Ridge Opals attitude that, because they never went 175 Flinders Lane, to school themselves, the kids Melbourne shouldn't have to. Phone 9654 4444 There'd be a bit of an outcry on the www.opals.net.au Peninsula. Yet that's what happens at Hermansburg every day. other woman looked on." He told him So now there is a new strategy to stop. afoot. The Federal Minister for In"I'm going to proper stone you - put digenous Affairs has a new motto you into ICU for the rest of your life," "No More Excuses". was the response, followed by a hail Nigel Scullion has decided to try of huge rocks, which fortunately nar- and put a stop to this state of affairs, rowly missed. which I have seen everywhere when I had hoped that I was going to hear I lived in the Territory. less of such stories as time went by, School age kids roaming the but no such luck. streets day and night, with no care or Many of the local Alice Springs la- supervision, often hungry, smashing dies around the town are swathed in things and stealing food, and learning bandages from beatings from their to drink and sniff petrol before their husbands and partners, and more still teenage years. bear angry scars from past beatings. So he's appointed SAO's - School Everyone's got a solution to these Attendance Officers - to hopefully fix problems, particularly urban southern things up. "experts", but nothing ever changes. A Tennant Creek primary school Language and Culture teacher, Rose■ I've often mentioned my mate Rex ■ At last it's happened. The speed mary Plummer, summed it up: "It's a Niendorf, and it's usually about rep- limit is once again non-existent. At good idea to wake the parents who tiles, he being Alice Springs' resident least along the Stuart Highway up to have had a good night drinking and gambling, to get the kids ready for snake man. Barrow Creek. However, this time, it's a bit differBut it's only for a 12-month trial. school", she said. So these SAO's will stir them up ent. About 11 the other night he was However, it will be a good test to see working at his Alice Springs Reptile whether it was indeed wise to rescind and make sure that their charges are in the classroom rather than roaming Centre, when he heard a noise out- it in the first place. side. My mate Les Pilton, who drove an the streets. - Nick Le Souef "I went out and saw a man smash- old Ford Fairlane, would take just over ‘The Outback Legend’ ing a woman into the fence, while an- an hour to drive the 200 kms back to
Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February `12, 2014 - Page 17
Historic Photo Collection
● Swanston St. Town Hall on left. 1926.
● Swanston St. Flinders St Station on right. Circa 1933.
● The German Arch. Coillins St. The Royal Visit. 1901.
● Melb. Tramway & Omnibus Co. workshop, North Fitzroy. 1889.
● Flinders St railway entrance. 1954-55.
● Collins St, looking west. Circa 1892.
● Two electric trams, labelled ‘Victorian Railways’. Circa 1906-1915
● Opening tram, Deepdene to St Kilda. 1913.
Page 18 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Observer Readers’ Club Melbourne Photo Flashback
The Way We Were Pasta had not been introduced. Curry was a surname. A takeaway was a mathematical problem. Apizza was something to do with a leaning tower. Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time. All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not. A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter. Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner. A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining. Brown bread was something only poor people ate. Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green. Cubed sugar was regarded as posh. Only Heinz made beans. Fish didn't have fingers in those days. Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi. None of us had ever heard of yoghurt. Healthy food consisted of anything edible. People who didn' t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy. Indian restaurants were only found in India. Cooking outside was called camping. Seaweed was not a recognised food. Kebab’was not even a word never mind a food. Prunes were medicinal. Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed. Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had stock. Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock. The one thing we never ever had on our table in the fifties ... was ELBOWS!
● Bourke St, Melbourne. About 1910.
Word Of The Week
■ bête noire : That particular dreaded or de- ■ Sat., Feb. 15. Pamela Sinnamon of tested or feared person (literally, "black beast") Braybrook. ■ Thu., Feb. 20. Josie Buckley of Carrum Downs. Trivia Challenge
■ Corduroy comes from the French, cord du roi or cloth of the king. ■ Google's founders were willing to sell to Excite for under $1 million in 1999— Quotable Quotes but Excite turned them down. ■ There was a third Apple founder. ■ “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for Ronald Wayne who sold his 10 per cent the company.” - Mark Twain stake for $800 in 1976. ■ “Unless someone like you cares a ■ Amazon says the most highlighted whole awful lot, nothing is going to get Kindle books are the Bible, the Steve better. It's not.” - Dr. Seuss Jobs biography, and The Hunger Games.
Win tickets to Rocky Horror Show The Melbourne Observer has FIVE pairs of double tickets to the April 25 (8pm) performance of The Rocky Horror Show being staged at the Comedy Theatre (subject to our terms and conditions).
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■ Spotted in Newport: “I’m 70. Leave me the hell alone.”
Did You Know?
■ Giraffes and rats can last longer without water than camels. ■ More people are killed each year from bees than from snakes. ■ An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Your Stars with Christina La Cross
ARIES (MAR 21 - APR 20) Today is a day to seek harmony in your soul and kindness in the people close to you. It's no longer the material which matters to you, but what's inside that counts. You finally feel free again. TAURUS (APR 21 - MAY 21) Your mind turns to ways of improving yourself. Avenues which previously hadn't appealed to you now seem the most logical next step. Last weeks drama has seen you do a lot of growing up. GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21) For a long time, you held someone else responsible for all that has happened. From today, the stars show that it was a sequence of events, not one person at all. And from there you build your future CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23) Humour found and used today offers you a different perspective on a problem which was beginning to get the better of you. Long standing friends can help you settle a financial dispute. LEO (JULY 24 - AUG 23) You're finding it hard to make sense of recent events and just what they really meant to your life. Those who know you well are talking sense, you're just not listening. Honest talks today change everything. VIRGO (AUG 24 - SEPT 23) You're taking life at a slower pace today. It's almost as if you're licking your wounds trying to work out what recent events did or didn't mean. Others come to you with good news which affects several close ones. LIBRA (SEPT 24 - OCT 23) The best way to make yourself happy is to try to make others happy. You're a leader today, so make your actions ones which radiate positivity. Financial solutions link to phone calls you put off making. SCORPIO (OCT 24 - NOV 22) You find it hard not to say what is on your mind as Mercury puts your thoughts into your mouth, whatever the consequences. Better out than in? We'll soon see! SAGITTARIUS (NOV 23 - DEC 21) News of a birth or pregnancy starts to put life into some sort of perspective for you. No longer do you feel the need to do what looks right, but what feels right instead. CAPRICORN (DEC 22 - JAN 20) You may find yourself getting into trouble with your close ones for not fulfilling promises you have made. At least explain why, before their imagination decides for them. Financial solutions come via email. AQUARIUS (JAN 21 - FEB 19) With Pluto bringing past and present together you start to see a more mature outlook evolve within you. Just make sure you use it to right that wrong in your relationship. Talks are needed. PISCES (FEB 20 - MARCH 20) If others want to speculate over your life then let them. All it is doing is casting them as jealous to those watching. Try to focus on financial affairs. Money can be made if you'd return phone calls.
Published on Feb 13, 2014