Roy Mendham, the man who understands bushranging!
He got a lot more information from author Jack Bradshaw over mugs of tea!
FRANK MORRISEnglish novelist and biographer Anthony West, a charming fellow, uttered a quiet memorable one-liner in a television interview. West, in paraphrase, said, “There was a definite richness in the … personalities that I have learned a good deal from.”
West is the love-child of Rebecca West, novelist.
But it’s easy to see, though, where he inherited the one-liners from -- Rebecca West.
There was a “definite richness” about John Gartner.
John Gartner, of the Hawthorn Press was a stereotypical craftsman printer and bookman of the first order.
Back in the late 1960s I was familiar with the publishing imprint but not the person behind it.
Almost 10 years later Gartner came to the rescue of an ageing author who wanted “desperately” to get his book published.
Author Roy Mendham, then in is early eighties, sent me his manuscript of The Dictionary of Australian Bushrangers in 1970. He wanted me to publish it.
Mendham’s book was the result of years of verifying yarns and amplifying facts about our bushranging epoch. To do this effectively he had a pile of notes and yellowing, brittle newspaper clippings he had gathered for nearly half a century.
“I seized every opportunity to collect facts about our bushranging,” he told me at the time.
Over several weeks of protracted but enjoyable conversations Roy, who churned out dozens of American western books, believed that the exploits of “our daredevil bushrangers” also could enjoy the same popularity.
He said he interviewed author Jack Bradshaw in 1931. Jack sold his book, The True History of Australian Bushrangers, house to house. At Roy’s abode the author “imparted a great lot of information” over several mugs of tea.
Why aren’t these titbits in the book?, I asked. He thought for a while then said “I know it now.”
When I broke the news that I couldn’t publish the book, I urged him to send the manuscript to John Gartner at the Hawthorn Press in Melbourne.
Gartner’s name just materialised out of the ether.
Roy’s volume was eventually published by Hawthorn Press in 1975.
(It was one of the 400 titles published over 43 years. The first being B.N. Fryer’s treatise, Internationlism in Typography.)
The only time I recall speaking to Gartner was arranging for a pre-publication edition of the book to be used by the Sunday Mirror for a two-part feature. The illustrator was to be Monty Webb.
Roy’s heath had deteriorated by this time. He died in 1977.
If I had one regret: I never met this lively, articulate octogenarian in the flesh. The fact that John Gartner had come to Roy’s rescue made up for it a lot of ways. Gartner ‘retired’ in 1979.
Aged Care: Strokes don’t happen to people, they happen to families
“Being a carer,” says Vivienne “I have experienced some changes to my life”
Adapted by Frank MorrisWhen a stroke happens to people their life changes in an instant. Vivienne knows this as well anyone. Her husband Peter suffered had a severe stroke last May. She and their family began a challenging journey, which is still continuing to this day.
“The stroke was hard on Peter and continues to be very difficult,” Vivienne said. “But as a carer I have experienced some changes to my life that I could never have imagined.”
Her experiences of life as a carer gave her a close-up glimpse of the day-to-day challenges of a stroke.
“Carers need a great deal of support,” Vivienne said. “It is a taxing job and one that you are not prepared for. You can never be prepared for stroke.”
The impact of stroke on families can be devastating.
Having to take time off work, for example, to see specialists and attending rehabilitation sessions can lead to the neglect of a carer’s own needs.
The National Stroke Foundation (NSF) understands the emotional strain carers experience adjusting to life after stroke. It’s made it a priority to support survivors and their families as they begin their stroke recovery journey.
StrokeConnect is designed to alleviate the sense of isolation which happens after a stroke. It provides a means of getting in touch with the services stroke survivors and their carer need. StrokeConnect is the only program of its type available nationally which specifically supports the stroke survivor community.
“You can’t understand the life of a stroke carer until you become one,” Vivienne said.
[National Stroke Foundation operates StrokeConnect to alleviate the sense of isolation. Contact strokefoundation.com.au].
How it feels to be a carer
Severity eight per cent reported they had to give up or reduce certain activities since becoming a carer. 60 per cent felt their social life and social activities were reduced. 34 per cent said they now led a less healthy lifestyle. 43 per cent reported their income had been cut. 30 per cent gave up their job. 31 per cent found the changing role with in the family difficult. 22 per cent relied on government benefits. Frank Morris
COMING: Death of Johnny Gilbert, bushrangers; Razzle Dazzle Olympics starts in June; How the NRMA’s Open Road took to the road; The Petrovs – two part series; Australia at War – The book censor is coming!; The Law – James Kelly’s come up with another twist on the Will.