Miles Franklin, author: The last words she spoke …

PUBLISHED ON THE RED PAGE OF THE BULLETIN NOVEMBER 17, 1954.

P.R. STEPHENSEN     Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

SHE MEANT WHAT SHE SAID: MILES FRANKLIN WAS VERY CONCIOUS THAT SHE WAS GOING TO DIE SOON. “ARE YOU DONE?” SAID P.P. STEPHENSEN. “MY OATH,” REPLIED MILES. Below: “LOOKING AT MILES, IT WAS HARD TO BELIEVE,” SAID P.P STEPHENSEN.

I gave some expression, however inadequate, to feelings of personal and the Nation’s loss, when I heard of Miles Franklin’s death.

In June, l954, three months before her death, Winifred and I visited her, for the last time at her home in that Grey Street of a drab suburb of Sydney (Carlton, NSW), and had tea from her Waratah Cup.

“I’m a fallen log,” she said, and meant it. There was not a grey hair in her head. It was hard to believe that she was nearly seventy-five years of age.

“My time’s up!”

SO LONG

“You’re not done, Miles,” I argued. “You’ll never be done. You’ll live as long as you’ll be remembered, and that will be until Australia itself is a mossy log.”

“Do you believe that?”

“My oath, I do.”

Then, in the vernacular of the bushwhackers, but with question, “So long?”

“So long, dear Miles.”

<< P.R. Stephensen interviewed Miles Franklin in June, 1954. He was a best-selling writer and far-right activist and publisher and member of the Communist Party. He aided Norman Lindsay in The Franfrolico Press and edited the London Mercury magazine.

COMING: Miles Franklin tells her story of Henry Lawson and Me.


PLEASE NOTE: THE FEATURE, MR ENTERITY, THE STORY OF ARTHUR STACE, WILL BE PUBLISHED SOON.


AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE: From 1947 to 1948 – More migrants from Europe

FRANK MORRIS

SETTLING IN: A FAMILY OF NEW SETTLERS FROM OVERSEAS.

1947

To boost Australia’s population, the Commonwealth Government decided that the 12,000 displaced persons to be brought to Australia annually from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia should be increased to 20,000.

The first ship, General Heinzelman, arrived late February carrying 843 European migrants, 729 male and 114 female, all single and with an average age of 24.

They were accommodated in former military camps at Bonegilla, near Wodonga.

This was in addition to the general migration program.

40-HOUR WEEK APPROVED BY COURT

The Commonwealth Arbitration Court deliberated on the question of the 40-hour working week for 22 months and finally declared it approved on September 8.

Australia had worked a 44-hour week since the 1920s.

GOVT ATTACKED: STIR OVER POST

The Chifley Government was strongly attacked by the press, non-Labor politicians and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Menzies, when it elevated the Premier of NSW, William McKell, to the Governor-Generalship in late January.

McKell was the second Australian-born appointee to take office. Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first.

Mr Menzies considered the selection not only “shocking and humiliating” and also “… the most deplorable incident in the Government’s growing record of political jobbery.”

Mr Chifley told the House of Representatives that “any Australian citizen of sufficient ability, reputation and integrity is entitled to occupy the position of Governor-General.”

TOP SCORER IN A SINGLE MATCH

In a Victorian Football League game between Melbourne and St Kilda, F. Fanning, playing for Melbourne, scored 18 goals, the highest number kicked by one player in a single match.

 

1948           

SEPARATE STATE LOBBY

A conference was held at Armidale to form another movement to make northern NSW a separate State. It has to do with the object of decentralising administration, industry and population.

The proposal had been investigated years earlier without result.

YACHTING NOW AN OLYMPIC SPORT

For the first time Australia was represented in the yachting event at the Olympic Games held in London.

A Victorian, A. S. Sturroch, jun, competed in Moorina of the international 23-foot Star class.

He came seventh.

AUSSIE CAR: The first Holden says “Hi” to all its would-be clients!

NEW HOLDEN: AUSTRALIA ON THE POST-WAR ROAD IN A BRAND NEW CAR.

When Prime Minister Ben Chifley took the wraps off the first Aussie car he stood back and declared, “She a beauty!”
General Motors-Holden unveiled its new Australian-made car, the Holden at a special ceremony attended by the Prime Minister on November 29.

At 760 pounds on the road, the price of the Holden “proved to be more than was initially thought likely,” the Melbourne Age said yesterday.

The first Holden had a six-cylinder motor and was capable of a maximum speed of over 80 mph.

THE GOVT WAR ON TUBERCULOSIS

The Commonwealth Government launched the anti-tuberculosis campaign in an effort to eliminate the disease within 20 years.

In Australia, tuberculosis was the greatest individual cause of death among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years.

WIDER CONTROLS: REBUFF TO GOVT

The Commonwealth Government sought a referendum to gain wider control over rents and prices, the last of three unsuccessful attempts to enforce economic regimentation.

The Government was rebuffed on the same issue in 1944 and 1946.

Regarding the clear No to the 1948 referendum, the Melbourne Age said it was “… a heavy reverse for the Chifley Government and the Federal Labor Party …

“Seldom, if ever, was a proposal so firmly and unequivocally rejected in the proper democratic process ….

FIRST LADY, FIRST MINISTERIAL OFFICE

Dame Enid Lyons, widow of the former Prime Minister, Joe Lyons, and a member of the Federal Parliament, became Vice-President of the Executive Council and the first woman to assume ministerial office in Federal politics.

<< Frank Morris, The Sun, Friday, June 8, 1975.

PICTURE: FANNING WAS FANTASTIC AS A GOALIE!


SAYINGS: Where have all the readers gone? Even though the mass has declined, the readers have other ways to keep informed. There was a time – and it wasn’t all that time ago – when Women’s Weekly, Readers Digest, Woman’s Day, and a few other titles, sold over 5.5 million copies every month … INDEPENDENCE, says Mary Caldbeck-Moore, is asking for help when it is appropriate. Mary was at one time a community radio presenter on issues and concerns of older women. 


AUSTRALIA 1961: Ban the Bikini!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Australia was a different planet in 1961. The PBL’s intrepid Archive Detective, Ian Loading, has trawled the dusty files of the ABC for fledging TV program, Four Corners. Four minutes of one program actually sets out to prove how alien it really was then.

Said Ian: “Have a look at the autocrat with the yak black and white hat exercising his authority … I would have made his life difficult back in the day!”

This how Four Corners described the segment:

CONTROVERSIAL BIKINI

In the early years of Four Corners, there was a recurring “Voice of the People” segment in which a reporter – usually Keith Smith, who was well known for his ability to talk to just about anyone – went out into the streets.

In this segment from September 30, 196l, Keith asked the denizens of Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach whether they think the bikini should be banned? At that time, there were regulations about how skimpy the controversial bikini swimsuit could be; beach inspectors roved the sands to enforce the code.

<< pacificlongboarder.com/new


THE GLOBE pops up in Australia

HOLY WILLIAM!: COME AND SEE SHAKESPEARE AS HE REALLY WAS? IT WAS LIKE GOING TO A PARTY!

How would you like to see William Shakespeare’s plays just as they used to be? In Sydney. It’s alive, like a party. This is Shakespeare! Prices start from $29.51. Limited season. Tickets are selling fast.

The Globe Theatre, London, an Elizabethan playhouse, was associated with the plays of William Shakespeare. It was opened in 1599. Destroyed by fire in 1613. Rebuilt in 1614. Closed in 1642 by the Puritan Government.

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 September 18

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