Daily Archives: January 14, 2008

This brush with fame I didn’t know about!

Back when I was 16-19 years old one of my contemporaries at Sydney University, an acquaintance I would sometimes walk from Redfern with, was, though I didn’t know it, the nephew of Tilly Devine. That, in Darlinghurst/Surry Hills terms, is a bit like saying “the nephew of Al Capone” — there were similarities, especially in the idea of prohibition involved which, though not as radical in Sydney, did generate “sly grog shops” and a bigger inner city drug trade than most of us now realise; otherwise you’d have to say our female Capones were a touch less sinister. Tilly Devine and her Surry Hills rival Kate Leigh dominated inner Sydney life in the days when it had this common name:


Visit that site; it’s excellent.

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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Australia, diversions, nostalgia, reading, Surry Hills


Another relevant archive find

This March 2001 encounter I had totally forgotten!

March 7
Last night’s conversation

I said yesterday I had had a conversation with an Aboriginal man from Cairns/Cooktown. He is in his late 20s or early 30s, I would say; very well spoken, having completed High School to the HSC, and is a self-confessed explorer, having spent some time in New Zealand, where he was embraced by the Maori, and has lived in Sydney for some time now. He had also lived in Melbourne. Last night he was celebrating some good news–starting a job on Monday.

He said he never encountered racism in Cairns or Cooktown; the first time he really encountered it was in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Australia and Australian, blogging, Indigenous Australians, personal, racism, Reconciliation, reminiscing


Still trawling through archives

Not just my own, this time, as I spent the morning at South Sydney Uniting Church helping Dorothy sort through various mouldering files, none of them too old as the really old stuff had been sent to central archives some years ago. However, there was more than thirty years to look at, and some interesting local history did appear. I have borrowed a book about South Sydney and its history, the area not the church in particular, written in 1975, which was “on loan” though it does not say from whom. I will share some snippets later on.

The church, it seems, was built in 1858 and its rather splendid (if at the moment little used) organ was brought out from England in 1877 when it cost 262 pounds. The church is in Raglan Street, Waterloo, but the area at the time it was founded as a Methodist Church was called Mount Lachlan. The building was apparently damaged by the Newcastle earthquake in 1989 and almost eaten by termites in 1992. There is an air-raid shelter from World War II behind it, apparently still there.

Back to my own internet archives, care of Wayback:

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Found in the archives

Over at New Lines I mention the harvest from the Wayback Machine:  Found — a whole stack of my old entries! In view of the last few entries here, I will share part of that sometimes embarrassing treasure from January 2001:

January 26: Australia Day/Invasion Day/Indian Republic Day

A conversation last night, as well as I can remember it. PLACE: a sacred site–the unofficial throne room of the Dowager Empress on Oxford Street.* PARTICIPANTS: Ninglun, and Y, a twenty-something Korean who once displayed a surprising interest in Ninglun’s body and continues in touchy-feely mode during this conversation. He is, I should add, not totally ugly. Several others were present, including Rhodesia D, hereinafter (at his request) known as Sirdan. Please remember Ninglun is really a Caucasian.
Y: New Year yesterday.
N: Chinese New Year?
Y: No, Korean New Year. Why do people always call it Chinese New Year?
N: There’s more of them. And yes, I know–there was a late phonecall to Shanghai last night.
Y: Was it noisy? Chinese are so noisy, and rude. You walk through Chinatown and they push you.
N: No, not noisy. Isn’t that a bit racist?
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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in Asian, Australia and Australian, blogging, Multicultural, personal, racism, reminiscing


Found — a whole stack of my old entries!

I mentioned the Way Back machine in the last entry. Now I find that an even earlier manifestation of my blogging habit is represented there: the dreaded, with 29 entries from 2001 to early 2005, a small sampling.

For example:


And this:

Ninglun’s Journal   Chippendale 1

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Posted by on January 14, 2008 in blogging, memory, nostalgia, personal