Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rivers ... Coraki

where rivers meet ...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bess Lomax Hawes: 1921 - 2009

As the youngest child of the song collector John A. Lomax, and a sister of the folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, Bess Hawes was part of the premier family of American folk scholarship. She assisted her father in his research and had a distinguished career of her own, teaching anthropology and directing the folk arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts. In the 1940s she performed alongside Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie in the Almanac Singers.

Bess Hawes and The Almanacs

After working on the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife in 1975 and 1976, she joined the National Endowment for the Arts, where she established the National Heritage Fellowships and a state folklorist program. She retired in 1992 and a year later was awarded the National Medal of the Arts. In 2000 the endowment established the Bess Lomax Hawes Award, which recognizes scholars and arts advocates.

Katoomba: Greek cafes history

Jack Patty in Aroney's 1988

A newly reprinted book reveals the story of early Greek migrants in Australia, writes Anna Patty.

The dockets at Aroney's Cafe in Katoomba trumpeted its 'famous fish dinners' and 'famous toasted sandwiches'. But it was the hot chocolates, created by my father, that won the cafe its true acclaim.

Customers travelled from as far as Canberra and Sydney, and even overseas, for a hot chocolate at Aroney's, which was named after its original owner, Peter Aroney. The cafe stayed open until late. The customers decided when it was time to leave.

My father treated every customer - whether they were men down on their luck from the nearby Eldon hostel or the prime minister, Ben Chifley, on his way home to Bathurst - with the same deference.

Aroney's stood at the top of the main street of Katoomba, across the road from the Paragon Cafe and Carrington Hotel, and near Theo Poulos Real Estate, which were also run … by Greeks. The Cordatos, Archondoulis, Zakis, Lekkas, Darias, Bistaros, Stavros, Prineas, Georges, Vrachnos and Fotias families have also run businesses in Katoomba in the past 40 years years.

A book distributed to Greek migrants in 1916, 'Life in Australia', has just been reprinted and translated into English by the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. The book, being launched at the University of Sydney today, reveals the struggles and successes of Australia's early Greek migrants.

"Greek establishments stand in the most important and most central locations in almost all of the cities in Australia," the book says.

"The lengthy nomenclature of their owners mean that such establishments are easily recognisable. Some Greeks, however, have shortened their names, as the Australians find it hard to pronounce such long, difficult names."

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Hunt for Moby Dick

Taking Moby-Dick as his starting point, writer Philip Hoare goes in search of the whale and the men who hunted it, from North Yorkshire to New England and the Azores. In the process, he seeks the truth behind our fascination with the whale - and perhaps discover the reality behind the world's largest and yet most mysterious animals

See also Philip Hoare’s book LEVIATHAN OR, THE WHALE winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Liam Clancy: 1935 – 2009

Legendary folk singer Liam Clancy has died aged 74.

The actor, singer and musician was the last surviving member of The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, who were credited with bringing Irish traditional music to a world audience in the 1960s.

Born in Carrick on Suir, Liam Clancy was the youngest of 11 children.

As a young man he dreamed of life on the stage, but there was music in his blood too.

In his late teens he met and travelled Ireland with US song collector Diane Hamilton Guggenheim and eventually travelled to the US with her.

Liam Clancy emigrated to America in the 1950s to join his brothers Tom and Paddy who were forging out an acting career in New York's theatre scene.

Along with Armagh-born Tommy Makem, the four began putting on concerts in the bohemian hothouse of Greenwich Village - initially to raise rent money for a small theatre.

'We had no intention at that stage of pursuing a singing career,' Clancy said later, 'but the singing became more and more part of our lives'.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tanaka film goes to Turkey

Tanaka-san Will Not Do Callisthenics has been selected for the Istanbul 12th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival

Believing he was sacked unjustly from his job as an engineer in a big Japanese corporation, Tanaka Tetsuro has protested outside the company gate every morning for twenty-five years. Is he an obsessive? What compels him? After meeting him on the internet the filmmakers travel to Japan in time for the 25th anniversary of his protest. They discover that in a world that places a premium on conformity, Tanaka-san has found a way to become himself.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tanaka film: Best-in-Festival prize

"Tanaka-san will not do callisthenics" has won the CLiFF/Machinists Union Best-in-Festival prize, as voted on by the Toronto audience of CLiFF (Canadian Labour International Film Festival)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Melbourne: moon and street light

captured on mobile phone

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Melbourne: out and about


Degreaves Street for coffee and toast

Gog and Magog

Industrial archaeology: the Myer dig

in the kitchen: Pellegrinis

next day ... some Railway Hotel fare


crumbed lamb cutlets

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pat Mackie: 1914-2009

Pat Mackie led the Mount Isa strike of 1964/5 that polarised the town and almost bankrupted Mount Isa Mining.

Mackie's life of activism began when as a young stowaway on a boat from New Zealand, he challenged the captain as to the lawfulness of his uncomfortable accommodation. Working in blue collar jobs around the globe, he became a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and the United States Seafarers Unions before ending up central Queensland.

The dispute of 1964/5, one of Australia's major rank and file uprisings, arose over management's failure to provide showers for miners. As it escalated, Queensland Labor Premier Frank Nicklin described Mackie as a 'vicious gangster' and the strike as a 'communist strategy to retard and even prevent major developmental projects in this state'; the government vainly explored all possible avenues to have him deported.

The strike and the rest of the unionist's tumultuous life are described in Mount Isa: The Story of a Dispute (1989) and Many Ships to Mount Isa (c. 2002).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tanaka film goes to Canada

29 November 2009
Tanaka-san Will Not Do Callisthenics selected for the inaugural Canadian Labour International Film Festival, CLiFF:

"The second film is Tanaka-san Will Not do Calisenthics. It was filmed in Japan and tells the story of Tanaka-san who was let go from his job 25 years ago when he refused to conform – and what happens when he protests at his old office every day.

Two fabulous films that you can’t see at your local movie theatre so please join us at CLiFF Burnaby on November 29. You’ll also be participating in this first labour film festival for Canada so you’ll be a part of history."

Director: Maree Delofski
Editor: Morgan Gregory
Sound Editor and Mixer: Greg Fitgerald

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fresh is best!

Katoomba cafe Fresh was named Best Breakfast Restaurant in Australia at the 2009 Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence, held at Parliament House in Canberra in late October.

The cafe impressed the competition's judges in a range of criteria including customer service, restaurant presentation, quality of food and value.

Guy Nathan and Lea Shannon congratulated their staff for their commitment, their suppliers and customers and said winning the award was "really quite an honour".

"We were competing against quality restaurants across the country, including many offering water views so we’re delighted," Guy said.

"It speaks a lot about the excellence of what the staff do here."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009


31 October

2 November

3 November

8 November

12 November