BORN IN 1954? WHAT ELSE HAPPENED? 64th Birthday

BORN IN 1939?
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BORN IN 1969
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BORN IN 1952
BORN IN 1953
BORN IN 1954?
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BORN IN 1968?


This was a period when it was very fashionable for various nations to have spy dramas. The Americans and Russians were already old hands at this, and recently the Canadians had been allowed their own.  To the British, Kilby and Burgess and Mc Clean were household names.

To Australians, we as a nation thought we were too far out of the Big League to have our own spies. In any case, so we thought, what was there in Oz that someone would want to spy on?  We had just established the cloaks and daggers team at ASIO to protect the nation, and surely that would be enough.  Sadly, it seemed, we were destined only to read about the thrills of espionage in spy novels and the overseas news.

Then, out of the blue, our Prime Minister Menzies stepped in.  He came out with a solemn announcement that a diplomat, called Vladimir Petrov, had defected from the Russian Embassy, and was seeking asylum in Oz. As part of the deal he would bring papers that would expose the details of his activities, and the names of other spies.  We also found out later that Petrov would be paid for his information, and given a new identity when he had done his bit.

Oh joy.  What bliss.  We had our own spy.  Our reaction was typically Australian. There was no worry at all about what damage the rascals were perpetrating, no thoughts about what vital secrets could be divulged. It was rather exciting and maybe hilarious that such a promising episode was happening here. Right here. Not in Whitehall, nor the Kremlin, nor in Washington nor the Pentagon, where spies preferred to work.  Rather, in the dark and seamy corridors of Canberra, in the burgled offices in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, in the local RSL club where you would expect spies in trench-coats to rendezvous and flit in and out.

HOW TO BUY THESE BOOKS.  But first, note that if you want Express Post, you must make payment through eBay or by Direct (Bank) Deposit.

Payment by Direct (Bank) Deposit: Cost is $20, post free.  You make payment to BSB 650000, a/c 519918301. You need to notify me at that payment has been made, and the address of the consignee.  Add an extra $5 for Express Post. 

Payment by eBay: Hit the link to 

Cost is generally $20, post free, but there are always cheaper specials.  Worth a try.

A third way is to buy through most major bookstores.  This has the advantage that you can inspect and handle the book, and can buy a range of other books at the same time, perhaps at a discount.  It also gives you immediate possession.  Here the cost will normally be $20.

If the book is out of stock, ask to order through TitlePage

A fourth way to pay is with PayPal or a credit card.  Then the cost is US$13, which converts to about A$20.  Post free. Hit the button below, and fill in the details for either PayPal or credit card.  Be careful to give the address of the consignee.

Buyers in Australia, use BUY NOW.... In other countries, use PAY NOW (In US Dollars)


JAN:  READY FOR THE QUEEN                           

WOOL AND WHEAT                                                           

FEB:  THE QUEEN STEPS ASHORE                     

CHILDREN IN HOSPITALS                                               

MAR:  PUBS OPEN AFTER SIX?                           

THE QUEEN STILL TOURING                              

APR:  H-BOMBS AND THEIR FALL-OUT                       

OUR VERY OWN SPY                                              

MAY:  GET RID OF THE MEANS TEST               

THE HEAVY ROAD TOLL                                     

JUNE:  DAME ALICE CHISHOLM                                   

LIFE SENTENCE FOR BOYS                                 

JUL: THE PETROV AFFAIR                                                      

STOPPING RAPE?                                                   


SAFETY DOORS FOR TRAINS                               

SEPT:  SUNDAY COMICS                                      

JOHNNY RAY IN PERSON                                     

OCT: DRINK AND BE DAMNED                          


NOV:  THE UBIQUITOUS DR EVATT                  

THE SHIRLEY BEIGER CASE                               

DEC:  CHRISTMAS                                                 

THE END OF THE YEAR                                       



 ABOUT THIS SERIES   …  But after that, I realized that I really knew very little about these parents  of mine They had been born about the start of the Twentieth Century, and they died in 1970 and 1980. For their last 50 years, I was old enough to speak with a bit of sense.  I could have talked to them a lot about their lives. I could have found out about the times they lived in.  But I did not.  I know almost nothing about them really. Their courtship? Working in the pits? The Lock-out in the Depression? Losing their second child? Being dusted as a miner? The shootings at Rothbury? My uncles killed in the War? Love on the dole? There were hundreds, thousands of questions that I would now like to ask them.  But, alas, I can’t. It’s too late.


Thus, prompted by my guilt, I resolved to write these books. They describe happenings that affected people, real people.  The whole series is, to coin a modern phrase, designed to push the reader’s buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things  forgotten. The books might just let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten. 

Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.


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