Fremantle Stuff > quizzes > quiz 8: writers

Writers Quiz

This quiz consists of quotations from writers who have had something to do with Fremantle. Who wrote each piece?

You might need a bit of help with that—so these are the ten authors from whom the quotations have been taken: Ron Davidson; Joseph Furphy; Paul Hasluck; Xavier Herbert; Stephen Kinnane; Bob Reece; Alan Seymour; Eric Silbert; Anthony Trollope; Tim Winton.

1. Fremantle has certainly no natural beauties to recommend it. It is a hot, white, ugly town, with a very large prison, a lunatic asylum and a hospital for ancient and worn-out convicts ... there is hardly a man whom it can be worth the reader's while to have introduced to him.

2. Unemployed at last!

3. The town itself was no less colorful than its waterfront, peopled as it largely was by seafarers and globetrotters that the ships of half a century had left behind. The packed shops and restaurants, the wine bars, pubs, hash-houses, wash-houses, whore-houses, doss-houses, were run by people of all breeds ... Everyday was a market day in that town of ships’ chandlers and providors and sailormen and globetrotters ashore. The narrow streets seemed always to be thronged, always uproarious with voices, the clatter of horses’ hoofs and the roll of iron wheels, the honking and grinding of the clumsy motor vehicles of the day, the clanging and groaning of the old fashioned trolley cars.

4. While at Guildford I developed for the first time an interest in the early history of the colony. It was a picturesque old town in those days, and some of the old brick buildings of the convict period were still standing in the centre of the town and there were many interesting characters of the colonial days around the place. In the winter of 1917 the river flats were deep under water. An old identity pointed out to me the mark on a tree that showed the height reached by the waters in the great flood of 1865 and told me that was the tree in which Sergeant Piesse had perched for hours after he had lost his horses in trying to swim the flooded waste. In a more intimate way than I had found in reading history I began to be aware of a life and activity that had been going on in my own country before I was born. I became interested in knowing when this or that place was built and where the old road used to go and what it was all like in Captain Stirling’s day and what were the names on the headstones in the old churchyard at Woodbridge. I grew to love Guildford and knew it intimately as it was in 1917 and 1918.

5. My mother’s sister Essie married Charles H May, the jeweller, and caused a family scandal. Not only was he non-Jewish, but he decided to convert to Judaism, which created a debate of immense proportions. ... So Aunty Essie ran CH May Jewellers. She lived to the age of 90. ... When Charles May died she shifted into the Federal Hotel, which was only one door away from her. She stayed there for 50 years and played in a Sunday night poker school with all the bookies and racehorse owners of Fremantle.

6. Joseph Keane Hitchcock was Fremantle’s first historian, his History of Fremantle: The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929 being commissioned by Fremantle Municipal Council in early 1928 and published as part of the celebrations marking the town’s achievement of city status on 3 June 1929. No doubt penned in his distinctive copperplate longhand, the manuscript was typed by Miss West, stenographer and dispatch clerk at J&W Bateman &. Co, who had been educated at Princess May Girls’ School, and printed for the Council in a run of 2250 copies by the SH Lamb Printing House in Fremantle.

7. One night in November, another that had somehow become morning while she sat there, Georgie Jutland looked up to see her pale and furious face reflected in the window. Only a moment before she'd been perusing the blueprints for a thirty-two-foot Pain Clark from 1913 which a sailing enthusiast from Manila had posted on his website, but she was bumped by the server and was overtaken by such a silly rush of anger that she had to wonder what was happening to her. Neither the boat nor the bloke in Manila meant a damn thing to her; they were of as little consequence as every other site she’d visited in the last six hours. In fact, she had to struggle to remember how she’d spent the time. She had traipsed through the Uffizi without any more attention than a footsore tourist. She’d stared at a five camera image of a mall in the city of Perth, been to the Frank Zappa fan club of Brazil, seen Francis Drake's chamberpot in the Tower of London and stumbled upon a chat group for world citizens who yearned to be amputees.

8. My first Fremantle snapshot has my father driving along Cantonment Street around knock-off time on Victoria Quay. It is the late 1940s. Dad brakes sharply to allow a cluster of four or five men to saunter across in front of our car. They are wearing felt hats and serge pants, with cargo hooks hanging from wide leather belts. For each, a Gladstone bag and a large billy completes the uniform. They are heading for the front bar of the nearby Fremantle Hotel.
My father is an impatient man and he’s hurrying back to his job as editor of the Perth Sunday Times and the Mirror, after taking me aboard a new passenger liner crowded with migrants.

9. I am returning to a place where our skin means more than just colour. I am from this place. I am tracking all of my histories through this country, and the way is opening up, like the lines of story that crossed this land, that remain hidden within flooded valleys and transformed landscapes — unless we are willing to read them. Miriwoong women sang songs to try and spirit the children back to their country. The women's voices carried their despair, flowing through the valley and out to sea. Some were able to come back, many haven’t. Some created new lives for themselves against the lines of stories that were written for them, and they linked these stories back with the ones that were denied them. I am wondering if, in spirit form, my grandmother found her way back here after all.

10. Noise; crikey. Y'd never know who’d come over the next rise at yer, burst of gunfire or bloody Turk. Then when the sun come up y’could see yr mates ... bodies ... corpses every where ... blood and everything. ... Sometimes y’d be runnin’ and y’d hear a noise and it’d be y’self sorta screamin’. Y’d have yr bayonet out and when they came at y' ... Y’couldn’t stop ’n’ help yr mates, that was the worst ... y’had to keep pushin’ on.


Garry Gillard | Email me | New: 16 October, 2020 | Now: 16 October, 2020