I’ve just added ‘Trumpet’, a short story published in The Big Issue’s 2010 fiction edition (‘Toasty Tales’), to the ‘My Work’ page of my website: see here. The main character, surname Trumpet, is vaguely inspired by the South Australian pioneer, Boyle Travers Finniss, who, amongst other achievements, was South Australia’s first premier. Finniss was a surveyor and in 1864 the SA authorities send him to locate a suitable site for a capital in the Northern Territory. Fair to say things didn’t go well. As the Australian Dictionary of Biography puts it, ‘Against the advice of his subordinates, Finniss chose Adam Bay and began marking out sections on its mosquito-infested mud flats. Bitter dissensions followed with his assistants who complained to Adelaide. Finniss was recalled to face a Royal Commission which condemned him for poor judgment and for spending some £40,000 of public funds on a hopeless venture.’ The Royal Commission makes brilliant reading.
Read the Australian Dictionary of Biography’s take on Finniss’s life here.
Thanks to The Big Issue for permission to use their published version of ‘Trumpet’. The accompanying artwork is ‘Why Return’, 2006, by Racket (see racket.net.au). I’m very grateful to the artists for permission to include their art.