C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

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David Campbell
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by David Campbell » Sun May 15, 2016 2:47 pm

Well said, Heather!

David (Foundation member and former VP of the C J Dennis Society)

Heather

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Heather » Sun May 15, 2016 5:00 pm

No one has the right, or should think they do, to charge on in to this friendly place and make rude, tasteless, groundless and unreasonable statements about someone's character and then, when everyone says, "whoa there", back peddle and excuse it as a bit of fun and say no harm was meant. Time and time again this has happened. It is not fun. It is not funny. It is not fair. It is just plain rude.

Secondly. If anyone wants to impress me, (and I'm not easily impressed) you are most likely to do it with your poetry, with honesty, integrity, good humour and with fairness of character.

Heather

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David Campbell
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by David Campbell » Sun May 15, 2016 5:50 pm

Nailed it again, Heather. Stephen is owed an apology but, given those previous instances you refer to, I'm not holding my breath. Instead, things will go quiet for a while then the pattern will be repeated. Disruption is the only aim.

David

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Sun May 15, 2016 8:38 pm

To be honest, Gary, I don't feel happy about the things you said about the Society and me. It is hard for me to believe that we are 'mates'. It feels as though you decided to pick a fight, then decided to pretend it wasn't a fight after all when you realised you couldn't win.

If it is any consolation, I do have some understanding of the role Ian McLaren has played in preserving the heritage of C. J. Dennis, and have one of his books about C. J. Dennis in my possession. I regard it as a highly valuable resource - so much so in fact that I recently asked a friend who had borrowed it from me a couple years ago to return it to me. I am happy to say that he has done so. I say this because I sense that you feel I am trying to steal McLaren's thunder. I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

If I explain the history of the C. J. Dennis Society, it might also help you to better understand our priorities and activities.

As a Dennis enthusiast, I approached Jan Williams, proprietor of "The Singing Gardens" (a tea room on the site of Dennis' former Toolangi home), in 2007 with the suggestion that we do something to celebrate the life and works of C. J. Dennis. At this time I was acting as a private individual, and there was no such organisation as "The C. J. Dennis Society".

Jan reminded me that the following year - 2008 - marked the centenary of the arrival of Dennis in Toolangi, so it was an easy decision to make to hold a festival to celebrate this interesting historic milestone. My feeling at the time was the the festival would be a 'one-off'. However, it was a great success, and there was a groundswell of opinion that it should become an annual event - as it subsequently has.

Over the course of these early festivals, it also became clear that there was a role for a "C. J. Dennis Society" to keep those who had attended the festivals informed about future festivals. However, I was not prepared to take on the task myself, as I knew it would be a lot of work.

Fortunately, in 2010, Jim Brown agreed to shoulder the load - and he has since done a great job creating and administering the Society as its Secretary.

My main role as President is to promote C. J. Dennis, and promote and organise the festival itself.

The point I am making is that the Society came out of the Festival, not the other way around.

In truth, I rather resent having to spend all this time and energy defending myself against what, as I have said before, I see as an unprovoked and quite unpleasant attack. However, if it serves to prevent further such activity, it will have been time well spent.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Neville Briggs
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Neville Briggs » Sun May 15, 2016 9:48 pm

Good on ya Stephen.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Sun May 15, 2016 10:01 pm

Thanks, Neville.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Neville Briggs » Mon May 16, 2016 3:24 am

Heather is right to complain.
We call ourselves poets, which surely means we are claiming to be people of discernment, so we should know the limits of discussion, i.e. tolerance for disparate views ends where contumely begins.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

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Gary Harding
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Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Gary Harding » Mon May 16, 2016 2:12 pm

I won't waste time responding to silly criticisms or distracting banter.. but instead I will draw you a roadmap of How To Do It.
Feel free to criticise it (as opposed to being contructive) as usual.

THIS is how it is done.

1. Talk to the local library that has Toolangi within its Shire and tell them the C.J. Dennis Society would like to establish a C.J. Dennis Collection that is available for public display. What is in it for them is an increased library patronage, credit for supporting such a famous local historic person and the Collection can even be opened by the Library Manager, together with the local council and/or Member of Parliament. Certainly make the local MP and mayor aware of what you are intending. Likely he or she will say "If there is anything I can do to help you....". Hand out honorary life memberships to people if they really help you. They cost nothing after all.

2. Seek out and approach patrons or a Patron who is very well off financially and is looking for something charitable to support that is Australian, noble, tangible and will last into the centuries ahead. I am thinking about famous but ordinary people, with an entrepreneurial flair.... I (personally) know several. Those type of people as a starter I would favour.. they are positive and broad-thinking types as a rule... not just negative critics.

So... saying that funding is just not available or that the Society is poor is a non-argument.

Funding is there if one is prepared to put in the time to look for it. You want your collection to reside where people can access it. Not locked away in some Canberra vault ... it is the people's poetry after all.

3. Then...Call for donations from C.J. Dennis Society members. Anything at all from framed reprints of things, or scans on high quality paper which can be made to look spectacular. Not too hard? I recently did that to a Lawson booklet and the result was great. The item is amazing and will outlive me, several centuries over. Use your artistic imagination if the wallet restricts you. An old map of Toolangi perhaps that shows Arden.. nicely mounted. Blow-ups of old B/W photos which I find brings them to life. Shame about the ones just missed ... although a smart and devoted Den fan could likely track them down without much trouble. And get copies.

4. Your question Bob... I am happy to answer it. In the event that this approach to preservation is seized upon, even grudgingly, then as I said before I will donate at least my first edition Ginger Mick. Further I will bequeath my entire C.J. Dennis collection to this hopefully prestigious Collection established by the Society. It's dollar value?.. I don't care but knowing it is in a good home along with other related material and being looked after for public enjoyment will be sufficent. That may set a useful precedent. As I said, we are custodians and not owners. Now what concrete thing are you going to do Bob?? That does not include "celebrating" Den, I mean real stuff that costs or an offer of your time to manage this exercise perhaps?... and yes you are right, I crawl occasionally... but only to selected people! :)

5. Consider material that might be loaned to the Society's collection. Seek it out. It might be done on a permanent basis, or for a couple of years just to get things going. What I would do and I have found this approach works brilliantly is to place an advert in the paper(s) saying "C.J. Dennis ephemera desperately wanted for new CJ Dennis publicly-displayed historical collection. Donations or Loans greatly appreciated. Contact The C.J. Dennis Society ph " Then stand well back because you will be answering a lot of phone calls.

Look.. I am not here to make friends especially. If it happens then great, but if not I lose little sleep.

As you know I have various dislikes.. such as crudity in any poetry. When I see it I go in hard against it and if that loses me the friendship of those who enjoy vulgarity in poetry, well so be it.
Same in this case.... you have to be a go-getter and want such vital things done. Australia's literary heritage is just so important. It must be preserved by dedicated enthusiasts... hopefully Dennis Society members. No buck passing. It MUST!

If the Federal Governmnt has nothing better to with its Poetry money than endorse panty-poems, now the The C.J. Dennis Society can show them how better to spend their $80,000 tax free. Well I think so, even if others don't. :) :)

To list all the beaut things the Society does has nothing to do with what I am saying.

If the Society distances itself from any interest or responsibility in preserving and/or displaying Dennis precious historic material even by proxy as happened then I will give it a gentlemany kick.. and if that is not to someone's liking... well stiff cookie.

Among all the good things the Society does that everyone fell over themselves to list, it also has a responsibility in my view to preserve original photos/documents/books/art relating to Den. That is not ephemeral. Otherwise change the name to The C.J. Dennis Club... as I think the term Society carries with it an inherent prestige that has to be earned, not assumed.

manfredvijars

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by manfredvijars » Mon May 16, 2016 2:44 pm

G'day All,

Been watching the comments on this thread, not wanting to intervene nor wanting the membership to 'duke it out' either.

The postings have reached a point where I feel intervention is necessary.
So rather than see an esculation, I'll be locking this thread ...


Cheers,

Manfred ... the Admin and sort of god ...

Locked