The best strategy may be slowly introduce you to the life of Bert Levy in short doses. Here goes the first Bert Levy Biographical Tip # 1. Bert was born in the city of Ballarat in 1871 in the Colony of Victoria at the time, which became part of the Commonwealth of Australia thirty years later in 1901. Gold had been discovered in Ballarat just twenty years earlier. As this author is from the rival gold mining city in Victoria, I will not regale you with glowing tributes of Bert’s birth place. Here’s what Bert wrote about his birth and birthplace in 1912 when asked to contribute a biographical piece to Australia’s leading Theatre magazine, ‘The Lone Hand’. Bert wrote this on the boat coming back to Australia after an 8 year absence.
Bert wrote a long piece on Ballarat in the Bendigo Independent newspaper in the Federation year of 1901. No one in Bendigo read it ! They may however, looked at his full page depiction of Ballarat characters or Types (as he liked to refer to his people sketches) at Railway Picnic Day which he had published in the Bendigonian Weekly Supplement a year earlier, April 3 1900. He sarcastically titled this, A “Pleasant” Day In Ballarat. One does not have to examine the sketch too closely to understand the title !!
Source : Bendigonian Weekly Supplement April 3, 1900. Courtesy of Phil Lipshut. Bert returned two years later to the big day out in Ballarat, the Railway Picnic Day and again depicted the scenes to a new readership of the Leader Newspaper in Melbourne owned by David Syme of The Age.
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