In the Political Conning Tower – 2nd column
The Column got another run on October 11, 1902.
Here is the second column, obviously the column only gets a run when Federal Parliament is sitting.
In the Political Conning Tower….
Bert finds a new role at the Leader, sketching the first sittings of the new Federal Parliament. I have a strong feeling this also is written by Bert. The style, the wit are very much like the material generated in Bendigo the prior two years. The author’s name “Verges” I can’t explain nor the line in the sketch “Marry Sir, Our Watch Tonight “(Much Ado) Any thoughts out there ?
Here is the full page on Trove – well worth a read. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/196586467?searchTerm=In%20the%20political%20Conning-Tower
Here are some of the characters referenced in the column and Bert’s sketches.
Final 7 ‘Representative Men’ from the Leader Newspaper 1902
The final 7, with the last being the most interesting.
This last Representative Man would have been an interesting sketch for Bert. YOu may recall Bert was an apprentice boot maker at his father’s factory in West Melbourne in the 1880s… probably age 13-14. Bert wrote of this time and seeing Mr Trenwith the Union Leader visits to his father’s factory in 1912. (below)
The Railway Picnic at Ballarat.
See the full page on Trove
These sketches are so good they deserve enlargement. The captions for each also priceless.
Leader newspaper ‘Representative men’
The Leader was a weekly newspaper in Melbourne and came out on Saturday. It was a “companion weekly” to the daily newspaper The Age, and was edited by David Syme‘s brother George Syme. Its first issue was released in February 1855, under the title “The Weekly Age”. Like many other newspapers (The Bendigo Independent also) it disappeared at the end of the WW1.
For nearly three years Bert’s sketches were prominent on Page 33 of the Saturday Leader.
Here is the full Leader article & sketch – August 24 1901 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/196600847?searchTerm=representative%20men%20Bevan
More ‘Representative Men’ by Bert
From the ‘Leader Newspaper’ 1901/02/03
A line from Coppin’s profile – ‘His tendency was Conservative, if anything. For instance, he was opposed to payment of members, and always disbursed his £300 a year in charity, a display which, however, had something of a smack of the old “artful Dodger” of the puppet world of players.’
From his wikipedia page – “Irvine carried a vote of no confidence in the Peacock ministry. Commissioned to form a government, he was remarked for his temerity in choosing a cabinet without consulting David Syme“.
Continuing Bert’s sketches in the Leader Newspaper 1902
Sir Thomas Bent was Minister of the Railways in the State of Victoria when Bert sketched him in late 1902. He went onto become the 22nd Premier of Victoria. He was so conservative he was kicked out of the Conservatives !!
I have a sneaking suspicion that Bert wrote these political profiles as well as doing the sketches. The writing is very Bert as seen in Bendigo the two years earlier. One quote in the article about Bent reads…
“His motto, therefore, is appropriately enough, ‘Nil Desperandum’. It might still more appropriately be, “Bent, not Broken.”
“Can a Souffle rise twice ?”
Been waiting for an opportunity to use this quote, however, upon doing some checking, this famous Peacock was not related to the colt from Kooyong! Bummer. https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/peacock-sir-alexander-james-7994
Here is how Bert’s sketch was used in Syme’s ‘The Leader’ paper on Dec 28 1901.
Article highlights how he went from grocer’s boy in Clunes to wealthy Premier of the state.
Working for David Syme at the Age
Extract from Bert’s bio piece in the Lone Hand Theatre Magazine in February 1912.
Sir George Jenkins, clerk to the first Legislative Assembly, wearing robes and wig. State Library of Victoria Collection. ‘People We Know’ series
Another politician by Bert.
David Syme (the age) had Bert sketch all the most prominent players of that era. (1902)
Sir John Forrest, explorer and Politician. He was a big man !! In 1901, Forrest was invited to join Prime Minister Edmund Barton‘s inaugural federal cabinet.