Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Poetic Tribute to Barry Jones

I was fortunate to be among the guests at A Night of Poetry for Barry Jones.

The Poetic Tribute was a belated 80th birthday treat for this remarkable and much loved man.

The booked out event was held at fortyfivedownstairs, Flinders Lane, Melbourne on Tuesday 12 February 2013.

The Chair of fortyfivedownstairs, Julian Burnside Q.C., curated a night of some of Barry's favourite poetry and music.

Barry Jones studies his poems before the start of the event.

Barry Jones
© Barbara Oehring 2013

Julian Burnside
Mary Lou Jelbart, Kate Durham, Christina Fitzgerald, Colin Oehring, Jill Singer

John Stanton opened the poetry reading with Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" and ended the night with Cavafy "Waiting for the Barbarians" and "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins as an encore. 

The other readers were Race Matthews, Julian Burnside, Joan Grant, Marieke Hardy, Shane Maloney, Gareth Evans, Max Gillies, Peter Craven and Jill Singer.

Barry Jones read Yeats and Wordsworth on the night and his partner Rachel Faggetter also contributed.

The programme included performances by the Flinders String Quartet.

Flinders String Quartet
© Barbara Oehring 2013

Shane Maloney and Jill Singer
© Barbara Oehring 2013

Gareth Evans, Marieke Hardy and partner
© Barbara Oehring 2013

Biography as per programme notes:
Barry Jones is one of the more remarkable politicians to have sat in the House of Representatives in Canberra, a much loved and respected figure on both sides of politics. Born 11 October 1932, Barry is an Australian polymath: writer, lawyer, social activist and quiz champion. He is the author of Sleepers, Wake! (1982) which ran into 26 impressions and was the Ministr for Science from 1983 to 1990. Barry was the Australian Representative at UNESCO 1991-95 and the World Heritage Committee 1995-96 and is also the only person elected to all four of Australia's learned Academies.

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