Canberra Confidential / Old Tony hasn’t loomed large

CANBERRAN Edwina Trollope is the the great-great-great granddaughter of prolific English novelist and inveterate traveller Anthony Trollope.

Edwina Trollope… “very ashamed!”

Edwina Trollope… “very ashamed!”

She is to launch a book in Manuka about g-g-g-grandad’s adventures in  Australia and NZ in the 1870s, but admits light-heartedly: “I haven’t read any of Anthony’s books and am very ashamed!”

Now she’s frantically trying to make amends. With the prospect of a 15-minute speech on August 28 at The Paperchain bookshop soiree, Edwina’s got her nose deep into SA author Nigel Starck’s book “The First Celebrity” (Lansdown Media, rrp $29.95).

Dr Starck, a former broadcaster and journalist, describes Anthony Trollope as the first celebrity in popular culture to visit the Australasian colonies and says the new book reveals, for the first time, the full story: the mix of acclamation and condemnation that Trollope provoked; his encounters with gold prospectors, the Aborigines, the Maoris, pioneers and convicts; his battles with the colonial press, and the ancient baronetcy inherited by Trollope’s Australian descendants after misadventure and misfortune elsewhere in the extended family.

Virgin on frustration

“DEAR Florian, your automated email is simply another reason why my family will think twice about travelling with Virgin in the future…”

And so begins a sorry tale of traveller woe that hapless junior Florian Ruiz, “guest relations co-ordinator” for Virgin, clearly couldn’t be bothered fixing.

One of CC’s mummy snouts took off with husband and baby for a long weekend with friends to the Gold Coast. First, Virgin gonged out their morning flight to late afternoon and had not seated them as family.

“When we pleaded our case to sit together, I mentioned that my husband is a Velocity [frequent flyer] member, to which the clerk replied that since we were ‘only red and not gold members’ that it didn’t count for anything,” our snout bemoaned to the unblinking Florian.

Homeward bound, with just over two hours’ notice, it happened again: the 3pm flight was bumped to 6pm. And to top it off, the pram hood was missing on arrival, a baby-essential item Virgin still hasn’t replaced (nor responded to any calls).

Untroubled by all this drama Florian the Unflappable responded to a thoroughly itemised complaint with an all-sizes, hollow apology for the inconvenience and promises that the travellers’ misery will be shared with management. “This will ensure our team members receive further training and coaching where necessary.” Right, where necessary.

Rupert in his PJs

AT the staff knees up for “The Australian” newspaper’s 50th birthday in Sydney News Corp co-chairman, Lachlan Murdoch, retold a family story of his father Rupert and the paper’s early days in Canberra when, late at night, the page negatives would be loaded on a plane to be flown to printing presses across the country.

“What wasn’t exactly planned for was Canberra airport would often get fogged in, particularly in winter,” said Lachlan.

“There is a story of my father rushing out to the airport in his pyjamas, which I know well, they’d be light blue, old fashioned, a bit of piping around the collar, he’d rush out in the wee hours of the morning, convincing the air-traffic controllers that this was not fog, it was just low cloud.”
Clive takes a dive?

9780733629594“SAS Insider”, the latest tome from “CityNews” columnist and distinguished author Robert Macklin, was published last week and its publisher marked the occasion with a very big tweet illustrated by the book’s cover, which features the subject, Sgt-Maj Clint Palmer, the regiment’s top parachutist.

However, the tweeters at Hachette managed to called him Clive Palmer. “The image of Clive descending from the stratosphere on a parachute (or two) was just too delicious,” chuckles Macklin. “My email account seized up with the response from friends and foes and more tweeters than I knew existed!”

Invisible man retires

MARC Dawson’s 30 years of rising before dawn to read the local ABC radio news have ended with his quiet retirement after 38 years with the national broadcaster.

Praised by colleagues for having one of the most authoritative and reliable voices the ABC has produced, Dawson always shunned the limelight. And so it was when he read his last bulletin, signed off and slipped away without fanfare or fuss.

Author of 18 cricket books, he’s looking forward to sleeping in.

She loves us not

CHIEF Minister Katy Gallagher seems more attracted to endorsing an American who barely pays any tax in Australia and has little interest in the welfare of the Canberra community than sharing the love with any digital locals who love this town.

In urging local businesses to attend a Government-supported series of free “Digital Business Capacity Building Workshops”, ostensibly to accelerate business engagement with the ACT digital economy, Gallagher says: “Tonight’s workshop will… [include] writing for social media, content marketing and how to advertise on Google.”  As if there aren’t local digital advertising choices…

Speed of Justice

THE Justice and Community Safety directorate seems not to share its minister’s sense of urgency when it comes to keeping the community alert to real estate scammers having taken 14 days to post Attorney-General Simon Corbell’s July 16th press release on to its website. Two weeks, really?

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