Canberra Confidential: Social queen gets the chop

lm140213lynmills44[1]THE very queen of Canberra’s social reporting scene, Lyn Mills, has astonishingly been chopped by “The Canberra Times” as it continues to sadly tiptoe away from the heart of the city that has sustained it for decades.

After a reign of more than 12 years, she was told on her return from a recent holiday in South America that her contract would not be renewed (thoughtfully, she was phoned from a loud cafe in Sydney and given the bad news, the Fairfax executive shouting down the line over the noise, she says).

Mills’ contact book is probably without peer when it came to accessing Canberra’s diplomatic and social set. The work has now gone to the anonymity of the paper’s photographic pool, and we all know how much news photographers love social snapping.

As for Lyn, she’s planning a social-photo website and will keep turning up at all the right places. Invitations to

DSCN0455Reporter on fire

WHILE the Sydney Building fire in Civic has been exhaustively covered elsewhere, it was good to see active reporting at work as “CityNews” journalist Stephen Easton grabbed a camera and legged it down the hall to get some great photos and reportage from the blaze in the historic building next door.

And as we were being evacuated from our offices above Bailey’s Corner, he frantically succeeded in getting some of the first pictures of the early stages of the fire posted on to’s one of his photos, the full set are on the website.

AND as CC loafed grumpily about London Circuit after the fire forced our evacuation of the palatial “CityNews” offices, it was with sublime timing a Sydney PR flack with the unlikely name of Jessica Theakstone distributed a missive titled: “Don’t become a victim – change your smoke alarm battery this April”. Too late for the Sydney Building it would seem.

IMG_3794Garden beds… trashed

CEDRIC Bryant, the “CityNews” gardening guru, is growling at the placement of a stage adjacent to Bailey’s Arcade at the recent Multicultural Festival. It sat over the paved area with the end, near the steps, blocked by traders’ tents.

“So where do spectators stand to watch the performances? The only place was on the garden beds, now trashed,” he sighs to CC.

“Another cost to the ratepayers for restoration of the garden beds, or perhaps the festival will pay?” No difference, Cedric, we all pay either way.


photo 1The party’s over

NOW you see it, now you don’t… since CC’s whinge a fortnight ago that a side of the Canberra Museum and Gallery building was still festooned with the Centenary “One Very Big Year” slogan long after the caravan had left town, CMAG boss Harriet Elvin has had the painters in. The wall has been refreshed in the same yellow and orange colour scheme and looks too, too lovely for the low-brow graffiti set to resist. We’ll keep you posted.

Record attempt

HOW weird is this? In a digital world of omnipresent downloading, Songland Music, pretty well Canberra’s last regular record store, is enjoying a real renaissance of vinyl records.

Starting with a few exploratory platters a couple of months ago, the Cooleman Court shop’s irrepressible owner, “Frog” Harris, is now up to a wide-ranging selection tipping 400 records (single discs, $35 and $40 for doubles) with more arriving from Germany and America all the time. Rueing the day he ditched them, his biggest problem right now is finding those old-style, record-shop racks to display his analogue delights. Can anyone help?


CC super snout, Pierre the Lair, says one of the information panels in the National Gallery’s exhibition “Gold and the Incas” states that ancient Peruvian monuments were constructed of massive stones without the use of masonry. “Do they think masonry means mortar?” he wonders

IS it just us or does anyone else think it’s odd that CBD Limited is getting around to burying its Centenary time capsule on City Hill three months after the flags came down and everyone’s moved on from the anniversary?

IMG_3803 OKAY, right, and the new location is?

FM104.7’s afternoon announcer Mariam Maz Hakim is terribly excited. After two years with the station, she is leaving the Gungahlin studios to become a morning announcer with Virgin Radio Dubai in early April.

ANDREW Benson, former busy editor of “The Chronicle” now spinning for Attorney-General Simon Corbell, was kind enough to share the minister’s entire media list by not blind copying a recent ministerial utterance on bicycle locks. The interesting parade of 140 names (and addresses) made better reading than the press release.



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