Canberra Confidential / Little lad among the lens

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Baby finch“CAN I bring Elijah to my social and editorial events?“ mused “CityNews” snapper Andrew Finch when he sent through this gorgeous photo of the latest addition to his family, Elijah Logan Finch, (December 8, 3.325kg), firmly snuggled amid the lens of his proud dad’s camera bag.

What a wheeze

THERE is nothing funny about asthma, but CC thought the National Asthma Council Australia has an odd idea about Christmas if this illustration is any guide… a tree festooned with inhalants including Ventolin and Seretide!

The photo accompanied a perfectly reasonable warning about the vagaries of summer weather on asthmatics, which singled out Christmas trees, saying – real or fake – they can harbour hidden asthma triggers.

“Most people are unaware that Cypress and pine trees produce high amounts of pollen and pollen can trigger hayfever symptoms and asthma, especially when the trees are displayed indoors,” said Kristine Whorlow, council CEO.

asthma Christmas tree“Artificial trees may seem like a safe alternative, but these trees are often used year after year and they can accumulate dust and mould in storage and both of these are common asthma triggers.”

Hmmm, probably a good idea then to keep that puffer handy on the tree!

More information at

Senator Zed Seselja, left, Gai Brodtmann MP, Senator Katy Gallagher and Andrew Leigh MPAll good friends and jolly good company

SEASONAL goodwill seemed to be bursting out all over as the ACT’s four Federal pollies came cheerfully together for this collector’s item snap. Senator Zed Seselja, left, Gai Brodtmann MP, Senator Katy Gallagher and Andrew Leigh MP are keen supporters of Red Cross and want us to “reduce, reuse and recycle”.

Anyway, it’s all a media moment for the newly opened Red Cross shop at Woden

Barbara Livesey, who works with the Parliamentary Friends of Red Cross, was moved to say: “Our four parliamentary representatives have set a fine example and I urge others to follow.” What is not entirely clear.

Christmas in Page

GINNINDERRA Labor MLA Chris Bourke offered this little local-history insight in a recent electoral missive about the suburb Page, which he says is named after Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, PM for only 20 days in April, 1939.

With Christmas in his name one might imagine a December birthday, but not so, Sir Earle was born in August.

“The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House suggests it was a nod to his aunt whose married name was Christmas,” says Chris.

Goodbye the buzz of tongues

WHILE researching poet and socialist Dame Mary Gilmore (she of the $10 note) for a couple of recent stories, “CityNews” arts editor Helen Musa came across Gilmore’s poem “Canberra in Recess”, published in the local daily and dated December 24, 1932, and extracted the following:

Where is the buzz of tongues, the slow

Dull sound men make in talking low,

The rampant party-wheeler’ s roar, the snap

Of some swift interjector’s scrap:

…All gone: the fly moves aimless on the air, The beetle climbs upon the stair,

The spider spins in the Speaker’s Chair.


IN reporting the return of Martin Parkinson to the top level of the public service, our snout Pierre the Lair noticed this in “The Canberra Times”: “He was one of three senior public servants – including Don Russell, Blair Comley and Andrew Metcalfe – let go in the early stages…” Which one was Parky, Pierre wonders?

“CITYNEWS” gardening writer Cedric Bryant’s heart missed a beat at the news he’d won a prize in the raffle at the recent Ainslie All Saints Church Christmas fete. Alas, he drew fifth prize – a potted geranium!

ODD, but outstanding… Adore Tea bagged the People’s Choice Award at the ACT Tourism Awards as Canberra’s Favourite Café for its Gold Creek teahouse, a victory made sweeter by the fact the cafe doesn’t serve coffee.


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