Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Parliament House steps back in time: Dr Cope, Buz Luhrmann etc


INK BOTTLE“We’re all forgotten sooner or later. But not the films.”
~ Burt Lancaster, quoted in Alain Silver and James Ursini, What Ever Happened to Robert Aldrich? (Courtesy of Buz Luhrmann who might one day translate political thriller Cold River II Script on Screen)

Nothing earth shattering I suppose, but to me seeing Alexaeyeva acknowledged this month made all the difference in the world. The  head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, 88, has been awarded the international Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize.  Russia’s oldest human rights activist is awarded Vaclav Havel Prize

Breaking News was so different 175 years ago

The New South Wales Parliamentary Library is the oldest of Australia's parliamentary libraries, and is also one of the oldest official libraries in the country. Established by the administrative action of the Legislative Council in 1840, it became a Joint Parliamentary Library with the introduction of responsible government in 1856. The collection has historical depths and riches in a number of areas, including a strong emphasis on official publications, as well as extensive legal resources. A growing emphasis on online resources increasingly frames the Library as a facilitator of end-user searching by clients from their desktops. Subsequently the Library plays an increasing role in user education and training, and in the delivery of information electronically to clients. [As Buz Luhrmann a former parliamentary attendant knows the X collection on level five (stack) is peppered with amazing treasures] History in a Nutshell ...
In early 1980s circa Orwell 1984 AD, Buzz studied this motto:
The Motto of the NSW Parliamentary Library “Knowledge is the Mother of Wisdom and Virtue"
Such is the magnitude of the collection that if lined up, the materials would stretch the distance from Parliament House to Bondi Iceberg ...
And here’s another little-known fact - Jozef Imrich and Baz Luhrman ;-) spent time in the Parliamentary Library ;-) That’s right – in the early 1980s the famous Aussie director worked as a Library Assistant. Wonder how much impact that had on his future career? Facebook links to 175

There were many friendly faces in the crowd that gathered on level six the Presiding Officers made thoughtful speeches. The Clerk of the Parliament, David Blunt (of PAC fame) and Clerk of Legislative Assembly, Rhonda Miller (of Library clipping section fame) were among the audience. Robert Stefanic, of Slavic background fame, head of the New South Wales Department of Parliamentary Services made also a short speech. The State Librarian, Alex Byrne graced the occasion with his presence. The event reflected on the amazing changes that took place in the last century ... Parliamentary library steps back in time

If you ever invade Macquarie Street in Sydney -  czech (sic) out the stainglass ceiling glass at the old parliamentary library ... Breathtaking stained glass windows

An image of Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore by Conrad Martens

Even More Breathtaking are paintings by parliamentary librarian Conrad Martens - 

Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore 1836 (Czech out the Art Gallery of NSW)

Conrad Martens (1801-1878), artist, was born at Crutched Friars near the Tower of London, the son of J. C. H. Martens, a German merchant from Hamburg who had been appointed Austrian consul to London, where he married an Englishwoman...  Martens trained under prominent artist and teacher, Copley Fielding.  He became perhaps Australia's most famous famous colonial artist. As the rigours of a landscape painter's life began to tell on the ageing Martens, his friend Alexander Berry found a post for him in 1863 as a parliamentary librarian. Martens the Landscape Artist and Parliamentary Librarian; Note that Andrew Tink and Kevin Rozzoli peppered their books with interesting references relating to the wild men of Sydney, in particular scan monograph entitled Gavel To Gavel.

Walter O'Malley McEvilly (1820-1867), parliamentary librarian, was born in County Mayo, Ireland.  McEvilly was assistant librarian from 1 July 1850 at a salary of £109 and on 20 May 1856 was promoted librarian with a residence in the parliamentary premises. He was reported to have 'zealously and well discharged the duties of Librarian'... On 4 August 1863 a long-standing disagreement between McEvilly and his assistant, Francis Robinson, led to a fight in which both were hurt. A testimonial from 63 of the 72 members of the assembly attested to McEvilly's 'zeal, efficiency, uniform quiet and obliging and peaceful disposition'. Robinson was later dismissed. Good old days of 1800s: Richard Baker, Greig Tillotson or David Clune, Geoffrey White, Yosef Gusef  would only have a verbal disagreements with Jozef Imrich ;-)

If it was not for Dr Cope and Les Jeckeln not many of us would be aware that the first Legislative Council Librarian was a brilliant musician.  Richard O'Connor (1810-1876), parliamentary officer, was born in March 1810 in County Cork, Ireland. As town clerk from 7 September to 16 November 1842 he organized the elections for the first city council. With the establishment of the Legislative Council Library in 1843 he became librarian and published its first three catalogues. Most of all he played the flute, concertina and guitar: Richard O'Connor

5 Lessons Library Websites Can Learn from Buzzfeed – “Since its 2006 launch, Buzzfeed has become an Internet institution by recognizing and capitalizing on the insatiable life-cycle of viral media. The idea behind the website is relatively simple: bring together trending content (e.g., news, celebrity gossip, entertainment, quizzes) from around the web and organize it into a format that is short and eye-catching. The venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz estimates the net worth of Buzzfeed Inc. at around $850 million. And according to analytics website QuantCast, the site saw 146 million visits in May 2015 alone (accounting for both unique online and mobile visits). For contrast, the Library of Congress—the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States—drew in about 1.1 million visits in the same period.

NSW Parliamentary Library 1840-2015 The creative display XIV - X - MMXV AD
Ancient Romans, they're just like us: ill-fated military escapades, social-welfare policies, urban living, corruption. The similarities, however, are misleading... 1992 BC 

In 1992, MCMXCII, AD the politics in Europe, Italy, Old Czechoslovakia in 1992 appear to be rather similar to Antipodean corridors of power as in that year of 1992  NSW experienced the Charter of 92 (similar in spirit to Vaclav Havel's Charter 77)  - the extraordinary time when the independent exposed how bad apples in the police operated and how politicians were bought by the highest bidders ... The year Gabbie was born was filled with media scoops, exposes  and sunlight...

The world will be blessed with more universal political themes as creative writers, Ludovica Rampoldi, 36, Stefano Sardo, 43, andAlessandro Fabbri, 36, are changing the landscapes of the reality of our modern Machiavellis. The trio are behind the 1992 political series.

1992 examines Italy’s infamous political upheaval, which ended in the “clean hands” operation that brought the fall of the first republic. In its place came businessmen and media moguls to run the country. Starring Stefano AccorsiGuido CaprinoDomenico DieleMiriam LeoneTea Falco and Alessandro Roja1992 follows six ordinary people’s lives to tell the complicated political history in a setup as engaging as antipodean legal and political thriller Charles Waterstreet's The Rake with a ruthlessness straight from Cold River...

Creative minds such cinematographer Michele Paradisi, and sets made with nostalgic precision by Francesca Di Mottola and costumes by Roberto Chiocchi. Editor Francesca Calvelli pulls the narratives together. 

Ludovica Rampoldi noted: So we say we are “show-walkers.” We know it’s the first step.
Alessandro Fabbri: We’re on the road to become runners.

So you’re writing now the next part of the trilogy? What can we expect in 1993 and 1994?
Fabbri: Those three years are the transition between the first and the second republic so it’s very particular period of time.
Sardo: And then the different arenas converge because Berlusconi and many politicos start to go up against each other.
Rampoldi: It’s like King’s Landing but they go to the parliament.
Sardo: Yeah exactly. Finally the dragons get to town.

This link will take you to the NSW Hansard.  Once there you will need to enter the word 'memorandum' in your Find facility and it will bring you to the section where Nick Greiner - who actually led a minority government in NSW in 1991 - tables a Memorandum of Understanding signed by three out of the four independents.

The four independents at the time were John HattonClover MoorePeter McDonald, and Tony Windsor. The first three were true independents and were never politically aligned.  Tony Windsor was formerly a member of the National Party.

John Hatton together with Moore, and McDonald signed the Memorandum of Understanding.  In interviews, Windsor is making much of the fact that he is experienced at operating within a hung Parliament.  Could some astute reporter please ask him why it was that he was not a signatory to the MoU with Greiner?  

Anyway, here is an extract from Hansard of what Nick Greiner said - in part - in Parliament at the time:
Mr GREINER: Today an agreement was signed which provides for stable government and fixed four-year terms of Parliament for the State of New South Wales. I table for incorporation in Hansard a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by me on behalf of the Government and by the member for Bligh, the member for Manly and the member for South Coast...