A remarkable man

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  • Published 20150505
  • ISBN: 9781922182807
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

RAY PARKIN TOLD stories. He wasn’t exactly the Ancient Mariner, but there was an insistence and a very steady eye about the way he did it. It was Ray’s way of passing on what he knew and what he wanted you to understand. Some of the stories described things he’d known since childhood, and were based on observations about nature; others were lessons he’d learned from later experience. Many of them were about the Second World War. Ray would argue that his stories and the images that illustrated them were non-fiction – they were simply a record of what happened. This wasn’t entirely convincing; a significant aspect of the stories was what they told us about the storyteller.

Ray entered the navy in 1928 and joined the light cruiser HMAS Perth when it was commissioned in 1936. During the war, the ship saw active service in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans. After the terrible battles of Greece and Crete, the ship’s captain, who was English, was promoted to a higher command. Ray heard him ruminating on the bridge about his respect for the Australian crew.

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About the author

John Clarke (1948-2017)

John Clarke was a comedian, writer and actor.His appearances include the famous Fred Dagg character, The Gillies Report, The Games and ABC TV’s weekly...

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