John ‘Stinker’ Clarke launches new children’s book

ABC Radio’s Scott Levi, book inspiration Banjo and John ‘Stinker’ Clarke at the launch of Banjo – the Adventurous Bream at Fingal Bay last week. Photo: Henk Tobbe.

PORT STEPHENS fishing legend and News Of The Area columnist John ‘Stinker’ Clarke launched his new children’s book, ‘Banjo – the Adventurous Bream’, at Fingal Bay Sports Club on Thursday 23 November.

Introduced by ABC Radio’s Scott Levi, Stinker captivated a packed local audience with his love of writing from fishing and local history to more recently, books for children.

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Beautifully illustrated by local artists Megan Barrass, Doris Glasson and Kate Monin, Stinker tells the story of Banjo, a young bream born under the Karuah Bridge, and his journey through Port Stephens’ waterways.

“He even travels through the dark depths of Salamander Bay, where a shipwreck and other nasty things lurk,” offered Stinker during his colourful slide presentation at the launch.

The inspiration behind Stinker’s fifth children’s story lies in a name.

Three years ago, Stinker was sent a picture of a four-year-old boy holding up a shot of a bream “almost as big as him”, caught whilst fishing with his cousins near the old wooden pier at Salamander Bay.

That boy’s name was Banjo, and he was present with Mum Rosie at Fingal Bay to help Stinker launch the new book.

Banjo told News Of The Area he was currently reading the book and thought it “pretty good so far”, and rated it “9.5 out of ten”.

The audience then had the opportunity to attend a book signing, meet the enigmatic Stinker himself and observe Megan’s diligent work that led to the book’s wonderful illustrations.

If you missed the launch, and the gathering that followed at Fingal’s Cellar Cafe that evening, Stinker’s books are available at newsagents throughout Port Stephens.

By Simon EKINS

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