Write by the River – local book launched by Kate Washington, MP

Kate Washington, MP, Member for Port Stephens, launching the local book, Write by the River, with Jane Graham from Peekaboo Creations (left) and Michelle Temby, author and U3A member.


LAUNCHING a beautiful book of local stories and poems is an auspicious occasion, and this event was just that with most members of the Myall University of the 3rd Age (U3A) Writers’ Group and local MP Kate Washington attending the event held at the Hawks Nest Community Hall last Saturday.

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Kate, who also wrote the Foreword in Write by the River, spoke first at the launch, “The beautiful Myall River provided the inspiration for this collection of stories, poems and images. I never cease to be impressed by the work and vitality of the University of the Third Age. Keep engaged, stay connected and keep learning.”

Write by the River is a locally-based anthology of 48 poems, short stories, and the odd recipe, written by 21 members of the U3A, all inspired by the stunning Myall River.

The book is dedicated to the memory of two founding writers, Pat Foyle (1929-2019) and Narelle Hawkes (1942-2019), whose prose features in the book.

In her poem, The Candidate, Pat Foyle wrote,”A stage of contemplation now arrives. Perhaps to write or paint – a new career.”

Her daughter spoke at the launch, sharing, “This is one the happiest days in my life and I am thrilled at the dedication and poetry in the book’.

Narelle Hawkes wrote the story In Praise of Pelicans, sharing, “I love them…To me they are endlessly fascinating, with their quaint appearance, not to forget their funny antics.”

Maggie Buchannan, who wrote The Last Resort, shared her insights into the creative processes behind the scenes at the launch, stating, “In 2016, Lee Anderson shared a vision of this book project which inspired, sustained and occasionally terrified us. I want to acknowledge the passion and commitment of the writers and committee who produced this beautiful book.”

The vision was brought to fruition with support from the U3A Book Committee of Ray Keipert, Sue Collingridge, Helen Fitzgerald, and Michelle Temby.

The book’s stunning design and layout is by Jane Graham from Peekaboo Creations.

Final word goes to local writer, Norman Hawkes, in his Ballad of the Myall,

“Now you’ve heard the tales of ghosts of men,

And pioneer woman too

who in their time made Myall what it is today.

May you watch the healing seasons come and go,

while you come to sunny village, lake and strand
to watch, explore and play.”

This wonderful book costs $20 and can be purchased locally or from the Myall U3A: contact info@myallu3a.org.au.


By Sandra MURRAY


The Write by the River Book Committee – Ray Keipert, Michelle Temby, Helen Fitzgerald and Sue Collingridge show their latest creation.


Write by the River: Cover concept by Maggie Buchannan and cover photo by Sue Collingridge. Book design and layout by Jane Graham from Peekaboo Creations

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