Book launch looked a lot like a good, old Campbelltown reunion

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Jeff McGill speaking at the launch of his book last night.

There were so many familiar faces there it made walking into last night’s Jeff McGill book launch in the Mary Sheil Centre feel like a reunion.

It was the sort of gathering you used to get in Campbelltown before the pandemic and it certainly warmed the heart.

Campbelltown mayor George Greiss was there, along with his deputy Warren Morrison, while Cindy Cagney from Camden Council and Judy Hannan from Wollondilly Council were also in attendance.

Up the back was car king Scott Wakeling chatting with big Steve Noyce and his wonderful wife Kerry.

Then I spied a couple of former politicians: one was recently retired Chris Hayes, who was the MP for Fowler for 12 years.

We all know what happened in Fowler at the recent election, but let’s just say Labor would have wished Chris was still there.

His wife Bernadette was there with him last night, while the other ex pollie I spotted was Charlie Lynn, another good fellow from these parts.

Aboriginal elder Uncle Ivan Wellington made a short speech, while also in attendance was former US Marine and now motivational speaker Max Garcia.

But wait there’s more: a stack of journos who worked with me and the author also were there, from Mandy Perrin to Clare Devenish.

The book, Rachel, is about Jeff McGill’s great, great, grandmother, Rachel Kennedy, an exceptional pioneer woman who was born in the wild and remote Warrumbungle mountains of western NSW.

Rachel was published by Allen & Unwin, who were also represented at last night’s launch of the book in the St Patrick’s College auditorium known as Mary Sheil Centre.


Another good gathering, last week, took place at the increasingly popular Beer Shed in Leumeah.

Following the final shoot in the Christmess film production cast, crew and others were invited to a get together to celebrate.

We weren’t able to go but word did get back to us that it was another wonderful night in Campbelltown.


Just a thought: book launches, film wrap parties, it’s all happening in Campbelltown, look out Newtown.

But the thing to remember is that they are happening because the pandemic is starting to slowly disappear from our lives. Now that’s worth celebrating.


Yesterday, Dr Mike Freelander, who won a third term as the member for Macarthur at the May 21 election, posted this great photo of himself jumping for joy like he had won Lotto.

Above the photo he posted the number 76, which was obviously a reference to Labor winning a majority in its own right.

Unfortunately, not everyone got it, with some readers posting Happy Birthday messages, and one congratulating Dr Mike for being so agile at such an ancient age as 76.

The Member for Macarthur actually had to point out that he was a senior citizen, but he wasn’t that old.

His age actually has a 6 in front of it, but the lesson is, make sure you don’t post anything that leaves any room for doubt or is just too cryptic.


Lynette Styles, the author of Antill Golf Club Associates, has confessed she’s never had anything to do with the ancient game of golf.

Her book was so well written with regard to the golf competitions and the like we were intrigued as to whether she had played the game.

Ms Styles doesn’t pull punches, as you will see from her response to our query:

“I don’t know one end of the golf club from the other and have never played other than one charity event held at Jarvisfield during my time as a Wollondilly councillor in 1998,’’ she told us.

“It was a charity event.  Dozens of people attended, including all the big knobs from Campbelltown and Camden.

“My team of 4 came in last. 

“By the time we finished the 9 holes and joined the hungry at the club dining room, all the food had been eaten.  There wasn’t even a sandwich to be had.  I confess I was miserable at the game and swore I would never play again.  I’ve kept my promise.’’


Speaking of strong women, Anne Stanley, the federal member for Werriwa, a very famous seat, was the 113th woman to ever be elected to the Australian parliament.

That was back in 2016 when Ms Stanley, a Labor MP, was first elected. She was also the 1179th person elected to the parliament since 1901.

1 thought on “Book launch looked a lot like a good, old Campbelltown reunion”

  1. Eric has always been a great writer, editor allround Mr nice guy and mentor to all. I had the privilege of working with him for a number of years whilst I was a press/ professional photographer, a career that lasted for close to 40 years. He has been a tremendous help and inspiration in my own humble online travel magazine. His publication is always a great read with unbiased reporting on all issues.


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