John Pond of Oaks – Book Launch

Cr David Pahlke with author Nev Hollis
A FORMER journalist turned jazz musician and author shared his new novel with Ipswich residents at a recent book launch.
 Nev Ollis was the latest speaker in the Paper Tales series being held at the Ipswich Central Library

Mr Ollis discussed his book John Pond of Oaks,  which is a novel written about English school-teaching parson John Pond who settled in Australia during the period 1856 to 1868.  The story follows a dozen years in John Pond’s life and is set in the Macarthur district of New South Wales. The married father of seven is a teacher who becomes a deacon in the Church of England and then an English school-teaching parson.  After his posting in Australia, he survives savage racial differences, catastrophic gold rush disruptions to his flock, the ever-present bushranger dangers, the arrogance of infinite and unbridled police power, and the bush in its rawest form.

 Through Pond, the reader sees the chronic differences between original settlers and indigenous Australians, while observing Britain’s empirical growth worldwide. Pond’s journey to Australia and his observations are covered in flashbacks to reveal factors which influenced the development of the Australia’s unique culture.  Although the main character is fictional, the circumstances of his surrounds are based on solid and well research historical fact between the years 1856 and 1868. It includes pen snapshots of many aspects of the era and the world which gave birth to the unique Australian character.
Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr David Pahlke
with June and Nev Hollis
The book is in every library in QLD as far as Gladstone  and many high schools.
Now living in Queensland, Mr Ollis is a fifth generation Australian born in Liverpool in New South Wales in 1937. Since the age of 40 Mr Ollis has lived in Queensland. He is a lifetime student of the arts having lived as landscape artist, journalist and jazz musician in a progression of careers since forsaking the more conservative, family lifestyle of printing compositor and in sales and marketing. He has twice been a finalist in Australia’s landscape painting award the Wynne Prize. Mr Ollis edited a country newspaper in Queensland for the News Corp group for 10 years. He has made three overseas concert tours as a jazz musician and made many recordings.

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