St Mary’s is a Catholic primary school in Gore, Southland, New Zealand. This year marks the 125th anniversary of its founding. I went there from 1979 to 1983, when my family left Gore for the bright lights of Sydney. This memoir of my St Mary's days is dedicated to my teacher Mrs E.O. Archer, who helped spark my interest in natural history and social science.
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About the Author
Welcome to my Smashwords profile. I am a New Zealand-born writer, based in Sydney. My main interests are nature and history. My thesis was on the negotiations between the British and Chinese governments over the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. It was used as a source in Dr John Wong’s Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism and the Arrow War (1856-1860) in China, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, the standard work on that conflict. I wrote a column on the natural history of the Wolli Creek Valley for the Earlwood News (sadly, now defunct) between 1992 and 1998. My short biography of the leading Australian ornithologist, Alfred North (1855-1917), was published in 1998. I write regular reviews on books about history for my blog,’ Justin Cahill Reviews’ and Booktopia. I’m also a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald's 'Heckler' column. My current projects include completing the first history of European settlement in Australia and New Zealand told from the perspective of ordinary people and a study of the extinction of Sydney’s native birds. After much thought, I decided to make my work available on Smashwords. Australia and New Zealand both have reasonably healthy print publishing industries. But, like it or not, the future lies with digital publishing. So I’m grateful to Mark Coker for having the vision to establish Smashwords and for the opportunity to distribute my work on it.