Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
Barrie Sheppard our new President Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:44

Barrie Sheppard, the newly -elected President of the Johnson Society of Australia, has been one of our most active members since he joined the JSA in 1994. He has been a committee member since 1999, and Treasurer since 2005, a position he still retains in addition to the presidency.

Barrie, a former lecturer in English at Deakin University, previously had no special interest in Samuel Johnson, but a chance meeting with Bryan Reid, and his existing friendships with the late Rusi Khan and Clive and Meg Probyn, attracted him to the idea of joining the JSA.

He soon became a confirmed Johnsonian, and in 1996 gave his first seminar paper, a satirical treatment of Johnson’s view about the proper use of the cucumber, and several subsequent papers, the latest was on Johnson and the Problem of Evil.

Barrie’s Johnsonian interest extended overseas in 2007 when he attended the Pembroke College Conference on Johnson and the Theatre, and again this year, when he took part in the Tercentenary celebrations at both Pembroke and Lichfield.

Barrie’s expressed hopes as President are to continue the good work of previous presidents, to forge links with the Jane Austen and Shakespeare Societies , and to develop the Annual Seminar to include regular readings, short 'stub' papers, and a short lexicographical 'spotlight', as well as the usual solid academic fare.

Barrie is also half of the celebrated duo, with Bryan Reid, of “Baz and Bry” who by popular demand entertain the guests at the JSA Christmas party.

We appoint our first Life Member Print E-mail
Written by Sam Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:52

Bryan Reid has been appointed the first Honorary Life Member of the JSA. At the 2009 AGM, newly-elected President Barrie Sheppard paid tribute to Bryan’s continuing contribution to the JSA since he became the founding secretary in 1993. He has since retired from the position and been succeeded by Barbara Niven.

Barrie presented Bryan with a commemorative plaque which read:

The Johnson Society of Australia Inc

Hereby confers Honorary Life Membership on

Bryan Reid

In grateful appreciation of his unique role in the

foundation and development of the Society.

Bryan’s son Sam, daughter Deborah, and long-time friend and fellow-JSA member Jan Lowe were present for the occasion.

Vale Anne Calvert Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:48

Sadly, we record the death of Anne Calvert, a long-time member of the JSA, who died in December after a long illness.

Anne joined the JSA in 1995, and made a huge contribution to the Society with her work in designing and producing the earliest editions of The Papers from 1997, through the desktop publishing classes she conducted at Holmesglen College of TAFE, Melbourne.

Her efforts not only served a useful educational purpose but also kept costs to a minimum and so enabled the Papers to be published. Anne will be sadly missed by JSA members.

Geoff Brand to join JSA committee Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:38

Geoff Brand, a zoologist turned bookseller and literary connoisseur, has been co-opted to the committee of the JSA.

Geoff, who holds a Doctorate in Zoology, specializing in marine biology, had been a university lecturer and a Victorian State Government scientists before he took a quantum leap to become a bookseller in Queenscliffe in 1990.

There, one of his customers, Bryan Reid told him about the Johnson Society, and his interest was reinforced by his friendship with our new president, Barrie Sheppard, who has a holiday home in nearby Point Lonsdale.

Geoff joined the JSA in 1995 and the following year, delivered the first of his four papers to the Annual Seminar. All but three of these have been inspired by his interest in 18th Century science.

Reveiew: John Wiltshire's The Making of Dr Johnson Print E-mail
Written by Barrie Sheppard   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:42

John Wiltshire. The Making of Dr Johnson, Helm Information, Great Britain, 2009

2009, Johnson’s tercentenary year, saw the publication of three biographies for the popular market. And one scholarly work on the making of biographies – our own John Wiltshire’s The Making of Dr Johnson.  John’s book deals with the biographies, anecdotes, memoirs, pictures, and lampoons that have created our conception of the Great Cham. It’s the ‘the story of how Samuel Johnson was made into Dr Johnson’. The book is also an implicit analysis of the craft of making biographies.

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