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April 2001, no. 229


April 2001, no. 229

The Frank Hardy I Knew

Dear Editor,

Frank Hardy was a larrikin. It was probably one of his most endearing qualities, but he did tell me once that his membership of the Australian Communist Party enabled him to become something more than a larrikin. He didn’t always pay his debts, except for the one big debt and the only one worth remembering: the debt of living, to the end, a writer’s life. For a boy brought up amongst working-class Irish Catholics in the potato belt in Victoria, that was no mean feat.

He was also an addictive gambler and was found dead with the Racing Guide open in front of him, still trying to pick a winner. He couldn’t have had a more fitting epitaph.

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