Our President, John Lacey, opens our 90th Anniversary celebrations:

ELCOME to our celebrations of the 90th anniversary of DH Lawrence's arrival in Sydney, and, by a happily-planned coincidence, the 20th anniversary of the founding of our Society.

The Lawrences spent their first two nights at Mrs Scott's guest-housee over there (the modern building until recently housed the American Club) before leaving for Thirroul where they lived inside a mystery wrapped up in an enigma which Robert Darroch, our vice-president and driving-force has spent many years trying to unravel.

Our inaugural meeting was held here, in the Rose Garden Pavilion in 1992. So I would ask you to join me in a toast to the DHL Society of Australia and its members.

While this is indeed a happy occasion for the Society, it is a sad one for me personally, as I formally tender my resignation as President and Editor of Rananim. Some of you know that I am suffering from a chronic illness and this has led to my moving to Coffs Harbour to be with family.

There are only two resolutions to this illness: one is an organ transplant, but re-reading parts of Lawrence has helped me get through the dark nights contemplating the alternative.

Quite simply, I do not have the strength to devote to the needs of the society, and to you its members.
While I hope that I may have "done the State some service", personally my life has been enriched by many experiences in holding this position.

After 13 years as President of your society I have a great many people to thank, starting with all of you present today. But I will name two people only, Rob and Sandra Darroch. Without them, as I am sure you realise, there simply would be no DH L Society of Australia, and I wish to thank them publicly too for their many acts of personal kindness to me over the years.

So I would propose a second toast, to the Darrochs and their huge contributions to the DHL Society.
For the reasons I've mentioned above there will be no Presidential Report as such. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen - friends - you may now enjoy the day.


- John Lacey

Some pictorial memories of John Lacey's 13 years as President of the DH Lawrence
Society of Australia


The VIP steam yacht Lady Hopetoun, which John chartered
for t-e Society's annual Harbour cruise


A spectacular sunset, photographed by John on
one of the
Lady Hopetoun cruises


John Lacy and Cerridwen Lee aboard the Lady Hopetoun


By Jonathan Long (a member of the DH Lawrence Society of the UK)

(Text of a talk given at The Sun Inn, Eastwood, on April 13 last year on "Dudley Nichols: 'Breaking the Chain of Conversation. A Journey of Discovery, Following
Lawrence Around the World'.")

his was a special meeting for two reasons. The first, with the [UK] Society 'homeless' following the predictable but unfortunate increase in charges for the use of the Eastwood Library, we were trying out alternative venues. An obvious choice was the Sun Inn, at the heart of so many places in Eastwood with Lawrence connections (and the site of the birth of the Midland Railway in 1832). The second was that our speaker was a nephew of Lawrence's fiancée Louie Burrows, his mother being one of her younger sisters. And, perhaps uniquely, Dudley had previously made a similar presentation to the D.H. Lawrence Society of Australia - see: http://www.dhlawrencesocietyaustralia.com.au/lawrence%20month/l%20month.html

Dudley gave us a copiously illustrated talk on some of the places across the world that he and his wife had visited where Lawrence had been. He showed us over 100 photos, taking us in chronological order from Dudley's association with Lawrence as a nephew of Louie and her family's connection with Cossall, the Cossethay of The Rainbow, through to the Lawrence tomb in Taos, New Mexico. As illustrated biographies have shown, although we can never reproduce what Lawrence saw and felt, we can get closer to him through images of the places he visited. Keith Sagar's The Life of D.H. Lawrence and Harry T. Moore and Warren Roberts' D.H. Lawrence and His World would be much less impressive without those carefully chosen illustrations.

Any member of our Society will want to visit the places that Lawrence stayed the longest and that are associated with his best work. The Nichols' travels in Lawrence's footsteps included Villa Mirenda, Scandicci, set in a beautiful location in the hills overlooking Florence, and forever associated with Lady Chatterley's Lover, and Mabel Dodge Luhan's house and the Kiowa Ranch, inspiration for so much of Lawrence's American period. The photos of Thirroul, where Lawrence wrote Kangaroo, remind us though that houses such as Wyewurk are private property and not all owners of such property share our appreciation of a famous former resident, nor do they welcome visitors. Close shots of that house are not possible in the way they are of properties fronting roads, such as 1 Byron Villas, in Hampstead. Dudley also talked us through the early months of Lawrence's relationship with Frieda and their travels through the Tyrol and down to Gargnano on Lake Garda, some of the most picturesque places on his travels. Such an evening could only raise again the question of why Lawrence never settled anywhere permanently, particularly when so many of the places he stayed are quite inspirational.

Some of these locations are of course very familiar to us from the illustrated biographies but it was interesting to see how (if at all) they have changed over the years. Equally interesting was to see some of the less familiar sites such as The Cearne, Edenbridge where Edward Garnett lived, an editor so important to Lawrence's early development as a writer, and Ludwig Wilhelm Stift in Baden-Baden where Frieda's mother spent her last years - the lady who became the recipient of some of Lawrence's best letters. And how many of us have been to Compton House in Bournemouth where Lawrence convalesced in 1912, or the house in Broadstairs where Lawrence stayed in 1913?

Some of these locations are difficult to locate - you cannot for example follow the directions Lawrence provided to get to the Villa Mirenda. The task for us is to record (perhaps in this Journal) how these important sites can be reached.



Louie Burrows, Lawrence's fiancee

Lawrence shrine, Taos, New Mexico
Photo: Michael Lester


Villa Mirenda, Florence

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