THE Wickham School of Arts opened on Hannell Street in 1882 and, despite 40 years of neglect, is still in reasonably good condition.
Its main claim for preservation is its close association with Henry Lawson. During the 19th century many writers and artists contributed to the formation of a distinctively Australian identity and, arguably, the most important of them all was Henry Lawson.
In his unfinished autobiography he says that when he lived in Wickham; "I haunted the School of Arts trying to educate myself up before it was too late." This was in 1884 when Lawson was 17 years old.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Regrettably he doesn't say what he read there but it's clear that he didn't just pop in to read the newspaper. The small library must have been of considerable use to him as he kept coming back during his spare time.
Four years later he had his first poem published in 'The Bulletin' soon to be followed by dozens of other poems and short stories which are still read today.
Given the importance of the School of Arts in Lawson's education, the building in which it was once housed is now of national significance.
It is important that it be sympathetically restored as soon as possible and a new use be found for it.
I'd like to see a response from Newcastle City Council and the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation regarding their plans for the building.
Ross Edmonds, Waratah, and member of the Hunter Committee of the National Trust
Still a case of 'buyer beware'
DENISE Pollock (Letters, 6/6) upon reading your letter, the expression "buyer beware" still sprang to mind.
Sure, a development consent may be mentioned by money-motivated developers and real estate agents, but I believe it is naive of anyone to treat this consent as the gospel truth that is set in stone until the end of time.
A CBD is, by its very definition, a zone for multiple businesses, including licensed premises, so if one moves into a business area, they shouldn't be surprised to hear any associated noise.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Businesses are also, by their very nature, always expanding, and to object to such changes is akin to living near an airport, being okay with the sound of the aeroplanes, but then complaining if the airport started to have helicopters land there as well.
Some of the situations you speak of (including allegedly "secret" deals) sound rather hypothetical too, as more often than not, noise complaints seem to be made against long-established occasions of live music rather than new ones.
I also can't remember the last time any venue in Newcastle was granted any relaxed restrictions to their licencing laws.
Approval for numerous new apartment buildings on the other hand ...
Adz Carter, Newcastle
Abbott should hand money back
AS Tony Abbott graciously accepts his Companion of the Order of Australia courtesy of his little mates in the Coalition, he says that history will judge his own government favourably.
Well, compared to the government of Donald Trump, yes. Compared to what Australians expect, no. And compared to what the Constitution says, not at all.
Section 44(i) states that those who have the rights and privileges of foreign citizenship are incapable of being elected to the Australian Parliament. Regardless of his Australian citizenship, Tony Abbott was born with UK patriality and he still has it.
MORE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS:
The UK is a foreign country, and patriality gives him all the rights of a British citizen. For example: after using the British citizens' queue to enter the UK, he may stand for Parliament over there or claim UK welfare if he likes.
For over 20 years, Tony Abbott received Australian government money to which he was not entitled.
He himself enjoyed reminding us that dole bludgers have to pay back every cent of anything they're not entitled to. And as everyone knows, the Federal Government now has to pay back every cent of what it wrongly got through Robodebt.
So here is an absolutely fitting and proper way for ScoMo's government to start bringing in the $750 million or so which it now owes to its Robodebt victims. Uphold the Constitution by making Tony Abbott hand back all the money which he should never have been given and which he should never have accepted.
Grant Agnew, Coopers Plains
Listen to our 'working class'
LET'S hope we are seeing the end to this terrible virus and hopefully our state and federal governments realise now is the time to listen to the working class Australians or their representatives for a way out of this crisis.
I've spent a lifetime representing Australian workers in the manufacturing industry and have seen conservative governments reduce the skills of blue collar workers and the highly skilled technical and supervisory workers all because of the cheap labour of overseas workers.
The Australian government, multinational companies and profiteers of our resources are now seeking assistance from the workers of Australia to protect thief profits.
They will return to their old union-bashing ways when their profits return and the technology they have invested in and Australian workers again become redundant
Gerry Mohan, Shoal Bay
I've got researching skills
I DON'T understand what Scott Hillard is on about (Letters 6/6). Is he so obsessed with guns that he views everything through the prism of being allowed to carry a pistol in his pocket?
I mentioned that up until 2008 the US Supreme Court had consistently confirmed that the Second Amendment related to states' rights to establish armed militias, and not to individual gun rights (Mr Hillard might like to check US v. Cruikshank, 1876; Pressor v. Illinois, 1886; Miller v. Texas, 1894; and, importantly, US v. Miller 1939).
Mr Hillard's response to my question is to quote Thomas Jefferson - impressive, but not relevant. He also suggests that I should do an online university course on the US Constitution.
I admit that when I attained my Masters degree in History (and my Masters in Public Policy) I did not study the US Constitution, but I did learn researching skills and, although I am not a researching superstar I know not to cherry-pick impressive-sounding but totally irrelevant statements to support my argument.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Share your opinion
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name, suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words and Short Takes fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
HAS anyone else noticed that some of the people from high office who have been critical of the protest crowds on the weekend in relation to COVID-19 and social distancing are some of the same people who have been critical of some of the states for not lifting COVID-19 restrictions quickly enough?
Fred McInerney, Karuah
HOW long before we see protests because we have been put into lockdown due to a second wave?
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
FIVE thousand people felt strongly enough about what they see as racism that they were prepared to risk their health and join the BLM peaceful protest in Newcastle on Saturday. I hate racism so I say fair enough, that's their choice. Now they have another choice. Will they self isolate until they are cleared of possible COVID-19? Or do they not care that they could unknowingly spread this disease to the 99 per cent of the community who stayed away?
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
PROTESTERS are saying no to inequality, no to racism, no to far-right extremism, no to slavery, no to Nazism. We need to fight this and keep it going. It's outrageous that people need to have placards that say black lives matter. It should go without saying. Yes, keep the protests rolling.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
I'VE got a great idea, Helen Douglas (Letters, 8/6): run the Supercars race north of the harbour. How about your suburb of Stockton? Instead of trivialising East End residents' problems, try reading "Wrong Track" by Christine Everingham. It's good that other Novocastrians have more sympathy with and understanding of Stockton's beach erosion problems than you do with Newcastle East's Supercars issues.
Keith Parsons, Newcastle
SO here we go again, the Newcastle Knights caught the bus Sunday morning and were driven to Campbelltown to play the Canberra Raiders. The ensuing game result was 34 -18 in favour of the Knights. But alas Sydney radio saw the game in a different light. Firstly Canberra Coach Ricky Stuart was quoted as saying that the Raiders played below their normal level and had therefore lost the game. At no stage was Newcastle praised for their winning game. Actually the Raiders we were told lost the game not Newcastle won. At no stage was anything said about the Knights victory. Anyway they are off to the Central coast next Saturday to play the Storm. Go the Knights.
Wal Remington, Mount Hutton
THE six-again rule has been a good change. Another back to old rule would be the forward pass. If the ball travels forward regardless of front or back of hands or momentum it is a forward pass. There are enough cameras to monitor this with the bunker or touchies advising the ref.
David Reynolds, Charlestown
GO the Knights. Simply the Best, you're better than all the rest. The real deal this year, keep going and do Newcastle and the Hunter proud.