Blogging the Bookshelf

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The Parliamentary Barber – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Australiana, History, Politics

Cec (The Old Parliament House Barber) cut the hair of all comers from Ben Chifley down. Cec would take our bets over the phone at his home on Saturday race day and come Monday morning was the settlement—mostly in Cec’s favour. An unmarked envelope would appear in your mailbox setting out how much was owed, or hopefully won. Cec was in the news when Cameron ordered him to take down a magnificent picture of the champion horse Phar Lap from his barbershop wall. This made headlines all over Australia. Archie was a blue-nosed Presbyterian who converted to Catholicism, yet his conversion did not mean he abandoned his views of the sinfulness of gambling. He was an eccentric character and in the summer could be seen walking around the house in a Jackie Howe singlet, featuring the name of some champion shearer on the back.

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