It feels like I’ve come home.

New Farm Park has played an important role in my life for a very long time. It started in 1967 when I arrived at what we called “the Sarri brothers’ flats” ar 133 Merthyr Road, a freshfaced bumpkin from Toowoomba.

As a 12-year-old I attended my last year of primary school at New Farm State School. I fell in with a group of kids at New Farm school he spent most of their socialising hours in New Farm Park. All manner of things happened there, possibly the least scandalous of which was smoking down near the toilets.

My grandmother in Toowoomba was deeply worried about anything to do with New Farm and especially New Farm Park. She told us that all the murders that happened in Brisbane either happened in New Farm, or the bodies ended up in New Farm, usually at New Farm Park. My grandmother‘s maiden name was Cross and her cousins the Fitzgeralds, all had properties in New Farm including rooming houses. Her mother, Edna Cross lived at the corner of Merthyr Rd and Cross Street. My grandmother visited often, but never for long!

We eventually returned to Toowoomba as Dad replaced my Grandfather as Editor of the Toowoomba Chronicle. I never lost my love for New Farm, the purple of the Jacarandas and the brilliant orange of the Poincianas and the smell of roses in New Farm Park.

I had no idea when I was a little boy playing somewhat illicit games around New Farm Park at the age of 12 and 13, that 20 years later I would become an Alderman and go on to represent the suburb in Council.

I’ll be setting up my little easel and painting under the big figs down by the river beginning Sunday 31st May 2020 –  between 10am – 2pm.  Feel free to drop in.

When I’m not painting, I’m collecting — Australian Aboriginal art is my passion.