Ex­cite­ment builds for long-awaited se­quel about life in Lower Al­bany re­gion

Talk of the Town - - Front Page -

Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a se­quel, but the wait has been worth it

First pub­lished 25 years ago, a new LA Lore is soon to be launched with a new collection of hu­mor­ous sto­ries of the Lower Al­bany area, with ac­com­pa­ny­ing il­lus­tra­tions.

LA Lore II ... and more is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Brian “Bugs” Wil­mot, Quentin Hogge and Basil Mills.

The book is a com­pi­la­tion of over 40 sto­ries from the area, which in­cludes the area from Port Al­fred, Bathurst and Makhanda (for­merly Gra­ham­stown), and from the Great Fish River to the Bush­man’s River and the farms in be­tween.

There are ex­cur­sions to Hell’s Poort and King Wil­liam’s Town too. All the sto­ries il­lus­trate the lighter side of life in the Lower Al­bany re­gion.

Wil­mot pro­vided an ex­am­ple, the story of Bobby Mil­lar who made a bet with some vis­it­ing Tex­ans about the size of the Thanks­giv­ing turkey. The Tex­ans wa­gered that Mil­lar could not pro­duce a turkey any­where near the size and taste of a Texas turkey. In re­sponse, Mil­lar put on the ta­ble an enor­mous bird braaied to per­fec­tion. The as­tounded Texas paid.

Only much later, Mil­lar re­vealed that he had served a young os­trich.

An­other fa­mous in­ci­dent was when a white horse pa­tro­n­ised the Pig and Whis­tle pub and caused con­ster­na­tion to a farmer.

The orig­i­nal LA Lore was the prod­uct of Wil­mot’s febrile brain and Ger­ard Marx’s glo­ri­ous car­toons.

“Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a se­quel, but as Judge Eric Leach notes in his in­tro­duc­tion to LA Lore II, things move slowly in the Lower Al­bany, and the wait has been worth it,” Wil­mot said.

Wil­mot, now re­tired to Port Al­fred, is an en­to­mol­o­gist who be­came di­rec­tor of the Al­bany Mu­seum and was el­e­vated to di­rec­tor of Mu­seum Ser­vices for the Cape Prov­ince. Later, af­ter a stint run­ning the Na­tional Schools Sci­ence Fes­ti­val, Wil­mot was in­stru­men­tal in re­ju­ve­nat­ing and putting on the in­ter­na­tional map the Olive Schreiner Mu­seum in Cradock.

Mills is a fine arts grad­u­ate from Rhodes Univer­sity. He is an ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer at the Na­tional English Lit­er­acy Mu­seum where his var­ied skills in­clude a vast knowl­edge of lo­cal his­tory and an un­matched abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate this knowl­edge to a wide range of au­di­ences.

Hogge is a teacher and the au­thor of four an­tholo­gies of po­etry. He jokes that he wants to re­tire be­fore death, but isn’t hope­ful.

The book will be launched at the Plough­man Pub in Bathurst on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 19, at 6pm.

Pic­ture: JON HOUZET

TICKLING FUNNY BONES: Brian ‘Bugs’ Wil­mot, with an ad­vance copy of ‘LA Lore II… and more’, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween him, Quentin Hogge and Basil Mills

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