The Mystery has been Solved!

August 20th, 2016 | C. J. Dennis, Camberwell, Folk clubs, Photos, Significant dates in the life of C. J. Dennis, Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival

Recently I posed the question, “Where did C. J. Dennis write “The Moods of Ginger Mick?””

Well, it is my great pleasure to report that the mystery has finally been solved!

It has long been known that Dennis moved into a boarding house in early 1915 at 107 Burke Road, Camberwell, and that it was from there he submitted to publisher George Robertson the manuscript for “The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke”. More importantly, perhaps, it was also in this boarding house that he wrote the manuscript for the Bloke’s sequel, “The Moods of Ginger Mick”.

The difficulty, however, has been that the street numbering has changed substantially in the intervening century, and 107 Burke Road is no longer in Camberwell.

During a Victorian Folk Music Club (VFMC) concert night earlier in the year, I had the opportunity to invite the assembled throng to assist me in trying to answer this fascinating and significant national cultural/historic question.

Historian Louise Blake was in the audience at the time, and offered to help. She has since brought her professional research skills to the task, and solved the problem!

Here is her statement on the matter, the distillation of her research.

107 Burke Road Camberwell

I am extremely grateful to Louise for her work, and wish to thank her most sincerely for her efforts on behalf of the C. J. Dennis Society.

Fortunately, the building is still standing. Indeed, I have had the opportunity to visit it on several occasions recently, and inspect both its exterior and interior. It would appear to be little changed from the days of C. J. Dennis and David Low. In fact, somewhat remarkably perhaps, it is still being run as a guest house!

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You will notice some real estate hoardings outside the property. It was recently put up for auction, but did not change hands.

I am enormously excited to now know where Dennis wrote “The Moods of Ginger Mick”, and am keen to disseminate the information as widely as possible. Indeed it is fitting, is it not, that the mystery be finally solved in the year that we celebrate the centenary of its publication?

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14 responses to “The Mystery has been Solved!”

  1. Mac says:

    What great research results. How incredible that the house still stands and is still operating as a guest house. I think that’s amazing. Thanks Stephen.

  2. Barry Watts says:

    A very interesting result, Stephen & Louise, congratulations to you both. Who will follow up Louise’s work from here?

  3. Jim Brown says:

    Great result Stephen- I can understand your excitement. ¬†Ginger Mick lives on in many forms now. He has become one of the characters in a concert “The Anzac on the wall”
    which I perform with Vince Brophy.

  4. Robyn Sykes says:

    Great work Stephen.

  5. Patsy Hohnen says:

    Mr President…Dear Stephen. The quiet operator.
    A timely discovery for us all. We’ll dream our dreams
    of our hero…the great CJD bringing The Sentimental Bloke and his mate
    Ginger Mick to life within this charming home. Thanks also to Louise.

  6. Hello, so therefore, what is the current address of what was 107 Burke Rd?

  7. also, that’s quite a large block up for sale that includes the guest house (according to the billboard). If they’ve gone to the trouble of buying up those adjacent properties, it’s only a matter of time before it does sell and the guest house is demolished to make way for a corporate building or apartment complex.
    Bit of a shame after all these years, considering its history.

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