|Bust of C.J. Dennis|
Clarence (Clarrie or Den) Michael James Stanislaus Dennis was born in Auburn, South Australia on September 7, 1876, to James Dennis and his second wife Catherine (Kate) Tobin. After Kate's death in 1890, James Dennis moved the family north, first to Gladstone and then to Laura. Den was sent to school in Adelaide and returned when he was 17 to work in his father's hotel. After some years in Laura, Broken Hill and Adelaide (where he worked on The Critic and The Gadfly) he ended up in Victoria where he was to spend the rest of his life. In 1915 he published The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, an instant Australian classic that is probably the highest selling collection of poetry in this nation's history. He produced further works over the next few years but none reached the heights attained by "the Bloke". For the last 16 or so years of his life Dennis worked as "poet in residence" on the Herald newspaper in Melbourne. He died in 1938. This bust of C.J. Dennis is located in Laura, South Australia, outside the town hall.
From a personal perspective, if you follow the road on the right of the picture all the way to the top, turn left and continue for about 100 metres you'll come to the house where I grew up.