Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

July 2, 2014

Forty-Four, a tale of survival – New book release

 

 

New Book Release

44

Forty-Four, A Tale of Survival,

by Graham Rundle

44BookCoverFiveMile

cover photo courtesy The Five Mile Press and Blue Cork

Published by The Five Mile Press

Cover by Luke Causby, Blue Cork

A Must-Read and it’s in book shops now!

Seven-year-old Graham Rundle was excited to learn he was going for a holiday at a place where he’d have a chance to play with lots of other boys. A few days later, his father dropped him off at Eden Park, a Salvation Army boys’ home outside Adelaide in South Australia.

As soon as his father left, Graham’s few possessions were taken away and he was given old clothes to wear. From now on, he was told, he’d be known around the home simply by his number, ‘44’. When he pleaded to go home, he was told that nobody wanted to take him. He’d been abandoned by his family – even, it seemed, by the grandmother he loved.

This book vividly portrays what happened to Graham over the eight years he spent at Eden Park, living in fear of abuse by his peers and by the men who were supposed to care for him. It captures his extraordinary resilience, determination and humour, and his debt to the loving nana who tracked him down against the odds and offered him hope in the midst of hell.

This extraordinary book contrasts the dark moments of unbelievable depravity with some of the sweetest and most innocent acts of kindness. As well as portraying life in the home, Graham writes of his taste of freedom at high school and at Indigenous camps at the Coorong, and of his time spent with his beloved, lifesaving Nana.

• An extraordinary tale of resilience, determination and humour.
• A ten-year legal battle resulted in a long jail sentence for one of the abusers.

Congratulations, Graham Rundle

Media

The Sun Herald and Sydney Morning Herald 3 Page article (also in print editions)

“Interview: Salvation Army victim Graham Rundle”

Joanne McCarthy. July 20, 2014 – 12:15A

“Reporter Joanne McCarthy won journalism’s highest prize – the Gold Walkley – in 2013 for her series of articles on sex abuse that helped spark the royal commission” SMH.

Also in Newcastle Herald (print and online):

“A victims nightmare in the ‘care’ of the Salvation Army”

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2423443/a-victims-nightmare-in-the-care-of-the-salvation-army/?cs=12

More Media interviews, articles and reviews

Radio

ABC Blog interview with Richard Stubbs audio link
ABC Newcastle 1233 with Carol Duncan
The Wire

Print

‘Lifestyle’, Daily Telegraph 13 August 2014

“REMEMBER WHEN … Running away from brutality”
Graham Rundle
Copyright 2014 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved

The Land July 20, 2014
Town & Country Magazine August 16
Mccarthy Jan 20, 2014 article
Illawarra Mercury
Cessnock Advertiser
Goulburn press
Goondiwindi Argus July 19, 2014, noon

Herald Sun Review

Margaret Linley’s review (from The Geelong Advertiser) was picked up and run by The Gold Coast Bulletin, Townsville Eye, and Cairns Eye.

What readers are saying:

I just finished 44. I cried and could not understand the cruelty on many levels – from the abandonment by Graham’s father to the relentless cruelty of Ellis and those other boys. I loved the Cook. Nanna was beautiful. However as I finished the book, the strongest impression was the enormous capacity of Graham to survive and to still have values of care for others. Bring back treats and stories for the other desperate little boys, relate to the Jewish survivor, squash food between pages to the boy in the lock-up. However it is survival and that capacity to go on and have a valuable life that is breathtaking. Huge congratulations on an epic journey. Sydney, NSW

It’s a Winner! Sydney NSW

Finished reading in one go. Wrought with pain, yet so true. It takes courage to face truth. And, you have done it. I am sure your heartrending tale will resonate in many sensitive hearts, from far and wide, irrespective of geography, cultures, class or creed. Number 44’s survival will certainly hold out hope to many. Congratulations for the remarkable book you have written. Mumbai, India.

This is truly ‘awe-some.’ Not in the superficial sense. Literally. In the middle of 44. Very disturbing. Very starkly and simply narrated. The horror of the experience and the one sustaining thread of love for Nana very poignantly captured. A great achievement, gritty and courageous. New Delhi, India.

I’m in tears as I write to you. I literally just finished the book. I basically read 99% today. I couldn’t put it down. The little things. Like his love for animals & little gifts & special things he cherished. All the way through I thought, why won’t his Nana keep him? Then it all comes to light. God I can’t stop thinking about so much that I read. The book had impact. It’s so well written. Kulnura, NSW.

My congratulations – it was a compelling read! Hunter Valley, NSW

I wanted to put my arms around that frightened little boy and I was very relieved each time you came to visit your dear Nanna and had a break from that awful place. Millfield, NSW

44 is terrific @Grahamrundle44 has an amazingly detailed memory. He makes a lot of simple mundane things interesting. I read 44 very quickly, Twitter Frances Jones’ Blog

Compulsive reading. Holgate NSW

Big dents of impact on us. Copacabana, NSW

Comments on Susan Gervay’s Blog

Congratulations to Graham for all the hard work and emotions he has invested in, Wamberal, NSW

44bookcover Trudy

cover photo courtesy Trudy Bright Photography (c) with permission

44backcoverTrudy

cover photo courtesy Trudy Bright Photography (c) with permission

Inset photo by Trudy Bright Photography

Look for Forty Four A Tale of Survival on the True Crime or Biography shelves of these shops:

Dymocks – Sydney and suburban shops, Belconnen, Canberra, Nowra and in Melbourne; and online

Abbeys Books, Sydney
Angus & Robertson
Readings
Co-op Online Book Shop

David Jones Stores

Big W

KMart Stores

Better Read
Booktopia
Boomerang Books
Ballarat Books
Riverbend
Fishpond

Bookworld

Book Depository

Atomic Books

Robinsons Bookshop
Kindle Version at Amazon
Apple iBook

iTunes/Apple

Barnes & Noble

Available soon in UK and Europe (August 1).

Sainsburys.co.uk

Senscritique.com

 

Graham Rundle can be contacted through his agent, Brian Cook at The Authors’ Agent

The Five Mile Press

Frances Jones Blog

Trudy Bright Photography

There are still many more survivors fighting for justice, Please also follow Aletha at White Shield Appeal and Aletha’s blog Lewis Blayse.net for latest developments and to support their campaign.

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March 15, 2014

God’s Donkey Brisbane Launch

God’s Donkey

by Peter Gale

Gods Donkey Gale Cover

The true story of Sister Mary Theodore OAM and Mithra

 was launched in Brisbane by Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne, Peter Gale and Sister Theodore's niece, Helen Mahoney at the Brisbane launch.

Jennifer Byrne, Peter Gale and Sister Theodore’s niece, Helen Mahoney at the Brisbane launch.

The speech from Qld Parliament following the launch (reproduced here with authorisation from Peter Gale).

 

Sister Mary Theodore

Ms TRAD (South Brisbane-ALP) (9.07 pm): I rise to speak this evening in order to acknowledge a woman of great strengths, Sister Mary Theodore. Born on Brisbane’s south side, Sister Theodore was one of eight children in a Lebanese family. At just 17 years of age she had already chosen what path she would take in life and by the time she was 24, Sister Theodore completed her training with the church and was immediately posted to India. For over 60 years this was her home and it was where she founded Mithra, an organisation in the city of Chennai that is dedicated to educating and rehabilitating children with a disability, particularly those from the poorest sections of the community.

 

With all that she did, Sister Theodore had a funny way of describing her work. She would commonly refer to herself as ‘God’s donkey’. She would say, ‘That animal is me. That donkey knows how to serve. It was a donkey that carried Christ into Jerusalem. It is a simple creature but it knows when to resist and when to dig in its toes and be stubborn and fight.’

 

Dr Peter Gale at the University of South Australia has published a biographical account of Sister Theodore’s life and has appropriately titled it God’s Donkey. On 9 February I attended the book launch, which was presided over by Jennifer Byrne. By learning about why she chose that life-by understanding all that she did under such challenging circumstances-I am of the view that Sister Theodore’s story proved this simple point: just because you come from somewhere small like Brisbane does not mean you cannot achieve big things.

 

Sister Theodore strengthened Australia’s ties with some of India’s most vulnerable by creating an exchange program that brought Australian students to Mithra so they could help provide a helping hand. She strengthened these ties that bind us by proving to those children that we see them, that we care for them and that we have not forgotten about them when so many others have, and they loved her for that.

 

She was not Sister Theodore to them, she was ‘Mother’. It is people like her who give us heart. On 7 December 2012 she passed away after 86 years. ‘The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.’ Sister Theodore may no longer be with us, but we remember her in this book, in this world and in this place. She will forever be engrained in our past, and whether it is through the people that she helped and loved in Chennai, and particularly in Mithra, or those she inspired in South Brisbane, the work and vision of Sister Theodore will carry on into the future, and that is for certain.

 God’s Donkey was also launched on 15th January 2014 at 11.00am in the Divine Mercy Auditorium, Don Alberione Center, Mithra Campus.

God’s Donkey is published by Wakefield Press and available at http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1150&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

I was fortunate enough to be at the Indian Association for the Study of Australia Conference in Kerala, India, where Peter Gale spoke about Sister Theodore and Mithra.

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I hear the book is selling well, so be sure to order your copy from Wakefield Press; or ask for it in your local bookshop.

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