Nevil Shute Norway Foundation

Newsletter dated March 2010


FROM Keith De La Rue

I was in Sydney recently, and realised that there is a "Writers' Walk" at Circular Quay. I guess that many Sydney people will be well aware of this, but I hadn't heard about it before. Not sure if it has come to the attention of Foundation. You can read about it at:

"Writers Walk consists of 50 authors and quotes on the bronze plaques, embedded along the walkway from the Sydney Opera House on the eastern side of Circular Quay to the Museum of Contemporary Art on the western side of Circular Quay. Designed to commemorate and celebrate the lives of distinguished writers from Australia and overseas who in some way identified with Sydney or New South Wales."

Of course, one of the plaques is for Nevil Shute. It reads:

1899 - 1960
"It's a funny thing", Jean said.
"You go to a new country, and you expect everything to be different, and than you find there's such a lot that stays the same."

English writer Nevil Shute Norway is best known to Australians for his novels A Town like Alice (1950), Round the Bend (1951) and On the Beach (1957), the latter set in Melbourne and depicting the end of the world. Many of his 20 novels revolve around his war experiences, his travels and his knowledge of aircraft and weaponry.

FROM Gail Field

When attending my monthly old film club recently ( which screens films from the 30's to the 50's in a lovely old museum building where they also serve home made desserts with tea and coffee, they showed, as always, the shorts and news reels before the main feature. Included in the news reel was footage of the filming of On The Beach with shots of Melbourne being deserted, then people queuing up to get their suicide pills, and behind the scenes shots of Anthony Perkins and Gregory Peck. Another link here is the film I went to see was The Nun's Story starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter Finch, or Joe from A Town Like Alice as we know him.

FROM Dan Telfair

Greetings Fellow Shutists:

We are blessed with a Board of hard-working volunteers who manage our web site, run our libraries, publish our newsletter, oversee plans for and conduct our biennial gatherings, manage our scholarship program, maintain our finances and annual corporate reports, conduct research, etc. Our present Board composition is:

  • Heather Mayfield: President
  • John Anderson: Vice President, Chief of Staff and UK Chief of Research
  • Babette Hills: Secretary and Treasurer
  • David Dawson Taylor: Web Master and UK Librarian
  • Joost Meulenbroek: Newsletter Editor
  • Jim MacDougald: Original Board Member and Member at Large
  • Dan Telfair: Original Board Member and Member at Large
  • Laura Schneider: Conference Advisor and Member at Large

Key Personnel other than Board members:

  • Nancy Anderson: Australia Librarian
  • Gary Bartell: US Librarian

There are five essential positions on the Board; President, Vice President/Chief of Staff, Secretary/Treasurer, Web Master; and Newsletter Editor. There are three other essential positions which do not necessarily involve Board membership. Those are the three Librarians.

Each of these essential positions needs a back-up; someone who can assist and understudy the incumbent, and be ready to take over in the event the incumbent becomes indisposed. The back-up should also be a person who would be prepared to take over the position when the incumbent retires. The Vice President/Chief of Staff is the automatic back-up for the President. That is the only position that is automatically covered.

Our provision of back-ups for other essential positions has worked to some extent in the past, but we have never had really adequate coverage. Babette was an excellent back-up for me as Secretary/Treasurer, and eventually took over that position. John was my back-up for Vice President/Chief of Staff, and took over that position last year. Other than those two, our provision for back-ups has been spotty at best.

For a time, I served as the de facto back-up for everyone and, at various times, have had to step in to take over as Vice President/Chief of Staff, Web Master, Newsletter Editor, US Librarian, etc. I am still the back-up for John as Vice President/Chief of Staff, and for Babette as Secretary/Treasurer. I am not aware of any other positions with back-ups at this time.

We are in a relatively calm period now where all the essential functions are filled by members who will likely serve for some time to come. Still, it would be prudent to fill all back-up positions before an acute need arises. Also, my serving as back-ups for John and Babette is not a satisfactory solution. Although I have held both positions in the past, I am not willing to take over either on a permanent basis in the future. They both need back-ups who would be prepared to eventually replace them.

The purpose of this letter is two-fold. First, I encourage each member holding an essential position in the Foundation to recruit and train a suitable back-up/ eventual replacement. Second, I encourage any member who would be willing to take on these responsibilities, and who feels that he or she is capable of meeting the responsibilities involved, to communicate with the person he or she would be willing to assist.

The time to prepare for eventualities is now, when things go smoothly with the Foundation - not after a crisis has occurred.


Dan Telfair,

Board Member at Large

FROM Charles D

The March 2010 issue of Aviation History has a list of the best Aviation Movies.

"No Highway in the Sky" won in two categories. They also selected "Dirigible" (1931)which I knew nothing about. It might be interesting since it probably was filmed in 1930, at the time of the R101 crash. I get the impression that it is about the Zeppelin. It would show some contemporary details. Not out on DVD yet.

FROM John Anderson


I just bought some copies of Trustee from the Toolroom. These are now produced by Random House in their Vintage Classic series.

They are also available through Amazon and other online booksellers. The books are, in some cases "print on demand", so if they are not in stock may take a little time to be delivered - mine took about 10 days. Whilst the quality is perhaps not quite so good as the House of Stratus productions, they make perfectly acceptable reading copies. However they do have a rather boring plain red cover.

Perhaps the absence of a cover illustration keeps the cost down ? The UK retail price is £8.99

FROM Laura Schneider


By a unanimous vote last August in York, it was decided that the 7th biennial Nevil Shute Norway Conference will be held next year in Seattle, Washington. The date for the conference will be determined within the next few months. The planning is in the very early stages and all conference information will be posted here. If anyone is interested in assisting with the conference, please contact me at Seattle is a fabulous city and we're going to have a wonderful time !


Well that was it for this month. I am very much looking forward to go to Seattle next year. But before that there is going to be a Shute weekend in the UK. This weekend will be form the 25th until the 27th of June this year. The program looks very interesting. For further info, please contact John Anderson. I will be there for sure, and hope to meet many of you.

From the Netherlands, where it is cold, wet and very windy, seen you all next month. Oh, and remember copy for the newsletter is always welcome.


Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.


Jim Wells Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse Canberra
James Fricker Melbourne
Tommy and Polly Thomas Tumbi Umbi, NSW
Jane Lowe Berridale, NSW


Mike Marsh Chepelare


Harvey Fetterly Winnipeg, Manitoba


Joost Meulenbroek Enschede


Julian Stargardt


Gadepalli Subrahmanyam Vizianagaram


Robert Davis


Håkan Larsson lives in Löberöd


Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok


Jim & Kristi Woodward Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.
Priscilla Pruitt Bellingham, Washington State
Bill McCandless Joliet near Chicago.
Joy Hogg, Harrietta Michigan, Northern lower Michigan, near Traverse City and Cadillac
David B. Horvath, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia
Mary L Barnich St Petersburg, Florida
Art Cornell Cape Cod
Bob King Stanwood, WA
Dave Penniman Newtonville, NY
Jim MacDougald St Petersburg, Florida
Alan Gornik Western Springs, IL
Bob Schwalbaum Honolulu
Mike Miller Chariton, IA
Sally M Chetwynd Wakefield, Massachusetts
John Cooper San Antonio, Texas
Barry Barnes Reno NV
Jim Sterling Modesto, California
Kit Lauen Edina Mn (Minneapolis)
Steve King 30 miles north of Seattle
George Norcross New Mexico
Merle Bedell Buford, Georgia
LauraSchneider New Jersey, Eastern PA, New York
Ray Wilder Jamestown Kentucky
Nate Benedict Friday Harbor, Washington
Jim Tierney Simi Valley, CA
Jim Janelle Hermon, Maine
Russell C. Coile Pacific Grove (140m south of San Francisco, CA)
Rev. Fr. Daniel Beegan Rumford ME