Spend an evening with a true Australian character
This Saturday in Molong is your chance to catch a fireside performance with the legendary Frank Povah.
A printer, writer, folklorist, pigeon-fancier, musician and raconteur — it is hard to put a label on Frank Povah, whose curriculum vitae reads like something out of a 19th century novel.
In his time Frank, 76, has tried his hand tin-mining, fruit picking, been a deckhand, dockside curry cook, sideshow spruiker, meatworker and laboured in a Kiwi fish market.
A hand compositor by trade (literally setting metal and wooden type by hand, letter by letter for printing) Frank has spent 60 years in and out of the printing game, adapting to all the various technical innovations in the industry right through to the digital age.
Frank has authored books on Australian folklore and wrote a long-running column on Aussie lingo for Australian Geographic; a magazine he was also copy editor of for more than 30 years.
(The story goes that Frank got the job after sending an irate letter about the numerous mistakes in the first issue of the magazine and a few weeks later received a package of proofs, with a letter signed by the editor and Dick Smith saying something like, ‘If you can do better; show us!’)
Raised in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia, Frank has travelled all over Australia, and spent time in New Zealand, Canada and US.
A highly-regarded musician, he is thought to be among the first to perform traditional blues music in Australia and was a member of one of the first two jug bands in the Country.
He has a love for traditional blues, the music of Appalachia, old Australia tunes and performs an eclectic mix of songs picked up over six decades.
Hours of Frank’s music and stories have been recorded for the Archive of the National Library of Australia.
Frank is never short of a story, a poem or a song and it is near impossible to find a topic he doesn’t have some knowledge of.
You can catch Frank Povah from 7pm Saturday 4 August at the Freemasons Hotel in Molong.
The Winter Fire Festival gets underway Friday evening. For more information and the full program of events visit www.orangewinterfirefestival.com.au