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Candy Devine: from a cabaret in Cairns to Belfast's Downtown Radio

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52:56 min | 1 year ago

Candy Devine: from a cabaret in Cairns to Belfast's Downtown Radio

"This is an A._B._C. podcast. My guest today is famous. Cloud Faye has also gone by the name Candi Devine that was her professional name in a long career as singer and radio broadcaster fe grew up in north Queensland but she spent over forty years in Ireland and ended up hosting a cult radio show in Belfast and that made fave really the first black person to have a public role in Northern Ireland. She now lives back in Queensland on a farm with one of her sons and his family. The celebrity Schiff allstate McLeod recorded this conversation with Fay in Twenty Eighteen Hi Sarah tell me about your parents say. Where was your dad from the World No prejudice in our family? There's no room for because just a bit of everything. Daddy was born in the tar straight islands of a Filipino father his name was Pedro Guevara and came out as a Perla and his mother was a mixture of English direct descendant of the Earl of Grantham William Pitt the man who gave us income mm tax was very heavily involved in Wakeford the slave trade and the West indies and he they set up a business there the pits and my great grandfather one of the descendants douglas he became a slave trader as well. I mean if he were here today. I'd be slapping his wrists. I really would and he was quite a fearsome character and he sailed the South Pacific in tandem with a guy called bully hayes and bully Hayes was also a blackbird and I mean they sailed around together and probably what each other's backs pirates they really were. They made a film about it. Actually Burt Lancaster played the role of Billy Hayes but anyway eventually the bottom fell out of this the slave trade because William Pitt decided not through any goodness of his heart but probably because it was in Britain's best financial interests to get rid of the slave trade Britain's sounds involvement in the slave trade so my great-grandfather I'm here with these guys left with nothing much to do so he switched his operation to ferrying missionaries talk about garden from one extreme to the other if they were mostly people from the London Missionary Society and he would have taken them here there and everywhere and during his travels he stopped at leafy island where he saw and fell in love with with a princess of the island the print the daughter of the chief called severe of Sapphire but you ever takes your fancy and he fought to do for her fair you making this up. I know my mother-in-law. You couldn't make it up. You cannot get up before did you over and took care of two Danley islands now gold Arab where he set up his his base the base for his operations and he continued sailing from there and he left. It's my great grandmother there on this island. She was just a young woman. She didn't know the language she had no support there. She had no family. It was just take away and this is your Ohio and these people will look after you and because they did and she gave him six children and he side to children to another woman on the island deter straight on island lady and one of those children was my granny and another son Pope Arabia's. We called him uncle Robbie so these were the two the two offspring of the genuine tar straight people he was fearsome character he whoa this is cross straps leather straps but the bullets the rose bullets he will he wore those everywhere. Did Your Dad grow up in the Torres. Strait in the Torres Strait is and his because his father had come over as a pillow and he married my granny who was fourteen idea when they got married and he mafia and his brother's not allowed out on the boats into leg to sit nate but anyway they hey eventually went out in the boat and they're all sorts of tales that I can remember that is telling us one was he was a great round drinker my great grandfather and he get drunk on Rahman. Many go down to his cabinet wherever sleep but off the day maybe days who knows and when they could smell flesh burning on the boat so someone said Oh you better get you better get your grandfather bring them bring them up so he came up and apparently one of the crew had been standing ending with his leg against pipe was like an exhaust pipe from a car and it was burning his flesh and he didn't know it and then they realized they had leprosy on the boat. Oh my all sorts of things like and with these stories at your dad would tell you as we're growing as my dad and my uncle frank so how did he come to be in Kansas then you will. They came down when the bottom started to fall out of the pearling industry they came down and they worked as cane-cutters cutters. My father was a cane cutter he and his brother Uncle Frank Cocaine cutters for twenty seven years such hard hard work and this is kind cutting just with a machete those nine with a little hook at the end backbreaking work and of course what they do or did and presumably still do they go off burn off the field to get rid of all the the infestation like snakes and rats and what have you and then they go in and they they cut it from the very as near to the ground backbreaking work he did that for twenty seven years and one day there was an Indian man he lived up the road from us and my mother was always one of those very kind women you know she would say look this bit of extra food here taken get up to Mr Hendra or go up and see if Mr Hindu wants anything to be put into the washing so one day he came down and he said to my father. What do you want to do with your life that you said what you mean? Is it your own this house. Daddy said here we are in this house and it was a half a house. They used to call it the Hafer House on the corner because as it was the House that Jack built you know as they made more money. They built on an extra bit so anyway. He said he says well. You must have some ambition Nsen. I'd like to own my own farm said okay. It's land and Daddy said nerve land. He said all right how much you get for this House and Daddy said I don't know he said you find out came up one day and he said today he made him an offer. He said Look I've got land. I've got three three hundred sixty five acres of virgin scrubland in the wet belt place called Garrod Donga outside of Innisfail your ago from the north. You'll know it and he said I will tell you this land. Are you ready for this for three three pound an Acre now when I tell you it was virgin scrubland it was it had never been touched so we were always wonderful. Trees like Sukiar seed would paperback you name it but if it's Virgin Scotland how do you go about growing cane in that Ghana contributed. Don't you so that they would go in first of all I brought in the timber merchants and my father was just a simple man. I mean they left school. At fourteen. He worked on the luggage and then he worked in the cane fields but but he he had this this he had two beautiful mind on a beautiful heart and he thought well they're not going to go in and just the flatten this this jungle we had our own natural creek spring water that star property was on a mountain that went down to the beach Sh- it was God given so anyway he said you you take what timber we need to service our needs so they went in and they started taking the timber and then that sort of founded under the first part of the operation and then with the help of of hand permanent handed he took on they went in and tucked on all the undergrowth and then they cut down the saplings and then they the biggest trees and then they loved it they failed it. They have to burn out the stumps and they did that. For the first twelve acres in they dug the furrows and my father went ahead and dug the holes with a matic. Doc and my wonderful mother who was game for anything came behind him and planted the first six of Cain on those first twelve acres by hand. I was your Mama. Torres tried Olander underwrote she wasn't she was half Danish him that was from Denmark and I was either Antoinette often said and her father was from Salon. Are you ready for this. We more royalty. Let's should've picked me my T._R.. He was the nephew of the Maharani of salon the time and he'd come out to Australia as jeweler but it was the lure of the gold it was it was a bit a bit of a wheeler dealer and it was the gold that attracted him so anyway he when Mommy was eighteen she was married by proxy to the amount around his nephew and she wouldn't go. She refused she said don't speak the language. I don't know anything about the Culture Jarreau tradition. I'm not going anywhere. She might have regretted that issue is putting the cane stores in your dad she didn't he said You keep your hand. You Servants Communion Bay than donkeys milk. She's a service dog uh-huh. How did she meet Your Dad? When grandma had mummy grandma these locker in the house bolted from the outside and there was a little Maltese farmer who lived up the road and he used to hear screaming screaming during the day when grandfather went out and so he went down one day and said <hes> I'm here and I'm going to help you and he let her out and helped her escape? So she went back to her family and and <hes> eventually she left she went to dial on and she must have been such a strong woman and I don't know if she married him or she lived with him but with a Japanese gentlemen and the reason she did that was so that when she was seen with him and the child they would look like a family unit. I mean what what a heroin. What a hero I mean? This was her sacrifice for her child so anyway one day mommy was standing at the front gate and grandmother came out and have Brittle Danish way said to ivy you see that man across the right and there was a man standing across the street wearing a white suit the white Panama hat brown shoes and a Goldfarb. That was his uniform. That was my grandfather her father. The child's grandmother said to have a good look at him because at your real father the child was four. She thought her father was in the House so anyway he came every day and started handing sweeties over and toys and eventually he decided he wanted to she mrs Johnson he was having so he took grandmother to court and what are the courts do in those in those days I mean she was this little mixed extract child who had no rights really. They weren't really interested in her story so they said to. With whom do you want to live. Do you live with your daddy with your mummy well. Of course she said Daddy because he was the one he was giving stuff every day over the fence so she read a great with grandfather lived with him and he oh when I think of it is just horrendous out sometime. He realized that he was incapable of looking after this this child so so he put her in one of those gray buildings in an orphanage so she grew up your mom grew up in and then she stayed till she was sixteen and she was taught to do samplers so clean wash to do all that domestic stick stuff and at sixteen she was put up to service and eventually she found a way to dial in which she decided she was going to set up a business as a as a dressmaker she was a very good seamstress. My mother and it was wild. She was out there that she did a trip to cans and sorry teller lie she didn't she went to This Day island now why she went to those day island but and that's where she met Daddy and whenever he and his his brother brother my uncle frank were going up to to T._i.. Thursday island and they would at the end of the cane cutting season the word would go out the Guevarra pit brothers coming to time because who can sit good marriage material us so mommy used to make all the dresses for the girls the big darts for the pit brothers and of course. She was made her own last didn't she. She knew what everyone else was wearing name Emma so she got him you mom and Dad ran a music club in cans. What was the name of they form this <hes> this music company called the tropical troubadours and they travel all around the north and really had tremendous potential? I wish I brought some photographs it just absolutely fantastic and at that time a lot of the people in that in that group were related there were chasms. Oh second cousins brothers or whatever whatever and three of the women one of him was my mother they were married and I got pregnant naturally so the show had to come to a close so then after some time mommy thought Mommy was cleaning that he was cane-cutting. He was a weekend husband. The man was working as a house Zoya she was she was amazing. She did everything and dress making and and grandma laundry during the war for the American servicemen Oh you name it so she thought we'd better do something here because there's nothing there's nothing for people like us to do because they weren't accepted at the white dancers. There was just nothing so anyway they started to club and we've had I think the most unfortunate name was called the colored social clubs offers so un-imaginative but they formed a proper committee and they did everything and and what sort of choice would be on they had dances. They started ended up with Saturday night dancers. They had the first American Jazz Band East come and play Jordan Roscoe. I think was the guy's name then they had theme nights said that would have had an Hawaiian night and Bala knees night and the Cuban night the French night and all these shows would be in carrier graft. Daddy would have done the music and the costumes remember in you the costume okay. What did they wait for the Hawaiian grass goods that were made out of rope and I can remember the verandah rounder of as being strung up these this rope was strung up all the way and daddy and his buddies would have come in they were teasing all this rope and like MC MC grammy waistband if you can imagine and so the rope who's just ideal because we have lovely weights would swing and I show they did was was an Hawaiian night and I would have been about seven and myself and my cousin Dulcie who was one of the children who was born from the tropical tributo days? He's so anyway she she and I came on as attendance and this enormous rose was carried on by these gorgeous gorgeous tar straight island men flanked by the hula dancers right so the Rosewood was lowered and Dulcie and I were data and we pulled down the pedals and from it emerged my sister well you can imagine the gas would come and see these. It sounds wonderful. All the people all people do the Torres Strait island acuity. You'll be on mixed race. There were Filipinos Chinese Malays were just just a turtle mix but they became so popular popular the prejudices start to break down it ended up being literally a black White Brown and brindle situation it was fantastic and then the they when I say that traveled him taking the show to Mossman for a night table somewhere like that and if someone was sick guessing stood in for him well this is it did you start. Performing is the beginning of your performing can remember that for the balcony show and they did a sung mummy Sanger oh by R._e._I.. When twilight is deepen this guy by all right come out and wear it with a girl who was sick unto where her costume which had to be taken in and dance on one of those forty four gallon drums that? That'd been cut in half. I just I honestly I thought it was very gray. Getting lessons music lessons as well from early h yes I started learning music. When I was six? I started piano when I was six and from the day I learned how to play Colonel Bogey Datum Body but I was playing the marching that was the marching tube for the kids. Coming into school spoke my first performances. Would you play with your family at home. Play music to get all the time I mean as Great Party House and they were always guitars and people singing and people down seeing and yes very very much so were you playing music at high school to this is playing music. They're very much doing exams because remember when I did my first diploma exam this wonderful Teacher System Ariella wishes and they had to make me look older. It was the first time I ever ever wore makeup and put my hair up. My mother made Corduroy Navy blue suit with a little cream color and shoes it had heels honestly I thought I was twenty seven. I wasn't those fifteen or sixteen and the reason they did that was because the examiner probably would fail to me on the grounds of my being too young and therefore not having an understanding or a passion for the music so anyway the bluff work tonight via. What did you think that you wanted to do when you left school? What was the dreams of the young fe first of all? I thought I'll be a concert pianist. I'll be the next Eileen Joyce and then now that Polynesian side of me was the do you want to practice with four to six hours a day. Nah I loved it but did I love it that much. Did I want to give up my whole life. I saw myself dancing on that forty four. Get lendrum doing other of that stuff anyway I taught for a while and then I got a scholarship to go to the crease. I'm con but I didn't finish because the lure of lights was still there and I was made an offer to go to Sydney and that that was it. What was the offer facility to go and work at a place called the Copenhagen in Sydney and I can remember the first day I went there? I was FAVARA which is the family name and there was the man who managed the place was a guy called Harry gold and he'd just come back from America Erica and do you know how a lot of people go to America for a weekend comeback with an American accent and chewing gum God bless Harry when he was one of those and he said to me he said I think we're going to change your name kid and I said sorry he said Yeah. candi devine can't be it's got a ring to it and I thought no one's going to change my name and I can remember finding my mother and I said they ought to change by name to camping divine. She thought forbid bit. She was very wise and she said well that could be a good thing and I said I'm going to be a good thing and I said the name of his trip to did so anyway. She said well. She's a new can hide behind and that name she said you can you can keep your fate of our life private. She said so you've got your work name and your private name and that Scandi born candy was born. You also started working in TV in Sydney Sydney. What shows were you working on? Johnny O'Keefe the Johnny O'Keefe shows we used to do those. I can remember having to get up at five thirty on the day because we would reserve rehearsal and the show went live at six o'clock and the reason I had to be up so early because everything was franchise in those days and are here was being done by one of the hair salons Sydney and because my hair was so thick and so long it took half the day to dry Tiki work work on skippy mature. Yes I did what character we playing. Your character called Muna. I think machine aboriginal she was she had been taken to live with this couple. Who've missionaries they decided that she had potential as a singer but she had been she was supposed to marry the son of the chief? She was a bit of a bold Madame says she said I'm not marrying him. Oh Man I'm going off and I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to be using it happened. So did you enjoy it. What did he get to meet the kangaroo? Did you get skippy and met more. Yes it was lovely. It was more please. I love that so it sounds like it was a lot going on for you in Sydney. Why did he decide to up sticks and try your luck in the that took? My manager said at the time because I had just done skip your had done. I did a television series for the A._B._C.. It was all the work was there had male film with Keith Michelle and he said to me. Why would you want go overseas? You know you're in on the ground floor here. It's all happening now but DNA you can't tell young woman anything can you and also we get to a stage that stage in our alive. You're young woman where you get itchy feet and you want to see what's on the other side of the world so I decided I noticed that I'm going and then I'll I said to my parents. I'll be back in three years little. Did I know forty four years later. Where was your first London Gig? It was at a club called the ESTA club right in the heart of the city and remember the penis was an Australian and he was going out with Olivia Newton John at the time she came in and and watch me rehearse worse and there was the maitre. D.'s name was Mr John's lovely little man. I said to Mr John I have a policy that I don't fraternize with the customers and this place had hostesses. Okay say no more and I said I don't threaten us with the customers I said and if anyone wants to buy me a drink a sit just make up a cocktail of something because I was really a non drinker and also I was driving back to my digs. I said and charging what you like. I didn't want to know about that. Make It look interesting so one ninety came to me and he said Miss Divine. We've a couple of very good customers in tonight who would like to join them for a drink and I said oh Mr John is if you look at what real really mean very big tip for me I imagined he had shoeless children and now is introduced to these men Reginald and account remember his brother's name cry which meant nothing to me <music> nothing they cry twin the Kray twins so on the way over to the table he said Oh by the way says I know. I know that you don't drink it but if they ask you would you please say champagne pink because obviously getting caught so anyway. I said Yeah Okay so he was introduced. It was all very formal sat down. I can even remember Sarah what I was wearing. What were you wearing Gold Lama coats once you call it the crate so anywhere he said and <hes> they said what are you having to drink champagne please pink so that brought champagne and he pulled me little lass which I drank and there was there was a bit of small talk and eventually? They said he didn't have another drink and I say oh no no thank you very very much. I have to be going now and he said no sit down. have another drink and I said no honestly I have to go and suddenly I realized it was getting serious and I said my mother's waiting for me. I write in Australia. I I said that the baby needs fed. There was not was no baby and he said he started lifting his pocket can remember the both wearing white suits and he started putting things on the table and he said when I tell you to sit down and have another drink girl I mean and you just sit down and he pointed a gun at me. Now I could have died on the spot or a minute later but I there's something in my head went no not having this an I rose to my feet and I said Mr Cray I have traveled three quarters of the way around the world on my own and quite honestly you do not frighten me. Thank you very much for the drink and good night and I walked off and I got to the door the entrance to the dressing room area and I- I slid on the other side of the door and I kept watching the door thinking they're going to come and kill me. They didn't come so I lifted myself up shaking. Like crazy and got into my car and drove back to my digs and every night after that I'd go onto the stage and I'd scan the audience to see if they were in the never came back and podcast broadcast. This is conversations with Sarah Noski A._B._C.. Uh they after Philly dramatic arrival in the U._k.. Where you survive that pink champagne with the Kray brothers you went over and worked in Ireland? Who did he meet backstage one night in Dublin I was standing backstage waiting to go on and do you remember an article J G Devlin remember that name he was in and I've been talking to Jimmy and and the next thing I heard my name being introduced and just as I approach the door my husband was he was the agent who had taken me over with your husband yet? No it wasn't my husband yet. Some strange who was just a Mr ten percent and he was sitting with one of his buddies. It was also an agent and he said I heard him say to him. Hasn't that girl got a beautiful face he said isn't it a pity. She's let her body go to seed so I thought yes. I knew you were typical. Mr Ten percent so that was not a very auspicious start to America tucked got to wear the back of my brain and the next time I went back to Belfast is based in London and Manchester I went back and I had trimmed down to about eight stone to something and and Yeah I won that war with me. It was a joke. I didn't think I was going to fall for him and I did. What is it that you fell for? What did you like about him? His lame poodle the way he's played a blame lame. I know I know trying to think is that brand of car is that a lame poodle was just a poodle at limp and his the way he spoke about his mother. My mother used to say to me just look at the way a man treats his mother and that's how he'll treat you and his father died when he was eleven so whether there'd been a deathbed wish other no be sure you look after him but he did. He was very good too and very good to me so that was it I was hooked and what were you performing. What kind of songs were you singing in that era of your career and good pop and jazz and Blues Not really the sort of music the Northern Ireland to be honest with you? They're they're mostly into country music there in fact one of Donald's friends my husband. One of his friends said to in one day. Do you know if you turn her into a female Charley Pride. You'll make an the thought. I said it's not going to happen so you got married to. What was your wedding like? I was working in the gaiety theatre Dublin a summer season and an Emma season meant what every night in a theatre the gaiety theatre and and we did matinees as well and at the end of the season he said I especially should get married in the last night that would be fun and so we did get married that day and <hes> we had our reception after the show in the green room for cast of thousands it was wonderful. Why did the two of you move to Belfast Northern Ireland because Donald had an office in Belfast and also because he had been married before and and divorced when I met him and he had three children from his first marriage and unfortunately his first wife life had also married yeah she she went and she has to yes so he we just re- relocated to to Belfast and we'll go from being like one child family to floor overnight? which was that was pretty interesting time of life did that take a little bit of getting used to for you as a mother probably for me more than any of them I mean children thrive on on discipline and routine and as long as if they're boys as long as they fared and nurtured and guided all that stuff and <hes> but I was the one he is you know my the child I had mothered my biological? John was ellison and so if it's a mother's natural instinct to cuddle her child and if ever I gave him a cuddle immediately jump up and go looking for the the children because I didn't want them to be left out but you sort of settled down things become normal after awhile you arrived in Belfast I think in nineteen nine hundred seventy six which is just when the troubles starting. When did you first become become aware of what was going on politically in place? You've moved the night that the troubles broke out we'd be working Donny Golden. We came back three dairy and we saw guys being marched down the street by the police in riot gear and have these fellas and head lot and he'd been pulling taking the the bronx stones out of the dairy walled be forever and don't see what's going on and they said look this particular. Go back. Put Your foot down and and and John and go back and I said I'm not going back. I'm not going back. There's no way we just have to get out of this so he put his foot down and we just drove straight through that was the night the troubles broke out and then we had twenty nine years of it said it that reality reality become just part of your fabric of everyday life. We always on edge fay leaving you are it's a bit like the social worker who's working with families that are broken up when he goes home and he puts up to bed and if he doesn't he he can't do the job and it's a bit like that and there I was going to work every day on the radio you know dislike and so you hit that Mike and there's a smile in the voice with automic he was scared and my name was on a hit list but not any mind but my husband's my children just because I was a celebrity in inverted commas anyone who was known there would <unk> more publicity from killing me or my child would be from killing Joe Bob Blogs and his child would just the way it works but the other thing the thing that I really had to my advantage was a Australian it'd be I had to Dusky complexion and see I didn't take any nonsense even even on the radio you know if people started to get a bit I would was very quick to put on my mummy image and and so it meant that if there was a job to be done in an area on either area Catholic side or Protestant side that might have been considered dangerous. I would be sent because you are now this wouldn't wouldn't it wasn't that similar to Catholics would say oh well. She's one of us because we were raised Catholic. Yes and the other side would say she might be a Catholic but she's not an Irish one. It's is incredible isn't it. The husband's family have any concerns about him marrying you as a Catholic sake is it when Donald win time he said to his mother of met this girl and she doesn't know it yet but I'm going to marry her and she said and who is. She says she's go county divine and he said she said <hes> oh. He said she's foreign. She said how foreigners she did and he said she's Australia. Barnaby Nice. That'll be nice to having Australian last in the family and the third of editor of a lot so he said she's black. She said Oh is she. Oh that'd be wonderful. Many said she's Catholic. She said how could you but he ended up being very good friend wonderful understanding so as you say you were working on the radio on the station called downtown radio station was it what what did they play everything but we played. It everything chart music guy you know so much of it had to be Irish produced music county music classical music new name. It was right across the ball. Did you have much interaction with listeners much. Talk Back. Yes <hes> I used to do I did. I did an afternoon program which was partly talk back and at nights I did pretty serious sort of interviews where we stipend the values we covered all sorts of issues like it might've of being religious issues the changing face of religion it might have been education marine various aspects of heralds like AIDS or whatever and you know what it is you will in the experts you asking the question over the phone lines and and the free for all this might be in my own cultural prejudice favorite were some of those talkback callers just that little bit more entertaining because they were Arush. Oh yeah really humor is just amazing. I mean wonderful stories. I remember one day I was on air. Lady came aim on. She said I'm just back from Australia said wonderful. Where were you living? She said Ad laid and I said Oh great no edlund. She said we had a lovely Open Plan Bungalow there candy nights. You said you'd have loved it. I said I'm sure would and so I said what's story and she said well she said she used to come every day and leave the push open the back door and leave the two loaves of bread on the on the bench and the kitchen she says and it was a really hot summer's day and I was just cleaned the house and I to have a shower and I stepped out from the shower unit and she said I remember I'd love to put all the towels in the wash. She says so. I thought well there's no one home so she said I was tippy toeing through the House with not not a stitch home she said I'm suddenly the door pushed open and she said I thought Oh my God. It's the baker she said so Iran and the nearest place to hide was the utility room she said I'm standing there. Dripping wet as quiet as a mouse and the door utility room opened she and it was the Gasman he'd come to read the meter she said and I looked at him with a shocked expression survey since in one terribly sorry I thought you would the baker. GEICO audiences like with quite conservative in terms of what they were happy to talk about as a Northern Ireland in particular it can be quite puritanical things bubbling under all the time you just bring it to the surface. There's a lot of top totting. Did you know many other people who looked like you you know in Bellefonte. That's probably another reason why I was accepted in those early days because I was just a novelty I mean they were there at the university that not many but now because you know the the percentage is gone as gone up. One of the the shows that you worked on on radio in Belfast was a romance shower late night. Romance show called Dateline how did that shy come jammed bait as he producer was in Australia gyco Don Rossborough on holiday in here this idea and he came back and he says I German idea he said Joe that I think you should be doing and and you know what you can never just rip off a show you do but with a twist ocher so and I said John It's not going to work. This is Northern Ireland. The people are so far too puritanical and not going to come on and talk about themselves and he said bullets just try it and it just just took off so what was the premise. How did it work? Oh well you would come on and tell me about yourself this old on the phone and then and then you tell me about the sort of person you would like to meet and and then anyone listening to you would think Oh yes. Sarah sounds like a nice lady. I wouldn't mind that with the right to you. Care of us and we'd sit out the mail was sort of give them like the little warning. If if you are meeting someone meet in a public place and all so you like audio classifieds yes and what sort of things did people say they were looking for. I mean did it vary much between the men and women of bells and the rent men were amazing amazing because they always they lied through their teeth all methodists this deadly one with earning -ception male would say I don't look starting better as long as she's got a good personality. I would sit there thinking year right. What about the women? What did they want? Usually most of them wanted a husband and we had a few weddings really yes. Did you ever go along to those. No we were invited. We're was indicted. The station would send them off a gift or something but I mean you have to sort of. Keep a bit of distance. I can remember we did a show in prison Christmas show in the prisons with dateline the daily show dateline but just on the wedding thing and there's a women's prison across the road now how they got to meet I don't know but Apogee said to me. Can you're talking to people don't took Nice fellas over there and a window and there were three men and I was sitting with knife pleat jeans and white trainers and their hair sort of short beckham sides and they all they all look like legal illegals on a day off and so I- window is and then this is how the conversation went preacher them drought on if you've been in on the LAIFA. Are you spending your time. I'm studying law the Ryen awards that that's what they did so anyway as I was leaving these guys one of them said to me candy. Do me a favor and I said if I can. He said you see that we went over there the dark hair he said that's my we. Anna and I said he was giving each other surreptitious waves so he said just tell her I love our city. Okay seventy I went across it turned out that she had been <hes> she was a Catholic and was involved in a very big bomb in Northern Ireland which which several several people were killed and he shot policemen and army by the both bad children so anyway the mets and they sent me an invitation to their wedding at please come her family had disowned her because she was a Catholic marrying someone from the other side his family had disowned him because he was marrying a because he was marrying a Catholic and amazing because both of them had been heavily involved in terrorism and somehow that fall in love while in prison and anyway anyway. I couldn't go to wearing the station sentiment president. I write my very nice letter and the next time I heard from them they were living happily in America. They've been relocated to marry new names so you know a spouse can be happily ever after for some people living in that situation. How many years were you on downtown radio? By the time Mu retired faith thirty nine a long time audit is I worked right up to two days before I left to come back to Australia and what was that final cy like buckets tears friends popping in listeners popping in people bringing down food and presence and it was a very big part of our life and <hes> you know it's it's one thing to go to settle in another man's country but to be accepted by the people as one of them is very special thing you know and I I always used to say to people if I was giving a speech I I would say to you know as you say to them. You know I love this country in respected and I should hide that if ever you go down my to my place that <hes> you would you'd them. The big the courtesy you are more than just accepted. You got some pretty big awards at the end of that career. It was nice. It was a great Sarah aren't they but I haven't had the awards like what happened. They well they the great right because you get the award but there are lots of people who've helped you along the way they're producers their directors their manages their the wee girl in the office. I the receptionist saying Nice thing about things about guest arrives in. That's still building a profile so yeah I got an M._B._a.. From the Queen did you get to meet the Queen. I know because he would was made here. Yeah and Prince William just happened to be here at the time and they thought that it might be made in Sydney and then it was changed but it was Nice Nice so these place that you felt at harming that you'd leave really lot of your adult life in. Why did you decide to leave and come back to Australia fe? I always said I would over. She said my husband as much as I love you and as much as I love this country and I do. It's my other home. I I wanted to be buried back in my time and then when when Donald died and Alliston my my youngest son was out here and number two summers thirty lives in Melbourne and they were putting pressure on me to come home and I thought well he he said if you go to retire it would be easy if you to come home and retire so I thought well he'll do it so I came. I've no regrets I am you know because over the years I was a prolific letter writer once we got the social media met just made it so much easier so I came back to a safety net of friends family old school friends and I got involved with the charity group astounded painting being a started doing things keeping my mind active and so I have a life. Did you mom or dad come and visit you in house. What did they make a loved it there? They I loved it. There became daddy came once I stayed for a year and then after that he died mummy came over and she stayed with me for year and they loved it. They loved love domain. Everyone called him looks in pops. Everybody all our friends quite a contrast to a cane farm in northern Queensland absolutely isn't it <hes> but they they just sort of fell into it. My father was a very quiet man he didn't he's. He's the only person I've ever met with him. You could see the room and not speak and yet not be embarrassed by the silence that that was him and he used to call me the cans post when I was a little girl especially talking the sun. The Sun that you had with Donald Alliston is a very well known shave. Does he get that cooking Jane from you. It's probably a family thing you know. My mother was a wonderful cook and there's that that tradition of eating isn't there with the tourist rate people the item people. It's things built around a feast a wedding a wedding unless there's a feast of someone dies is East so we grew up with them. That Alastair has always said you know where we lived. In in in Belfast there were all smells emanating from our kitchen that you wouldn't have spelt from other homes around and that's probably true so and also from my husband's side my his grandmother was an award-winning Baker. She's C._W._A.. Standing but you know she made cakes and stuff like that Jusoh was winning awards so I suppose it's automatically in his DNA Vienna. Have you swapped roles a little bit now. Being backyard imagine going policy was known as your son is now known as he's Mazda McLeod Zimbabwe. Yes it's amazing using that isn't it because I thought Oh my egos bruised if not not and these still saying if I was going to walk past your place now I hear you humming along or something new. Sometimes you Italian his wedding but to breeding goes you know unless you're doing it every day but if you find if I know I've gotta do something then I go out and seeing to the trees and decent breathing exercises and tried to get myself into it would shape but the power of bluff is is an interesting learned to breathe with conviction in places where you shouldn't be breathing. It is an absolute pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for coming into conversation. Thanks for having me <music> the day one <music>. Let's run ah closing <music> Knox never more <music> <music> ooh uh introduce aw <music> <music> the days of one in roses song in nineteen sixty six by my guest today fe mccloud Faye was singing under her stage name Candi the divine on the A._B._C. T._v.. Program be outguessed. I'm Sarah Inaki. Thanks for listening. You've been listening to a podcast of conversations.

Belfast Australia Daddy Northern Ireland Sarah Sydney America Mr John Torres Strait Ireland Donald Alliston Uncle Frank Candi Devine Queensland Mommy Dublin Burt Lancaster Torres Kansas
Candy Devine's life on the air

Conversations

52:42 min | 2 years ago

Candy Devine's life on the air

"This is an ABC podcast. My guest on conversations today is famous cloud. Faye has also gone by the name Candi Devine Candi Devine with phase professional name in a long career as a singer and a radio broadcast up. She grew up in north Queensland, but spent over forty years in Ireland and ended up hosting a cold radio show in Belfast, which might her really the first black posts into have a public role in Northern Ireland faint our lives back in Queensland on a farm with one of her sons and his family the celebrity chef our stuff McLeod high Fe. Hi, sir. Tell me about your parents Faye. Where was your dad from the world? No prejudice in our family. There's no room for because we just did everything. Daddy was born in the tar straight islands of Filipino father. His name was petro Guevarra and came out as a Perla. And his mother was a mixture of English direct descendant of the Grantham William Pitt the man who gave us income tax and was very heavily involved in wavered, the slave trade and the West Indies, and he they set up a business there the pits and my great grandfather was one of the descendants. Douglas. He became a slave trader as well. I mean, if he were here today, I'd be slapping his wrists. I really would. And he was quite a fearsome character. And he sailed the South Pacific in tandem with a guy called bully Hayes and bully Hayes was also a Blackbird. And I mean, they say around together and probably what each other's backs pirates. They really were they made a film about it actually Burt Lancaster played the role of bully Hayes. But anyway, eventually the bottom fell out of this the slave trade because. William Pitt decided not through any goodness heart. But probably because it was in Britain's best financial interests to get rid of the slave trade Britain's involvement in the slave trade. So my great grandfather, I'm here with these guys left with nothing much to do. So he switched his operation to ferrying missionaries talk about garden from one extreme to the other. They were mostly people from the London missionary society, and he would have taken them here there and everywhere and jeering his travels he stopped at leafy island where he saw and fell in love with Princess of the island to the print the daughter of the chief called severe of fire protection fancy and he fought to do for her fair you making this up. I know my mother-in-law you couldn't make it up. You can get. So before did you over and took care of Tada? Leland now gold era where he set up his his base the base for his operations, and he continued sailing from there, and he left my great grandmother there on this island. She was just a young woman. She didn't know the language. She had no support there. She had no family. It was just take their and this is your home. And these people will look after you, and because they did and she gave him six children, and he side to to listen to another woman on the island, ATar straight island island lady. And one of those children was my granny and another son pope Arabia's we called him uncle Robbie. So these are the two the two offspring of the genuine tar straight people. He was fearsome character. He wore this cross straps. The leather straps with the bullets the road. Of bullets. He wore he wore those everywhere did your dad. Grow up in the Torres Strait grew Muhtar straight is and his because his father had come over as a pillow and he married. My granny who was fourteen idea when they got married, and he my father and his brothers Manatt allowed the boats into LEGO to sit Nayed, but anyway, they eventually went out in the boat, and they're all sorts of tales of I remember daddy's telling us one was he he was a great run drinker. My great grandfather, and he get drunk on Rahman than go down to his cabin wherever and sleep it off for the day, maybe days who knows and when they could smell flesh burning on the boat. So someone said, oh, you better get you better. Get your grandfather bring them bring up so he came up and apparently one of the crew had been standing with his leg against a pipe. It was like an exhaust pipe from a car. And it was burning his flesh, and he didn't know it. And then they realized they had leprosy on the boat. Oh, my all sorts of things like that. And with these stories at your dad would tell you we're growing as my dad and my uncle Frank. So how did he come to be in Kansas? Then your will. They came down when the bottom start fall out of the pearling industry, they came down and they worked as cane cutters. My father was a cane cutter he and his brother uncle Frank cane cutters for twenty seven years such hard hard work. And this is Ken cutting just with a machete urine late others nine with the little hook at the end, backbreaking work. And of course, what they do. Or didn't pre presumably still do they go off burn off the field to get rid of all the the infestation, snakes and rats, and what have you, and then they go in and they they cut it from the very near to the ground backbreaking work. He did that for twenty seven. Years and one day. There's an Indian man who lived up the road from us. And my mother was always one of those very kind women, you know, she would say look visibility extra food here. Take it up to Mr. Hendra or give up and see if Mr. hinder wants anything to be put into the washing. So one day he came down, and he said to my father, what do you want to do with you life that said? What you mean if you're in this house, daddy sadier, we are in this house, and it was a half a house. They used to call it the half a house on the corner because as it was the house Bill as they made money they built on an extra bit. So anyway, he said he says, well, you must have some emission Senate. I'd like to end my own farm. He said, okay, it's land and daddy said no land. He said. All right. How much you get for this house? And daddy said, I don't know you said you find out. So I came up one day. And he said today he might have been authorised. Look, I'm got land. I've got three hundred sixty five acres a virgin scrubland in the wet belt place called Garrod DongA outside of innisfail your from the north you'll know it, and he said, I will tell you this land you ready for this for three pound an acre. Now when I tell you it was virgin scrubland. It was it had never been touched that we all these wonderful trees like sukey. Okay. Cd would paperback you name it. But if it's virgin scrubland, how'd you go about growing cane in that country? Don't you? So that they would go in first of all I brought in timber merchants. And my father was just as. Implemented. I mean, they left school of fourteen he worked on the luggage. And then he worked in the cane fields. But but he had this. He had such A Beautiful Mind on a beautiful heart, and he thought well, they're not going to go in and just the flatness this jungle we had our own natural creek spring water that property on a mountain that went down to the beach it it was God given. So anyway, he said you take what timber we need to service needs. So they went in, and they started taking the timber, and then that sort of funded the first part of the operation, and then with the help of hand dependent handed he took on they went in and tucked on all the undergrowth, and then they cut down the saplings. And then they cut the big trees. And then they logged it, then they failed it they have to burn out the stumps. And they did that for the first twelve acres in the Doug the. Furrows and my father went ahead and dug the holes with a Matic, and my wonderful mother who was game for anything came behind him and planted the first six of Cain on those first twelve acres by hand. I with your mama Torres Strait Islander she wasn't. She was half. Danish him that was from Denmark, and I was either Antionette health and said and her father was from salon. Are you ready for this? We more royalty. He should have been very my TR. He was the nephew of the maharani of salon the time, and he'd come out to a strata as jeweler. But it was the lure of the gold. It was it was. Know, it was it was a bit of a Wheeler dealer, and it was the gold that attracted him. So anyway, he when mommy was eighteen is she was married by proxy to the amount around his nephew. And she wouldn't go review used. She said, don't speak the language or anything about the culture or tradition. I'm not going anywhere. She might have regretted that issue is putting the cane stores in that. She didn't he said, you you hand you servants come union, bathing donkey's milk. She's a I don't than donkeys book. I'm not going to happen. How did she meet your dad when grandma had mummy grandfather used knocker in the house bolted from the outside? And there was a little multi farmer who lived up the road, and he used to hear screaming during the day when grandfather went out, and so he went down one day and said, I'm here, and I'm going to help you and he let her out and helped her escape. So she. I went back to her family, and eventually she left. She went to dial one, and she must have been such a strong woman. I don't know if she married him or she lived with him. But with a Japanese gentlemen, and the reason she did that was so that when she was seen with him and the child they would look like a family unit. I mean what what a heroin. What a hero. This was her sacrifice for her child. So anyway one day. Mommy was standing at the front gate and grandmother came out and have brittle. Danish way said to Ivy. You see that man across the road. And it was a man standing across the street wearing a white suit the white Panama Brown, shoes and a gold fog that possess uniform. That was my grandfather her father, the child's father grandmother said to have a good look at him because at your real father the child was four she thought that was in the house. So anyway, he came everyday and started handing sweeties over and toys and eventually he decided he wanted to. She MRs Johnson, he was having a so he took grandmother to court, and what are the courts do in those in those days. I mean, she was this little mixed race child who have no rights really, they weren't really interested in her story. So they said to her with whom do you want to live? Do you want to live with your daddy with your mummy? Well, cushy said daddy because he was the one he was giving us stuff everyday over the fence. So she went with grandpa. Father lived with him. And he. Oh, when I think of just horrendous after some time, he realized that he was incapable of looking after this this child, so he put her in one of those gray buildings in an orphanage. So she grew up your mom grew up in. And then she said she was sixteen and she was taught to do samplers so clean wash to do all that domestic stuff and at sixteen. She was put out to service, and eventually she found her way to dial one wish she decided she was going to set up a business as a as a dressmaker shoes. Very good seamstress, my mother, and it was wild. She was up there that she did a trip to cans and sorry teller lie. She didn't she went to those day island. Now why she went to those day island idir. But and that's where she met daddy. And whenever he and his brother, my uncle Frank were going up to to TI Thursday island, and they would at the end of the cane cutting season. The word would go out the Guevarra pit brothers coming to town because who can sit good marriage material. So mommy used to make all the dresses for the girls. The big dance for the pit brothers. And of course, she was made her own last didn't she knew what everyone else was wearing trust that she got them. Mom and dad ran a music club in cans, what was the name of they form this this music company called the tropical troubadours, and they traveled all around the north and really had tremendous potential. We should brought some photographs it. Just absolutely fantastic. And. At that time a lot of the people in in that group were related there were chasms. Oh, second cousins brothers, or whatever and three the women. One of him was my mother they were married and they got pregnant naturally. So the show had to come to a close. So then after some time. Mommy thought mommy was cleaning. Daddy, was kind cutting. He was a weekend husband, the among was working as a house Zoya. She was she was amazing. She did everything and dress making and and rela laundry during the war for the American servicemen. You name it. So she thought we'd better do something here because there's nothing is nothing for for people like us to do 'cause they weren't accepted at the white dancers. There was just nothing. So anyway, they started a club at Chad. I think the most unfortunate name was called the colored social clubs offers so unim-. Adjective, but they formed proper committee, and they did everything and and what sort of choice would be on. They had dances. They started off with Saturday night dancers that had the first American jazz band east come and play Jordan Roscoe. I think was the guy's name then had theme nights. So that would have had an Hawaiian night and Bala knees night and been night, the French night, and all these shows would been carrier graft that he would have done the music and the costumes de remember in the costume. What did they wait for the Hawaiian grass goods were made out of rope. And I can remember the vendor of as being strung up these this rope was strung up all the way, and daddy and his buddies would have come in. They were teasing all this. This rope and mccranie waistband if you can imagine. And so the ripe was ideal because had lovely weights. It would swing and the first show they did was was an Hawaiian night. Right. And I would have been about seven and myself and my cousin Dulcie who was one of the children who was born from the tropical tree below days. So anyway, she she, and I came on as attendance, and this enormous rose was carried on by these gorgeous, gorgeous tar strata island men flanked by the hula dancers. Right. So the rosewood let was load and Dulcie, and I were Daiva, and we pulled down the pedals and from it emerged my sister. Well, you can imagine the gas. Would come and see these. It sounds wonderful all the noca- people. All people the Torres Strait all into community would be on mixed race. There were Filipinos Chinese Malays were just just a title mix, but they became so popular the prejudices started to break down it ended up being literally a black white Brown and Brindle situation. It was fantastic. And then the they when I say that traveled I'm taking the show to Mossman for a night or two somewhere night that and if someone was sick guessing stood in for them. Well, this is it did you start performing just the beginning of your performing Hagen. Remember that for the ballet show, and they do the song mummy sangha? Oh by when twilight is defend this guy by oh. Oh, come out and wear. We've girl he was sick to a her costume which had to be taken in and dance on one of those forty four gallon drums that had been cut in half. I just I honestly I thought it was very great. Were you getting lessons music lessons as well from early? Yes, I started learning music when I was six started when I was six and from the day, I learned how to play Colonel bogey datum. But but but I was playing the marching that was the marching tube for the kids coming into school. My first performances would you play with your family at home play music to get all the time. I mean as is great party house, and they were always guitars and people singing and people down saying, and yes very much. So we'll you playing music at high school to is as playing music, they're very much doing my exams when I did my first diploma exam, this wonderful teacher system Ariella wishes, and they had to make me look older the first time ever wall make up and put my hair up. And my mother made corduroy navy blue suit with as little cream color and shoes it had heels. Honestly. I thought I was twenty seven I wasn't fifteen or sixteen. And the reason I did that was because the examiner probably would have failed me on the grounds of my being too young. And if we're not having an understanding or a passion for the music. So anyway, the bluff work tonight. What did you think that you wanted to do when you left school? What was the dreams at the young? First of all, I thought I'll be a concert pianist. I'll be the next Eileen Joyce. And then I thought nah, that Polynesian side of me was the do you want to practice at four to six hours a day? Nah. I loved it. But did I love it that much? Did I want to give up my whole life? I saw myself dancing on that forty four get lendrum doing other stuff. Anyway, I taught for while. And then I got a scholarship to go to the cuisine corn. But I didn't finish because the lure of the lights still layer and always made an offer to go to Sydney, and that that was it. What was the offer facility to go where the place call the Copenhagen in Sydney, and I can remember the first day. I went there. I was Favara because the family name and the man who managed the place was a guy called Harry Gould, and he'd just come back from America. And do you know how people go to America for a week and come comeback with an American accent and chewing gum? God bless Harry. He was one of those. And he said to me he said, I think we're going to change your name kid. And I said sorry, he said Candi Devine can be it's got a ring to it. And I thought. No one's going to change. My name. Can remember finding my mother, and I said they wanna change by name the candidate divine chief thought forbid, she was very wise. And she said, well that could be a good thing. And I said to have a good thing. And I said it sounds like the name of the strip to did. So anyway, she said, well, she said you can hide behind that name. She said you can keep your fate of our life private. She said, so you've got your work name and your private name, and that's candy. Born candy was born you will started working in TV in Sydney, what shows you working on Johnny O'Keefe that Johnny O'Keefe shows we used to do those. I could've been having to get up at five thirty on the day that because we would reserve rehearsal and the show went live at six o'clock. And the reason I had to be up so early because everything was franchised in those days, and are here was being done by one of the hair salons, and Sydney, and because my hair was say thick and so long it took half the day to dry. You work on Skippy. Fair mature. Yes. I did. What character we playing carried the cold Muna? I think she an aboriginal. She was she had been taken to live with this couple who missionaries they decided that she had potential as a singer. But she had been she was supposed to bury the son of chief. She was a bit of a bold Madame. So she said, I'm not marrying him. A man I'm going often, I'm going to do my thing. And I'm going to be a singer what happened. So did you enjoy it? What did he get to meet the kangaroo? Did you get to be Skippy? Admit them. All yes. It was lovely. It was more. Please a love that. And sounds like it was a lot going on for you in Sydney. Why did he decide to up sticks? And try luck in the UK. That took my manager said at the time he's been because I had just done Skippy. Your head done. I did a television series for the it was all. The work was they had made film with Keith Michell. And he said to me, why would you want go overseas? You know, you're in on the ground floor here. It's all happening now. But DNA, you can't tell young woman anything, can you? And also we get to a stage that stage in our life. You re young woman where you get a cheat. And you want to see what's on the other side of the world. So I decided I noticed I'm going, and then I'll I said to my parents all be back in three years little deny no forty four years later where was your first London gig. It was at a club called the esta club. Right in the heart of the city. Remember, the Pierce was mistreated, and he was going out with le'veon's John at the time she came in. And and what's me rehearse? And there was a the the D's name was Mr. John's lovely little man. I said, Mr John I have a policy that I don't fraternize with the customers and this place had hostesses. Okay. Say no more. And I said, I don't is what the customers I said. And if anyone wants to buy me, a drink a sit just make up a cocktail of something because I was really an drinker. No. So I was driving back to my digs. I said and charge them. What you like I didn't want to know about that make it look interesting. So one night ninety came to me, and he said, MS divine. We've couple of very good customers into night. Who would like you to join them for a drink? And I said, oh, Mr John look at would real really mean a very big tip for me. I imagined he had shoeless. Children. I went knows introduced these men Reginald and account. Remember, his brother's name Cray, which meant nothing to me. Nothing the crate win the Cray twins. So on the way over to the table. He said or by the ways, I know, I know that you don't drink it. But if they ask you would you please say champagne pink because overseas getting cooking. So anyway, I said, yeah. Okay. So he was I was introduced it was all very formal set down. I can even remember, Sarah. What I was wearing. What were you wearing gold law may? No one. Do you call it the crate live? So anyway, he said. They said what are you having to drink champagne, please pink? So they brought the champagne and he pulled me little lass, which I drank. And it was there was bit of small talk. And eventually they said he said have another drink, and I said, no, no, thank you, very very much. I have to be going now. And he said, no sit down have another drink. And I said, honestly, I have to go and seventy or realized it was getting serious. And I said my mother's waiting for me. I write in Australia. I said that the baby needs fed. There was not was no baby. And he said he started lifting his pocket. Can remember the both wearing white suits? And he started putting things on the table. And he said when I tell you to sit down another drink. I mean, you just down out of other. And he pointed a gun at me. Now, I could have died on the spot or a minute later. But I it's something in my head went no not having this. An I rose to my feet, and I said missed Cray, I have traveled three quarters of the way around the world on my own. And quite honestly, you do not write me. Thank you very much for a drink and good night. And I walked off and I got to the door the entrance to the dressing room area. And I I lived all on the other side of the door, and I kicked watching the door thinking they're going to come and kill me. We'll it didn't come so lifted myself up shaking. Like crazy and got into my car under back to my digs and every night. After that. I'd go onto the stage. And I'd scan the audience to see if they were in the never came back. ABC radio. This is conversations with Sarah skate. They after Philly dramatic arrival in the UK where you survive that pink champagne with the Cray brothers. You went over and worked in Ireland. Who did he meet backstage one not in Dublin? I was standing backstage waiting to go on. And do you. Remember, an active JJ Devlin. Remember that name? He was in and I've been talking to Jimmy. And and the next thing I heard my name being introduced and just as I approach the door. My husband was he was the agent who taken me over. It was sitting out your husband yet. It wasn't my husband yet, some strange. He was just a Mr. ten percent. And he was sitting with one of his buddies. It was also an agent, and he's I heard him say to him hasn't that girl got a beautiful face. He said, isn't it a PD? She's letter body go to seed. So I thought yes, I knew you were typical Mr. ten percent. So that was not a very auspicious start to America, tucked it away in the back of my brain. And the next time. I went back to Belfast is based in London and Manchester. I went back, and I. Had trimmed down to about eight stone to something, and yeah, I want that will. With me. It was a joke. I didn't think I was gonna full for him. And I did what is it that you fell for what did you like about him his lame poodle the way he sprays blame poodle foodline? Oh, I know I know trying to think is that brand of car and a lame poodle who's just a poodle at limp and his way he spoke about his mother. My mother was used to say to me just look at the way man treats, his mother, and that's how he'll treat you and his father died when he was eleven so with there'd been a deathbed wish other. No before you look after mother, but he did he was very good too. And very good to me. So that was it. I was hooked and what we performing in what kind of songs we using in that era of your career. Good pop and jazz and blues not really the sort of music for Northern Ireland to be honest with you, they they're mostly. Into country music there. In fact, one of Donald friends, my husband, one of his friends said one day, do you know, if you turn her into a female Charley pride you'll make an? I said it's not going to happen. So you got married to what was your wedding like. I was working in the Gedi theatre in Dublin a summer season. And and some season meant what every night in a theater, Katie theater. And and we did matinees as well. And at the end of the season, he said, I specially should get married in the last night that would be fun. And so we did that and we had our reception after the show in the green room for cast of thousands. It was wonderful. Why did the two of you move to Belfast Northern Ireland because Donald had an office in Belfast and also because he had been married before. And and divorced when I met him and he had three children from his first marriage. And unfortunately, his first wife who had also remarried. Yeah. She she went and she has to. Yes. So he we just really relocated to to Bill and being like a one child family to four overnight, which was that was pretty interesting time of life. Did that take a little bit of getting used to you as a mother probably familiar more than any of them? I mean children thrive on on discipline and a routine as long as if they're boys is on as they fared, and nurtured and guided all that stuff, and but I was the one here. Here's my child. I had mothered my biological child was Ellison. And so if it's a mother's natural instinct to cuddle her child, and if ever I gave him a cuddle I would mmediately jump up and go looking for the children because I didn't want them to be left out. But you sort of settled down things become normal. After awhile you arrived in Belfast. I think in nineteen nine hundred seventy six which is just when the troubles starting. When did you first become aware of of what was going on politically in the place of moved the night that the trouble sprout, we'd been working Donna golden, we came back three dairy. And we saw guys being marched down the street by the police in riot gear and have these fellows headlock, and that he'd been pulling taking the the Bronx stones out of the dairy walled be forever. And don't see what's going on. And they said look this particular go back put down and and do journa- go back. And I said I'm going back. I'm not going back. There's no way we just have to get out of this. So he put his foot down, and we just drove straight through that was the night the troubles broke out. And then we had twenty nine years of it said it that we -ality become just part of your fabric of every. Alive. We always on h Fe living. You are in new aren't it's it's a bit like the social worker who's working with. Families that are broken up. You know, he goes home, and he puts up to bed, and if he doesn't he he can't do the job and a bit like that. And there I was going to work every day on the radio, you know, dislike. And so you hit that Mike and there's a smile invoice with their Tom's at you was scared. And my name was on a hit list, but not any mind, but my husband's one my children just because I was as celebrity an inverted commas anyone who was known there will be more publicity from killing me or my child than they would be from killing. Joe, Bob blogs, and his child would it just the way it works. But the other thing the thing that I really had to my advantage was a mistrial and be I had a dusky complexion and see I didn't take any nonsense even even on the radio. You know, if people started to get a bit, I would was very quick to put on my mummy, image and. So it meant that. If there was a job to be done in an area on either area Catholic side or providence side that might have been considered dangerous. I would be sent because you are. Now, this makes it wasn't that summer to Catholics would say, oh, well, she's one of us because you were raised Catholic. Yes. And the other side would say, she might be a Catholic. But she's not an Irish one. It's incredible. Isn't it? Did you husband's family have any concerns about him marrying, you Catholic sake years? It went Donald went home. He said to his mother of met this girl, and she doesn't know it yet. But I'm going to marry her and she said. Who is she says, she's go county divine. And he said she said, oh, he said she's foreign she said how foreigners? She did. He said, she's Australia. Be nice. That'll be nice to have an Australian last in the family, and he thought the veteran of a lot. So he said she's black. She said, oh is she that'd be wonderful. And then he said, she's Catholic. She said how could you? But we ended up being very good friend wonderful understanding. So as you say, you will working on the radio on the station called downtown radio station. Was it what what did they play? Everything, but we played everything chart music. You know, so much of it had to be Irish produced music county music, classical music Munem. It was right across the ball. Did you have much interaction with listeners much talk back? Yes, I used to do. I did I did enough to noon program, which was partly talk back and at nights. I did. Pretty serious sort of interviews where we just open the phones, we covered all sorts of. She's like it might've been religious issues. The changing of religion might have been education marine various aspects of health like aids or whatever. And you know, what you will in the experts. You ask the question over the phone lines? And and we're free for all this might be my own cultural prejudice fehb it with some of those talkback call is just that little bit more entertaining because they were Arush. Oh, yeah. Really Huma is just amazing. I mean, wonderful stories are going to be one day. I was on air in a lady came on. She said, I'm just back from Australia said wonderful where we live. She said I'd laid and I said, oh, great annot edlund. She said we had a lovely plan bungalow. There candy nights. You said you'd have loved it. I said, I'm sure would. And so I said what your story and she said, well, she said he used to come every day and leave the push in the back door and leave the two lives of bread on the back on. The bench in the kitchen. She says, and it was a really hot summer day. And I was just cleaned the house I went into have a shower, and I stepped out from the show unit. And she said I remembered left to put all the towels in the wash she says, so there's no one home. So she said I was to be through the house with not not a stitch on. She said am suddenly the door push type. And and she said, oh my God. It's the bag. She said, so Iran and the nearest place to hide was the utility room. She said, I'm standing there dripping wet as quiet as mouse and the door of the uteri mope, and she. And it was the gasman he'd come to read the meter. She said, and I looked at him with a shop expression on face and said, oh, I'm terribly. Sorry. I thought you were the Baker. What were audiences like with a quite conservative in terms of what they were happy you to talk about oil as a Northern Ireland particular can be quite puritanical. You know, things bubbling under all the time. You bring it to the surface. There's a lot of top totting. Did you know many other people who looked like, you know, in Belva? That's probably another reason why I was accepted in those early days because I was just a novelty. I mean, they were there at the university, but not many. But now. You know, the percentage is gone. As gone up. One of the the shows that you worked on on radio in Belfast was a romance. I relate night romance show called dateline how did that shy? Come to bait as producer was in a strategy. Gyco prosper on holiday in here this idea, and he came back, and he says, I German idea he said Joe that I think you should be doing. And and you know, what you can never just rip off the show. But with a twist or so, and I said, John it's not going to work. This is northern island. The people are so far too puritanical not gonna come on and talk about themselves. And he said, well, let's just try it and it just just took off. So what was the premise? How did it work? Well, you would come on. And tell me about yourself sold on the phone, and then, and then you tell me about the sort of person, you would like to meet, and and then anyone listening to you would think. Oh, yes. Sarah sounds like a nice lady, I wouldn't mind that with the right to you care of us, and we'd send out the mail. Was sort of give them like the little warnings. If you are meeting someone meeting the public place. All so you'll like audio classifieds. Yes. What sort of things did people say they were looking for very much between the men and women of bells and the rent men were amazing because they always they lied through their teeth all his almost everyone with earth. Exeption male would say look start matter as long as she's got a good personality. I would sit there thinking year, right? What about the women what they want usually most of them one the husband this? We had a few weddings. Really? Yes. Did you ever go along to those? No, we were invited. We're was indicted. Then the station would send them off a gift or something. But I mean you have to sort of a bit of distance. Don't remember we did a show in a prison Christmas show in one of the prisons with dateline the daily show dateline, but just on the wedding thing. And there's a women's prison across the road. Now, how they got to meet, I don't know. But average said to me can you're good at talking to people is stone took to those fellas over there. And I went over and there were three men, and I was sitting with knife Pleat jeans and white white trainers and their hair sort of short Beckham sides, and they all they all like legal eagles on a day off. And so I wonder is and this is how the conversation went for each of them. Have you been in on the life? How are you spending your time? I'm studying law. The ryen they that's that's what they did. So anyway, as I was leaving these guys one of them said to me candy, would you do me a favor? And I said if I can he said, you see that we want over there the dark hair he said, that's my we Anna. And I said he and I was sort of giving each other surp- tissues waves. So he said just tell her on of our said. Yeah. Okay. So anyway, I went across it turned out that she had been. She was a Catholic and was involved in a very big bomb Northern Ireland which several several people killed and he had shot policemen and army eight with I've never both though both bad children. So anyway. They met, and they sent me an invitation to their wedding at please come her family had disowned her because she was a Catholic marrying someone from the other side his family had designed him because he was marrying a because he was marrying a Catholic and. Amazing because both of the mid been heavily involved in terrorism. And somehow that fall in love while in prison. And anyway, I couldn't go to the wearing the station set the president. I write move very nice letter. And the next time I heard from them they were living happily in America. They've been relocated to marry gern new names. So you know, spos- can be happily ever after for some people. Living in that situation. How many years were you on downtown radio by the time, you retied faith thirty nine so long time audit is do I worked right up to two days before I left to come back to a stranger? And what was that final show like? Buckets his friends popping in listeners popping in people bringing down food and presence and. It was a very big part of our life and. It's it's it's one thing to go to settle in another man's country. But to be accepted by the people as one of them. Is a very special thing, you know. And I I always used to say to people if I was giving a speech, I I would say to you know, I say to them, you know, I love this country are respected. I should hope that if ever you go down might to my place that you would you them the courtesy you will more than just accepted. You got some pretty big awards at the end of that career was nice, great, Sarah. But I haven't had the awards like you had the what happened they count. Well, the great because you get the award. But. There are lots of people who've helped you along the way, you know, they're producers their directors their manages, their the we in the offers the receptionist saying nice thing about things about doing against arrived in that's still building a price. So yeah, I got an MBA from the Queen. Did you get to meet the Queen was no because he would was made here and Prince William just happened to be here at the time. And they felt that it might be made in Sydney, and then it was changed. But it was nice nice. So these place that you felt at harming that you'd lived really lot of your adult life in what he decide to leave in comeback to a strata. I always said I would over. She said my husband as much as I love you as much as I love this country. And I do it's my other home. I want to be buried back in my home. And then when when Donald died and. Alliston? My my youngest son was out here and number two summers out he lives in Melbourne. And they were putting pressure on me to come home. And I thought well, he said if you go to retire, it would be easy if you to come home and retire so thought will yell do it. So I came I've no regrets. You know, because over the years, I I was a prolific letter writer once we got the social media just made it so much easier. So I came back to a safety net of friends family old school, friends and got involved with the charity group astounded painting started doing things, keeping my mind active and so. I have a life. Did you mom or dad? Come and visit you. What did I make over a loved it there? They loved it. There became daddy came. Once I stayed for a year. And then after that, he died mummy came over and she stayed with me for year, and they loved it. And they they will love to mean. Everyone called him looks and pops everybody all friends quite a contrast to Kane farm in northern Queensland. Absolutely hasn't it. But they they just sort of fell into it. My father was very quiet, man. He didn't he's the only person I've ever met with him. You could see the room and not speak and yet not being barest by the silence that that was him. And he used to call me the cans post when I was little girl, especially talking. The sun the sun that you had with Donald Alliston is very well known shave. Does he get that cooking Jane from you? It's probably a family thing. You know, my mother was wonderful cook. And there's that that tradition of eating isn't there with the terse straight people island people it's things built around the feast a weddings, not a winning unless there's a feast of someone dies is east. So we grew up with them that Ellison has always said, you know, where we lived in Belfast there were all smells emanating from our kitchen that you wouldn't have spent from other homes around, and that's probably true. So and also from my husband's side, my his grandmother was an award winning Baker. She's two. CWA standard. But you know, she made cakes and stuff like that Jews was winning awards. So I suppose it's medically in his DNA. Have you swapped roles a little bit now being back here? I imagine going policy was known as your son is now knowing he's malls, mcleod's, Bobby. Yes. It's amazing that isn't it because I. Oh, my egos bit, priest Yves note, not and these still saying if I was going to walk past your place. Now what I hear you humming along all do sometimes do a salient his wedding. But to breeding goes, and you know, unless you're doing it every day. But if if I know I've got to do something, then I go out and seeing to the trees and decent breathing exercises and tried to get myself into a bit of shape. But the power of bluff is as an interesting. Learn to breathe with conviction in places where you shouldn't be breathing. Fade is dated absolute pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for coming into conversation. Thanks for having me. Having. The. One. Run. Closing. Never wore. Introducing. That. Days of one and roses. Sung in nineteen sixty six by my guest today. Famous cloud Fay was singing under her stage. Name Candi Devine on the ABC TV program. Be outguessed ABC dot net dot EDU slash conversations is our website. I'm Sarah ski thanks so much for listening. You've been listening to a podcast of conversations with Sarah and ask for more conversations interviews head to the website. I base E dot net dot AU slash conversations.

Belfast Sarah Northern Ireland Candi Devine Candi Devine Torres Strait Sydney America Daddy Australia Ireland Donald Alliston ABC Frank Mr. John UK William Pitt London missionary society Queensland mcleod