Newcastle should be proud of its bogans.
So says Pauly Fenech, of Fat Pizza and Housos, who has published a new book titled The Bogan Bible.
Topics: What is it about bogans that attract you?
Pauly: Bogans are honest, funny and true Aussies. Best drinking buddies, too.
Topics: Up here in Newcastle, we’re not short of bogans. How do we rate?
Pauly: Newcastle has some great bogans, although the best bogans in Australia are in Tasmania.
Topics: Can you give us some advice on how to treat bogans?
Pauly: Just let bogans be! Don't judge. They are true individuals. I love watching their mullets blowing in the wind while they do burnouts.
Topics: Of course, bogans are much maligned – almost persecuted. Can you envisage a Bogan Pride Day sometime in future?
Pauly: Bogan Pride Day! I love this, I will be applying for a permit this afternoon!! No hipsters will be allowed at this rally.
Topics: Many of us don't identify as bogan. But don't all Aussies have at least a little bit of bogan in them?
Pauly: Everyone in Oz has bogan tendencies. If you have ever worn a pair of Ugg boots or chucked a sickie to watch a sporting event, you probably have bogan DNA.
Topics: What percentage of bogan is in you?
Pauly: Hmmm, probably around 20 per cent. But that’s the great thing about most bogans – if you have any bogan blood, you will be welcome. Bogans are the last great Aussie battlers.
Topics: I can see you’ve delved deep into the bogan psyche. What were your key findings?
Pauly: They are fun, loyal and fiercely proud to be Australian. And they love to party!
Topics: Can you envision a civil war in Australia in future between elitist snobs and bogans?
Pauly: I will lead this revolution ... I will lead a fleet of Holdens and Fords to Canberra and we will take over! We will have a massive BBQ out the front of Parliament House first, though.
In the book, Pauly charts the rise and rise of the bogan. He tours bogan heartlands, celebrates bogan inventions (the ride-on esky), samples bogan cuisine (the Chiko roll), explores bogan fashion (Ugg boots), pays homage to bogan icons (the mullet, the thong, the BBQ) and salutes the most famous bogans.
The book is the literary equivalent of a joyride in a Holden ute.
Topics wrote on Saturday about Newcastle’s pioneers of motorsport.
We wrote that Mike Nedelko, Jack Gates and Doug and Graham Kelley raced in the 1963 Armstrong 500 at Bathurst.
Maryland’s Kerry Power told Topics that Toronto’s Ken Wilkinson was another motorsport pioneer from the Newcastle area.
With his co-driver Doug Chivas, Ken Wilkinson came sixth overall and first in his class in the 1963 race.
Kerry took this photo of Ken, who is looking under the bonnet of a Morris Cooper during the race.
Kerry pointed out that racing car drivers wore casual clothes in the 1960s.
“They are rather different to the driving suits of today.
“In contrast with today, only the drivers and two pit crew were allowed to work on the car.”
The cars were standard models, straight off the showroom floor.
“No modifications were permitted and this was strictly enforced,” Kerry said.
“I well remember the post-race checking when the engine was dismantled to check that it had not been modified.”
Who would have thought the Supercars event would inspire poetry.
Mel Von Satanberg put a call out on Facebook for “your best Newcastle 500 poetry”.
Shirley Poublon: “How many years do you think it will last; maybe two, maybe three; we will just wait and see.”
Kat Niass: “Supercars were great; Sick of negativity; Newcastle looked great.”
A dashing poet from Croatia, known only as Cronski, came up with this: “In the old East End; Beastly cars descend; Roar, rage, cheer – silence again.”