Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
ABC Radio interview about JSA Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Sunday, 05 September 2010 01:34

JSA committee member Bryan Reid was interviewed by ABC Radio National on the history and aims of the JSA. Follow this link to hear the broadcast on the Lingua Franca session, presented by Maria Zijlstra on August 28 2010.

JSA 2010 seminar to be held on July 24 Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:41

There will be some departures from the usual format for the JSA’s 2010 seminar on Saturday, July 24 with a more varied and entertaining program.

In addition to three main papers by Prof Wallace Kirsop, Nick Hudson and Paul Tankard, Prof Kate Burridge will present a “stub” paper – a short discussion of a subject from her speciality, linguistics.

These will be followed by readings on various Johnsonian subjects by Barrie Sheppard, Bronwen Hickman and John Byrne. The will also be music, with a brief commentary supplied by Barbara Niven.

The seminar will be held at the usual venue, the English Speaking Union at 146 West Toorak Road South Yarra, starting at 11am, and finishing around 4.30 pm, with the bar open until 6pm to allow for some convivial fraternization.  A light lunch will be served and morning and afternoon tea provided.

Full details of speakers and subjects will becirculated to members before the seminar.

We appoint our first Life Member Print E-mail
Written by Sam Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:52

Bryan Reid has been appointed the first Honorary Life Member of the JSA. At the 2009 AGM, newly-elected President Barrie Sheppard paid tribute to Bryan’s continuing contribution to the JSA since he became the founding secretary in 1993. He has since retired from the position and been succeeded by Barbara Niven.

Barrie presented Bryan with a commemorative plaque which read:

The Johnson Society of Australia Inc

Hereby confers Honorary Life Membership on

Bryan Reid

In grateful appreciation of his unique role in the

foundation and development of the Society.

Bryan’s son Sam, daughter Deborah, and long-time friend and fellow-JSA member Jan Lowe were present for the occasion.

Barrie Sheppard our new President Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:44

Barrie Sheppard, the newly -elected President of the Johnson Society of Australia, has been one of our most active members since he joined the JSA in 1994. He has been a committee member since 1999, and Treasurer since 2005, a position he still retains in addition to the presidency.

Barrie, a former lecturer in English at Deakin University, previously had no special interest in Samuel Johnson, but a chance meeting with Bryan Reid, and his existing friendships with the late Rusi Khan and Clive and Meg Probyn, attracted him to the idea of joining the JSA.

He soon became a confirmed Johnsonian, and in 1996 gave his first seminar paper, a satirical treatment of Johnson’s view about the proper use of the cucumber, and several subsequent papers, the latest was on Johnson and the Problem of Evil.

Barrie’s Johnsonian interest extended overseas in 2007 when he attended the Pembroke College Conference on Johnson and the Theatre, and again this year, when he took part in the Tercentenary celebrations at both Pembroke and Lichfield.

Barrie’s expressed hopes as President are to continue the good work of previous presidents, to forge links with the Jane Austen and Shakespeare Societies , and to develop the Annual Seminar to include regular readings, short 'stub' papers, and a short lexicographical 'spotlight', as well as the usual solid academic fare.

Barrie is also half of the celebrated duo, with Bryan Reid, of “Baz and Bry” who by popular demand entertain the guests at the JSA Christmas party.

Geoff Brand to join JSA committee Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:38

Geoff Brand, a zoologist turned bookseller and literary connoisseur, has been co-opted to the committee of the JSA.

Geoff, who holds a Doctorate in Zoology, specializing in marine biology, had been a university lecturer and a Victorian State Government scientists before he took a quantum leap to become a bookseller in Queenscliffe in 1990.

There, one of his customers, Bryan Reid told him about the Johnson Society, and his interest was reinforced by his friendship with our new president, Barrie Sheppard, who has a holiday home in nearby Point Lonsdale.

Geoff joined the JSA in 1995 and the following year, delivered the first of his four papers to the Annual Seminar. All but three of these have been inspired by his interest in 18th Century science.

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