The corpulent fellow , who later suicided, bellowed at Kerry and went on about his " fucking, pinko, commie " newspaper . He demanded to know how you could get anything positive in the double expletive newspaper . Responding in kind, Kerry told him he could buy The Star and would then have to contend with the editor . (The editor at the time was Peter Blake who, Kerry said, would tell any proprietor who performed like the millionaire where to go in no uncertain way .)
On the Monday , Kerry rushed in early and got the staff to spruce up the place to make it look a glittering prize for the new owner. Someone was sent up the road to get fresh coffee and cakes. At the appointed hour, the tycoon did not arrive ; by 10.30 it was evident that he was not going to show, so everybody got stuck into the coffee and cakes.
A representative of the Printing and Kindred Industries Employees' Union (PKIEU) rang Kerry and said he wanted to inspect the newspaper , enrol members and check conditions. Keeping the whole operation running fairly smoothly without any unforeseen disruptions was a major concern in those early days. The thought of a union coming in and somehow throwing a spanner in the works caused alarm bells to ring. Kerry told the PKIEU man that all the staff were paid above award rates and fringe benefits included cartons of beer for regular piss ups , free party tucker- cakes, biscuits , garlic bread and garlic prawns . Our employees just luv us , mate , the union rep was told .
Nevertheless , the union official insisted that he would visit. Kerry went into the factory and broke the news to a German printer , who immediately reacted angrily , shouting fuck several times in an aggressive Prussian way. On hearing his outburst , other staff wanted to know what was wrong . The angry German said Kerry was sooling the union onto everybody . Something of a League of Nations , the staff included nationals of France, New Zealand , Scandinavia and Britain , who responded in a similar fashion as the German,whose surname, oddly enough , gave the impression he was a Pommie . The emphatic consensus was that they did not want any union dues deducted from their pay.
A much read regular column, SCURRILOUS ,contained snappy ,short items, often upset some in high places. Several late night telephone calls were received by an editor from a prominent man who not only applauded the paper for its stance against the NT government in a certain contentious matter , but urged a continuation of the campaign . One item , probably more, resulted in phone taps.
Another lively column , Star Spots, also stirred up the town . From time to time ,the columns took a shot at the News and the paper became incredibly sensitive . Several complaints were made to the Australian Press Council by the News about comments made about it in The Star. As these complaints had to be made in writing , a copy was duly forwarded to The Star for a response, which caused much mirth as the details were read out to all and sundry .
However, other ex -Star photographers who did get work at the News were Clive Hyde, recently retired chief photographer at the NT News, and the peripatetic Beat Errisman ,who is attracted back to Darwin from Europe like a bee to honey.
Yet another lively column, From the Longgrass , featured a drawing by an artist called Wicking -now a popular cartoonist at the NT News.
Other magazines they produced were the monthly Darwin Visitor ,which promoted tourism , and separate ones for hockey with the enthusiastic support of businessman Keith Kemp and rugby league with the involvement of Aldo Roscetto and Bob Elix, into which they put a lot of time and effort. NEXT EDITION –The King and Rupert Murdoch lock horns.