Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Boreham and His Sense of Place

Did F W Boreham feel himself an Englishman (he lived there until he was 24), a Kiwi (after his 10 years in the Shaky Isles) or an Aussie (by far the country where he lived for the greatest period of his life)?

The longevity of Boreham’s work as an editorialist gave an opportunity to track the changes in his theology of place. His earlier statements about belonging and his changing identity reflected his own struggles (and those of many of his readers) as an Englishman becoming at home in Australia.

His newspaper articles and later his autobiography reveal that the Australian soil and wattle tree (national symbol) had gradually won over his love and his children were growing up and marrying Australians.

His editorials on Australia Day and on Anzac themes, when he discussed the unique Australian values and the features that were typically Australian, best represented Boreham’s attempt to sketch a theology of place.

His frequent calls for the development of a unique Australian voice in literature and the arts were a vital element in naming what it meant to be Australian.

Geoff Pound

Image: Wattle flower.