Ambassador still enchanted by Grafton’s charms

ADVOCATE: Author Gillian Mears talks of her time living in Grafton after being named the 2014 Clarence Valley Council ambassador at a ceremony in the Sir Earle Page Library and Learning Centre. Photo: Adam Hourigan
ADVOCATE: Author Gillian Mears talks of her time living in Grafton after being named the 2014 Clarence Valley Council ambassador at a ceremony in the Sir Earle Page Library and Learning Centre. Photo: Adam Hourigan

AWARD-winning author Gillian Mears will be only too willing to talk in glowing terms about Grafton as part of her new role as the Clarence Valley Council ambassador.

Ms Mears spoke about her feelings on being named the ambassador for 2014 at a ceremony in the Sir Earle Page Library and Learning Centre yesterday.

She warned her audience she could talk forever about Grafton before embarking on a 30-minute address recalling the Grafton she knew after her family moved here from Lismore in 1973 when she was nine.

She also described the effect Grafton has had on her life and writing despite not being a "true Graftonian".

"The town sank into my blood and it crept into my bones and it definitely crept into my fiction," Ms Mears said.

She said even as a nine-year-old she came to see Grafton as an enchanted realm.

"I can still get that feeling of enchantment even walking under the trees in Victoria St, which I do believe are different to any other shade street tree," she said.

Ms Mears and her sisters also revelled in the city's connection with horses, giving her audience four memories she has of her siblings and their horses during their youth. She described her father's paddock for the horses where he planted winter grass and white clover.

"I could feel the seeds flow through my fingers like time itself," she recalled.

"It may have been the flood mud or it may have been the charmed nature of Grafton but we would gather up four-leafed clover and feed it to the horses before competitions and it seemed to work well."


The Daily Examiner is a publication Gillian Mears cherishes when away from her home.

She described how as a young university student feeling alienated in Sydney, she was delighted to find a news vendor in Martin Pl that sold copies of the newspaper.

"When I lived in Adelaide it was always a treat when someone sent me a whole intact Daily Examiner. It was a precious thing," she said.

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