Colin Thiele a South Australian Treasure

Posted on 17 February 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Colin Thiele, a name from my childhood. He was born in Eudunda in November 1920 to German parents. He only spoke German until he attended school at Julia and it was at school that his love of the written word started. He died at the age of 85 in September 2006, the same day of Steve Irwin’s death, so his passing was not marked in an appropriate way. There should have been much more happening but Irwin was a much more prominent man and so he overshadowed Thiele. He was a wonderful author and the books he wrote about the Coorong describe it as the beautiful place it is. If you read the books and then look at the pictures on this site you’ll see just how right he was.

His books are just pure poetry and I can lose myself in them at any time, I know they’re written for children but they’re just as enjoyable for adults. I reread both Storm Boy and Blue Fin recently both of which were made into movies with the same boy as the lead actor and I couldn’t believe how fitting they were for adult and child alike. I’ve just had a look at the cast of both movies on IMDB and they both had a sterling cast with David Gulpilil in Storm Boy, but he gets to be included in a different blog.

I’ve currently got Chadwick’s Chimney in front of me and I’m debating whether it is in good enough condition to sell or if it should just go back to the op shop. It’s a book I don’t recall reading but the synopsis shows the same excitement and adventure as his other books. Storm Boy is about a boy who is brought up on the beach of the Coorong and saves some pelican chicks. He looks after them, feeding them, caring for them and eventually teaching them to fly. They do fly away but one of them, Mr Percival, comes back from time to time. Blue Fin is about a boy on his first voyage and the trials and tribulations he goes through as he ends up the only conscious person on the boat during a storm.

I wish I could thank Colin Thiele for his writing as they were so good and gave me so much pleasure over the years. Reading can be an escape and his books certainly were that.

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One Response to “Colin Thiele a South Australian Treasure”

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Suz, a few years ago I had a conversation about Colin Thiele with a retired teacher who recalled a conference he’d been at where Mr Thiele was the unfortunate last speaker on the last day.
Lots of bored teachers sitting in an auditorium just waiting to go home … until Mr Thiele started speaking. And then they didn’t want to leave! Apparently he was a captivating and inspiring public speaker.


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