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Gift of $10,000 worth of Hesperian titles to the WA prison system.

We have given some 15 copies each of 24 titles that are still current books but of which we are overstocked. We need the space. Hopefully some of the prisoners will appreciate good books as a relief from the mind rotting TV. We even gave an extra set for the staff so they do not have to pinch the prisoner’s copies.

FREE BOOKS

When you visit the shop you can choose from the 'free book shelf'. Mail order - we will try to add in a free book if it does not increase the postage.



The perfect gift.

Eric Linklater wrote, in A Year of Space (1953):- Of all the minor gifts, books are the most agreeable, and in the fashion and restriction of our times only minor gifts can be made. There is no one left who will present a parting guest with a cheque for £1000, an elephant, an ocean-going yacht, or a pair of dancing girls; and in the habit and narrower circumstance of this age, such gifts (or most of them) would be embarrassing. But how welcome is a book, for given books read doubly well.
 

It is important that we get support for our books from our readers. Hesperian does not get taxpayer funding.

Many millions of dollars have been mis-spent on unreadable novels and plainly irrelevant and obnoxious propaganda.

There is no other publisher like us in Australia concentrating on REAL Australian history and people.

Hesperian books will stand the test of time.

But if we do not get buyer support we may not be around too long after our forthcoming 50 years anniversary.  

Obituary


Peasley, William John (Bill) 

1927 – 2020

 

William John Peasley was born in the central west of NSW and spent his boyhood on his father’s farm. He left school at the age of fourteen to work on the family farm as a shearer and drovers’ assistant. He enlisted in the 2nd AIF and was a member of the British Occupation Forces in Japan.

In 1950 Bill Peasley was married to Anne Catherine Anderson, and the couple had four sons: Mark, Lloyd, Mitchell and Scott. Anne died in March 2012. 

When he left the army in his mid-twenties, Bill decided to study medicine. He was advised that he would have to matriculate first and he was expected to complete five years of high school study in one year. It was a struggle, but Bill matriculated  and commenced studying medicine at the University of Sydney.

In 1955 Bill graduated and the following year, moved to WA, crossing the Nullarbor in a 1946 Mark 4 Jaguar. He spent twelve years working with the State’s North West Medical Service and was stationed at various towns throughout the Pilbara and Kimberley. Via the RFDS he visited and provided medical services to many outback stations. It was in the north-west that he was able to pursue his interest in Aboriginal culture and was privileged to witness secret and sacred rites.

In 1968, Bill and his family travelled to Italy and lived in Rome for three and a half years while he worked for the Australian Migration Office in Rome. He travelled throughout Italy, as well as travelling to Spain in the course of his duties. 

After returning to Perth, Bill worked for the Community Health Service, as well as relieving doctors in the north-west. During this time he studied anthropology and continued to follow his interest in Australian history, particularly exploration history.

From the 1970s onwards, Bill Peasley took his recreational interests in the history, geography and the Aboriginal people of outback WA into the field, as well as exploring the archives. His field trips into the remote desert regions of Western Australia included the following:

1974, as medical doctor and participant of the Geraldton Historical Society’s centenary retracing of John Forrest’s 1874 Expedition across central Western Australia.

1975, two journeys on the Commonwealth Railways remote service known as the ‘Tea and Sugar Train’.

1976, member of an expedition to retrace part of the 1896 route taken by David Carnegie. During the expedition the party found Namma and Naomi and their children, Dadina and Boya, who they relocated from the desert to Wiluna.

1977, member of a search expedition to find the nomadic Aboriginals Warri and Yatungka. The couple were found and taken to Wiluna. 

1979, researcher and leader of an expedition to retrace Alexander Forrest’s explorations of 1879, from the De Grey River in WA to the Overland Telegraph Line in what is now the  Northern Territory.

1980, with a small party retraced The Calvert Scientific Exploration Expedition’s 1896 route from Geraldton to the Fitzroy River.

1982, completed the retracing of David Carnegie’s 1896 route from Coolgardie to Halls Creek.

1984, travelled with a Pilbara Regiment party of twelve people, from Newman to the Canning Stock Route southwards to Well 18, deviating to the Calvert Range, returning to the CSR to head southwards to Wiluna, then returning to South Hedland via Newman.

1985, with Jim Tough, discovered Charles Stansmore’s grave on the Margaret River in the Kimberley region. (In 1997, Stansmore’s remains and the commemorative plaque were relocated to a site well above the high water level.)

1986, journeyed to Halls Creek and Margaret River to erect a cairn on Charles Stansmore’s Grave.

1996, aged 70, Bill Peasley used camels on a ten week long expedition to retrace Carnegie’s northward  journey of 1896. That year, he also assisted a film crew to complete a documentary on the 1977 rescue of Warri and Yatungka.

1999, followed Carnegie’s 1896 route and confirmed the location of many geographical features.

2000, the Warri and Yatungka retracing expedition, which followed the routes taken in 1977 in search of the two nomads, and during the making of the 1996 documentary.

2001, 2002 and 2006, assisted the Italian botanists Professors Erika and Sandro Pignatti, by leading them through the Great Victoria, Gibson, Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts, where they collected over 500 plant specimens.

2004, with a small party, followed the route of the Calvert Expedition with the aim of locating features not found during the 1980 expedition. 

2010, an expedition with Mick Hutton and Connie Sue Beadell, travelling from Marble Bar to Halls Creek, much of which was cross-country.

2012, an expedition into the Gibson Desert, and a trip to Patience Well with Martin and Sheree Hayes.

 

The graves of Warri, Yatungka and Mudjon in the Wiluna cemetery were restored by Bill Peasley, Chris Gilbert and Trevor and Maureen Herbert, in November 2000. The grave surrounds, in the same style as used for Stansmore’s grave, were made by Chris Gilbert and the plaques provided by Peasley.

 

Bill Peasley’s investigations, explorations and research have resulted in the following achievements:

 

The publication of six books. 

The Last of Nomads, Fremantle Press, 1983. The story of Warri and Yatungka and their relocation from the desert in 1977. Second edition, 2009. Both editions have been reprinted numerous times. 

Les derniers nomads d’Australie. French edition of Last of the Nomads, 2001.

In the Hands of Providence. The desert journeys of David Carnegie, St George Books, 1995. 

In the Hands of Providence. The desert journeys of David Carnegie, Hesperian Press, 2013. This publication is the original manuscript before it was reduced for the 1995 book.

Through Spinifex and Sand to the Last Desert Family, Hesperian Press, 2013. The story of the finding of Namma and Naomi and their children.

The last Outposts. From Port of Pearls to Desert Sands. A flying doctor in NW Australia, Autobiography, Hesperian Press, 2014.

 

A documentary in 1996, recording the rescue of Warri and Yatungka.

 

Numerous reports and manuscripts.

 

Thirty-three new place names. 

 

The confirmation of the location of several historical sites.

 

The recording of the names and position of twenty-two Aboriginal sites. 

 

Interviews and oral histories with:

A.G. Herbert, dogger, 1975.

Iris Wade, missionary at Warburton 1930 to 1960s, 1977.

Michael Terry, prospector and explorer, 1980.

Sam Hazlett, prospector and explorer, 1980.

Hugh Barclay, surveyor, 1981.

John Norris, war veteran, 1993.

 

In 2015 Bill Peasley was made a Member of the Order of Australia ‘For significant service to the community as an inland explorer, historian and author, and as a general practitioner’.

His contribution to Australia’s historical record places him at the forefront of modern day explorers, historians and anthropologists.