genres: non-fiction, autobiography, history
Born in Melbourne in 1926, Gerry Walshe got off to a pretty bad start in life by conventional standards.
Being the illegitimate son of a Roman Catholic woman, he was given away to a tribal Aborigine woman at age 4 months to be raised by the Lieillwan clan in North Western New South Wales.
At age 5 he was reclaimed by his natural mother.
His father was killed right before his 7 year old eyes.
Being brought back into white society, he was very confused. When he was introduced to his white family he was ostracised by his blood relatives being seen as a very black sheep.
So, Gerry grew up tough - he had to. Sent to a Catholic College in Melbourne he had to settle scores with the playground bullies. This he did in three rounds.
Gerry joined the RAAF at age 18, He was posted to Morotai Island to work on damaged aircraft during World War 2. He dodged live ammunition on no less than three occasions.
Later he went to Japan as a member of the British Occupational Forces where, inter alia, he rescued Japanese civilians from typhoon ravaged areas, witnessed the damage that the Atomic weapons wrought to Hiroshima and performed P.R duties for the RAAF in conjunction with the American forces there.
After the war he returned to Melbourne only to find his life savings had been 'ratted' away by his own family.
But Gerry rose above all this.
While overseas, he lost his one true love in an accident. He nearly lost his life on a motor cycle but managed to survive long enough to write this account of his life - so far.
Today, Gerry Walshe lives quietly near Batemans Bay NSW where he is working on his sequel to 'The White Aborigine'.
In the way life imitates art, Gerry Walshe's life began in a way similar to that of Steve Martin's character Navin R. Johnson in the movie 'The Jerk'. Gerry Walshe spent his early years living as an Australian Aborigine. As the illegitimate son of a Roman Catholic woman, he was given away to a tribal Aboriginal woman at the age of four months. This is his story - an Australian story.