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        Her origins were relatively humble, although her family was well known in the Manly district.   Education and a career had escaped her.   Upward mobility had come by association-- her husband had worked in the city office of a woolbroker, bringing identification with both the merchant class and the landed gentry.

        Ironically, some of the most valued clients of the woolbroker had been members of my family, whose broad acres and thousands of sheep entitled them to a high social status.

        To such a mind, socialism was anathema--a corrupting influence which threatened the stability of the nation. The conservative establishment knew what was best to protect us and our hard won colonial heritage.

        In her middle age, Joan Thorburn had a double--Edna Everage, the theatrical personality created by Barry Humphries, who epitomized "ocker" values.   She had the same strident soprano voice, the permanently-waved hairdo, the expansive figure, and the same regal attitude to an audience. She wore glasses with exaggerated frames through which she perceived the people of Manly as her loyal, appreciative followers.

        Thorburn saw my sudden appearance on the local political stage as an opportunity, which she could exploit.   She would strengthen her role   as grand dame of the village by taking advantage of any largesse that  

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