The former Deputy Prime Minister and first resident ambassador to the Holy See – as well as veteran, writer, advocate, raconteur and passionate railway man – is keen to see Newcastle’s Industrial Drive renamed “Mark Twain Drive”. He feels it’s a far more enticing and distinctive name for the busy thoroughfare. A name change would remind locals and visitors alike of Mark Twain’s visit to Newcastle when he is alleged to have described the city thus, "Newcastle consists of a long street with a graveyard at one end with no bodies in it, and a gentleman's club at the other with no gentlemen in it.”
Name change or not, Tim was a generous and engaging guest who charmed all he met. His address focused on his treasured time in Rome and the opportunities it presented, as recorded in his book, Holy See, Unholy Me. He shared his thoughts about the resignation of Pope Benedict, having in fact predicted it, much to the chagrin of the Italian enclave at the Vatican. He is enthusiastic about Pope Francis – but then, who isn’t?
Tim’s well-documented passion for trains and train travel was appreciated by the audience, and in response to one question he said, “On matters rail, don’t get me started!”
The Tenison Woods Dinner is keenly anticipated by many, not only because it presents an opportunity to hear an engaging and erudite speaker, but because it brings together people from all over the diocese who support the ministry of the Tenison Woods Education Centre, under the auspices of the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar. Please visit www.twec.org.au
Article and photographs courtesy of Tracey Edstein. View a full gallery of the 2014 TWEC Dinner.