Tres cosas con Ray Martin: 'Mi futura esposa emitió el ultimátum. Ella o el Cooper Bristol

By his own description, Ray Martin ha sido periodista durante "más de medio siglo". Esa tenencia ha incluido múltiples temporadas presentando A Current Affair, el trabajo que lo convirtió en un nombre familiar, as well as spots on everything from ABC’s Four Corners to First Contact on SBS. Por el camino, Martin has picked up five Gold Logies and an Order of Australia for his work.

El mes pasado, the media star unveiled a new documentary, Norfolk Island with Ray Martin, which is now streaming on SBS On Demand. It sees Martin journey to the beautiful island with landscape photographer Ken Duncan in search of the perfect shot. Getting behind the lens is one of Martin’s passions – in fact, he owns over half a dozen cameras and an archive of around 60,000 photographs.

Aquí, Martin tells us why he’s come to prefer photography over writing – plus the story of two other important personal belongings.

I spent my early childhood moving from town to town across country New South Wales. All up it was 13 towns before I went to high school. My father was a mechanic and mostly worked on dams, cual, por alguna razón, was a booming business after the second world war. Packing our family’s world into a collection of suitcases meant that toys, personal possessions and especially books were mostly left behind. So there’s little from my childhood that I would sadly miss should a fire strike.

Excepto, quizás, for a collection of AB Paterson poems, my first Christmas present book. I still have it. It is filled with rollicking pages of verse by The Banjo, published in Sydney in 1955. I cherish this dog-eared, tattered, literary classic that somehow survived my peripatetic wanderings, secreted with my boyhood shirts and underwear. It was given to me by a young English migrant named Eric who came to stay with us for a few days, became my friend and ended up marrying my sister, Joy.

Maybe the fact I never grew up surrounded by books explains why they clutter up my study, bedroom and media room today. Many of them are signed, original editions. But it’s the Banjo collection, with the faded dust jacket, that I’d almost certainly grab as the flames licked the stairs behind me.

Having been a journalist for well over half a century, I owe my “fame and fortune”, cobwebbed as it is, to words I’ve written. Or spoken. Or jotted on stray bits of paper when I have been caught short of a notebook.

But these days, I think I prefer taking photographs. That’s why my cameras are my most useful object. I have probably half a dozen, maybe more. No exaggeration, I must have 60,000 photos in my personal collection.

Si, as the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, then no snap I have ever taken is as good as my best thousand-word essay. Or column. Aún I find my camera more satisfying – even therapeutic – than writing. Estos días, with digital cameras or mobile phones, it’s also instant gratification. Hacer clic. Done. And with photos you set your own bar. If you’re happy with the image, bien, it’s your art after all!

I most regret losing my … virginity. Just kidding. But now that I have your attention, there was one item I’m sorry I lost.

When I was first graded as a journalist, in my ABC youth – back in the 1960s – I was sent to Perth as a reporter. My girlfriend, who became my fiance and is now my wife of 50 años, came with me across the other side of Australia. We had no money and even borrowed from the Credit Union for our wedding. Ahora, as we were making arrangements for our nuptials, an ABC colleague made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Casi.

He was going to London to try his luck with the BBC and had a car that he wanted to give me. Bien, he actually wanted 1,500 quid for it. But it certainly was a gift at that price. It was a British racing green, two-door Cooper Bristol tourer which he had found in a farmer’s shed and restored immaculately. Built of aluminium, it had survived the nesting chooks and the elements. Solo 1,500 quid.

My wife-to-be issued the ultimatum: her or the Cooper Bristol. All these years later I really do regret losing that classic British tourer.

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