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Robert G Barrett passes away 20 September 2012

I wasn’t expecting this. Yet in my heart I knew Robert was battling cancer bravely. It will be hard to realise that Les Norton, Robert’s most famous character has been put to rest as well.

In many ways I believe Robert was actually Les. The larikan, Queenslander with the crooked smile, kind heart and a love of all things good. Tight with money, never!!! Just careful I would think.

I had a book signed by him once at a launching in Townsville. Rode across from my home on Magnetic Island to que up for the release of a Norton paperback. I was with another red haired Queenslander ‘TG’, Tony Griffin, who put the first Norton novel on my desk. ‘Read this’ he laughed, and I did in one sitting.

TG gave me another 15 Nortons to read and ofcourse I have reread them since. My favourite, The Godson still makes me smile.

Yeah I hit the heavy bag occassionally. I like to ‘do my best’ trying to stay fit and often think of Les when I’m doing it. Gave up the ‘delicious’ many years ago but love to think of the situations Les got into when indulging in one too many.

Farewell Bob and Les. You won’t see another writer like this for a long time. I felt the same way when Slim Dusty died. Now I think I might get a copy of ‘The Real Thing’ and have a laugh just as i’m sure Robert is doing in heaven.

Photo of Robert courtesy of his Website

Photo of Peter F Hughes and Norton Commando by the author. (C) 2012

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