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Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hot off the Press - it's 'Paraffin' Brown...

It's more than twenty years since the death of Guernsey's most infamous journalist, but I'm happy to report that he's still making headlines.

Nicknamed 'Paraffin' for  his fiery temper,  my father Harry Brown was featured this week in the Guernsey Press, along with the story of the 'Guernseyman' magazine he was determined to make his own.

Says writer Shaun Shackleton 'He was a 19-year-old returning home after the Occupation and he harboured a dream - to be a journalist.  So Harry Brown started his own magazine... We follow the story of 'Paraffin' Brown and his dream come true - the Guernseyman.'

Dad was never one to fight shy of controversy. 'Is divorce here too easy? Are islanders ignorant? Do local
lads prefer blondes? These were some of the tongue-in-cheek articles he wrote in an attempt to drag Guernsey into the twentieth century.

I suspect no-one took him too seriously. Not only was the war over, but he'd suffered his own personal tragedy - the loss of his 11-year-old brother -  and he needed a reason to carry on. After the pain and suffering,  he just wanted to make people smile.  As I browse through this week's articles in the Press, I feel sure that's exactly what he did.

So here's to the freedom of the press - and here's to a man who, in his own small way, made it possible.


anotherguernseygirl said...

Great to hear that Harry was such an explosive character who brought Guernsey into the 20th century.anotherguernseygirl.

Guernsey Girl said...

He also brought three daughters into the 20th century - and we're still trying to live up to him...