Monday, 27 June 2011


The SBS footage went to air that same day and was slotted onto the tail end of the evenings news as a "quirky" item, normally reserved for baby pandas at zoos.

The two solicitor sons of Bill Hooper when contacted by the SBS journalist had both backed away from their claims of taking legal action against the Reverend Matthew Harmon of the Bentley Park Community Baptist Church.

"Because legally you haven't got a leg to stand on!" thought the SBS journalist as he sat in front of the two solicitors listening to their bluster and bluff. What he did observe however was both men had that aura of naked greed and the brazen hunger of souls which only knew how to covet more and more. The journalist shivered to himself as he walked away from the interview.

So the matter of the Reverend Matthew Harmon quoting The 23rd Psalm at the late Bill Hooper's funeral service may have died, never to have surfaced again before the Australian public, had not some current affairs producers been intrigued by the issue. "There's a story behind the story!" they intuited.

First off and running were the film crew and journalists from A Current Affair who interviewed the Reverend at his modest home in Bentley Park, with his wife Amber, three sons and baby daughter. Matthew Harmon spoke about his ambitions to win his Division as a Councillor in the coming by-election and of his opposition to the string of night clubs, featuring sex acts which the Mayor of Cairns had approved since his election. The Reverend himself led the news team through the streets of Cairns and attempted to enter several of the Clubs, however at each venue, ramboesque bouncers prevented the camera crew from entering. The film footage they were able to take however featured a running brawl up and down Lake Street between roughly a hundred drunken men and thirty hard-pressed police officers.

"We've always had some street violence here," explained the Reverend into the cameras,
"but nothing like this. There are huge street brawls every night, and the Police are finding it harder and harder to cope."

The Current Affair team interviewed the Regional Superintendent of Police, who, despite being very defensive about the ability of the police force to contain the street violence in the city of Cairns, spoke openly about the shift of Australia's underworld from the Gold Coast to Cairns, as a direct result of the proliferation of the night club industry in the city and the increase in hard drugs in the region.

His Worship the Mayor, Colonel (Retired) Ken Cush refused to comment to the Current Affair team.

When the program aired the following evening, it caused shock waves around Australia. People wanted to know more about the side of Cairns which the hard-sell tourist advertising were not saying.

Next into Cairns were the crew from The 7PM Project, then 60 Minutes. The Reverend Matthew Harmon was gaining a national profile as he continued to speak of his opposition to sex acts in night clubs, the sexual exploitation of women, the growth of the drug industry in Cairns and the increase in street violence. He was described by the 60 Minutes journalist, as "probably unique in Australian political life for whereas morals crusaders traditionally spring from the far right of politics, the Reverend is coming from the far left."

The profile he gained from exposure in the current affairs programs saw the Reverend receive an invitation to be a guest speaker on the ABC's "Q. & A." Program to speak on the issue of the "relevance of religion in todays society."

It was on "Q. & A" that the Reverend Matt Harmon excelled, and earned himself the title "The Sky Pilot from Bentley Park."

Explaining his religious and political beliefs, the Reverend mentioned how much he opposed war and the ongoing war in Afghanistan in particular. The studio audience all cheered at this. The war in Afghanistan had taken more Australian casualties in 2013 and the Australian people were angered by the Government's insistence that troops remain stationed in the country. Huge opposition was mounting all over Australia. Buoyed by the studio response, the Reverend spontaneously burst into song........

"He blesses the boys as they stand there in line,
The smell of gun grease and their bayonets they shine...
He said that he'll help them all that he can...
To make them feel wanted, he's a good Holy man......
Sky Pilot.....Sky Pilot.."

As one, the studio audience rose to their feet clapping and cheering.

"It's always been a favorite song of mine," explained the Reverend, his face flushed with excitement. "I know it exposes the hypocracy of the role of the Church in war, and I agree with that. We must withdraw our troops from Afghanistan!"

His popular appearance on "Q. & A." saw the Melbourne Age write, "Sky Pilot from Cairns Wows Australians!" It was a timely piece of writing, and a timely arrival on the Australian political scene by a fresh faced squeaky clean sincere young Reverend.

National leaders are often thrust into their positions through quirks of fate. The Reverend Matthew Harmon soon became linked in the minds of Australians as a focal point in the opposition to the war in Afghanistan. The song "Sky Pilot" by Eric Burdon and the Animals surged in popularity around the nation. Each time it played, people thought of "the Reverend Matthew Harmon, the Sky Pilot from Bentley Park in Cairns."

His success on "Q. & A." saw the Reverend invited as a guest on the "Sunrise" morning program where he played his guitar and sang "Day by Day" from the musical Godspell as well as singing part of "Sky Pilot" much to the delight of the hosts of the "Sunrise" show.

It was barely three weeks following his spontaneous recital of The 23rd Psalm at Bill Hooper's funeral, but the Reverend Matt Harmon was now a national celebrity.

It wasn't of course an oversight that the local newspaper, "The Cairns Post" avoided any mention of the Reverend during these three weeks. Story after story had appeared in the newspaper praising Colonel Cush's Conservative Partys candidate for Division 2, Bud Yarrow. According to the Editor of "The Cairns Post" Bud Yarrow was "a real man, with a strong voice and a strong direction for Division 2. His wit, intelligence and visionary zeal will be a huge asset to the ranks of the Cairns Regional Council and to His Worship the Mayor, Colonel Ken Cush, the best Mayor this city has ever had."

Advertisements and commercials urging people to vote for Bud Yarrow deluged the local media machine. Corflutes with Bud Yarrow's slogan, "A REAL man for Division 2!" were liberally scattered throughout the suburbs. In fact as someone said, you could not walk more than two hundred metres without seeing a Bud Yarrow corflute. They were more prolific than dog turds in a dog lovers suburb.

The local shock jocks on the radio stations were in over-drive with their enthusiasm for Bud Yarrow. "Ohhh, what a man," thundered shock jock Don O'Reilly to his talk-back audience.
"I just feel so HUMBLED, so HUMBLED indeed, that such a mighty man as BUD YARROW would give us his time and his reputation to stand as a Divisional Councillor in this city. I can't tell you what a great honour it is...I mean the man is a multi-millionaire property developer in his own right, and he doesn't need the money, so he really is commiting a great sacrifice for us all. We should all be just so grateful and humbled by having such a luminary, such a brilliant man choosing to serve us on the Regional Council....."

The first caller of the day was "Merv of Bentley Park".
"Oh mate," said Merv. "You can stick your Mr Yarrow down your cakehole. We want someone like the good bloody Reverend, Mr Sky Pilot himself."

The next caller wasn't quite so polite. "How much have you been paid, you greasy bastard to spruik this Yarrow's praises hey?"

The third caller was "Heather from Parramatta Park." "I like the Reverend Matthew Harmon," Heather said firmly. "I like what he is saying about those filthy night clubs in the city which only exploit women and the growth of crime here. I'm a Mother of a young daughter and I am very worried about the growth of drugs in Cairns since that awful Colonel Cush became Mayor........"

"Oh," said the shock-jock, "We seem to have lost Heather from Parramatta Park....."

To be continued.......


  1. Hehehehe, we seem to have lost Heather, LOL. Don't we know it. So now we have a national star, a man of the Cloth no less, about to take up the cudgels against the evil Mayor Ken Cush and destroy the Sodom and Gomorrah empire he's built hey? Just as well this is a satire. In reality I think the likes of Cush, Horsey, the Hooper solicitors and the Murdoch media would obliterate a white knight in shining armour faster than they could say "a million bucks".

  2. I think we all like to still believe in the good guys winning, Anonymous. However, my series isn't complete yet. Keep on reading.

  3. Sky Pilot was one of my favorite songs from the late 1960s. It might just work again as a protest war song, who knows? Very creative writing anyways. Looking forward to more.

  4. What I want to know is where oh where is the lovely Sky Lovelady? I'm in LOVE mate passinately.

  5. Tell me Terry. do the scum-sucking,shite slithering solicitors live in a dog-turded, dog loving suburb??? Ha ha mate, your best tail (pardon the pun) ever...

  6. I'm not so sure Anonymous above, where you claim that a "white knight" would be obliterated etc.
    If the anti Afghanistan war sentiment escalated and peoples emotions were running high, then I think they would be looking for a figurehead, an identity, or a "rallying point" as Terry wrote, to help mobilise the movement. Bringing back the old anti Vietnam war song "Sky Pilot" to help identify Matt Harmon as the "white knight" could work even in todays warped and prejudiced media environment. You cannot overlook the role of social media these days as well.

  7. Thanks guys. You were all quick off the mark today with your comments. Anonymous above, I'm not sure about the Hooper solicitors. ROFL. I presume they would live in a gated dress circle community somewhere. They are however of that breed of Australian entirely focussed on amassing wealth. They see life as a competition until death. They must have the most expensive home, the most expensive cars, the biggest portfolio, the most real estate, the most successful children etc. I doubt they would even notice a dog turd.

  8. Diana from Mt Sheridan27 June 2011 at 18:24

    I always liked "Sky Pilot" and believed it to be one of the better anti-Vietnam war protest songs. "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" were successful musicals also during the anti-Vietnam era. Perhaps it is therefore very apt and fitting that the Reverend has resurrected the songs of that era when people, tired of war and the lies of their Governments, rose up in mass protest. Makes me wonder if the good Reverend isn't as naive as the writer makes out. Likewise, I'm looking forward to reading more about the Sky Pilot from Bentley Park.

  9. Bob at Lake Placid28 June 2011 at 00:09

    I kind of agree with the very first comment posted by Anonymous. I think it is hard today with the misinformation and dishonesty of the media, particularly the Murdoch media, to know good from evil. You talk about the Vietnam War, well we were all exposed to some of the reality of that war thanks to the journalists of that time, who did their jobs properly. What about the Iraq war, where they were "embedded" with the US military? Or in Afghanistan? Todays corporate media disseminates lies, propaganda and deliberate misinformation. As I said, it is harder today to know who the good people are.

  10. Thansk Diana and Bob (new readers?) for your comments. "Cush over Cairns" is set two years in the future, in 2013. What will be happening in Afghanistan then??

  11. You are so right Bob at Lake Placid. It is harder today to know who the good people are because the media are no longer impartial. I guess this explains why we enjoy "Cush over Cairns", because it's all there in front of us to see who the goodies and baddies are. Yes, it might be a satire but I often feel Terry Vance does a pretty darn good representation of some of the scum we have lurking in our communities.

  12. Someone referred me to your blog Terry and I just had to write and tell you how much I am enjoying this. Its very crude in parts but it makes me laugh that Cush is a disgusting specimen of manhood. I'd like to hear more about councillor Mingin the aboriginal Councillor because we have never had a murri councillor here ever.

  13. Thank you Yvonne. Councillor Mingin does return I assure you. Keep on reading. Glad you are enjoying the series.

  14. Hey Terry, bloody good stuff mate. You sure you don't live or come from Mackay mate...too many bloody similarities, ha ha. ROTFLMFAO...Saw the Council Sweeper come past today, with two blokes in it ( only takes one to drive it, by the way) and yep...Rates are due here shortly...Stick it up em' mate!!!

  15. No Anonymous, I don't come from Mackay. (That's MUCK-EYE isn't it, LOL?) I understand you call your Mayor down there the "Colonel" as well. Good to see the people of Mackay reading the blog.