|To understand the poems of Captain Kalgan it helps to know his history both in the UK and Australia.
Born in a Council house in Leeds Yorkshire on the 23rd of August in 1951 and named Jonathan William Jones he is a cross between Leo and Virgo. IE: he wants things clean and tidy but requires someone else to do it!!
He left Yorkshire at 18 months never to return but amazed his family 20 years later when he described not only his bedroom, but the garden and people who lived next door. He thought it better not to mention an awareness of life before birth and birth itself. But then he is a bit odd to say the least!
His Mother’s side of the family was what is called upper class while his Fathers side was a Welsh working class family. You will understand this clash in the poem ”Class” which the first half was written soon after arrival in Australia in 1972 but not completed until 30 years later.
He grew up with a love of nature but at the same time the instinct of a hunter. This applied not only to animals but also business Never recognising the idea that he should “Know his place” this had left a bitter taste in his life that is again reflected in his early poems. However this same attitude has seen him become successful in life. He will now tell you that the very best gamekeepers were once poachers. Also that the wearing of a uniform does not necessarily mean the person is good or should have authority and that respect is something that has to be earned. His pet hates are bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake! Loud mouths and bullies!
He arrived at Circular key in Sydney on the 20th of February 1972 on the ship Elliness. It was some years later that he found out that the Great train robber Ronald Biggs left the country on the same ship. A lot of his early poems were lost; in fact he never kept any! And it was only when his wife Claire found some in old boxes etc. and then kept them and the new ones, that the collection began. Resulting in the DVD of poems, “Captain Kalgan’s, That’s life”.
He returned to England in 1981 for his Brother Simons wedding and years later wrote the poem “A person should never look back” as a result of that trip.
He again returned to England in 1990 to see his Parents and get over a separation that had left his young Daughter Margarita on the other side of the world. The intention had been to stay for a month or two, but that did not happen. His Son Jack was born and he met Claire who is his Wife today. The poem, “Claire” was written then. They flew from England to Albany and got married in The Gap.
It was at that time the herpes virus was killing the Mules [Sardines] Around the South Australian coastline. Hence the shared headlines in the Albany Advertiser the next day, GAP COUPLE TAKE THE PLUNGE, HERPIES VIRUS HITS ALBANY! Now realising that class was not a thing of breeding but what is in your heart, he settled down to a few years of English country life.
Writing the poems “Sis” which was a message from Jack to his Sister in Australia. “Beth” about a young village girl who Jonathan thought was to say the least misunderstood. “Having a Bar B” is perhaps the most controversial poem in the collection and was never meant to be heard by the characters in it. However as many years have past, I will just say that “only the names have been changed to protect the innocent” And that they do not represent real people now or in the past. The names of the character points out their idiosyncrasies, for example Jonathan was Aussie dye me beard. His good friend John and Jacks Godfather was a very heavy drinker who became, I don’t drink Scotch or super.
The Landlord, ex copper would have a few drinks and then give you the wrong change. Not always too little some times too much, he became, Watch your change. In those days mobile phones were new and were often worn on your belt. Just to let you know, they had one. Uncool. Hence the character wears his phone on the outside and so on. The last poem written in England came about after a person froze to death on their way home from a pub and is called “The Frozen Stiff” Jonathan returned to Australia in 1997 with his Wife Claire and Son Jack. Australia was and is his home and he has been heard to say. Yes I was born in England but bred in Australia.
Over the years Jonathan has lived in Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin and now calls Albany home. Having travelled round the World 8 times he knows that Albany is it. His Son Jack went on to become Cadet of the year, Junior Anzac of the year and on his 18 th birthday Australia’s youngest fully qualified Captain.
The Kalgan Queen was launched in August 2000 and it is from then that he became known as Captain Kalgan.