NEW PODCAST EPISODE #47 — Andrew Rule on his eulogy for Les Carlyon
Les Carlyon was a legendary figure in Australian journalism. He was an editor of The Age, then a beloved racing features writer, then the author of bestselling war histories.
When I met up with Andrew Rule last month, I wanted to feature his eulogy for his father, Keith Rule, which I think is just an iconic piece of Australian writing.
But Andrew has been generous enough to share a few speeches with Speakola. He also delivered a lovely speech at the Flemington funeral for his friend and mentor, Les Carlyon in March 2019. So I turned on the recorder at the end of the first episode, and asked him some questions about the Carlyon eulogy. That one is out now.
Andrew tells us in this bonus episode that he dragged himself from a hospital bed for the honour of speaking, and was on enough painkillers to be hazy about his memories of the day.
But, again, it’s a lovely eulogy, befitting of a man who, in words Andrew quotes in the eulogy, ‘wrote like an angel’.
He has a lovely recurring motif, ‘won’t keep you, Les’, that gives the speech the feeling of a spine, while at the same time sharing character and story.
If you want to watch the whole memorial service, the Carlyon family were good enough to share it with me. Andrew’s eulogy begins at 43.40.
For Les Carlyon: 'Won't keep you, Les', by Andrew Rule - 2019
12 March 2019, Flemington, Melbourne,Australia
Above clip is whole service. Andrew Rule’s eulogy begins at 43.40.
Won’t keep you, mate.
A lot of people here have heard you say that.
“Won’t keep you.”
An hour later, there you’d be, still yarning.
‘Won’t keep you, Les’
It’s the password to the Carlyon Club. It had a lot of members.
For a quiet man, you could talk on anything: history; newspapers; literature. And racing, of course. Not just gallopers but trotters and horses in general ... and working dogs and drenching sheep and tips on practical harness maintenance.
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