B J Le Chêne
B.J. Le Chene was born in Tasmania, Australia. After marriage B.J. lived in south-east Asia and began making stained glass windows and concrete and clay sculptures. A fun commission was the creation of a friesian cow and calf for the Dutch Lady Milk Company and B. J. is gratified to find them still standing after forty years. Other commissions included concrete bas-reliefs of Malaysia's first Prime Minister and of doctors including Sigmund Freud and Harvey Cushing, the father of neurosurgery. Watching a black and white film of Dr. Cushing operating, the only image available, was a challenge in itself. This work was for the General Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. B.J. also made busts of children and various other pieces in glass and taught ceramics at the Mara Institute of Art (now Mara University) for three years. When B.J.’s spouse became bound by work to one spot, B.J. opened a stained glass studio and followed personal inspiration in creating artwork.
On retirement they returned to settle in Melbourne to enjoy their five grandchildren. B.J. found the Boroondara Writers Group and life as a retiree took a new direction. Never having written more than students’ notes and articles for various art magazines, the joys of fiction came to have a whole new meaning.
B.J. summers in Melbourne and winters in south-east Asia.
The History Tree
by B J Le Chêne
Published: September 16, 2015
Padraig Ryan is in his prime. Life should be good but he has two problems: his family and the iconic mountain ash that it at the heart of his rural community. Can he reconcile his embittered eldest daughter with his new wife and children? How will he tell his neighbours that their ‘history tree’ must be felled?
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