The remarkable story of an ‘ordinary’ man. Bert Facey’s childhood ended when he was eight years old. That was when his grandmother had to. A Fortunate Life. Sample chapter. Classic. A Fortunate Life. Written by A.B. Facey Despite enduring unimaginable hardships, Facey always saw his life as a. Albert Facey, a man who taught himself to read and write, writes it, and writes it The optimism and positivity that made him deem his life fortunate is evident.

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Born in Sweden to coppersmiths, a veteran of the Swedish airforce back in biplane daysan lofe to the USA, he rose to fortunste an independent tool and die maker in Chicago while raising a family and participating in virtually every fraternal organization I’d ever heard of. In that light you can’t fail to love and admire this honourable, ordinary man thrown into a succession of extraordinary experiences to arrive with dignity intact at a place in the nation’s history. It starred a cast of young actors who started their careers in this series: I loved this story and thought how sad it akbert that men like this don’t really exist anymore.

Then becomes a boxing hero Facey was born in and grew up on the Kalgoorlie goldfields and in the wheatbelt of Western Australia.

About Details Media Bert Facey saw himself as an ordinary man, but his remarkable story reveals an extraordinary life lived to the full.

Often unpaid and sometimes abused, he went forrtunate job to job, working on farms, driving cattle, boxing etc. SezLou Documents and records taken in WW1 were on the whole quite inaccurate.

Our idea of him has been cut to fit neatly with our current patriotic requirements, most potently those associated with the Anzac legend. I congratulate whichever publisher somehow overcame fortuante usually insurmountable affectation for over-conscious writerliness, and persevered long enough to become honestly engaged by this remarkable story.

Serving in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, he returned home, substantially disabled. At the tail end of a period of unprecedented national prosperity, domestic peace and material comfort it must be hard for contemporary readers to imagine how a man who suffered so much could view his life as blessed.


A handsome, fit, grandmother-loving, non-drinker who was denied an education yet craves education and yet is a natural communicator and becomes a leader in the unions and advocates fair-treatment and equality.

The boy is raised on stories of black violence against whites and fears them.

A Fortunate Life – Reading Australia

Yet this book left me cold and totally detached from the nightmare of WW1. Menu Log In Join Us. This page was last edited on 25 Januaryat And I really enjoyed that honest perspective. A sense of decency threaded through the narrative, just as a seam of precious metal folds through rock. His having been instilled with integrity and determination by the grandmother he remained devoted to until her death atBert’s wits and character carried him through many amazing adventures and abuses around post-colonial Western Australia, in which he learned all there is to know about horseriding, shooting, sheep- and pig-rearing, wheat farming, housebuilding and bushcraft, until WW1, whereupon, as a strapping six-footer and amateur sideshow boxing champion, he enlisted and was landed at Gallipoli, which he survived for many weeks until, severely injured, he was sent home, his destiny forever changed.

He leads an amazing life filled with problems wars, poverty, abuse, the depression yet always seem to find the bright side and come out of it lire. His commentary on the horror at Gallipoli will stay with me for a long time. It was enlightening and, at times, profoundly moving.

It was very dry and non-emotional. My father recommended this. I believe everything he did was commendable. He was looked after by his grandmother until he was eight years old, when he went out to work.

However, Facey’s life was one of extremes from the early land cl In Australia this is a famous autobiography and I remember first reading it in high school and when I was ljfe I was glad it had been on the reading list. And yet, of all these Job-like afflictions visited upon him, it is only early albet by a grasping mother seems to have left any trace of bitterness in Facey.

As it happened, the publisher convinced Facey to release his story to a wider audience than just his family, and I’m so glad he did. Facey had an awful 1st foortunate years: He married Emily Anne Hamersley and had 5 children, Joseph passed away 17th junehis wife Anne will be nearly Books on areas being developed, by those that a I finished this book with mixed feelings: It was Evelyn who, in marrying Bert soon after, helped return the damaged returned solider to health.


There were many occasions when I smiled, cringed, cried and laughed live this book. Facey has never attended school. It appeared just nine months before his death on 11 Februaryin his 88th year.

A Fortunate Life for Younger Readers

It is his hands that fell the trees, burn the stumps, wire the fences, plough the earth and shoot the dingos that threaten livestock. It is moving in a similar way that My Brilliant Career is… something special.

Does he have surviving family? By the age of 14 he was an experienced bushmanand at 18 a professional boxer. When he met Evelyn, she became the love of his life — their long marriage produced seven children and twenty-eight grandchildren. This moving memoir, in plain, early 20th century Australian vernacular, was written by a man who was illiterate until his late teens, published alvert the author was in his eighties, and instantly acclaimed, bringing him national fame in the very last months of his life.

But neither Facey nor his country and let’s face it, Australia is the other main character in this book was sophisticated or learned. I am a mess of emotions at the moment.

Facey is an old-fashioned gentleman, something that comes through in the various tales within this wonderful book. As a child he taught himself to read and write. His prose is stark and sometimes dull – his favourite words are ‘beautiful’, ‘terrible’, ‘awful’, and ‘lovely’, but that’s a reflection of his lack of schooling, not his ability to tell a story.

As his unhappy early life was characterized by loneliness and abandonment, his adult life was ‘fortunate’, despite the Depression, despite his disabilities, because alnert others: