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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Our Contributors. — W. O. David Barker

Our Contributors.
W. O. David Barker.

Born at Ballarat, Victoria, in 1888, D. B. early showed signs of artistic talent. When only nine years old, at Nnill Art School he won first prize in a competition, with a plaster cast of the head of Moses. Soon after this, the Barkers moved to Sydney, and our hero became, nominally, a pupil at Fort Street School; only nominally, for he hated school and loved the open air. Unofficially free, he went fishing at Coogee, or put in the stolen hours sketching "Our Harbour."

Taken from school, young Barker began the battle of life by sticking tinfoil on the tops of gingerale bottles, from 6 a.m. till 6 p.m. daily; at night he attended the Art School. After a few months with the ærated water firm, he got employment with William Brooks and Co., the publishers. Subsequently he was apprenticed to a firm of engravers. When his time was up, he hit out for America, earning his passage, by polishing brass on the "Makura". Landing in Vancouver, he worked his way down to Seattle, where he convinced a Restaurant keeper that he was the best waiter in town, and was employed at five dollars per seven days, with food, Six months later, D. B. crossed to the Quaker City, where he worked for the Curtis Publishing Co., and acquired Quaker habits, which New York afterwards knocked out of him, however. Next he found his way to Paris, and landed in the Latin Quarter with only a smile, which carried him through for six months. Then Australia got a hammer lock on him, and back he went. Our Art Editor enlisted in April, 1915. He enjoyed Heliopolis for a month or two, then went to the Peninsula, and spent four months there as a stretcher bearer, when Editor Bean gave him a congenial job on the Beach, helping to drag the "Anzac Book" together. By the way, his cover design won first prize. Subsequently he went to Mesopotamia for twelve months, working on maps. His chief gains were a taste for Indian curry, and a loss of faith in the Arabian Nights' tales.