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Kogarah Library renamed in celebration of Clive James

13/05/2020

Kogarah Library and Service Centre will officially be known as Clive James Library and Service Centre following a decision by Georges River Council at its meeting on Monday 27 April.

After community consultation, Councillors voted in favour of the motion to rename the library in James’ honour following the writer’s death in November 2019. His name will feature prominently on the Library’s façade.

A widely celebrated writer and poet, James achieved fame and admiration for his dry wit, which resonated with audiences across the globe. Clive James grew up in Kogarah, attending Sydney Technical College, before graduating from the University of Sydney, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English.

Soon after he relocated to England, where he spent most of his life, establishing a successful career as a television critic, writer, poet, and later as a television host with his own shows including Clive James on Television and Saturday Night Clive.

A long and successful career as a writer saw James release over thirty titles including an impressive body of poetry. His 1980 autobiography Unreliable Memoirs recounted much of his early life in Kogarah and would go on to become an international hit with readers.

Mayor of Georges River Council, Kevin Greene said the re-naming of the library was a fitting tribute to the literary giant who grew up in Kogarah. “A celebrated writer of James’ status having humble roots in Kogarah is an inspiring story for our community to embrace, and we’re proud to be able to acknowledge the success of one of our own in this way,” said Mayor Greene.

“We recognised the need to keep the Clive James legacy alive following his sad passing last year. While he is well known among those of us who grew up with Clive James on our TV screens, we felt it was particularly important to make his contribution to Australian literature known to younger members of our community, and to ensure that he will be remembered for years to come.

“While Clive James received many accolades in his time, I’d like to think he’d feel particularly proud of this one, where his name can be prominently visible to inspire the next generation of writers to follow in his footsteps,” Mayor Greene added.

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