John (Jack) Delaney (Jean Dell)
Died:March 26th, 1942
have very little information about Jack, I was not even aware of his
existence untl I had published my first "Dryblower" book, however when
I came to the second book of Dryblower's Sunday Times Verses, the
name "Jean Dell" popped up from time to time during my research.
The first reference I could find of him was in 1903 in which
there is reference to a poem "If I were King" which he had published in
the "Spectator" (unavailable on "Trove") in response to the
drama of the same name being played at that time in Perth.
Further research told me that about this time Jack had
spent several months as Editor of this publication. There was also a poem "Flannel Flowers" (by Jean Dell) published in the "Sunday Times" in October 1903.
A much later reference had him as Coolgardies's first schoolmaster
did find one reference to him being a "student" of the
'notorious' catholic priest and playwright Fr. Duff who apparently ran
some poetry workshops around 1903-4. Of the people who studied
Fr. Duff, only Jack would seem to have taken up a poetic career, some
of the others becoming trade union officials, often with Irish militant
leanings. Jack also had political leanings for much of his poetry
and newspaper articles refer to wage injustice and similar topics
On May 1st, 1904, the Sunday Times reported that Jack had given up the editorship of the "Spectator". In
1904, Jack joined the staff of the Kalgoorlie "Sun" and took over
the management of it's column "A Mingled Yarn" from Dryblower who was
now well and truly Perth based, but still contriburting to the "Sun".
It is likely that Jack had studied Dryblower's writings, for his
were very much of the same style. In fact It would seem that
he and Dryblower jointly wrote some poems (eg. "Floss and
style and language were very much influenced by Dryblower, at times to
the point that the reader is left in some doubt as to just who wrote
some of the poems.
In 1909, Jack was writing as Jean Dell for the Perth "Truth"
In April 1916, Jack joined the A.I.F. and it would seem from his writings that he went to the war in Flanders
the 1920s, "Jean Dell" became a main feature writer with the Sunday
Times with many of his poems appearing in Dryblower's "Verse and Worse"
At this time, I have
only been able to find reference to his writing up until April 1930
(more info to come as my research continues)