This painting tells the story of my father’s boxing match with the popular, charismatic Aboriginal elder Henry ‘Banjo’ Clarke in their youth. Banjo, who was a Gunditjmara man from south-west Victoria, was a very good boxer and three years older than Dad. It was a close match. After the final round, Banjo collapsed but won the fight on points. At the end of the night, Dad was presented with a trophy for the ‘best loser’.
Dad told me this story a couple of years before he died. He would say, ‘Bloody best loser, what a trophy to win!’ He would have a good laugh. My father really liked old Banjo.
Glenn Morgan, 2021