The story of Max Burns and the township of Julia Creek. A PDF version can be downloaded free (see below). The first bound copy was finished on 7 Oct 2009.
Note: the book is actually called Tanksinker, not Max Burns Tanksinker.
This is a big, ugly and expensive book (260 x 280 mm, 816 pages, 3.9 kgs). It may look rough, but you won't find a book that is more flexible or which is bound with more strength. Price for the final few copies will be well above the original asking price ($150), a price I subsidised so that contributors could afford to buy it.
How to Order New Copies
24 Oct 2009: I am no longer accepting orders for this book except from people whose story appears in the book and who have not yet ordered a copy.
21 Apr 2011: Price for the last three copies is $395 (now sold), $550 (now sold), $750. The final two copies will come with a glass weight, and have a different gold-silk insert that will read something like: "This is the final copy. Sold to ..."
23 Aug 2012: A secondhand copy in mint condition, #44, is now available for sale at $350. It will have the original gold-silk inset, plus another for the new purchaser.
Caring for Tanksinker
Download a one-page PDF, Caring For Tanksinker.
Who Has Copies?
• Numbers are the copy number as per the silk inscription.
• A description of each book, and a photo, are in a PDF called Tanksinker Books, which can be downloaded here.
• Comments included after each order are either unsolicited or the buyer was contacted to make sure the book had arrived in good order.
1. Guy Burns. First copy, shown above.
2. Jenny Pearce.
3. Dadie Dawes, 1 colour copy, 7 Oct, paid by bank deposit. Posted 18/12/09, received 21/12/09.
4. Fred Edwards (for Vi), 1 B&W copy, 6 Oct, paid by cheque. Posted 14/12/09, received 16/12.
5. Harry Denman, 1 colour copy, 20 Oct, by postal order. Posted 11/01/10, received 13th.
6. Joe Azzopardi, 1 B&W copy, paid by cheque. Posted 21/12/09, received 22/12/09.
7. Nita Pearce (Crawford), 1 colour copy, 16 Nov, paid by cheque. Posted 21/12/09, received 22/12/09.
By letter 7/1/2010: "This letter is to let you know what a wonderful big book Tanksinker is, and to thank you for the phone calls before Christmas re the book's arrival. I have found it fascinating to read the history of Julia Creek and also to see so many faces I knew – the one in particular of Paddy Byrne. We had a special regard for one another! And my friend of all those years – Lil Somers. I also have to say my article comes across pretty good. Friends and family can't believe it... It brings back so many memories, so thanks again."
8. Kim Birch (for Jim), 1 B&W copy, 17 Nov, Posted 14/12/09, received 15/12.
By email 16/12/2009: "Just letting you know your book arrived safety yesterday and it is, in my humble opion, sensational! Thank you so much for getting the book to me in time for Christmas. I know Dad (Jim) will be thrilled with it and no doubt provide him with many hours of reflection. Thank you also, Guy, for having the vision for putting something like this together, and also the resilience to get the text completed. Noting the detail in the book, it would seem to have been a project you were very much committed to and one that families like mine are very grateful to you for."
9. Mossie & Betty McDonald, 1 colour copy, 15 Oct, paid by bank deposit. Posted 18/1/10, received 19/1.
By phone 23/1/2010: "You've done a good job. Lovely to see a sticker in the front with our names on it and the initials of the binders on the back. A nice little touch. It's a credit to you both."
10. Stumpy Malone, 1 B&W copy, 30 Oct, paid by cheque. Posted 14/02/10.
11. Tom Wall, 26 Oct, rang to say he wants a colour copy and he wants it signed by the author. Posted 8 Feb 2010. Received 9 Feb.
12. Ray Godier, 1 colour copy, 9 Oct. Posted 11/12/09, received 22/12/09.
13. Don Dewar, 1 B&W copy, 8 Oct, paid by cheque. Happy to receive his copy after older people. Posted 8 Feb 2010. Received 9 Feb.
By phone 12/2/2010: "How did you learn to do the binding? Do a course or something?... It's a big book. I'll be reading it till I die."
By phone 4/3/2010: "A masterpiece… How much are extra copies?… $500 each? It's worth it. I'll have six."
Guy: I'll believe it when I see the money!
14. Malcolm Dewar, 1 colour copy, 5 Oct, paid by cheque. Posted 8 Feb 2010. Received 9 Feb.
15-16. Brian Sohier, 2 colour copies, 5 Oct. One copy posted 18/12/09, received 23/12. Posted 19/03/10, arrived 22/03/10.
By email 23/12/2009: "Book received yesterday. Many thanks and have a happy, healthy Xmas."
17-18. Bill Burrows, 2 B&W copies (for him and Ivy), 22 Oct, paid by bank deposit. 2 copies posted 14/02/10.
19. Barry & Josie Burns, 1 B&W copy, 9 Oct, paid by cheque. Posted 18/1/10, received 19/1.
20. Mal & Mary Burns, 1 colour copy, 13 Oct, after Xmas OK, paid by cheque. Posted 5/2/10. Received 10/02/10
21. Butch Burns, 1 B&W copy + Bad Penny, after Xmas OK, 20 Oct, paid by money order. Posted 5/2/10. Received 10/02/10
22-23 Karen Beach (and sister Lyn Dever), 2 colour copies, 29 Sep. Posted 11/12/09, received 22/12/09.
By email 3/1/2010: "Received your books from Ray before Xmas and it was quite a coffee table item for all the family over Xmas."
24. Tony Brennan (for Flossie), 1 colour copy, 2 Oct. Posted 17/12/09, received 21/12/09.
From Flossie by letter 7/1/2010: "Tony's present arrived for me just in time for Christmas. What a book! What a story! You have excelled yourself. Congratulations on such an undertaking. I am half way through it and I find I want to read more. The stories held my attention. Some of the people I knew, and some I heard about from my time in Julia Creek. My thoughts on Max are that your father had a good teacher! Marj comes through as a thoroughly good woman who did only good deeds for all and nothing was too much trouble for her. I know personally that she was a wonderful lady."
25. Cosette Wilder (for Albie), 1 B&W copy, 2 Oct. Posted 14/12/09, received 16/12.
By email 19/12/2009: "The book is beautiful. We are all impressed and will have many hours of reading. Mum is enjoying herself listening to the stories about the family.
26-28. Sylvia Crawford (Sills), 3 colour copies for her children, 4 Oct. Posted one unbound copy 9/12/09, to Alan Williams for binding in Townsville. Two more unbound copies posted 18/12/09 and 21/12.
By phone 16/12/2009: "It's a wonderful book. I'm so pleased I bought it, even though – because I wanted them in time for Christmas – my children's copies will be bound differently from the others."
29-30. Allison Entriken (Kaeser), 1 B&W copy, 6 Oct. One copy posted 17/12/09. Second copy posted 14/02/10.
31. Trina (for Murray & Joanie), 1 B&W copy, 8 Oct, by bank deposit (20 Oct). Posted 14/12/09, received 16/12.
By email from Tracy 21/12/2009: "Mum and Dad are raving about the book that you sent. Well, I wouldn't know how good it is and probably never will! Only kidding - I will read it on my next trip to Townsville. But still, you should have signed it for them given that one day you will have a bestseller on your hands."
Murray Halloran, by phone 20/12/2009 (talking to Jenny): "Well, if he's not much good for anything else, at least my nephew knows how to set out a book!"