Historical Society of South Australia Council Member Patricia Sumerling has a new book on Bert Edwards.
Albert Augustine Edwards, usually referred to as ‘Bert’, was one of Adelaide’s most flamboyant characters. Reputedly the illegitimate son of Charles Cameron Kingston, premier of South Australia, he was born in obscurity in the slums of Adelaide’s West End in 1888.
A self-made man, Bert was a city councillor, parliamentarian, and philanthropist, a friend of the poor and scourge of the establishment. He had connections and influence everywhere – in the markets, pubs, sporting clubs, churches and prisons – and soon enough he became known as the ‘King of the West End’. Flash in dress and loud in manner, he brooked no opposition.
Bert’s future looked rosy, until 1924, when the labor Party took over and his enemies began to stack up quickly. It all came crashing down in 1931. In a sex scandal engineered against him, Bert was imprisoned for nearly two-and-a-half years for gross indecency with an underage male.
And they say Adelaide was dull!
Here, dark and bright, is Bert Edwards, in the full biography that his colourful life deserves.