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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach

December 7, 2014

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia

Vale John Hoffmann

Hoffers & Missy

John Hoffmann’s term of residence on Scotland Island spanned a mere decade but in that time he made a mark that many remember – as an expert and knowledgeable cook, a voracious reader and a generous and fun host. Out of Szechuan pepper? Not familiar with asafoetida? Raid John Hoffmann’s pantry.

Hoffers, as he was known to his intimates, and his wife, author and journalist Edna Carew, threw many memorable dinner parties – some took place on their pontoon. Food was of top quality, wine and conversation flowed.

A lifelong journalist and wordsmith, Hoffers co-edited (with Juliette Robertson) Water Access Only, a collection of Pittwater short stories first published in 2006. His career in journalism began in the 1950s in Perth, where he worked on the Daily News, rising from cadet to hold senior editorial positions.  In 1973 he left Perth to join The Sydney Morning Herald, remaining with the paper till 1987; during those years he held various positions – feature writer, correspondent in Peking (later Beijing) in the late 1970s and in his later years cadet training officer, a role in which he ruthlessly enforced shorthand and was remembered with great fondness by the cadets for his merciless criticism of their efforts, written in green ink across their precious words.

When the Independent Monthly was launched in Sydney in 1989 he was recruited as its in-house copy-editing maestro, again enabling his intuitive flair for language and style to flourish.

In 2007 Hoffers and Eddie, with border collie Missy, moved to the Byron Hinterland where they continued to enjoy their unique partnership till ill health interrupted. Eddie and friends farewelled Hoffers on December 3, a few days after his 79th birthday. In line with his wishes, there was no formal funeral or service, but a private cremation.

Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackerel Beach