Partner Leo van de Pas
The Coffee Pot, 350 Wellington St, Perth WA 6000, Australia
Gerald Glaskin (G. M. Glaskin) (16 December 1923 – 11 March 2000) was an Australian author. Under the pseudonym Neville Jackson, he also authored a novel about a homosexual love affair, No End To The Way (1965). Interviewed in later life about the novel, Glaskin said: "It was banned in Australia and the paperback publishers, Corgi, researched the Australian censorship laws, and discovered that the book could not be shipped to Australia. So they chartered planes and flew them in".
Gerald Marcus Glaskin was born on 16 December 1923 in North Perth in Western Australia. He attended Perth Modern School and served in the Second World War in the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.
His published works were extensive. He wrote poetry, short stories, and novels. Some works also included issues of science fiction and new-age spiritual guidance related to the interpretation of dreams. He was also involved in the Western Australian Fellowship of Australian Writers. Some sources claim that he won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature in 1955, but subsequent research has disproved this, finding that he was awarded a grant in 1957 which he could not retain due to living outside Australia at the time. His works were received more favourably in Europe than in Australia. He lived mostly in Asia and later the Netherlands, until returning to Perth in 1967. His extensive time overseas may have been because of the oppressive Australian moral climate of the period against homosexuality. In 1961, he had been charged with indecent exposure on a Perth beach. A resident of Cottesloe, he was enthusiastic for its beach environment. As a writer in Western Australia conditions were not always supportive of the profession. His involvement with the Christos experiment saw his writing a number of books related to the subject. His novel A Waltz Through the Hills was made into a 1988 film of the same title. His most commercially successful work was a novel about a homosexual love affair, No End To The Way (1965), published under the pseudonym Neville Jackson. Interviewed in later life about the novel, Glaskin said: "It was banned in Australia and the paperback publishers, Corgi, researched the Australian censorship laws, and discovered that the book could not be shipped to Australia. So they chartered planes and flew them in". It was not inspired by his relationship with noted genealogist Leo van de Pas (Leonardus Francisus Maria van de Pas, 1942–2016), whom he met in 1968 in a gay bar in Amsterdam, and lived with from then onwards till the end of his life.
Glaskin was also a silent financial partner in The Coffee Pot, a popular Perth meeting place for homosexuals, bohemians and students which was established in the 1950s by Dutch Indonesian migrants, and was then the city's only late night cafe. Places such as the Coffee Pot and the Palace were refuges where LGBT folk of Perth could meet back then. A 17-year-old Trevor Norton frequented the Coffee Pot during the mid ‘70s and said the Coffee Pot was very inclusive. ‘It was for anybody; gay or straight, anyone who wanted a coffee,’ Norton said. ‘…it did have a number of gay and lesbian people there because as a group we would tend to socialise … outside of work.’ Norton described the Coffee Pot as an intimate space; it had small tables and an old record player, quietly playing music in the milieu. While the Coffee Pot is no longer around, it would stay open till 2am on weeknights and was placed conveniently in downtown Perth on Wellington St. As well as Norton, Ivan King frequented the Coffee Pot in the ‘70s and said it was ‘about the only place to have a cup of coffee.’ ‘It was very popular; its popularity came about because it was the only place to go with any sort of sophisticated ambience,’ King said. King also said there had been an unspoken agreement between the gay and bisexual patrons of the Coffee Pot, a subtle nod of the subversive community. The Coffee Pot was established by Dutch Indonesian migrants Prada and Rob van der Nagel in the 1950s with the help of Glaskin. Glaskin’s silent input into the Coffee Pot did not emerge until recently when Jo Darbyshire started digging up information about this coffee house. Initially, Darbyshire was just investigating the significance of bygone tea rooms and coffee houses in Perth but she soon found the Coffee Pot to be a ‘very special place’. ‘I started looking in the 1950s which was when we had an explosion of migrant-run coffee houses,’ Darbyshire said. After making a public call-out for any information on the cafe, Darbyshire received an enormous response, with calls from as far as London. But the most intriguing discovery surfaced when she found out that Glaskin had been a secret financial donor when the original owners Prada and Rob van der Nagel started the cafe from scratch. While Glaskin’s initial role in the business may have contributed to the level of acceptance for same-sex attracted people, Prada and Rob van der Nagel had also migrated to Australia from gay-friendly Amsterdam; a potential influence. Darbyshire said the importance surrounding the Coffee Pot was due to the little remaining evidence of gay culture from that era. ‘There’s not a lot of recorded information about where gay people would hang out,’ she said. ‘The gay community lost a lot of its history during the ‘50s and early ‘60s because people couldn’t record anything; they couldn’t keep anything including love letters.’
In 1967 Glaskin met the British writer Iris Murdoch, who was visiting Australia. In a letter to her friend Brigid Brophy she wrote: ... the opera house is the most beautiful single object I've seen since getting here (with the possible exception of a West Australian novelist called Jerry Glaskin, whom I had reluctantly to leave behind in Perth).
Glaskin died on 11 March 2000.
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