Bill came to the University of New England's English Department in 1960, later becoming an Associate Professor.
Isabel McBryde, someone I have written about before, interested him in recording details of the fast vanishing languages of New England's Aborigines still known to the old people of Armidale and the North Coast. He became fascinated with Aboriginal languages, later extending his work to the Daly and Victoria Rivers regions of the NT.
Bill died suddenly 1984, cutting the work off. It was a tragic loss.
Bill was a lovely bloke and deserves to be remembered for himself and his work.
I was trying to find something that would give me an updated picture of the distribution of languages across New England. The languages noted in Bill's papers are:
- Gadang (Gadhang) recorded at Purfleet near Taree. Also known as Kutthung
- Birpai (Port Macquarie area)
- Anewan Armidale
- Iyaygir (Yaygir)
I think I know the areas for each from past work, but no longer have those notes and need to check.