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Comment on new
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The ACT Government has released a draft master plan to guide
development and redevelopment of the Kambah group centre
over the next 20 to 30 years.
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Comments close: Friday 14 October, 2011
Volunteers give their all to book fair
Book fair warehouse manager Jack Maguire and rare-and-valuable manager Cedric Bear prepare for the Spring
Picture: Elesa Lee
a new page
FOR many Canberrans, visiting the
Lifeline Spring Book Fair is a long-
time tradition, but for volunteers it is a
The Lifeline Spring Book Fair, on
from September 23 to 25, is one of the
biggest second-hand book fairs in the
country and Canberrans can expect
more than 200,000 items for sale.
Warehouse manager Jack Maguire
is in charge of organising the sorting
and packing of the books and he said
the fair simply couldn't work without
the help of countless volunteers.
When books are donated at the
warehouse they are sent to three areas
of primary sorters.
"They're all cut down into sort of
macro categories like languages, old
collectables, Australiana," Mr Maguire
"Most of these guys love their books
so they know exactly what's what."
The books are sorted into general
macro categories, and then the
categories are collected before being
sorted again into specific micro
Mr Maguire said the volunteers
would check the look of the book and
then put the price on the inside front
cover, along with the code which
identified its category.
Along with hundreds of thousands
of books, there are also videos, DVDs,
CDs, records and book sets that need to
be sorted. Among all of this are some
very valuable books. Rare-and-
valuable manager Cedric Bear has
been involved with the Lifeline book
fairs for decades and this year he said
there were some wonderful valuable
items up for sale, including the works
of a Roman historian.
"These two volumes were published
in 1777 and are the works of Flavius
Josephus," Mr Bear said.
"It's the book that is used to prove
the existence of Jesus Christ outside of
Full of illustrations and maps, it is
unclear who donated the works, but
they have sold in the past anywhere
from $400 to $1200.
"We're putting about $800 on it
because it's in really, really good
condition for a book that's over 200
years old," Mr Bear said.
He said often valuable items were
donated for the book fairs, but some
people didn't always realise their
"We do get all sorts of odd things,
like we got $700 in the back of a book
and managed to find the owner of that
one," he said.
"But the next one of $1000 we
couldn't find who owned it."
Mr Maguire is hoping to get similar
results from the most recent fair, which
raised $472,000 for Lifeline Canberra.
"We had record sales last year," he
More than 13,000 people went
through the doors in March and Mr
Maguire is hoping to break the record
at the upcoming event.
Mr Bear said while the fairs now
raised much needed funds for Lifeline,
the tradition started with humble
"It has grown since 1973 -- the first
takings from the first book fair were
$3000," he said.
"Over the years and through the
efforts of the volunteers we've built it
Mr Maguire said while Canberrans
were anticipating the spring book fair,
volunteers had already begun working
towards the next autumn fair in 2012.
The Lifeline Spring Book Fair will
be held at Exhibition Park, Mitchell.
Entry is by gold coin donation at the
All proceeds go to Lifeline Canberra
to support the 24-hour telephone crisis
service 13 11 14.
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