Brian J. Pettit’s short Bio

Brian Pettit grew up on a poultry farm west of Sydney, Australia. A scholarship to Wagga Wagga Teachers’ College launched a career in education. His first assignment (1961) was to a fifty thousand acre sheep station in the outback where he had to build the school first before teaching in it. His experiences with the mostly Aboriginal students were the subject of his first novel, The Weilmoringle Kid.

In 1965, he and two friends sailed for Canada to ‘have a look’. There, as their parents lamented, ‘the boys forgot to come home’. After a year of teaching at Topley, B.C., Pettit ventured to Vancouver Island and found work setting chokers and scaling in a logging camp. He eventually moved to Nanaimo to teach and was principal of a number of elementary schools until retiring in 1997.

For his Masters degree at the University of Victoria he wrote the thesis Canadian Nationalism: With What Are We to Identify Ourselves? (1984), seen as sub-themes in his novels When The Curlew Cries (1998), Saturday’s Hero (2000) and Cameron’s Crossing (2006).

You can find his best selling book “The Weilmoringle Kid”  anywhere audiobooks are sold like iTunes, Amazon, CD baby etc.

Darling You’re One for the Ages.

His second book titled, “When a Curlew Cries” is based on a true story of Brian and his son returning to Australia together to track down his long lost Aboriginal students he taught in the outback 20 something years earlier.

It’s a great and very funny read.

For more info on all his books and more, please email Brian directly.  HERE.





B.J. Pettit

280 Calder Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Canada V9R 6J1
Phone/Fax: 1-250-754-4876


The Weilmoringle Kid.

Novel, iBook, eBook & audiobook  Novel, eBook, iBook, Audiobook

The Weilmoringle Kid is a city youth just out of college dispatched at the whim of government to Weilmoringle, a drought-and-fly-ridden sheep station in the Australian Outback.

Overwhelmed by the heat, dust and flies and the prospect of enduring three years in the desolate environment, the kid strives to give the pioneer assignment a ‘fair go’. His first task is to build a school! Seventeen students appear on opening day, mostly Aboriginal children with no previous learning. There are no desks, book, blackboards, chalk, paper or supplies of any kind. There has never been electricity – and it hasn’t rained at Weilmoringle for two years. Within weeks, the enrolment swells to fifty-seven, children from five years in age to fifteen.

This is an autobiography that reads like an adventure novel, an inspiring story of resiliency with a good dose of Aussie humour at work; a story of a young man’s efforts to gain a surer sense of identity and independence. The characters are unconventional, from the postman who masterminds the advent of public education to the twelve-year-old Aboriginal boy in school for the first time and determined to depart some lessons of his own to induce the teacher to stay.

The Weilmoringle Kid“A story told without fancy but with the flavour of those days”Barry Broadfoot.

“Pettit has a fine sense of shape and prose style as fresh and strong as anyone could hope for. I expect to worry about those kids for awhile. Jack Hodgins.

“A gem of a book, one written with all the humour and wit of a Stephen Leacock novel.”  The Saanich News.

The Books


    Gurungu…the magic string…the Muruwari word for mental telepathy. Fullbloods had the gift. When I left Weilmoringle I thought I’d been blessed with it as well but my moment was fleeting and singular. Messages received after that have wafted into my life like smoke from a Muruwari fire but I’ve been grateful for any connecting thread because the light of that experience only grows brighter with time.
   Wayilmarrangkal…old grey saltbush…the name of the sheep station, once half a million acres, where I built my first school before teaching in it; where two cultures co-existed while I wrestled with being a lonely itinerant in an indifferent land.
   Dougie Orcher…the challenge personified.
   Bernard and Leo Hauville…among my first students When Bernard brought his family to visit me in Canada, years later, the memories flooded back.
   “Bunny passed away last December,” he told me.
   Eight months, I thought, eight months dead. Why hadn’t I heard before this? No magic string.
   Bunny…Bernard’s father…the driving force bringing public education to Weilmoringle. When I arrived that mid-summer in 1961 it was obvious he thought the uniqueness of the teaching assignment required more than a young, city bred, rookie. I like to think by the time I left my efforts exceeded his expectations.
   Both of us eventually moved on to live separate lives.
   Thirty-years passed before we met again, the bond as strong as it had grown to be at Weilmoringle, a mutual respect evident. But time was short and he was already ill. We raced back to the outback station, he driving fast and talking non‑stop, Dorothy, his wife, knitting in the back seat, and I noting his words, hoping they were historically correct.
   The land was greener, the emu herds larger, the saltbush taller. A brick post office stood where our home, their home – the Hauville home – had burned to the ground. The school enrolment had dropped to eight pupils. Merri and Rens Gill, owners of Weilmoringle sheep station at the time, were away. New homes replaced the tin shanties in the Aboriginal camp. Regrettably, none of the original pupils could be found.
   We returned to the coast and shook hands for the last time. I told Bunny, “I always want to go back there.”
   “The land stole your heart,” he said, giving me a fatherly pat on the back. “It does that. Write the story, my boy. It was a special time.”
Brian Pettit
May, 2009

Should kid sports be unfair?


how-to-kick-a-soccer-ballJust back from coaching an eleven-year-old boys’ football team. Everyone wants to be the quarterback but few can throw accurately and even less than catch. Once play settles down and players get comfortable with being either offensive or defensive squads everyone has fun, even when competing with other schools.
I was at a U-18 league team soccer game on Sunday and after one team went ahead six goals to nil I had to wonder who looked at the registration and put the teams together. Being familiar with a Nanaimo representative team that made it through to the BC Provincial Finals as U-12’s, U13’s, U15’s and U’16’s, and actually won the title as U-13’s, I remembered how frustrated and disappointed the boys were when the Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club dropped their support for them – meaning U-17 and U18 teams had to disband after all those many years of development.
To get back to the league game, four or five of the players on the winning team were from the disbanded rep. team, while only one was playing on the losing team. Furthermore, the winning team had three experienced goalies while the losing side had none and had to play rocks-paper-scissors to see who would go between the posts. Were all players having fun? No. Was the winning side satisfied with six goals? No. Was the lone rep. player on the losing side subjected to targeting and taunting? Yes.
So I’m thinking, whose responsible for this inequality, and does anyone care, other than myself?

Should kid sports be unfair?