In a letter to the editor of The Illawarra Mercury, published alongside the poem under the title 'The Parochial Concert', the author writes : 'SIR, - Now, since the success of the Parochial Concert has become a certainty, will you permit me to say that no person could be more sincerely delighted than I am. I still think, however, that I have been the victim of a considerable amount of misrepresentation; and smarting, as I am, under the treatment of "some-one," with you permission, I shall lay the facts fully before the public. The lovers of fair play can then draw a just conclusion. About a fortnight ago, I offered my services to sing an original song at the proposed concert. As my powers as a musician were not known here, through my being a stranger, a committee of three was appointed to hear me perform. The committee duly met, and I sang "Mary had a little lamb," with variations. My audience, I regret to say, were unable to appreciate my melody. They alleged that I gave myself airs, my air being being mostly composed of variations; and that my shakes were shaky. They advised me to try the original song proposed. Although unwilling to disclose it, I consented. It seemed, however, to be equally unappreciated. The committee alleged - 1st, that it was without point; 2nd, that I sang each verse to a different air; and 3rd, that no one verse was sung to any air correctly. With the best intentions, however, they decided to look out for a pianist, and if an air could be picked suitable for my libretto, they would communicate with me again. From that day to this I have had no communication with any of the committee. Up to this point I make no complaint. The committee had a perfect right to accept or refuse my communication. What I do object to is that a garbled description of my poetry should have been circulated through the town, and my voluntary offers of assistance assigned to officiousness. I do not know to whom I shall attribute the blame. Being a perfect stranger I think I should be entitled to consideration I did not receive. I now leave it with the public, and for my own reputation, I beg you to print in extenso the proper wording of my effusion.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,