Podcast honour for Sebastopol letter legend

BY day he’s a mild-mannered Sebastopol retiree, but in the pages of the Green Guide Arthur Comer is a fierce advocate for the correct pronunciation of the word “kilometre”. 

The long held bugbear and countless other topics have seen Mr Comer, 83, pen hundreds of letters to the editor dating back to the 1960s. 

Tomorrow, his notoriety earned by writing to The Age television guide will be recognised during a special recording of the podcast I Love Green Guide Letters in Ballarat.

Leafing through his scrapbook of letters – appropriately titled In His Own Write: The Letters of A Comer – Mr Comer found a letter from 1991 decrying the Americanisation of the word for 1000 metres. 

“I have had hundreds and hundreds of letters in print over the years and I communicate a bit via email but it is mostly about making my views known,” he said. 

“The total number must be past 300 but I don’t really know.”

The grandfather of five said he had regularly “crossed pens” with other readers of publications including The Courier and has long believed in the power of letters. 

"They say I got Helen Kapalos from Channel 10 news fired... but it was just a coincidence," Mr Comer said.

Melbourne comedian Steele Saunders, host of the podcast, said the live show would feature fellow letter lovers Nick Cody and Bart Freebairn.

“We have people coming up on a bus from Melbourne and a lot of local listeners who have bought tickets, so it's either going to the best show ever or one of the worst,” he said. 

“In November we celebrated out first birthday and we have about 5000 subscribers. We’ve had guests like Derryn Hinch and Tom Gleeson on but mostly its a bit of fun.” 

The event takes place tomorrow at 2pm at Portico, 31 Sturt Street Ballarat with tickets $10. 

thomas.mcilroy@fairfaxmedia.com.au