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Bee Miles

1902 – 1973

Beatrice (Bee) Miles (1902-1973) ranks alongside the 'Eternity man' as one of Sydney's best-remembered street personalities, and featured in the State Library's 'Sydney Eccentrics' exhibition in 1999. Abbotsleigh-educated and funded for tertiary study by an inheritance, she refused to continue her arts degree at Sydney University because of insufficient Australian course content. From the age of thirty eight she had no fixed address and was notable for her anarchic conduct in public places. A portly individual in a green eyeshade and greatcoat, she carried a board advertising her willingness to recite Shakespeare for a fee. She loved tram and taxi travel and often hurled herself at vehicles refusing to carry her because of her disposition for fare avoidance. Although she was frequently assaulted by aggrieved drivers, she did pay £600 for a return trip to Perth by cab. She lived by a number of well-documented maxims, and remained a wayward wit into her impoverished and infirm old age.

Updated 2018
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