Frank Marien

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Francis Joseph Marien (1890 – 17 July 1936) born in Sydney, Australia of Irish and Italian parents (his father was born "Marianni") was an editor of Smith's Weekly.[1]

Educated at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, he proved to be an all-round achiever, rowing in the winning school eight,[2] becoming captain of Rugby Union football, cricket and athletics teams, as well as editing the school magazine and producing all its artwork, even helping design the school badge.[1]

Dattilo Rubbo was sufficiently impressed with his artistic abilities to recommend he take up painting professionally.[1]

But he took up journalism, first with the Australian edition of the Freeman's Journal (in 1942 incorporated into the Catholic Weekly),[3] The Daily Telegraph from 1919 to 1922 then the (Sydney) Sun. In 1926 he was appointed Managing Director of Truth, where he succeeded in raising its circulation substantially.[1]

In 1928 he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Smith's Weekly, replacing Claude McKay, where he built up its stable of black-and-white artists including Leon Miller,[4] Joe Jonsson,[1] Emile Mercier, Virgil Reilly, Rosaleen Norton, Marie "Mollie" Horseman and Joan Morrison,[5] as well as giving great support to those already on the payroll - George Finey,[6] Frank Dunne, George Donaldson, Stan Cross (who called him "the best Art Editor Australia ever had").[1]

His second title was "Mechanical Superintendent" - he was a skilful fitter and turner, movie projectionist (he had both a well-equipped workshop and an 80-seat movie theatre at "Pine Lodge"[7] his Miranda home) and Linotype compositor.[1]

In 1932 he made a major error in not "pulling" the "wicked beyond expression" Wilkinson story, a barrage of ugly untruths about the victim of a callous murder, which his competitors were quick to seize upon. Smith's Weekly never fully recovered from the bad publicity and the resultant drop in circulation.[1]

He died after several years of illness, much of the time confined to a nursing home. He was still editing the paper on the day he died.[1]


In 1915 he married Marie Therese "Maisie" Fitzpatrick . They had one daughter, Frances, and two sons, William and Brian (both of whom followed their father in winning "eights" at St Joseph's).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Blaikie, George Remember Smith's Weekly Angus & Robertson, London 1967
  2. ^ a b Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 1936
  3. ^ Wilde, W H The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature 2nd ed. 1994 ISBN 0-19-553381-X
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Sydney Morning Herald p.14 10 April 1947