THE DISCOVERY THAT I was racist came as a shock, as you might imagine. I’d just returned to Canada from several years in Asia and Latin America. I had a new job working with migrants, and I was volunteering with refugees. Like many Canadians, cultural diversity awareness campaigns had filled my childhood with posters featuring hands drawn in red, blue, purple, green – all linked in a perfect circle. I believed in those hands. I thought I was living their message.
And then I received an email from the co-ordinator of another program I volunteered with: ‘I’m pleased to partner you with a lovely student from Turkey.’ It felt like touching exposed wire. There was no way I would work with anyone from Turkey. I covered the computer screen in spittle. I was twenty-six. It had never occurred to me that those brightly coloured, imaginary hands had no past to contend with.
Growing up as a dislocated military kid, shuffled across the Canadian prairies, I didn’t think of myself as Armenian. My surname came from some strange, faraway land; it may as well have been Jupiter. It made sense that my surname could be one thing, and I could be something else. Sometimes my dad flew east, to visit his family, and returned with fruit leather, chewy grape-flavoured squares layered between cling wrap. ‘My grandmother used to make this,’ he’d say. Sometimes he’d make pilaf, a butter-soaked side dish I mistook for rice. Turns out it’s orzo.
When I was fourteen, my grandfather died. My parents and my sister and I went east together, to St Catharines, a sleepy retirement town on Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. When the priest started speaking in a foreign language, I thought it was a mistake – he’d got the Kalagian funeral mixed up with someone else’s. I was pretty sure nobody in my family spoke this discomforting language. In so many ways, I was struggling to make sense of the present. At that age, who’s prepared for the crush of the past?
‘WHEN PARAVON WAS eleven years old, in the small Armenian village where he lived with his family, he woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of approaching horses. He went outside and climbed into a tree to see what was happening. Turkish soldiers came into the village riding horses. They forced all the Armenians from their homes, including Paravon’s family. He stayed in the tree, watching. The soldiers hung everyone upside down from their ankles in the trees. They cut off their kneecaps and left them to bleed to death. Then the army burned the village. Paravon stayed hidden. He was probably too scared to move. The soldiers left, but he remained there past sunrise, through the day, and into the next night. When he finally came down, he ran to a neighbouring village. Somehow after that he met Mariam. A few years later they ended up on a boat headed to Canada.’
I overheard my aunt tell my great grandfather’s story a few years later, at another family gathering. Paravon: the man we traced our surname back to. For me, his story destroyed that illusion some of us are lucky (or naive) enough to grow up with, the illusion that violence belongs to another, separate world. Its lack of context also unsettled me – I’d never heard of the Armenian genocide of World War I. Imagine learning that one of your relatives was packed into a cattle car to be hauled away and murdered in a state-run gas chamber if you’d never heard of the Holocaust.
Actually, it’s difficult to imagine never having heard of the Holocaust. For better or worse, it’s culturally pervasive. It features in films as banal as the 2011 Hollywood blockbuster X-Men: First Class. That film’s opening ninety seconds depict mud-splattered labourers in black-and-white striped uniforms, working behind barbed fences, close-ups of ID numbers tattooed on withered arms and the yellow Star of David on the chests of the arriving crowd. Throw in a few soldiers with rifles and it’s almost unnecessary to have the caption ‘Poland 1944’ on the opening shot.
It’s curious – and maybe even disquieting – that many of us can identify the Holocaust from such scant details and yet know little or nothing about the Armenian genocide. Curious because the two events share eerily similar narratives of mass violence, railway cattle cars, dehumanisation, and concentration camps. In fact, the Armenian genocide provided the blueprints for the Holocaust. In 1939, Adolf Hitler definitively threaded these two narratives together when he rationalised his ‘final solution’ for the Jews by pointing out that hardly anyone even remembered the Armenian genocide, let alone cared.
I ONCE MENTIONED my growing interest in the Armenian genocide to a group of co-workers over lunch. One of them, a grey-haired Jewish woman, slammed her palm on the table. ‘But nothing was as bad as what happened to the Jews. Nothing.’ Her tone was protective and challenging. I didn’t know enough to argue with her. I was still naive enough to think that after 1945, there must have been some coming together of Armenians and Jews, some solidarity. But the genocide shattered Armenia so thoroughly that even its history broke apart, broke away from the wider world narrative it was an intrinsic part of.
There is one key difference between the two histories: the government of Germany recognised their nation’s role as perpetrator. The government of Turkey continues to deny theirs.
I’ve spent the past few years writing a book that centres in part on the genocide, and so the topic often comes up at dinner parties and other gatherings. My husband usually wanders off; he doesn’t think genocide is an appropriate conversation topic at parties. Usually when he comes back, thirty or forty minutes later, he finds I’m still talking. One night he took me aside. ‘You shouldn’t go on too long – you don’t want to bore people.’ But I’m not the one pushing the topic. When people hear how similar the genocide is to the Holocaust, they struggle to understand why they know so much about one and nothing about the other. This is the power of denial. It plays a role in personal politics, but strikes at a truly global level as well.
THE GENOCIDE SHATTERED Armenia, but the first cracks came centuries before, as warring empires split their communities. Armenians had lived across the Caucasus Mountains and Anatolian highlands for more than two thousand years. By the early 1900s, the borders of the Ottoman, Russian and Persian Empires had long separated them from each other.
The Ottoman Empire, the ‘sick man of Europe,’ was in the midst of collapse, having lost much of its territory, and this turbulent demise led to the search for a scapegoat. Partly because of their counterparts in Russia, Armenians were cast as the Ottoman Empire’s internal enemy. Propaganda campaigns depicted the Armenians as an ‘invasive infection’ in what was suddenly a nascent Turkish nation-state. (The Ottoman government also targeted Greeks and Assyrians, who faced similar fates to the Armenians. That these histories have always been studied separately is another symptom of the shattering that occurred at the end of the Ottoman era.)
On the eve of World War I, a Young Turks faction called the Committee of Union and Progress seized control of the empire. The political rallying call became ‘Turkey for the Turks’. They aligned themselves with Germany, perceiving the war as an ideal situation for ending the ‘Armenian Question’.
The genocide began with the arrest of two hundred and fifty Armenian religious, political and cultural leaders, which came just after midnight on 24 April 1915, as Anzac troops approached Gallipoli’s shores. According to Robert Manne (Making Trouble, Black Inc, 2011) and others, this forthcoming attack (part of a state of siege inflicted on the Ottomans by the Anglo–French–Russian alliance) played a role in the Ottoman government’s decision to execute the genocide. While the moral responsibility remains entirely with the Ottoman government, this historical connection does make it unusual that there is little discussion of what some Anzac troops witnessed over the long months as combatants and prisoners of war in the Ottoman Empire. Some researchers are now turning their attention to Anzac diaries and survivor accounts for evidence of the genocide. For example, in his diaries, now in the Australian War Memorial, Australian solider Arthur James Mills describes helping Armenians escape the Turks, even carrying a four-year-old girl on his camel.
Almost all of those arrested on 24 April were soon killed. The government’s plans then proceeded swiftly: military police arrived in town after town, ordering the men into military service, then executing them a few kilometres away. They rounded up women, children and the elderly, and ordered them ‘deported’. Allowed to bring only what they could carry, these civilians were marched into isolated, barren regions to die of starvation and exposure. Some marched for weeks with little food or water. Many were kidnapped and sold into slavery or ‘Turkified’ – forced to convert to Islam and serve in Turkish homes. Along the Black Sea, soldiers took thousands by the boatful to be drowned. They packed Armenians into cattle cars on the newly built railway to expedite the deportation. Concentration camps in the Syrian Desert held as many as forty thousand Armenians. This is where a rudimentary form of the gas chamber as a tool for mass murder was trialed. Those who had survived the death marches were packed into caves, where fire smoke filled their last breaths.
The numbers vary, but approximately a million or more Armenians died. If not directly involved, German officers serving in Ottoman territory were witness to the genocide. England, France and Russia described the attacks on Armenians as crimes against humanity – the original use of the phrase. The term ‘genocide’ and its legal framework were yet to exist: after learning of the annihilation of the Armenians, Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin created the concept and campaigned for both recognition of the term and international laws. Though he began these efforts in the 1930s, it was not until he and many others had lost their families in the Holocaust that he convinced the United Nations to put forward a convention on genocide.
When I learned this history as a teen, the roles established in Paravon’s story held: perpetrator, denier and villain against victim, hero and human. These roles weren’t confined to the past. When the Canadian government recognised the genocide through legislation in 2004, Turkey withdrew its ambassador in protest. The tactics had changed; the intent hadn’t.
IT WOULD HAVE been 1915 or perhaps 1916 when Paravon witnessed his family killed. Mariam had been separated from her family. Was it easier or harder for her, keeping up hope that someone might have survived? For the rest of her life, whenever she met fellow Armenians, she would ask if they had known anyone from her village in Erzurum, if they had heard anything about her family.
It was a small miracle that the couple made it into Canada in 1920. Although not quite as ironclad as Australia’s immigration policies, Canada’s legislation labelled Armenians ‘Asiatics’ and therefore undesirable. As Isabel Kaprielian-Churchill describes in Like Our Mountains (McGill-Queens University Press, 2005), Paravon and Mariam would have needed $250 each as ‘landing money’ – and a relative to support them. Paravon had an uncle who’d come to Canada for work before the genocide, before immigration laws crashed down like a steel gate. How they managed to track each other down – through Near East Relief? Through the League of Nations? – and how the uncle managed to obtain visas for them remain mysteries, like so much of Paravon’s early life.
Once safely inside Canada’s expansive borders, Paravon and Mariam settled into domesticity and hard work. Like most Armenian men in St Catharines, he took a job at McKinnon Dash and Metal Works, which was later absorbed into General Motors and is now a defunct factory in the midst of the city. Paravon worked in the foundry, relying on co-workers to translate. The couple had six children. They bought a little farm and grew fruits and veggies. Despite her illiteracy, Mariam became a bit of a local real estate baroness. Later in life, she gifted a property to each of her children. Like so many survivors, theirs is a story of resilience.
AFTER I RECEIVED that devastating email, I schemed to back out of my volunteering commitment. But eventually I did meet the Turkish student, who was as smiling and warm and thoughtful as the co-ordinator has assured me. We soon became good friends, and her mother shipped me a set of tiny Turkish coffee cups and a copper pot. On the Canadian prairie, she taught me to make gritty, heady Turkish coffee heaped with sugar. It was a tradition Mariam and Paravon would have recognised as Armenian – but I still didn’t.
Three generations down, my Armenian genes were mixed up with Irish, Scottish and Polish; culturally I felt as bland as a wheat field. But my sharp, visceral reaction to the news of the Turkish student made me wonder if there was some essential Armenianness inside me, a few drops of pomegranate juice in my veins.
After my Turkish friend returned to Ankara, I travelled to St Catharines. I worried my father’s family would find my desire to understand them as Armenians an odd request, voyeuristic even. But they dug dusty photo albums out of their attics and rang up sharp-witted, white-haired ladies of my grandfather’s generation. Paravon and Mariam had been gone nearly thirty years. Of their six children, only one was still alive.
I met Mariam and Paravon once. In the orange-tinted photo, I’m clad in frilly infant clothes, cuddled on Mariam’s lap on a jungle-print couch. With their sun-worn skin, Mariam and Paravon look like they’ve stepped out of a much older, much different world. Mariam, broad and hearty, has a pinched smile and bright eyes. Paravon, with wooden cane resting beside him, looks ancient
After the genocide, refugees carried shards of their Armenian lives around the world. Huddled near McKinnon Dash and Metal Works, the growing Armenian community in St Catharines attempted to reconstruct what they could. Paravon and Mariam helped to build the first Armenian church in Canada, St Gregory the Illuminator. Mariam learned to cook traditional dishes and desserts from older Armenian women – she’d been too young to learn much when she lost her mother. The community ran an evening school to teach language and culture. All my grandfather’s generation attended, and some of my dad’s generation as well. But when it came time for my dad to attend, the momentum was lost. The school closed. My dad never learned Armenian, and Paravon’s English was limited. Theirs was a relationship of tractor driving and fruit picking. Armenians have a term for this process of lost identity over generations in the diaspora – they call it ‘white genocide’.
THE SMELL OF butter filled the kitchen when I visited my dad’s cousin, Laura. It wafted from a pot on the stove, where a layer of whitish murk floated atop silky yellow butter fat. Laura demonstrated how to layer paper-thin sheets of filo dough into a glass pan and brush them with the butter. Teaching me to make pakhlava included teaching me to pronounce it as Mariam would have, in Western Armenian, exchanging the rounded b for a softer p. The east/west, Russian/Turkish split between dialects is one of many rifts between Armenia and its far-flung diaspora.
Armenian Cooking Today, a worn red binder of recipes, lay open on the bench. ‘Today’ referred to 1975. While I brushed butter, Laura leafed through another cookbook, this one stuffed with handwritten recipes from Mariam (transcribed by her daughter and other culinary confidants). The names weren’t appealing – boereg, bourma, kufteh – but the dishes sounded delectably offbeat: cheese-stuffed pastry, pakhlava on a stick, meatballs of ground steak and pine nuts. A typical instruction: ‘Add enough flour to have texture like an earlobe.’ Recipes featured titles such as ‘Pilaf for 100 people.’ In Mariam’s day, there was always a church picnic or community feast to prepare for. Laura also had the recipe for bastegh, the famous fruit leather my dad used to bring home from his solo visits to St Catharines. After boiling down the fruit, the syrupy remnants have to be spread flat on muslin sheets and hung to dry for days.
Laura recalled Mariam making her own filo dough. Ours came from a box. The near-translucent pastry requires time, space and patience, and Laura was a mother and career woman. Who could blame her for finding shortcuts to Armenianness?
That smell of softly bubbling butter mingled with hints of garlic when I received another cooking lesson from Richelle, Laura’s sister. This pot held more than one kilogram of melted butter, a heart-stopping ocean. We were making pagarch, a traditional dish usually reserved for Christmas; my September visit was an exception. Pagarch was tied up with family memories of Paravon, who joined in its preparation for the Armenian Christmas celebration on 6 January. Whilst the women did almost all the cooking, the men’s involvement in pagarch stood out as an exception for the pragmatic reason that kneading the massive amount of dough required a lot of physical strength. For years, the men of the St Catharines community made it on the stage at the church, the only place with sufficient space to knead a single pagarch large enough for the shared Christmas feast. No one kneaded pagarch on the church stage anymore. Scaled-down versions of the brown bread wheel came from a Toronto bakery. We sliced the crust off the top of our fifteen-centimetre-wide pagarch bread and dug the insides out with a spoon, creating crumbly mounds. Heaping these back inside the crust, we poured the melted butter and a garlic yogurt soup overtop – a reverse volcano.
For my family, pagarch is quintessentially Armenian, something made in memory of Mariam and Paravon, a surviving token of a time and place before genocide. But many Armenians have never heard of it. Likely it was a regional dish from Keghi, where most Armenian migrants to St Catharines were from – but no one really knows. It’s among what was lost in the genocide: lives, livelihoods, land, homes, businesses, cultural heritage, answers.
White genocide could describe much of my family, even those still living in St Catharines. Few still speak that consonant-heavy language I first remember hearing at my grandfather’s funeral. Few still attend church services. The religion and the language, the foundations of Armenian culture, are now almost gone. Richelle and Laura are famous in the community for their Armenian culinary prowess: Richelle does the savoury dishes, Laura the desserts. But so far, among their kids – my generation – there’s no passion to make the dishes Mariam fed her family with. St Catharines is a retirement community with an ageing population. As has happened in other nearby cities, the Armenian community is fading away. St Gregory the Illuminator still stands across the street from the now-defunct GM factory, in danger of ending up just as empty.
DESCENDENTS OF GENOCIDE survivors wanting to trace back their ancestral roots have two choices. They can go to eastern Turkey, where there may or may not be traces of their family’s villages. There may be an Armenian church that is now a mosque, or a barn, or just rubble. They may find people eager to help them, or they may find themselves unwelcomed.
Even if I’d wanted to go to Turkey, the names of the villages where Mariam’s and Paravon’s lives began had been lost since their deaths. Instead of Turkey, I went to Armenia. Though the pocket of Armenia that remains today is a remnant from the Russian Empire, it’s the closest cultural torchbearer of the lives Paravon and Mariam might have lived.
I arrived expecting to feel the genocide’s long shadow. This was where many refugees had fled, where the orphan army had deterred Ataturk’s military forces – slowed them down at least, until the Russians came in and declared the whole place Soviet. Armenians in Armenia have had to move on, not because the genocide’s legacies are any more settled there, but because of a relentless series of new crises: poverty, starvation and purges under Stalin; Soviet cultural takeover; a devastating earthquake; and a war with Azerbaijan that left most of the country without electricity or gas for much of the 1990s. One could argue, however, that the root of many of these events reaches back to the genocide.
Today, rusting Soviet detritus litters the landscape – truck carcasses, abandoned factories, Ferris wheels. Outside the capital, there’s often more cow traffic than car traffic – and women aren’t allowed to drive. Some regions are verdant, covered by apricot and pomegranate orchards. But many regions are so mountainous and rock-strewn that even the imagination falters – how is it possible to live in such a place? The answer for many Armenians is – it’s not. Independent since the collapse of the USSR, Armenia suffers mass unemployment, endemic corruption and widespread poverty. It’s lost a quarter of its population since independence. Only three million people remain in Armenia, compared to as many as eight million in the diaspora.
I travelled all across the country, tracing the ancient silk caravan roads. Once I learned the ‘correct’ pronunciation of my surname (kah-lah-jyan, not the anglicised kah-lay-gin I’d used all my life) Armenians welcomed me with open arms. Toward the end of my sweaty, dusty summer in the Caucasus, I discovered what I’d been searching for all along.
‘IN MY HOSTEL, they told me I am the first Turk to stay there. I’ve heard this everywhere!’ Başak said, her hands fluttering around her like birds as she spoke. I encountered Başak by chance outside Yerevan’s train station, the day before her return to Istanbul. In her early thirties, with a wide, distinctive face, deep-set dark eyes and an athletic figure, she was travelling solo in Armenia to speak with people as her way of acknowledging the genocide.
‘This trip, I am only staying three days. I like it here. I would come again. But it was difficult to get the visa. Some people I meet, when I say I am Turkish, the conversations stops. They are not bad to me, no one is bad to me, but the conversation stops.’ It relieved me to know she’d been treated decently, though by this time I understood that in Armenia, anger mostly focused on Azerbaijan, thanks to the recent war – yet another rift with the diaspora. In contrast to Başak, an Azerbaijani wouldn’t have received an entry visa.
‘Here I feel uncomfortable and guilty, and some people seem irritated by me. This is the first time I’ve felt uncomfortable about my nationality, and I’ve travelled all over Europe. But I came to speak to Armenians, to see how they’re feeling, and to see the land, the people’s faces. When I’m with people, I can see it in people’s eyes, and people’s eyes cannot lie.’ In this way, Başak had also come to confirm what she’d learned about the genocide.
In high school, Başak learned Turkey’s rewritten narrative of the Turkish–Armenian ‘civil war’ – just like my Turkish friend in Canada, who, when I finally asked her about it, told me the Armenian claim was a lie.
‘Gradually, more and more people recognise it and talk about it. In the early 1990s, no one talked about it. My mother tells me, “You will go to prison.”’ Başak was familiar with jail, having already spent one night there after a protest. She was also a victim of her government’s policies.
Başak had also broken up with a long-term boyfriend after he tried to prevent her from attending a protest for genocide recognition – a century after the fact and there was still this struggle. It had worked its way under our skin, like a sliver of glass. I shared my story, about the email and how angry I’d felt, and how ashamed that made me. My journey had started in cowardice, hers in bravery. We’d come from opposite directions to arrive in the same place.
When I said goodbye to Başak, I confirmed I couldn’t use her real name. ‘I want you very much to use my real name, but this’ – recognising the genocide – ‘is a crime in Turkey. I’m not enough rich to emmigrate to another country.’
IN THE DECADES following the genocide, there were no official commemorations or acknowledgments. With a few million Armenians facing starvation in the Soviet Union, and hundreds of thousands scattered in orphanages, refugee camps and budding, far-flung communities in foreign countries, Armenians had no context for creating public memory and awareness. The USSR suppressed talk and reactions to the genocide. In the history museum they eventually built in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, history began with the Russian revolution.
Armenians struggled under a burden of shame. The resulting silence lasted until 24 April 1965, the genocide’s fiftieth anniversary. That day, public commemorations spontaneously broke out in Armenia, Moscow and Beirut, at the United Nations, and across the United States. In Armenia, the commemoration turned to a protest. Demands led first to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial in 1967 and much later, in 1995, to the accompanying museum, situated on a hilltop in Yerevan.
Even after those first public commemorations, the genocide remained largely unarticulated. Into the 1990s, victims who spoke out risked stigmatisation and humiliation. I might have found this silence difficult to imagine, except that it was one of Paravon’s infamous attributes. Even with Armenian speakers, he was taciturn. If his grandchildren rang whilst Mariam was out, he would answer ‘Mama not home!’ and hang up. Paravon’s silence was juxtaposed with an explosive temper. He’d get so angry he would stutter, hollering at Mariam. By all accounts, she took this in stride.
The Armenian history of trauma has gone largely unacknowledged and undiagnosed. In Consequences of Denial (Karnac Books, 2008), Aida Alayarian details the psychological effects of the Turkish denial on Armenians. She describes silence itself as a further kind of trauma, adding another layer of psychological distress. Additionally, when trauma is experienced on a mass scale and left unaddressed it passes on to the next generation, who may suffer similar psychological effects with no ability to express their origins. I suspected this might explain the volatile temper that ran in my Armenian family.
Despite his occasional explosiveness, Paravon was loving, especially toward Mariam. The two always looked at each other like newlyweds. Whatever had brought them together, their obvious love left an impression on their family. When they both ended up in a nursing home, Paravon would sneak into Mariam’s bed.
Mariam died first. It seemed to be the second great tragedy of Paravon’s life. He was incapable of processing it. ‘He wouldn’t believe it,’ one of his granddaughters said. When the family took him to the funeral home to see Mariam in her coffin, he shouted at her, demanding ‘Eli, Mariam, eli!’ Get up! But she didn’t get up, so he became convinced it wasn’t her. He told people she’d run off with another man and accused his sons of being in conspiracy with her, of orchestrating this show.
After losing Mariam, Paravon started having hallucinations, waking versions of the nightmares he’d suffered all his life, terrifying visions of Turks coming to kill him, of sabres stabbing upward through tree branches. He raved about it, experiencing the horror of his childhood all over. In the last weeks of his life, his screaming fits became so severe, the nursing home staff restrained him with a straight jacket. He died not long after Mariam.
THOUGH IT TOOK a few decades after the genocide, Armenians became part of Australia’s cultural milieu as well. After immigration laws changed, an influx of Armenians migrated from communities in Jordan, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon and many other places of instability. Their family narratives contain layers of dislocation. I ended up in Sydney as well, and found myself drawn to the Armenian community. As an odar – an outsider – I see them all as Armenians. They see each other differently, marking out the distinctions. Perhaps a culture, once shattered, remains so. Still, I see in Sydney the vitality I imagine existed in St Catharines when Paravon and Mariam were raising their six children: Armenian Saturday schools and church feasts, Armenian magazines and radio shows, art exhibitions and sporting events.
Just as Canadian Armenians succeeded in convincing their government of the importance of standing up to genocide denial, Australian Armenians work toward having the genocide federally recognised. The political relationship with Turkey makes it more challenging, but now that the Anzac centenary has passed, Australian Armenians have hope that their government will find the moral courage to call out and counteract racist intent.
FOR YEARS, I wondered what caused my own faltering into racism. Perhaps I’d tuned into a background frequency amongst my Armenian family, just below the volume of consciousness. But when I interviewed my family, nothing supported this theory.
When I finally spoke to my aunt again, the one who first shared Paravon’s history, I discovered a key fact – another splinter of the story. Had I learned it when I was young, it might have changed the way Paravon’s story took seed in my brain.
‘Mariam was saved by the love of a Turkish family. They risked their lives to shelter her. Because of them, she always spoke of kindness. She never allowed a single bad word.’
Ashley Kalagian Blunt has a Master of Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney. She has spoken on Armenian/Turkish reconciliation at conferences and been published by the Peace and Conflict Studies Journal. She was recently awarded a Publisher Introduction Program Fellowship from Varuna for her travel memoir, The Pomegranate’s Daughter.
Alayarian, A 2008, Consequences of Denial, Karnac, London.
Kaprielian-Churchill, I 2005, Like Our Mountains, McGill-Queens UP, Montreal.
Manne, R 2011, Making Trouble, Black Inc., Collingwood, VIC.
Mitchell, E, published first in hardcopy 1986, ‘Mills, Arthur James (1883–1964)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, viewed at <http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mills-arthur-james-7591/text13257>.