Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the Shuttle scoops Fleet Street-again!

Lord Hamlyn
A Day at The Races
Nearly a week after the Social Shuttle revealed exclusively that the lifetime patron of the famed Sydney dominatrix Madame Lash was the British peer and publisher Paul Hamlyn, Britain's Daily Mail has caught up to speed.

We attended the launch of the Madame Lash biography penned by Sam Everingham last Monday evening at her city residence The Kirk, a deconsecrated Presbyterian Church. While 200 guests were treated to topless acrobats and an opera singer the expected guest of honour Gretel Pinniger -Lash's real name, failed to show despite phoning ahead from her limousine- a former hearse with the numberplate STIFF, to tell our snapper to be prepared and wait outside for her arrival in an outfit she said contained "ten yards of red taffeta and a whip or 2".
Madame at The Kirk
Former Oz Magazine founder and later Kerry Packer executive Richard Walsh launched the book and gave a brief history of Lash expecting the lady to appear at any moment. She never arrived.

 Paul Hamlyn, Baron Hamlyn of Edgeworth was born in Germany and fled with his family to the UK in 1933 and became one of the richest publishers in the world with Hamlyn Books (born Paul Hamburger he chose the name Hamlyn from a telephone book). When he died in 2001 he left an enormous fortune including a $500M charity foundation plus a yearly stipend to Gretel with the stipulation his name never be revealed by her.

Clyde Packer (left) with Sir Frank and Kerry
It was always common knowledge that Hamlyn was Pinniger's benefactor. He was introduced to Madame Lash by Clyde Packer, brother of Kerry Packer. Clyde was considered to be Sir Frank Packer's business heir but after a public spat with his father he sold his share of the publishing business to brother  Kerry for $4M in the 1960's and spent the next 40 years wearing caftans and indulging himself in the counter culture that included hiring  the services of Madame Lash. It was Packer who introduced other wealthy like-minded businessmen like Gordon Barton to Lash.

Hamlyn, who has family members in Sydney visited regularly and would take Lash on trips to Asia. One service that the dominatrix specialised in that is rarely mentioned is that she allowed the whip to be turned on her !. And rarely mentioned is the fact that in her 3 houses-The Kirk, one in Melbourne and a splendid beach house at Palm Beach, she has fully equipped dungeons that includes Nazi officer outfits.