Alf Morley's Incredible Story as told to Peter A Blood

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CHARACTERS & CAPERS - The Life and Times of Alf Morley
More Testimonials…

If only we all had the courage to lay out our life for interpretation!

I can only imagine that everybody at some stage of their life has found their bottom.  When I met Alf I was in the middle of mine.  Poker was my weekly get away from it all and from the first time I met Alf I felt an instant connection to the man.  My first thoughts of Alf were that he was kind, caring, hard and had probably been around more than most could imagine. (Not to mention he had been beaten by the ugly stick… hahaha.  don’t delete that Alf!)  

He may not know this, but he played a big role in me getting through my tuff times.  And for that I thank him.  In reading his book, it was no surprise to me the life Alf had lived.  Throughout the book you can see the pieces in his life he has kept that lead to the man we all see today.  As for me, I feel I am lucky and privileged to say I am a personal friend of Alf Morley.         



Characters & Capers is available as:

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396 page paperback

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To read this book ‘Characters & Capers’ by Alf Morley, is to know Alf Morley the man.

It will give any person reading it a chance to catch a small glimpse of the life and times of Alf and his wife Heather, who have become just like a 2nd set of parents to me. I love them very dearly and respect them in every way. I met them thru poker and have continued outside of it in our personal lives as well!

It must have taken great courage for Alf to reveal his private life, not just to his children but to all of his friends and to the rest of the world, but reading thru the whole book has not changed my opinion of Alf or Heather. In fact it has strengthened what I already knew was inside them..... A loyalty that only true friendship and love can give and it’s such a great feeling.

Once my children become of age I hope they will read the book and understand what life can bring about in anyone’s world. So Alf when ya read this I hope you realise just how important you are in my life - both you and Heather.  One of the best reads in my life mate I’m so glad we became family .......

Love Rob Howell.


I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both Alf and Heather before I read his book and I must say that I’m am glad I did, it was an instant like - they both have such a warm presence and great sense of humour. I adore them both.

Characters and Capers is the 1st non-fiction book I have had the privilege to read. Meeting Alf helped me to put a face and voice to the character and I found myself drawn into his book like I was watching a movie. I was there, like I was Alf’s shadow, feeling his adrenaline, pain, fear, excitement and tears of both joy and sorrow. Many times I found myself laughing my ass off, with tears streaming down my face with the occasional snort here and there... (the sideways glances from people was well worth it). Despite what  Alf did in his past I find him to be an astounding  gentleman, kind hearted and definitely cheeky... ha-ha! a good quality! I would have had no reservation in helping him and Heather and their children back then and even now had I been born before 1985.

I believe this book was hard for Alf to write, but it would have been a great shame if he hadn't.

I also believe that our past doesn’t define us or label us, but instead helps us to create a better us from yesterday’s experience.

I look forward to a long term friendship with both Alf and Heather and hope for many more laughs to come. Alf mentioned a few times of his minimal education of only 4th grade. I’d like to say that he displayed a high level of education in this book, consistently, and I would rate him one of the most highly educated and intelligent men I know, even if it wasn’t gained in a classroom. He has shown many people that despite your education level you can succeed in life and do almost any legal job if you are determined and passionate about it.

Alfie, I’d like to thank you immensely for the pleasure and privilege of reading your book and my only disappointment was that I got to the end of it... I could have read forever!

Much love... Tanya Kendell.

PS: I believe this would make an excellent movie and I’d line up all night to buy a copy once placed on the shelves. Xoxox Tan.


Law-breakers who have witnessed the true inner workings of Australia's policing and penal system over the last 50 years most often prefer to forget all about it if they can. Some, like my dad, never do. He has lived a rebellious life and paid dearly for it. Now he's told me about it, warts and all.

Characters and Capers is his story, written for my sister Eve and me. You should read it.

The book amounts to a guided tour through a truly remarkable young man's trials and tribulations, the misfortunes he encountered whilst living in and out of boy's homes and prisons for over 20 years... then being on the run from authorities for a further 7 years... and all this before his 35th birthday! At different points I was inspired by his exploits, at others so very disappointed. At one moment I was laughing hysterically, the next I had to put the book down for some quiet contemplation, even tears.

I understand that dad had to do his hard yards. My own work experiences lead me to believe that it would have been extremely hard to transform dad as a young man. He was, by all accounts, both unable to love and possessed of a deep-seated hatred against almost everything.

I work with troubled young people today and I have to admit there is an element of embarrassment attached to this book from my perspective. You see, as I have matured I have formed the opinion that we live in a very biased, opinionated and judgmental society; one in which there is very little room for true reform. Our judicial system still lives in the dark ages and our prison system still needs serious attention. Rehabilitation for young offenders is very near non-existent. Society adjusts it's blinkers on life just enough to ensure that these issues are largely kept out of sight.

A result of this is that society in general has the opinion, "Been in jail? = Never to be trusted!" I wonder what happened to, "Done the crime, done the time (paid the bill)" ?

Although I had no idea of the depth of trouble my dad managed to find himself in as an adolescent and young adult, I always felt in the back of my mind that he had a true understanding of what pain and loss meant. On the surface, or so it appeared to all, ours was a normally functioning family. Until, of course, the day dad spoke to me at length of his past. At that point, all he told me just amplified the fact that my ole man was and is the coolest ole man going 'round. This is a massive understatement.

It was only after reading his book that I gained a true understanding of just how deep in the shit my dad was, and how pivotal the arrival of Bonnie and me was to his ultimate salvation.

You see, up until that day we'd had an amazing relationship that involved unconditional love, support, encouragement and forgiveness. I was a teenage boy who had an ole man all my peers looked up to. And he very near gained hero status with them after I carefully described some of the capers he got up to in his past to some of my closer mates! I will take this opportunity to explain that the true hero throughout my dad's story is my remarkable mother. For her to endure the pain and anguish, the despair, and come out the other side with her marbles and her family intact is a true testament to her amazing character. I honestly believe that without mum sticking by dad throughout, I would have been very familiar with the inside of jail visiting rooms, and possibly even one or two cells of my very own.

I can thankfully say that as a result of my mum's unrelenting desire to keep the family unit together, I never saw the inside of a jail cell or even a visiting area. (I've since discovered that I visited dad at Emu Plains as a youngster, but I have no memory of that).

As I read the book I could not help but admire the rat cunning intelligence Alf displayed as Mr Morley, Mr Ackroyd, Mr Ryan, Mr Poo-Bah, etc... but I'm oblivious to this. To me, Alf is just "Dad" and I thank him for this incredible insight into his youth.

Dad, you've given me both an understanding of how you came  to be the person you are today, as well as an amazing insight into the horrifying lifestyle that is prison life and life on the run from the authorities. They were scary predicaments you faced during that time indeed.

It is gobsmacking stuff, picturing you, my dad, in these situations.

I have real sympathy and empathy for what you have endured. I respect what you have achieved since those dark days. And I love you unconditionally.



Rob Morley
Author’s Son

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