The miracle of the scones



All Australia is in a roar of excitement over the announcement that the Pope is to canonize the second Australian saint.

Saint Neil of Uputipotpon, formerly known as Neil Boyle, lived in obscurity in a bark hut for 25 years till his untimely death from lung cancer in 2003.  A promising Rugby League player in his youth, he was a member of the celebrated Sydney University team that won the 1975 “bloodbath” championship against Wagga Wagga, and it was when he was on his way home on his motorbike after the celebrations that he had what he later called a “Neil of Tarsus experience”. Abandoning his Commerce studies he took to the road as an itinerant preacher. Frequently arrested, he made good use of his time in prison; his powerful physique and charismatic personality attracted followers even among the most hardbitten old lags.  He still holds the Boggo Rd jail record for continuous push ups. He was a skilful chess player, goldfish-breeder, raconteur and performer on the tin whistle, and turned out a feather-light scone following his mother’s recipe.  A chain-smoker with a hacking cough, he refused to consider giving up smoking, saying it was his cross to bear and he did it willingly.

A fellow goldfish-breeder first made the case for his sainthood in 2011 following a series of miracles in which dead goldfish came back to life, but the definitive miracle occurred in 2016 when a member of the Uputipotpon Country Women’s Association preparing 2000 scones for the centenary race day meeting absent-mindedly substituted talcum powder for baking powder. In despair when the scones came out of the oven flat and hard, she said, “Where’s Neil when you need him?” Instantly she smelt the familiar aroma of Neil’s hand-rolled fags, and before her eyes the scones rose – a miracle captured by an ABC camera crew filming for the series Gone Bush. As the Pope said in confirming the miracle on the spot, “La televisione non dice bugie”.



Image  Michell Zappa –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

16 thoughts on “The miracle of the scones

  1. Oh my goodness! You are the first to break the big news.
    What an honour for rehabilitated persons to have their own star in the east!

    1. I will have to agree with JacquiWine that this is rather bizarre. And why would anyone keep talcum powder anywhere near the baking powder? I wonder if I could get a saint hood for my chocolate cake?
      Leslie 😉

      1. It was perhaps the Devil who substituted the talcum powder for the baking powder.
        You need to speak to Justin Trudeau about sending a piece of your chocolate cake to the Vatican.

  2. Has April come early in Aus? Here in the UK this post is marked as 17 hours ago, and as it’s now 7.00 pm (six o’clock in old money as we’ve now entered British Summer Time) that makes it — bear with me as I do some complex schoolboy arithmetic — a hour or so after midnight UK; which means this went live on the last day of March (it’s only just 5 in the morning in Melbourne now). So, either the joke’s on you or a miracle has happened, the equivalent of the sun standing still for Joshua. This may have influenced the Pope’s decision to canonise Neil.

  3. I missed this entirely — sick for a couple of weeks. I’m glad to have stumbled upon it, and to know that there is another saint in the firmament, especially for scones. I don’t know if you are familiar with Pokemon Go, a game you can play capturing Pokemon creatures on your cellphone. Regina is quite taken with it, and we just discovered that for the holy-minded there is a Pokemon Saints game so that you can, as it were, pray and play at the same time. Clearly, St. Neil should be a candidate for inclusion; I suppose he would be found around bakeries and tea shops.

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