I have been familiar with The last great expedition (AG 142) since my childhood, but I was disappointed to find my father, Raymond Giles, did not rate a mention! He was a radio operator with a unit stationed south of Darwin during World War II.
After the war he was a radio sound engineer at ABC Adelaide. It was with this background he was offered the sound recordist job on the National Geographic expedition.
All my life I enjoyed Dad’s anecdotes of the interesting weeks he spent with the scientific party, how the wire recording device worked, how the Aboriginal lads helped carry the heavy batteries and how the sacred dances, songs, stories and a corroboree were
recorded for the first time. Another day he set up the recording devices on the edge of a billabong to catch the early morning scatter sound when the waterbird flock took flight.
Ray was a country boy, so he was quite at home on the land and totally non-racist and nonjudgemental, full of creativity and curiosity all his life.
The trip was a life experience he valued greatly. Ray passed away in May 2015 at 98, still alert and curious as always.