Kal­go­or­lie long­ing fi­nally ful­filled

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS -

and Ru­pert’s mother years later I dis­cov­ered, had paid for me to go to Gee­long.

QOf course that is Ru­pert Mur­doch’s mother Elis­a­beth, later Dame Elis­a­beth Mur­doch. About five years ago I read some­where that Ru­pert Mur­doch’s mother was 100. I wrote to her and thanked her for pay­ing for a large part of my ed­u­ca­tion. What hap­pened was she felt her son and her neph­ews were go­ing to this school but this lit­tle boy from Eng­land, whose mother was a war widow, didn’t. I wrote a let­ter to Dame Elis­a­beth thank­ing her and I got a hand­writ­ten let­ter back. She said some­thing like “you didn’t tell me what you’ve done the last 60 years” so I wrote back and I said I’d been work­ing for the BBC but not to tell Ru­pert — he’s not the BBC’s best friend.

AQSo you’ve had th­ese long links to Aus­tralia and a long link to Kal­go­or­lie. You’ve now been here, you’ve even been to your first Kal­go­or­lie Cup? Yes it was ter­rific. Thanks for tak­ing me, that was mar­vel­lous, it’s ev­ery­thing you read about.

AQYou’ve writ­ten many books where you and some col­leagues from Cam­bridge and Ox­ford Univer­sity were the first to travel from Eng­land right down to the tip of Sin­ga­pore? Peo­ple at­tempted to drive all the way and had even driven from Eu­rope to Cal­cutta be­fore World War II, it was a long way but no es­sen­tial dif­fi­cul­ties. No­body had ever gone be­yond Cal­cutta, so when you’re 22 years old you don’t ac­cept the dif­fi­cul­ties, you just say “well hell, we’ll give it a go”. We went to the Rover car com­pany and they lent us two early Land Rovers. We had one painted light blue for Cam­bridge, and one painted dark blue for Ox­ford. The two were ri­vals. We suc­ceeded and I wrote a book 60 years ago and it’s still in print. At the time I was more con­cerned with get­ting a tyre punc­ture but I look back and think

A“that was re­mark­able, I’m rather proud of that”.

You might write a book about Kal­go­or­lie one day? I’ll cer­tainly in­cor­po­rate it if I do write a book. The pub­lisher of that first book is keen I write an­other with the ti­tle I sug­gested, Be­fore It’s Too Late, and I’ll go to four to five places in the world I’ve never been that I want to go to, and four or five places I have been to which I’d like to go back to. When I have the men­tal stamina to write an­other one . . . I’m not com­mit­ting at this stage but if I do, Kal­go­or­lie will fea­ture. It’s a mar­vel­lous place to be be­cause you go to Syd­ney, great, you go to Mel­bourne, great, but if you want the real Aus­tralia you’ll go to Bourke or Alice Springs or Kal­go­or­lie, that’s where it’s at. I thank all the peo­ple I met in Kal­go­or­lie, friendly is an un­der­es­ti­mate, they pos­i­tively want to help you. You don’t have to ask them they’ll al­most come to you and say “you look a bit lost what’s the prob­lem?”


Tim Slessor at the two-up shed in Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der.

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