First footsteps in Australia Sept 1963

by John Salter
(Sydney)

Long settled in Sydney, last year I visited Broome but had great difficulty in orienting myself to what I remembered going ashore from the Old Jetty from Blue Funnel's 'MV Charon' over 50 years ago. I rediscovered the old theatre but little else.

Back then there appeared to be little else - a pub, a post office and to me, fresh off a voyage from Singapore en route to Fremantle, this was what I took to be the real outback that I had seen in Alan Whicker's amazing BBC TV documentaries in the late 50's or early 60's in the UK.

Perhaps I am lucky to be able to tell this story as after we docked at Broome late at night, a group of us went in the dark for a swim in the enclosure and next morning were astonished and very sobered to realise that at the top of the netting the high tide was well over it.

In case you might think had a shark been in the enclosure that night, Australia might have been better off with one less 10 pound Pom. But, uncharacteristically for that time, my brother and I had paid our fare from Singapore having travelled overland from England.
Didn't whinge and like the place!

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