Australia was my own Camelot: My Encounter with JFK

“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot”.

Hi fellow jet-setters!

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. As a historian, I understand the implications of JFK’s life and his legacy. I understand the constructed nature of the memory of Camelot and the problems inherent in calling the JFK era this name. Having studied JFK in a number of my undergraduate courses, I know that the historiographical debates about his presidency, decisions and his death are relevant to the American identity even today. Even understanding that he isn’t the idealistic figurehead that he is often remembered to be, I still adore JFK and I love studying his administration, his politics and his legacy.

I had no idea, however, that JFK was beloved even in Australia. So, when J and I happened upon this memorial for the late president, I was both giddy and perplexed. It was during our stroll through Treasury Gardens, on a rainy day in Melbourne, we found this lovely memorial.

I haven’t spoken at all about my time in Australia. It was my first ever trip abroad. (Canadians do not usually count going anywhere in the USA as traveling “abroad.”) And it was absolutely life changing for me. I traveled along most of the east coast of Australia hitting Cairns, Kuranda, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle (very briefly), Denman & The Hunter Valley, Canberra, Kiama, and down into Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania. Melbourne was my absolute favourite place that I traveled to within Oz. But, more on this and my travels throughout Australia later.

For now, a few photographs of Australia’s memorial for JFK.

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This memorial was unveiled by the Right Honorable The Mayor of Melbourne Councillor E. Leo Curtis J.P. on the 25th of March 1965

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Australia was my own Camelot for a time.

Keep Wandering,

W

 

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