Derham Groves

On the Road — 1959

Recently I purchased Peter E. Sayers’ travel diary on ebay for five dollars. In 1959, Sayers of East St. Kilda and nine other ‘boys’ — Peter M. Scott of Mosman, E. Phillip Brandt of Wahroonga, Richard Blaiklock of Castlecrag, James Trigg of Lake Cargelligo, Trevor Combe of Largo Bay, John Hammond of Darling Point, Ross Hooker of Mosman, Bob Foster of St. Ives, and Jim Black of Pokataroo — went on a 5-month business/study tour of the USA and Canada. It appears this was an official tour of some kind, because in Sydney the group met the Premier of New South Wales, Mr J.J. Cahill, and the US Consul-General, Frank A. Waring. The group looked around Sydney before departing for the US. They toured the Dunkerley Hat Mills at Waterloo, and each received a Stetson hat. They were also given boomerang throwing lessons by the world champion, Frank Donnellan, in the Domain, and each received two boomerangs — one to keep and one to give away overseas. Sayers, Combe and two members of the group from New South Wales even appeared on the children’s TV programme, The Channel 9 Pins. Whatever this tour was about (and I hope to find out when I get some time), it was clearly something special. Sayers left Melbourne on 8 February and visited Sydney, Nandi (Fiji), San Francisco, Davis, Sacramento, Monterey, Salinas, San Louis Obisbo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Kingman, Flagstaff, Gallup, Albuquerue, Roswell, El Paso, Jaurez (Mexico), Pecos, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Houston, New Orleans, Birmingham, Louisville, Charleston, Richmond, Washington D.C., Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Boston, Montreal, Ottowa, Toronto, Niagara, Detroit, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, Vancover, Seattle, Spokane, Calgary, Bamff, Butte, Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dayton, and Orsova. Sayers’ diary contains a very detailed record of the group’s travels and activities. He even notes, for example, buying a jar opener for 69 cents on 10 June for his Mum. Pictured is Sayers’ account of his trip to Disneyland.