03 March 2012

The Queen Crowning and Ivor Burge

The Queen Competition is at a conclusion and Kath Lilford, Noel's girlfriend, has won. George devoted about a third of letter No. 17 to coverage of the ceremony and Kath's role in it.

I can't help but wonder how Noel might have felt about Kath's victory in such a pageant, being so far away from her geographically? I have found no clues.

I do find it interesting how George writes about the event almost like a newspaper reporter would, going so far as to directly quote Ivor Burge. 
Ivor Burge characterised it as "one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen".

But then again, George's letter writing style is very factual and business-like.

Ivor Burge

Ivor Burge
One of the fun things about this project has been finding very casual references to people in these letters, and then discovering that these people have left noteworthy legacies.

For instance, Ivor Burge's name has appeared in the last two letters. Judging from the context, it's apparent that he's an employee of the Melbourne YMCA.

Then, come to find out that according to the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame, Burge is considered one of the founding fathers of basketball in Australia. He attended Springfield College in the United States, where basketball was born, and when he returned to Australia in 1928, he brought the sport with him.

So here are these letter references three years later, and now we can imagine Burge as an athletic director of some sort at the YMCA, nurturing the nascent sport of basketball under the YMCA's roof.

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