From December 20, 1955 to January 30, 1956, I was privileged to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime as one of the six scouts and two leaders chosen to represent Canada for the first time at the Pan-Pacific Jamboree at Clifford Park near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The Jamboree officially opened December 30, 1955 and officially closed January 8, 1956. The rest of the time was spent in travel to and from the Jamboree and in touring part of the marvellous States of Victoria and New South Wales. In total, I travelled over 25,000 miles at the tender age of 17.
The trip was made possible by the generous support of people such as Canadian Pacific Airlines who cut the airfare in half, the members of the Australian-Canadian Association which had just been formed earlier in 1955 among the leading personalities in the Canadian business and institutional sectors, the executives and staff at H.V. McKay Massey Harris Pty. Ltd. who looked after so many details of our tours in Australia and finally, the dozens of Australians of all sorts who made our adventure so fabulous.
From east to west, our group consisted of:
Leader – Ken E. Margeson, Kinsac, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Queen’s Scout – Eric Turcotte, Laval West, Quebec
Queens’s Scout – D. Ross Gunn, Oak Ridges, Ontario
Queen’s Scout – Charles W. Conn, Toronto, Ontario
Queen’s Scout – C. David Sadleir, Sarnia, Ontario
Queen’s Scout – Evert E. Klingberg, Port Arthur, Ontario
Queen’s Scout – Don G. Snyder, Edmonton, Alberta
Ass’t Leader – Gord W. Crane, Vancouver, B.C.
We each had to make our own way to and from Vancouver, but from Vancouver to Australia and back to Vancouver we were as solid a unit of Canadian reps as ever left these shores. And boy, did we ever look sharp!
I kept a diary of the trip and what follows is a faithful transcription. I’ve added some punctuation, etc. where doing so helps the flow, but I’ve not changed any words. Occasionally, brackets  will denote an afternote or clarification insert.
The pictures were taken on an Ansco Memar 35mm (my first!), generously given by John McCutcheon, using Kodachrome. I brought home 10 rolls of film – some 20’s and a few 36’s. I’ve kept a total of 246 which are still in as good shape as they were when first developed as slides more than 50 years ago. In some cases, digitalizing them created a loss of detail.
Charles W. Conn, March 2006
(The editor has decided that, as times change, so the way we express ourselves also changes. Below you will find a dictionary to help you with the “translations”. I’ve also taken some liberties with the text in order to make it clearer to the reader.)
Queer = Weird, odd
Swish = Neat, elegant, beautiful
Hardrocks = tough guys
Dames = young ladies
Good head = great guy, nice person
Billets = Hosts. People who put us up for the night
Chew, Chewed the fat, etc. = Talked, gabbed
Scotch Kiltie = A person wearing a kilt