Mon. Jan. 9, 1956 Sandringham

Published by at 6:39 am under Uncategorized

Near Melbourne. Stayed at Gibby’s House.

Miles Today – 50. Miles to Date – 12098

There was a switch in plans. Today, we went for a tour of the Sunshine McKay tractor factory, then a reception for us by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, then here to Sandy for the night.

We woke up early to pack and dismantle our tent, clean up, etc. At about 10:30, Mr. Barclay and Mr. Kennison arrived in their cars. They are the Sunshine McKay people who are conducting our tour for the duration. They took us straight to the factory. It is the Massey Harris plant in Australia.

[A word of clarification – HV McKay Massey Harris Pty. Ltd. was the Australian sub of Massey-Harris-Ferguson. It’s plant was located in Sunshine, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne. James S. Duncan was the President of Massey-Harris-Ferguson and Chair of the recently formed Australian-Canadian Association. We were the first group to benefit from his vision that Commonwealth ties would be immeasurably strengthened by non-governmental group exchanges. Hence the fabulous treatment accorded us by “The Sunshine Boys” in both Melbourne and Sydney.]

We met Mr. Ritchie, president, and the McKay brothers, plus all the heads of departments, some of them Canadian. They served us our lunch. Boy was it ever funny.

Then we were taken on a tour of the plant. It covers 80 acres. It’s huge. We saw the whole stage of a tractor’s construction. They make all the parts right there. We saw the moulds and the finished parts, the paint racks, then all the finished products. They use engines 80 years old for shunting. Trains have modern Aussie-made diesel engines and ancient little boxes half our size.

We were then taken to the town hall where we had a private reception with his worship, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Frank Selleck. We also met there, Sir John Northcote, Governor of New South Wales. They both shook hands with us. They gave us a feed in the reception room where all Prime Ministers, kings, queens etc. are received. Sir Frank showed us the council chambers and explained the municipal setup. Melbourne proper is only 1 mile by 1 mile. Very terrific man, like a buddy.

The Lord Mayor was very personally interested in each of us. We also met his wife. Also the governor who was a general and is active with scouting, was very friendly. After that we came back to Sandy and to a bed.

breaking camp

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