Friday, 21 October 2016

Olympic Games Melbourne, 1956 - memories

This afternoon, as part of History Week,  I spoke at Ivanhoe Library about the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956, particularly the involvement of my father, Ken Moses, who was a sports journalist on The Argus at the time.
Opening Ceremony ticket
During and after the talk a number of those present shared their memories and experiences of the Olympic Games. Some members of the audience brought along their momentoes of the 1956 Olympics - books plus a ticket to see events on the 23 November. This ticket cost 11/- compared to the £1 / 1/- for the Opening Ceremony ticket shown above.

I had brought one of my father's scrap books plus copies of The Argus published during the games, a copy of the Australian Women's Weekly from December 1956, a selection of programs prepared for individual events for each day of competition and the Official report of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956.
I have a partial collection of copies of The Argus published during the Melbourne Olympic Games but one gentleman brought in a full set of this newspaper published during the games period that his mother had kept.

As the Olympic Village was constructed in neighbouring Heidelberg a number of audience members had memories of growing up near the village.
Raymond Morris Collection, National Museum of Australia
Comments were made about the Olympic Rings which were displayed near the entrance to the village. Apparently these rings are now back on display in the area.
Raymond Morris Collection, National Museum of Australia
One gentleman remembered watching the construction of the village and he used to play on the foundations of the buildings - once the builders went home -  during the early stages of construction. There were also memories of wandering through the village after school - security wasn't a major concern - and waving to and / or chatting to athletes. I was also told that a number of athletes stayed with families in private houses and that the families drove those athletes to the venues to participate in their events.
Winner's medal
One of the ladies in the audience told me that her mother was a seamstress who made the cushions used for the medal presentations at the Olympic Games in 1956.
The Olympic Torch Relay is an important event in the build up to an Olympic Games and I met one gentleman who told me that he had been one of the torch bearers in the 1956 Torch Relay.

This was a great session to share experiences and memories of events that occurred 60 years ago as we remembered the 1956 Olympic Games - an important event in the history of Melbourne.

Other posts on this topic:
Olympic Games Melbourne, 1956 - Media
Olympic Games Melbourne, 1956 - Challenges for host city
Sepia Saturday 316 - Movie cameras
Olympic Games Melbourne 1956 - view post

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