''Nothing will develop persons more than sport, as
exemplified by the Greeks with their athletic and literary contests.
In Australia nothing is more likely to interest people in the Jewish
settlement than such an institution. It might ultimately occupy
the same place in Australian life as the Olympic Games in Hellenic
Critchley's mind the concept of 'games' was to include the reading
of poetry, 'oratorical contests, musical performances, exhibitions
of painting and sculpture, weaving, tapestry, pottery and books.
Annual shows would also be held, representative of all brances of
the communitie's activities. Other Tasmanian industries should be
encouraged to display their wares; this should be done at the Community's
own expence, so that the perfect amity and accord existing between
the Jewish settlement and the Tasmanians be emphasised in this practical
way. Later, other states of the Commonwealth and other countries
should be encouraged to come here, so as ultimately to make the
equivalent of the Leipzig Fair. This could be called the Pacific
Fair. American Jewry will be most useful here.'
real wealth of the community will be its people, and I desire that
their whole life will so amaze the people of Australia that the
little Settlement of Tasmania wil be the leaven which will completely
change the economic and financial system of Australia
'You must come to this country and see the mountains of Port Davey
as I have seen them, now clear and shining in the summer sun, now
enshrouded with mist and snow. You must see, too, the inlets and
bays, the five rivers that flow into it, and climb Mount Mackenzie,
at whose foot I camped. You will realise what a magnificent centre
this will be for a settlement, one of the finest harbours in Australia,
a country rich in mineral wealth and water power that the prosperous
parts of the Commonwealth. I have said to Mother that I hope my
name will live in this project, so she will render any assistance
Isaac Steinberg (1888 - 1957) Australia -
The Unpromised Land: In Search Of A Home London: Victor Gollancz,
1948, p. 143
From his final diary entries:
is at Port Davey that I hope the Jewish settlement will start, not
far from where I sever all earthly connections with it
die in the service of so noble a cause is to me a great satisfaction
and if, as I hope, the settlement brings happiness to many refugees
and in so doing serves the state of Tasmania, I die happy..
Hilary L. Rubenstein 'Critchley Parker (1911-42):
Australian Martyr for Jewish Refugees' Journal of the Australian
Jewish Historical Society, 11, pp. 56-860, p. 66
||Caroline Isaacson, the Melbourne journalist who inspired Critchley
Parker's quest to find a homeland for the Jewish refugees.
||Clyde Clayton, who discovered Critchley Parker's
body in a sleeping bag, where it had been untouched for three
||Mary and Qug King, who grew up around Port Davey as members
of the only family in the area. Mary's grandfather took Critchley
Parker by boat out to the area he wanted to explore.
The description of Port Davey in the south-west
corner of Tasmania had conveyed almost a sense of cosiness.
Nothing was further from the reality. An eternity of ocean,
an infinity of mountains, many still unnamed, endless swathes
of impenetrable bush intersected by a multitude of rivers
mostly also unnamed, lay between Melaleuca and the rest of
the world. It was the end of the world.
On a day of sparkling blue skies and bright
sunlight it was an artist's palette of colours, bewitchingly
beautiful. But when the gales swept in from the south-west,
driving the pregnant rain clouds before them, that world was
reduced to gathered greys. Waves and water sulked, like tarnished
silver. Mighty mountains became stark silhouettes, slopes
shrouded with sheets of rain or streaked with showers. Grey
upon gloomy grey, layer upon lowering layer, a world which
had lost its light.
Christobel Mattingley King Of The
Wilderness: The Life Of Deny King Melbourne: Text Publishing,
2001, p. 115
- Travel to the site
of Critchley Parker's demise
- The scheme for finding safe
haven for European Jewry in Australia
- See ABC 7:30 report with Adam Rovner and Richard Flanagan