Saturday, November 15

All the Way with LBJ - Melbourne October 1966

With all the excitement in Brisbane for the G20 this weekend I remembered when another US President came to Australia - and how I ended up in the midst of protests.  I was working at a hospital on St Kilda Road, Melbourne -  Prince Henry Hospital.  I had become disillusioned with nursing so tried my other (clerical)  skills and worked for a short time in the Medical Superintendent's Office, before decided to return to Mt Gambier to do my Midwifery (which was cancelled not long after I arrived.)

I had been aware that President Lindon Baines Johnson was due to arrive in Melbourne, and didn't plan to be where he was, but one day, I think as I was heading to the railway station to catch a train home to my lodging at St Yarra, I came face to face with all the drama.  I think LBJ had visited the Shrine of Rememberance - it was during the Vietnam War and there was much hostility about it. Harold Holt was the Prime Minister of Australia, at the time and there was a lot of political unrest.

As I walked along St Kilda Road, I became surrounded by protestors, and police on horseback.  I remember that clearly.  I don't recall I saw the President, and fought my way through the hostile crowd.  I remember being rather scared by it all.

I had no intention of visiting Brisbane City to day - I am not keen to have to watch the protesters today and get caught up in the traffic chaos.

It certainly is great that these world leaders have visited Brisbane - but I had no desire to see them.


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