Tribute to Malcolm Fraser
Many may have forgotten but in 1982 the late Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia, made newspaper headlines around the country for riding a bike to work in Canberra. It started with an idea that came from a meeting with triathlon promoter Ray Russell. We decided to have a bike made to suit the Prime Ministers lofty size and presented it to him at the Fitzory Gardens.
Here Malcolm Fraser accepts the large framed bike. From left:Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, Ray Russell, Five times world cycling champion Danny Clark and myself.
The Prime Minister was something of a tinkerer in his spare time and enjoyed hearing about the construction of the bike from Ray. Little did we know he would take to it so well from that moment.
A most unusual event followed. As compensation for the boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games Malcolm Fraser had set out to make it up to Australian athletes. Triathlons had just begun and I was competing in one that finished at Hastings here in Victoria. From memory it was the second held in the country. I had pushed for money to be raised from this to go to a fund for the elite athletes. While I was on air doing the breakfast shift the Prime Minister rang to interview me about my preparation and prospects. I am not sure if this type of event has happened since on Melbourne Radio. The interview went live and went so smoothly people refused to believe it had not been edited. The Prime Minister went further to ask the local member, Sir Phillip Lynch to attend the event and meet me at the finish line. I remember coming ninth and he stepped out to welcome me on behalf of the Prime Minister. In those days triathlons were like half iron men events and he commented how well I had done on the 18km running leg overtaking thirteen other contestants.
Keywords: 1982, Danny Clark, Graham Rebbeck, Lynch, Malcolm Fraser, Olympics, Phillip, Phillip Lynch, Prime Minister, Prime Minister, Ray Russell, athletes, cycling, pedalling, presentation, triathlon, tribute
Nice outfit too
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