by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Memento : Issue 23
10 memento may 2003 arold Holt is perhaps best remembered by Australians as the prime minister who disappeared without a trace off Portsea in December 1967, sparking rumours of Russian submarines and CIA plots. But records in our collection show that there is much more to discover about this fascinating prime minister. Charming and debonair, Holt enjoyed visits to the race track, danced with the Queen Mother and entertained a young Prince Charles. He took a close interest in his family and was a friend to many people in Australia and overseas, including former US President Lyndon Johnson. After working as a barrister and solicitor, Holt entered federal politics in 1935. He was a consummate and extremely hard-working politician with a career that spanned 32 years in Parliament. He held ministerial positions in the Departments of Immigration and Labour and National Service and was Treasurer for eight years before becoming Prime Minister in 1966. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Government's Cultural Gifts Program, a tax incentive scheme which encourages the donation of significant items from personal collections to cultural institutions, including the National Archives. Last year, under the Cultural Gifts Program, we acquired a collection of papers and memorabilia from Sam and Nick Holt relating to Harold Holt, his career and his family. The collection covers the period 1920--89 and comple- ments other Holt records in our custody. The papers include correspondence with Holt's political associates and personal friends, a signed menu for the 1951 Commonwealth of Australia Jubilee banquet, a typescript of Grant McIntyre's play Monkey Tricks (dedicated to Holt's grandson Christopher) and items relating to Zara Holt, her fashion business and death in 1989. The collection also contains over 500 photographs, several films and some sound recordings (such as BA Conway's song 'We're with you all the way LBJ'). It even includes the briefcase that Holt took to Portsea on the fateful weekend he disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach. Prime Minister Holt at Portsea, Victoria in 1966, where he disappeared in heavy seas one year later. NAA: A1200, L54379 Legacy of a Prime