Critchley Parker's brave folly
1942 Australia: Critchley Parker, Jr, a young Melbourne friend of the Jewish people and wealthy son of a prominent publisher, set off enthusiastically to explore the area around Port Davey in south-west Tasmania as a possible site for a Jewish homeland. He did not return.
The new settlement, he wrote in his journal while starving to death in some of Australia's most remote, cold and wild country, would be the “Jewel of the Commonwealth”. He never lost faith, even in death.
Tasmanian fisherman Clyde Clayton had a drink with Parker before the young romantic set off alone into the wilderness on his quixotic scheme to survey potential sites for his quasi-Zionist fantasy.
Many years later, when asked what he would have done back in 1942 if he’d known Parker was surveying the land for a Jewish utopian colony, Clayton said, "I'd have carved him up and used him as cray bait".
Parker’s body was found on September 4 by fishermen sheltering from bad weather ...
Tagged: australia, history, israel, australian+history, utopianism