Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28: Poor, sad Critchley Parker

Critchley Parker1942 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 as he lay dying, and wrote plans until he could write no more.

Tasmanian fisherman Clyde Clayton had a drink with Parker in the local pub 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 was vainly searched for, but his body was not found until September 4 by fishermen sheltering from bad weather ... More at March 28 in Wilson's Almanac


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