Derham Groves

Men in Hats


So far I’ve managed to contact two of the nine young men who travelled to the USA in 1959 with Peter E. Sayers. Apparantly their fathers had travelled to the USA in 1929 on a tour that was organised by the Young Australia League (YAL). Thirty years later they tried to revive the YAL, but when their plans stalled they organised a trip to America just for their own sons. Roland Hill, a single, middle-aged, very well-connected travel agent from Sydney, arranged the itinerary and led the tour. However, he was an inexperienced chaperon of young men and things got pretty wild by the end of the trip. This photograph, kindly supplied by Richard Blaiklock, shows the eleven tourists on 9 February 1959 at the Dunkley Hat Mills in Sydney after they had received their new Stetson hats.

Back row, left to right: Richard Blaiklock, Phillip Brandt, James Triggs, Roland Hill (chief organiser and chaperon), Jim Black, Ross Hooker and John Hammond.
Front row, left to right: Peter Sayers, Peter Scott, Bob Foster and Trevor Combe.