The Vault

Looking Toward the Fourth International Congress

By David Garlick


The first session on the closing day of the 3rd Congress (Sunday, Aug 18th, 1991) was for an Australian bid for the 4th Congress. On the previous day, I was invited to meet the Policy Steering Committee to talk about our bid and present each member with a substantial brochure prepared by the Sydney Convention and Visitors’ Bureau for presenting Sydney’s case for hosting the 4th Congress.

As Congress members entered the large room for the session Australians at the Congress handed out kangaroo pins and tourist brochures. There were two videos, one on the attractions of Tasmania and another on Australia overall.

I then briefly spoke of our ‘bid.’ This had been mooted at the 2nd Congress. Since then a number of us involved in the Alexander community in Australia had discussed the possibility which culminated in a small committee being formed to prepare the bid. The bid was endorsed by the AGM of Austat in 1990. It is a well-established convention for countries to make such bids at international meetings of professional and scientific bodies. Thus, we were given excellent assistance by the Sydney Visitors’ Bureau, who prepared copies of the ‘bid’ proposal, and Qantas, our national airline, also supported our bid financially.

Briefly I spoke of the reasons for our bid in which I said that we thought it likely all Alexander teachers would be interested in seeing Australia, F.M.’s birthplace and that 1994 was an auspicious one, being the 125th anniversary of Alexander’s birth and the 100th anniversary of his beginning to teach his technique. Sydney, we felt, was the best site for a Congress—a cosmopolitan centre where ‘F.M.’ worked for a period—and the place where we, the ‘bid’ group, lived. I was also happy to announce that the senior teachers were keen to come (Marjory Barlow, Walter and Dilys Carrington, Marjorie Barstow).

The discussion that followed was fruitful. I spoke of our plans to negotiate discount and group fares and provide economy accommodation. At the end of the session about 200 of our questionnaires were returned. I think it is fair to say that there was overwhelming endorsement from the five hundred present for the Australia/Sydney bid.

Postscript—the dates are July 18-24, 1994 at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Bookings for theatres and rooms have been made. The Policy Steering Committee (see notice on previous page—172) and I welcome your ideas and comments. The 4th Congress will be based on the program features so well established by Michael Frederick in the first three Congresses. One day you will come to Australia. We warmly invite you to come to Australia in 1994. 

Back: Elisabeth Walker, Michael Frederick, Lena Frederick & Richard Walker (died early ‘92). Seated: Wilfred Barlow

(died late ‘91), Marjory Barlow, Marjorie Barstow, Walter Carrington and Dilys Carrington.

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