Crikey’s Man in the Hat competition is all over — thanks to everyone who entered but there can only be five winners.

And the proud new owners of a Panama hat from Crikey’s friends at the supreme gentleman’s outfitters, Henry Bucks, are Michael Frost, Mike Clarke, Patrick Knowles, Michael Thomson and Wayne Gardam. We’ll be in touch.

Here are the correct answers as provided by Michael Frost:

The first photo depicts then PM Gough Whitlam on the steps of parliament after his dismissal by then GG John Kerr on 11 November 1975 – I believe he’s saying something like “well may we say God save the Queen, because nothing will save the Governor-General”. Brian Burke, who is quite the orator, is in the background. I imagine he is dictating the words to Whitlam.

The second photo depicts another former PM, this time it’s Harold Holt, it might be on 17 December 1967 (presumably before he went missing) but then again it probably is not. The National Library of Australia website reckons it’s from sometime between 1960 and 1967. The women in the picture are apparently Holt’s stepdaughters-in-law, (from left) Amanda, Caroline and Paulette. I’d say it’s either May 1967 (he went to Portsea then too, and was, incidentally, saved from drowning) or, more likely, late 1965/early 1966 because he looks like he’s in the same duds he was in for some other publicity shots taken around then in anticipation of Menzies’ resignation. Brian Burke is seen in the water – I am not sure if he has any contacts among the Chinese submarine fleet.

Photo three shows the current PM, John Howard, leading a walk in Canberra. The actual image of Howard is a cut out from a picture of him (although his tracksuit logos weren’t covered over in the original picture) with Tara Moss taken as part of Deano’s Walk for Leukaemia, a charity walk by Dean Jones from Sydney to Melbourne from 24 November 2003 to 26 December 2003. Howard walked with them on 3 December 2003. You’ll notice Brian Burke, a renowned fundraiser, sometimes for charity, is in the background too.

The fourth photo is of Captain Francis De Groot about to cut the official ribbon at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March 1932. The ribbon was meant to be cut by then Premier Jack Lang but, De Groot’s group, the New Guard, a kind of proto-fascist, hyper monarchist set (think Sophie Panopoulos/Mirabella in uniform) were trying to be provocative of the Government of the time. Interestingly, Brian Burke is visible on the other side of the ribbon – no doubt a key player in the turbulent politics of the time, which probably explains how he got so powerful (though it’s hard to understand why he’s on the east coast in all the photos so far).

Photo five is from the state funeral of Robert Menzies at Scots Church in Melbourne on 19 May 1978. Then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is aloof in the foreground, with Brian Burke keeping a close eye on things a couple of paces behind him. About 100,000 people lined the streets for the funeral which was attended by, among others, Prince Charles. Menzies, I trust, is in the box.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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