My first day in Australia, I tried to act like a native and went on a walkabout. Big mistake. I started by walking toward the nearest beach, which would take me through the old Jewish areas of town. It was a nice walk and I did indeed see a lot of Jewish history, the problem was as I got to my destination and was walking along the beach, I noticed the sky was getting very dark. I started for my hotel, which was about an hour or so walk from where I was. As I was about half way home, walking as fast as I could, and taking many shortcuts, I made a mistake. I walked through an area of town that was sealed off as they prepared for the Formula 1 race that was a few weeks away. As I stopped to look at a few of the cars being unloaded, I soon found that the local police officials didn't approve of me being there. A few apologies later, I received a ride to the park entrance in the back seat of one of the police cars. A great way to start my visit. As I got to the gate, I noticed that the storm clouds had caught me while I was detained. I soon found
myself caught in what the newspapers called the "100 Years Storm". I walked as fast as I could ducking under or behind anything I could find to keep out of the rain, it didn't work. I soon found myself arriving at my hotel, soaking wet.
The Conference itself was a truly remarkable event, one of the best organized conferences I have ever attended. The organizers, The Australian Jewish Genealogical Society did a marvelous job. I met a lot of new friends, reacquainted with a few old ones and even had an opportunity I will never forget.
I was invited to speak at a beautiful Synagogue, The North Shore Synagogue, just outside Sydney. Following my talk, I was able to meet some cousins I had never met before. The nicest part was they seemed to be the best of people, I really enjoyed visiting with them.
I was able to visit some wonderful places and make many new friends. I can't wait to return and I hope its very soon.