Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Germaine Greer's Bra, Alice Springs and the Paparazzo

iIt was one of the tales told at the memorial service for the late photographer Peter Carrette who died suddenly last Sunday of a heart attack.

At least 400 gathered at the Bondi Pavilion on a sunny Friday-Carrette loved Bondi-to mourn the loss of the "grandfather" of the paparazzi.

Carrette , Germaine Greer and actor Jack Thompson were in Alice Springs to do a story about the local Aboriginals and had decided to camp overnight by a river. Peter awoke in the morning to find Germaine washing her bra and smalls in the river. He took some snaps that later ended up in a magazine. She never spoke to him again.

Singer Normie Rowe, broadcaster Holga Brockmann, actors Michael Caton and Jack Thompson-all got up to speak movingly as they recalled their good friend.
Holga spoke of Carrette's bold move in getting into Grenada in a hired smuggler's boat to greet  the invading US Army ahead of the world's media waiting in Barbados for official US Army transport.

TV host Mike Munro
 General Norman Schwarzkopf, leading the US troops assumed Carrette was the official army photographer and gave him carte blanch, earning Peter 2 Time Magazine front covers and the best world wide coverage of the war.

Caton spoke of the time Carrette was captured by Nicaraguan guerrillas and forced to photograph executions-"to show the outside world" how determined they were. 

Glen A.Baker & Normie Rowe
 Jack Thompson, unable to hold back flowing tears spoke of Carrette's devotion to the  Krousar Thmey Orphanage that he and Peter set up in Cambodia which has grown to a dozen homes and which both have almost raised a million dollars to keep going.

His 85 year old mother Gladys, unable to travel from her home in Epping in the UK had Thompson read out Peter's favourite poem that he had learnt by heart as a child-Rudyard Kipling's 'If' and Pete's daughter Madison sang the 'happy birthday' song she wrote for him when she was 12 years old.

It was a send-off Peter Carrette would have loved-good friends, celebrities, the media, a few curious gatecrashers followed by  lots of drinking later at the Bondi  RSL Club !

You can donate to the First Cambodian Foundation ( Krousar Thmey)  assisting deprived children here !