Noël Coward Visits an Adelaide Koala Farm in 1940

Nobody in England has the faintest idea what the Australians are like, and when I do get back I am going to make it my business to tell them. They are simple and direct and friendly, and their feeling about England is so deep and touching... this really is being a wonderful experience.

At the end of 1940 into 1941 Noël Coward toured Australia. On the 3rd December 1940 he wrote to Lorn Loraine (“Lornie”) his assistant:

Menzies Hotel, Melbourne, 3rd December 1940.

Nobody in England has the faintest idea what the Australians are like, and when I do get back I am going to make it my business to tell them. They are simple and direct and friendly, and their feeling about England is so deep and touching that in my opinion a great deal more should be done about them, from our point of view, than has been to date. This really is being a wonderful experience.

The Australian country – what I have seen of it from aeroplanes and motor cars – is perfectly beautiful, but, the thing that is nicest about it here is its Englishness. It is good, honest middle-class, neither common nor social. There is no snobbery around , or very little, and I should think that in future years it will turn out to be far and away the most important jewel in our Imperial crown. If, in the future, I hear anybody saying, “Darling, really the Australians are too dreary for words – those awful voices, etc., etc.,” there will be trouble.

At one point Coward visited a ‘Koala Farm’ in Adelaide…

 

 

1940. Noël Coward.

Noel Coward and Lorn Loraine 1939 NPG

Noel Coward with Mrs I.A. English and Sally the seal

 

Photographs via the State Library of South Australia