Both of our fathers had served there during WWII, my Dad having been based there when the Japanese were dropping bombs on the place. The 27th. Battalion had been sent North from Adelaide in 1941, and recalled to the south in 1943. (at which point Corporal Forbes voluntarily left the army, got married, and transferred to the Air Force, to be trained as a bomber pilot.)
One of the things that I remember from my childhood is the coconut that Dad had mailed home from Darwin to his girlfriend, with two Ninepenny platypus stamps firmly attached.
The feisty young Shirley Phillips, who actually became my Mum a few years later, must have been impressed.
Sadly, I no longer have a Mum or Dad.....but I still have the coconut!
So it's nice to know, when we're cruising around Darwin, that we have some history in the city that goes back quite a way. And we really shouldn't be complaining about camping on a non-air-conditioned boat, when Dad lived in a tent.
Of course, there's another link to Darwin that can't be ignored. It's where Mary and I first met, when we lived there in the early 70's, pre-Cyclone Tracy.
We had some amazing escapades during those times, and the experiences we had, and some of the people we met, have stayed with us forever. (G'day, Bill!)
And with the 40th. anniversary of Cyclone Tracy this year, we can have a Green Can or two to celebrate that we were on the last flight out of town on that fateful Christmas Eve, before the cyclone arrived.
With some help from our friends, we were back in Darwin a few weeks after the cyclone, homeless, and with all of our worldly possessions piled into our battered Valiant station wagon. Valiant's the word!
In some form of nod back to my Dad, we bought a tent and lived in it in Fannie Bay for the next nine months or so.
Despite the lack of a solid roof, we had a ball.