From time to time we receive donations of material of use to our collection from other librarians around Sydney, and just received from a colleague at Waverley is this souvenir programme of the inaugural Australian National Games, held in 1928. The programme is of double interest to us because, firstly, it was printed by the local printer, the Manly Daily, and secondly, because the opening ceremony and the bulk of the events were held at Manly. The athletic programme was held at Manly Oval on 7th January 1928, and the swimming and diving at Manly Baths on January 11th and 14th. The cycling component of the Games was held at Sydney Sports Ground, and the Boxing and Wrestling were held at Sydney Stadium. The programme lists all the competing athletes.
The Australian National Games were intended to be held every four years, preceding the Olympiad later that year, acting as an Olympic selection event, and the Honorary Directors were James Taylor, Chairman of the Australian Olympic Federation, James Eve, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Australian Olympic Federation, and Les Duff, the Secretary of the NSW Olympic Council. Manly was a natural choice for the swimming events, and argued a strong case for the athletic events, based on the gold medal-winning performance of Nick Winter in 1924 in the triple jump. A photo in the programme shows Manly’s trio of Olympic champions, Boy Charlton, Dick Eve and Nick Winter, posing together.