A Swashbuckler Lived Here...

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by Leonard Maltin
January 14, 2010 11:54 AM
3 Comments
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The official marker for
Errol Flynn Reserve in Hobart, Tasmania.

During my recent cruise around New Zealand and Australia, I learned a great deal about our various ports of call, but I had one lone piece of knowledge about Hobart, Tasmania before we arrived: it was the birthplace of Errol Flynn. Our tour guide during our day in port, Heather Henri, was very savvy, and told us that Hobart had never exploited, or commemorated, its native son until just recently. In fact, she said, a colleague of hers had launched an Errol Flynn Tour at one point, traveling to the many places he lived with his parents around the town…

but there wasn’t sufficient interest to keep it going. The one marker in the city is fairly new; it commemorates the beach where young Errol used to go with his mother when he was a youngster. It is now officially named Errol Flynn Reserve.




The beautiful grounds, and equally
beautiful view, at Errol Flynn Reserve.

The harbor at Hobart is second only to Sydney in its beauty (and size), which helps explain Flynn’s lifelong attachment to the sea. His mother was the daughter of a sea captain, and his father was a noted marine biologist. After being kicked out of a number of schools and failing in his first jobs, he bought a boat in Sydney, named it Sirocco, and sailed with some friends to New Guinea; he later described this seven-month adventure in his first book, called Beam Ends, published in 1937. He played Fletcher Christian in his first movie, the Australian-made In the Wake of the Bounty (1933), and achieved stardom in the title role of Captain Blood two years later.


And now, finally, visitors as well as natives of Hobart can take pride in their bad-boy-made-good, who said that the one true love of his life was the sea.




Wouldn't you love to stroll to a
neighborhood movie theater like this?

___________________________


Earlier in our travels, we took a day trip outside of Christchurch, New Zealand to a lovely seaside town called Akaroa and discovered what may be the most picturesque setting I’ve ever seen for a neighborhood movie theater. It happens to be situated alongside the town library!



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3 Comments

  • Sonia Finlayson | March 18, 2010 12:26 PMReply

    Hi there
    I am a film producer now based here in Tasmania and I am the instigator of The Errol Flynn Centenial Celebration,
    At the beginning of 2009 I gathered a group of like minded Hobart business people, and the members of the Errol Flynn Society of Tasmania to produce a ten day celebration of the life of one of Tasmania's famous sons, and I am happy to say that it was a resounding success. Not only for the Australians that joined us, but for all the visitors that travelled here from all around the world to enjoy the warm and exciting birthday party atmosphere.
    Tasmania is a truly unique and breathtakingly beautiful place, from it's many glorious lakes and mountains, to it's historical townships and Cities. It has also produced some remarkable people who have made a difference to this world of ours over the centuries. Errol Flynn was one of them, and it is our plan here in Tasmania to continue to celebrate his birth every year.We are currently designing a website where people can see the places that Errol loved as a boy, and the history of the place. There will also be a calendar of planned annual celebratory events every June.. And all going well in the not too distant future we would hope to gather enough funds to produce and erect a bronze statue as a permanent reminder to all those people from around the world who visit our remote and ruggedly beautiful country every year that Errol Flynn was a true son of Tasmania.
    warm regards
    Sonia Finlayson

  • Steve Randell Errol Flynn Society of Tasmania | January 16, 2010 6:17 AMReply

    Hi Leonard
    I read with interest your story on your trip to Hobart and the Errol Flynn reserve. My wife, Genene and I run the Errol Flynn Society of Tasmania and we still do tours of his haunts around Hobart when ever we can. We just love to share Errol with visitors and I drive a coach and whenever possible let the passengers know that Errol was born and raised here in Hobart and tell a few stories as we travel Tasmania. We started the society because Genene was a true fan and there was not anything here to remember Errol. Genene came to admire Errol when she was going through grief after losing a child to cot death. She was watching television one night when she couldn't sleep and found that Errol in Captain Blood transported her away from her grief for the time which she greatly appreciated.
    It was a big battle to get the reserve named as the locals still remember Errol as the bad boy and don't think of the many pleasures that he bought through his roles on the silver screen. We were one of only two groups in the world to celebrate his centenary last year on the 20th June to which we had Rory Flynn, his daughter, attend. Now we wont to erect a statue here but raising the cash is the hardest part. We have $5000 but we need $100,000 to fulfil this dream and money seems to be short at present. We did however get a star placed in the footpath outside the State theatre in Hobart which was unveiled by Rory and our Lord Mayor. If you would like any pictures and we have them we would be glad to send some to you.
    Regards
    Steve and Genene

  • Greg Ford | January 15, 2010 10:02 AMReply

    Hey Leonard, glad you liked Hobart, thats where I'm from!!!!
    Shame I didn't know you were visiting, I would've tried tracking you down for a chat!!!

    Anyway, thanks for all the hard work you do with the Old Disney Classics, especially the treasures, I hope we get some more this year.

    Take care Greg

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