About The Muddle-headed Wombat …

… of fond memory. Memory of the Argonauts’ Club, primarily.

The Children’s Session, with its Argonauts Club, ran briefly in Melbourne in 1933-34, and was revived as a national program in 1941. By 1950 there were over 50 000 Club members. The Club encouraged children’s contributions of writing, music, poetry or art and was one of the ABC’s most popular children’s programs, running six days a week for 28 years, until it was broadcast only on Sundays and was finally discontinued in 1972.
(From History of ABC Radio)

Sadly, I can’t find much more information on the wondrous Argonauts’ Club. The crew of the Argo were named in Greek mythology; membership of the Argonauts’ Club meant being assigned the name of one of the Argo‘s crew and a number. When crew-members’ contributions were lauded, it would be Asterion 37, or Iphiclus 142, who received the accolade. I was a member, name, rank and serial number long forgotten, with ambitions of receiving the 10 shilling (or whatever) postal note for the story I had written. That ambition languished with the others.

One of the segments of The Children’s Session was The Muddle-Headed Wombat. Ruth Park subsequently published a number of books about the Wombat and his friends, but I never saw them. What I remembered, from the program as a whole, and more particularly from the Wombat, was a voice. Years later, I heard it again in a T.V. program. Wikipedia tells me that the voice I was able to put a name to was that of Jimmie. For some reason, I always associated it more with the Wombat than any other character in the series.

Vale John Ewart. And here’s to the lost idea that exposure to the Classics was an essential part of the enterprise of raising men and women; lost as the idea that the raising of children is itself a glorious enterprise.

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