The Women’s Weekly World Tour

Sunday columnist Peter Leith has seen more of life than most of us. He’s 90 and is committed to capturing life in words, including traditions that were once part and parcel of Australia, such as the ‘world tours’.


Who remembers the Women’s Weekly World Tours? Twelve countries in 15 days…

Many couples had saved up to go on a world tour the moment they retired. Much discussion took place with friends and relations as to which ‘12 countries’ should be visited. Quite often, the length of time that would be spent in each country was overlooked. Did driving through Belgium on the way to Holland constitute another country ‘visited’?

Too often, the number of countries ‘visited’ took precedence over the time spent in any one of them.   

One essential pre-departure step was to “buy a good camera so that we can take a lot of slides to show you when we get back”.

Once the travellers returned, the slide night became the next major project. Such evenings ranged from the highly organised to the chaotic. The organised had their slides in sequence, had placed them into the projector magazines and scripted a narration.

Often, neither the shambolic nor the organised were able to resist slipping in an ‘accidental’ slide of a scantily glad local girl by ‘mistake’.

Vigilant wives in the audience remained on the alert to prevent their husbands nodding off, or worse still, snoring. 

The evenings ended at the front door with profuse thank-yous and the occasional, “You must come over sometime and see our slides.”

Do you remember the ‘world tours’? Did you do your own version?

Do you have an idea or observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line and we will forward it to him.

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