//
you're reading...
Australian History

On This Day In Australia: In 1995, Bob Hawke married Blanche d’Alpuget


Bob Hawke marries Blanche d’Alpuget

It was April 1970 when Blanche d’Alpuget first met Bob Hawke. They were at a party in Jakarta, where the writer was living with her husband, Antony Pratt. As she sat on a swinging chair, answering the then-ACTU president’s questions about the city, she felt a connection between them. It wasn’t a spark, exactly; more of a click.

“I hadn’t been long married and I was very keen on my husband,” the 74-year-old told Mia Freedman on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast in 2018. “I didn’t know who the hell [Hawke] was; I thought his name was Robin.”

With one meeting six years later that changed. D’Alpuget was interviewing Hawke for a biography on arbitrator Sir Richard Kirby. By then her marriage was “going down the drain”, and when she again came face to face with the father of four, “the click was different”, the chemistry strong.

It was an encounter that would plunge the couple on a now infamous love affair. One that endured for 25 years; before and beyond Hawke’s 13-year Prime Ministership, in spite of their other liaisons, and through the dying days of their respective marriages.

“It was the ’70s, and I was a feminist, I was in the women’s movement. We didn’t believe in monogamy, we believed in liberty, equality and sorority and supporting other women, and affairs were par for the course. They were part of that life,” she said. “But one tried to be discreet and not hurt anybody.”

Though “madly in love”, the pair remained just lovers for more than two decades in the interests of Hawke’s marriage to Hazel Masterson, his career and, as d’Alpuget later noted, “the nation”. Ultimately, the Labor leader’s decision to divorce his wife of 38 years came down to one moment – a pause.

“I was in a sea plane up in far-north Queensland, I was doing a story for The New York Times on the Great Barrier Reef, and the sea plane crashed into the sea,” d’Alpuget told Freedman.

“We had to swim out the window. There were six passengers and the pilot, and we were very lucky to be alive because we all grabbed on to the wings, as [aviation fuel] was pouring out of them and covering us.”

A nearby yachtsman came to their rescue, plucking the seven from the polluted water into his dinghy before the plane sank. Safely onshore at Hamilton Island, the passengers were given one phone call each.

“The one phone call I made was to ‘Go Between’, the man who was [Bob’s and my] secret contact. But he was a drama queen and he rang up Bob and said, ‘Bob, Blanche has been in a plane crash,’ and he paused. Bob said in that moment he felt himself die.

“And then the man added, ‘But she’s alright’. But it was just that instant; he knew then that, had I died, his life wouldn’t have been worth living.”

Within two years Hawke’s divorce was finalised. And eight months later, he and d’Alpuget married in Sydney.

“The suggestion that I’d broken up [the Hawkes’] marriage was horrendous,” d’Alpuget told No Filter. “I hadn’t – it had been broken for a very long while, and we’d been in love for a very long while.”

For the writer, love was – and is – everything.

“I really truly believe,” she said, “that life’s greatest reward and highest ideal is love.”

On Thursday May 16, 2019, Bob passed away in his Sydney home at age 89.

“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” Blanche said in a statement.

Source: MamaMia

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,942 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade policies have come under strong criticism during a review at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US accused China of “skewing the playing field” by using “unfair trade practices” such as preferential treatment for state businesses. Meanwhile Australia said the country’s behaviour was “inconsistent” with its WTO commitments. China said it was committed […]

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

The world is waking up to the fact that maybe being dependent upon China for its goods is not such a good idea. In 2019 at about the same time the US was closing on the trade deals with China, COVID emerged in China. In 2019 China’s economy was also beginning to slow down. COVID […]

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

A NASA official told Congress on Wednesday that the United States needs more nuclear spacecrafts in order to compete with China. “Strategic competitors including China are aggressively investing in a wide range of space technologies, including nuclear power and propulsion,” Bhavya Lal, NASA’s senior advisor for budget and finance, told the House Science, Space, and […]

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s […]

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

“Let’s fight a ‘people’s war’ against the spies, so that they cannot move a single step and have no place to hide!” That was the rallying cry of a Chinese military newspaper on social media over the weekend, as Beijing urges public vigilance against American espionage following the launch of a CIA mission center dedicated […]

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

As China struggles to control the latest surge of power shortages, the government seems to be hoping that the public will have short memories for how it has dealt with similar problems in the past. After months of downplaying the power crisis and recommending partial fixes, central government authorities belatedly acknowledged the spread of electricity […]

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end. But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, […]

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China is upgrading its nuclear missile-equipped submarines to make them harder for rival powers such as the US to detect, reports suggest. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has redesigned its type 094 submarines to make them quieter, The South China Morning Post reports. Defence experts believe the Chinese 094 submarine can carry and launch the […]

Could China’s economy collapse?

Could China’s economy collapse?

For almost half a century, Chinese officials have overseen one of the greatest economic transformations in human history. The country has gone from collectivized farms and famine to world-leading tech companies and gleaming megacities connected by superfast trains. More than 800 million Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as the Communist Party and its leader […]

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

The situation in China is much worse than originally thought.  The largest property market in the world is set to collapse and the ramifications will impact the entire world.  We’ve been discussing China’s economic issues for years.  Recently this was even discussed with Steve Bannon on The War Room. We now have information that the […]

%d bloggers like this: