Audio of the Opening Ceremony

Harold Holt speaking

Prime Minister Harold Holt addresses the gathering.

From left: Edmond Buckley, Bryan Lowe, Harold Holt, Robert Seamans. Photo: Ron Hicks.

(Only a few months later, on 17 December 1967, Prime Minister Holt disappeared, presumed drowned, while swimming in heavy surf near Portsea, Victoria.)

ARIA 4 audio Full audio of the opening ceremony better quality

– 31MB mp3 file runs for 63 minutes 17 seconds.

(This replaces the earlier audio which was from a rather muddy-sounding tape. This one is much better.)

After the formal proceedings, the Duntroon Military Band continues to play. Various conversations are audible between pieces.

From around 62 minutes (mp3 clip), you can hear the sound of chairs being stacked, and then the whine of the Honeysuckle Creek servos in preparation for the Antenna to be moved.

Here are the items on the above tape, separated into individual files. Click on the links below to hear each section. Times are from the start of the complete recording.

00:00 National anthems, ABC Announcer welcomes.

01:53 Senator Denham Henty, Minister for Supply.

07:34 Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt.

25:26 Dr. Robert Seamans, NASA Deputy Administrator.

40:03 Goodwill messages.

Recorded messages from –

J T Mengel, Assistant Director for Tracking and Data Systems at Goddard;

Dr Robert Gilruth, Director of MSC Houston;

Otto Womack StaDir Apollo Madrid;

George Farris StaDir Apollo Goldstone;

Lewis Wainwright StaDir Carnarvon.

Other recorded messages via Goddard Voice –

Astronaut Frank Borman at Cape Kennedy,

US Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

48:39 Concluding remarks.

1/4" audio tape preserved by Hamish Lindsay, digitised and edited by Colin Mackellar.

For playback at the Opening Ceremony, Bernard Smith edited the various goodwill messages onto one reel, leaving in some of the Goddard Voice checks for ambience.

Here is the ABC’s recording of the Prime Minister’s speech (18 minutes, 6.6MB.)

With thanks to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National, and to Darren Osborne of ABC Science Online.