When Aussies Embraced the real Bond and 007
In advance of my talk this Saturday at the virtual Cape May Spring Festival, I am re-posting one of my favorite posts each day this week.
In my new book, I wrote about the enduring bond between bird-watchers and 007 fans.
One of the most imaginative mash-ups of the two was by the Cumberland Bird Observers Club in Sydney, Australia, which used the Fleming-Bond connection to promote birdwatching in 2001.
The 560-member club produced a flyer and postcard (above) featuring a photo of a dashing, binoculars-wielding birder in a tuxedo, accompanied by four women birders in sexy gowns and miniskirts.
The goal: to attract new members by showing that birdwatching could involve more than folks in drab outfits gawking at ducks through spotting scopes. The club even had a web page devoted to Jim Bond. (Now reinstated, here.)
I was finally able to connect with Andrew Patrick, the birder in the tuxedo in the 2001 photo, who recently recalled:
"Some of our club members have been to the Caribbean and used a James Bond field guide. Most of our members, though, had never heard of the real James Bond (and most of us haven’t been to the Caribbean either because it is a long way away). "
According to Patrick, the club had a James Bond night at one of their meetings. They played the movie theme, and Patrick -- dressed in a tuxedo with field guide in hand -- explained who the real James Bond was.
"We made the James Bond-esque photo for publicity for the bird club," said Patrick. "We got on radio a number of times and had two articles in The Sydney Morning Herald. We also got some new members for the club -- which was the main purpose."
He added that the women in the photo were, from "left to right, Renée, Prue, Andrew, Heather and Aimee."
The club's website is here.
Tuesday: The Bahama Parrot.
Wednesday: The Bahama Nuthatch
Yesterday: Collecting the books of the real James Bond.
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