Critchley Parker Jr.

Bathurst Harbour haunted by vision of Critchley Parker Jr to establish new homeland for European Jews

SEVENTY-TWO years ago this weekend a young Jewish man with hope in his heart set off on a bushwalk through Tasmania’s South-West Wilderness on a mission that, if successful, could have changed the history of Tasmania — and possibly the course of world events.

But for a good supply of waterproof matches, Critchley Parker Jr, 31, might have survived his trek, and a new homeland state for persecuted European Jews mapped out and created around Bathurst Harbour.

Instead the skinny, intellectual man who was short on bushcraft but long on dreams, died a lonely and agonising death in his sleeping bag ­inside a small tent among the coastal scrub and buttongrass on the windswept shores of the harbour.

All that remains of the grand Jewish resettlement plan and a new Palestine is a lonely grave set with local white quartzite stones and a marble plaque, at the foot of Mount Mackenzie, overlooking the beautiful, often eerie tannin waters.

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