Frank Strahan

The foundation archivist at the University of Melbourne, Frank Strahan, died on 17 November 2003, the day after his 73rd birthday. He established the University of Melbourne Archives in 1960, and served in that post for the following 35 years. In some ways, Frank Strahan was the last of his tribe, and there were times when it seemed it was a tribe of one! There never was, and may never be again, an archivist quite like him.


In fact it was Carlton many would argue which defined this Wonthaggiborn, Albury-educated man. He lived there most of his adult life, came to know many of the Lygon Street traders and in particular the owners of Jimmy Watson’s Wine Bar, and was a passionate supporter of the Carlton football club. From the latter came over 30 years of football commentary, appearing after each game under the banner ‘On the Wing with Wacker’ in The Melbourne Times, and culminating in an annual ‘Wacker Awards’ night. The language was unique to Frank and sometimes meaningless even to those who had attended the games he described; his own mix of rhyming slang, nicknames, in-jokes and C.J. Dennis. The club website called him a cult figure. He may well have been, though Carlton is among those Melbourne teams one either loves or hates. His eminent position in the pantheon of pioneering collector archivists, however, is absolutely secure.



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Page last modified on Wednesday 01 of February, 2023 21:32:07 AEDT by Jarusa.

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