Leadbeater's Possum - Request from Norman McCance for photographs of Leadbeater's Possum

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Leadbeater's Possum - Request from Norman McCance for photographs of Leadbeater's Possum is associated with Cambarville located at these coordinates -37.5579634, 145.881679

Norman McCance was a journalist with a long and distinguished career. His journalism included writing articles about natural history for major papers like the Weekly Times. Following the rediscovery of Leadbeater's Possum in 1961, McCance asked the Fisheries and Wildlife Division for photographs of the possum to illustrate an article he wrote for the paper. The article appeared om 29/11/1961. Copies of the photographs mentioned in the letter from the Weekly Times editor are not one the file.

Record Citation: PROV VPRS 11559/P1/311
Record URL: http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewSeries&entityId=11559
Agency: VA 551
Agency URL: http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&entityId=551
Date: 12/11/1961
Record Type: Correspondence
Event Type:
Language: en
Copyright URL: http://prov.vic.gov.au/copyright
Related Resource URL: [http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Norman_McCance%0Ahttp://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2287798 http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Norman_McCance


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User Tags: leadbeater's possum, norman mccance, weekly times, conservation, j. mcnally

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
McCance request for photograph.jpg Avonsleigh PO


Dear Mr McNally

Mr brazenor at my special request has very kindly sent me a reprint of Mr Eric Wilkinson’s story of the rediscovery of Leadbeateri and I understand a living specimen is in the possession of Mr R M Warneke of your Department.

I do not think it is generally and properly appreciated how important and interesting such a discovery is to Australia and the world of nature study generally and I would like to try and do justice to it in the “Weekly Times”.

I have practically all essential details but may I please arrange for some photographs of Leadbeateri alive? The “Weekly Times” photographer would be available though I have not yet mentioned it in the “Herald” office and I do not propose to reveal the location of the discovery. In fact I do not know except it was somewhere near Marysville that’s near enough!

Sincerely yours Norman McCance

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
McNally reply 14 nov 1961 .jpg JMcN/LT

14th November, 1961

Dear Mr. McCance,

Thank you for your letter of 12th November, 1961. I fully agree with you as to the importance of the rediscovery of Leadbeater's Possum, and can assure you that its significance is appreciated in this Department if not elsewhere. There have been some enquiries from overseas nature groups concerning the the rediscovery.

We are being very careful of the live Leadbeater's which is held here and in fact keep a padlock on the cage as a precaution against any disturbance of the animal. However, the appointment could be arranged for a photographer to take some pictures to illustrate your article. I would be glad if you would arrange for the photographer to contact Mr. Warneke direct on the matter.

I am happy to note that you do not intend to reveal the location where the rediscovery was made. it would be best if this were kept secret for the time being at least in the interests of the animal itself.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely,

(J. McNally)

Deputy Director

Mr Norman McCance,

Avonsleigh P.O.,


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
McCance letter 4 dec 1961.jpg Avonsleigh 4/12/61

Dear Mr McNally

I would like to express my thanks for and appreciation of your most kindly and courteous response to the “Weekly Times” request for portraits of Leadbeateri. I tried to do justice in print to those excellent pictures but somehow I think they captured the limelight.

It was just bad luck that the limelight was a bit dimmed as a pictorial ‘scoop’ by a Royal baby and an astronaut chimpanzee. Would it be ‘Pese majeste’ to suggest that Leadbeateri was more photogenic than either?

Now, may I refer to a letter that has just come into my possession from the Australian Bird Co. To a Tasmanian friend of mine. On the letterhead I am described as the “Reg director” of the Pentland Park “Australian Zoological Gardens” at Bacchus Marsh, modestly described by Mr Arnold Philips, writer of the letter, as “the largest zoo in the Commonwealth”.

I am not connected or interested in any way with this preposterous venture. When Mr Philips showed me the proof of his letterhead, I told him to take my name off and I confirmed this in a letter I wrote to him on Sept 6 1960. It is like his confounded impertinence to defy my instructions and I would very emphatically to assure you that I am in no way associated with him or his enterprises

Yours sincerely Norman McCance

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
McNally reply 15 dec 1961.jpg JMcN/LT 15th December, 1961.

Dear Mr. McCance,

I appreaciated receiving your advice to the effect that you are not associated with the Pentland Park Zoo in any way. This fact has been noted in our files.

Yours sincerely,


Deputy Director.

Mr. Norman McCance,


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
Letter of thanks from Weekly Times 13 dec 1961.jpg The Weekly Times






Box 751F, G.P.O.,


December 13, 1961.

Mr. J. McNally,

Deputy Director,

Fisheries and Wildlife Department,

605 Flinders St.,


Dear Mr. McNally,

I have enclosed a set of pictures of the Leadbeater possum with the compliments of The Weekly Times. Please accept my thanks for the co-operation and help which you and your staff provided in helping our photographer to take his pictures. It was a real pleasure handling the story and your assistance contributed greatly towards this.

Again, many thanks,

Yours sincerely,


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