ina harvey and jewish custom
When I was a callow youth roaming the streets of Bondi I had a friend whose parents came from Hungary and one day I witnessed the husband making up to his wife after a row. They were inside the house at the time, she was sitting on a chair in the living room, I was on the other side of a window with their son, in the garden, not really listening.
The husband, a distinguished, white-haired fellow came into the room and offered his wife a small porcelain vase of flowers.
She accepted the vase and his kiss on her cheek. Then he turned and left the room. She put the vase down on a table by her side and raised a handkerchief to her eyes.
I always had trouble with some of Ina Harvey’s account of a very tired, distraught, well spoken, distinguished caucasian male who didn’t murder the King’s English and who spent a few days in the Strathmore Hotel in late November 1948 when she was the receptionist. The fellow who never went into the bar, the chap with only a musician’s small black case. The case with a flute needle inside and no flute. Ina had her man take a peek.
Ina said they had several conversations, so the fellow must have spent some time in the hotel lobby sitting around.
Then there was his gift to her when he departed. A small box of powder with blue markings.
What sort of bloke would do that in Australia in 1948? Nobody born here, I can vouch for that. Flowers if you’re lucky.
Liane Marie lives in Tel Aviv, Israel and has a site called Book Ba Shuk. Liane says that it’s common for Jewish guests to give their hosts a small item, such as a vase.
So maybe that’s the sort of bloke who would do that in Australia.
A Jewish ex-internee who played the flute.
Gordon C, I have to ask – the little guy fourth from left – that’s not Tibor, is it?