Ken Garrahy: Polly-nesians at play, 1967

Ken Garrahy: Polly-nesians at play, 1967
Estate of Ken Garrahy
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Kenneth (Ken) Garrahy (1933-2021) was an avid home-movie enthusiast, documenting his social life in Sydney and his holidays overseas during the 1960s and 1970s.

Gay life in 1960 Australia (or camp as it was then known) was underground but growing in confidence. The side and back bars that made up much of the discreet public gay scene at the time had been active since the early 20th century, along with a mix of beats, cafes, theatre foyers and more, but many wanted more. Interest in socialising away from the bars and outside of private homes lead to the development of new gay social groups in the early 1960s, in Sydney these included The Chameleons, The Pollynesians, The Karingals, The Tiffanys, and The Boomerangs.

The following home movie titled ‘Polly-Nesians at play’ (1967), captures one of the few social clubs that is still active. The following clip captures the Pollynesians or Pollys, in events that formed part of the Pollympics, including games from Blow the Balls and Slip the Ring, to Puff and Bang and Toss the Googy, finished off with a more traditional game of soccer.