Cr John Arkan larger than life
LIFESIZE images of John Arkan as a banana farmer and other Australian Indians were hanging in Delhi and Melbourne’s Federation Square in an exhibition promoting harmony between the two nations as the 2010 Commonwealth Games drew closer.
The portraits, taken by distinguished photographer Michel Lawrence, portrayed Australia’s Indian heritage and were a welcome distraction from the concerns that surrounded the Games prior to their opening on October 3.
Heightened terrorist alerts and sub-standard facilities put question marks over the Games and Australia’s role in them.
Coffs Harbour’s sole representative, Olympic silver medal diver Alexandra Croak, said the decision as to whether the diving team would go to Delhi was up in the air.
Only a week before the opening, Australians travelling were warned to exercise extreme caution due to the high risk of a terrorist attack targeting the Games.
The warning echoed one by Mumbai police advising of a high risk of a terrorist attack.
Coffs Harbour travel agent, Roger Atwal, however said travellers were continuing to book flights and holidays to India with one in five local families scheduled to fly to the subcontinent the following weekend.
“For our clients and people of Indian origin, safety isn’t even a consideration,” Mr Atwal said.
“People should consider the warning and take every precaution, but if you ask me, the security forces in India are up to scratch and will be on heightened alert while the Games are on.”