It was my first year away from home. At 17 and a raw country girl, I found myself at Larnook Teachers' College in the big city. It was the year of the Olympic Games, and Melbourne was abuzz in preparation of new stadiums and an influx of overseas visitors.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground was updated, a new big indoor swimming complex was built along with other venues for cycling, wrestling, etc. There was free entry to the pool and at times we watched the teams practising.
The Opening Day arrived and we were given a day off to join in the festivities. Swanston Street was closed to traffic. We found ourselves a spot near the Town Hall, squashed in a crowd, and from our vantage point watched the Duke of Edinburgh arive and wave from the balcony. As the dense crowd dispersed, we wandered along the route to the MCG. Sitting on the edge of the road, we ate our sandwiches and awaited another glimpse of the dashing young Duke on his way to open the games.
Later in the week we had tickets to see two days of the athletics. I remember seeing Betty Cuthbert and Shirley Strickland winning their heats. There was great excitement in the crowd, especially amongst the Australians.
The Closing Ceremony fell on a Saturday and we managed to get standing room tickets. It was a very simple ceremony compared with later years. A foot ball final, then the athletes marched in. This was followed by the handovers of flags to the next host country and the extinguishing of the flame, a rather sentimental moment. The games were over for another four years. It would be a long time until Melbourne would host them again.