It’s settled then… George Lazenby calls Goulburn home. Australia’s only James Bond, Mr Lazenby was welcomed back to the City he grew up in on Saturday morning as a guest of the inaugural SpyFest.
He spent the weekend reflecting on his youth, and, when asked, said indeed Goulburn was home.
“Your roots are where you were born ... Especially when I spent my first 12 years here,” Lazenby said.
“I love going back and looking at things that remind me of my past because you do forget about a lot of it. You come to Goulburn and you see things that remind you; things like Bourke St School, Goulburn High School and my house up in Faithfull St.”
Mr Lazenby recalled swimming in the public pool, riding bicycles competitively and having a particular distaste for school.
“I had some good friends here that I missed when I went to Queanbeyan, I remember that,” he said.
SpyFest is believed to be the only festival in the world to celebrate the spy genre, with organisers hoping the event will take a lead role in Goulburn’s annual spring festival calendar.
Thousands turned out for a street parade led by Mr Lazenby on Saturday morning, before lining up for autographs. A gala ball was held in his honour on Saturday night.
Special guests for the weekend included owner of the original Aston Martin DBS (driven by Mr Lazenby in Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Sigi Zidziunas and political-thriller author Greg Barron.
Both featured alongside Mr Lazenby and SpyFest Committee President Mark Simon on a press conference panel on Saturday morning. Events across the weekend were designed not only to celebrate the return of Mr Lazenby, but to pay tribute to espionage in pop-culture.
Mr Barron, who appeared alongside five other authors in the SpyFest Writers Forum on Saturday afternoon, said he was greatly inspired by the work of James Bond novellist, Ian Fleming.
“He was an amazing writer and he was one of the first to combine this realistic level of detail - with kick-ass stories, lots of action and, obviously, romance for want of a better word - into a really readable novel that people responded to really well,” Mr Barron said.
“He hit on a kind of book that no one had done before and there will never be another James Bond.”
Mr Simon wished to pay tribute to the hard work of the SpyFest committee in pulling the event together in little more than three months.
“It was all done within three months and it couldn’t have been done without the help of Council and all of the local businesses,” he said.
“There was a lot of passion and a lot of emotion but, somehow, we got here, with everybody’s help.
“Despite the swagger, (Mr Lazenby) is a great bloke and very humble. It’s amazing to have him here in Goulburn.”
Organising committee member Wendy Antony was over the moon with the event’s success.
“We’re absolutely thrilled and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the council and the community,” she said.
“The highlight wasn’t just George but the way the whole community came out in really poor weather. The street was alive.”
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