A Smile for My Parents

A Smile for My Parents

A Smile for My Parents

A Smile for My Parents

Synopsis

Heather Henderson is the only daughter of Sir Robert Menzies, Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister and founder of the Liberal party. Father and daughter were very close, and in 2011 Heather edited and published Letters to My Daughter, a collection of letters written by Menzies to Heather throughout the fifties, sixties, and seventies, when she was living overseas with her diplomat husband. They are full of warmth, love, humor, and insights- both political and personal- and they allow us to see a completely different side of a man many Australians think of as a rather stern and forbidding authoritarian figure. A Smile for My Parents combats that image by recounting charming and insightful stories and memories of Dame Pattie and Sir Robert and their family and friends that will surprise and delight all who read it.

Excerpt

Years ago, our daughter Edwina told me that I was always saying things about ‘Papa’ and ‘Mama’—my parents—that she hadn’t heard before, and would I please write them down. This refrain was taken up by her three sisters and my husband, Peter.

I am well aware that there is considerable interest in sir Robert and Dame Pattie Menzies, even now. and I’m constantly reminded that many people, particularly some of those who make public comments, have absolutely no idea what my parents were really like.

In 2000 my journalist son-in-law wrote:

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