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Border's Ticker Tape Bash Will Cause A Flutter

Sydney Morning Herald

Monday September 18, 1989


Organisers of the Sydney ticker tape parade for Allan Border's Ashes-winning cricket team are showing more ticker than tape in their arrangements for the big welcome on Thursday week.

Ticker tape, the thin strips on which stock prices were typed, went out with the arrival of facsimiles and computer screens.

The buildings from which the tape was thrown have been replaced by windowless, air-conditioned, high-rise buildings like the Hilton Hotel, or glass towers like the American Express building on the corner of King and George streets.

Laurie Power, of the Premier's Department, after trooping the route from the Regent hotel to Darling Harbour's Tumbalong Park, has finally located four blocks along George Street that should be suitable for a paper shower.

"From Barrack Street to the Town Hall, two of every three buildings have the old sash-type windows which slide up and down," he said. "However, I am not too sure what paper we will use. Perhaps old computer sheets cut into strips or something which flutters. Like newspapers."

Nevertheless, Power is determined Sydney will welcome the cricketers in the style of the post-war lower Manhattan parades where stockbrokers' tape was thrown from open windows.

"It will be Sydney's first ticker tape parade since we welcomed back the World War II troops, but I am told there was some welcome when President Johnson visited Sydney during the Vietnam war.

"The team will be transported in 10 open-top BMWs and we will close the route down to one-lane width. With a band leading them and streamers everywhere, there should be 100,000 people in George Street."

"We have found only one in two windows open but that should be enough to create a snow effect."

George Street shopkeepers are more concerned with red tape than ticker tape but have been civic minded enough to ensure the parade gets to Gowings.

John Gowing, of the 1920s-built Gowings building said: "Although we haven't heard anything about it, if we get permission from the council and if they agree to clean it up, we will seriously consider it."

John Millard, of Dymocks, said: "It is a bit hard because we have tenants at the front, but if they want to enter the spirit of the thing then we will see what we can do."

John Kitching, of Kitching Leatherwear, a tenant, said: "The paper may get caught in the roof awning gutters and they become clogged ... I am quite happy with the idea of a parade but at this stage I am still non-committal."

Di Brown, promotions manager of Grace Brothers, said: "We will definitely be taking part, and have decided to give over our entire George Street display to the parade."

The Premier's Department has circularised all schools asking them to invite children to Tumbalong Park where Max (Tangles) Walker will interview Border's team.

"Schools will be on vacation but we want to make it a 'Dads and Lads' type day," Power said. There will be a nice contingent of police to ensure security and the safety of the children."

The motorcade will start at 11.45am and arrive at Tumbalong Park at 12.15pm. A $70-a-head luncheon for 1,400 will follow.

"All the luncheon tickets have been spoken for," Power said.

"The State Government has underwritten the expense of the day to the extent of $20,000. This includes the cost of transporting the team from Melbourne where the Prime Minister is hosting a dinner the evening before.

"If the pilots' strike persists we have a contingency plan to get them here.

"We are excited about it because it will be the only open air welcome for the cricketers in Australia."

But it was Power without glory when he nominated Alan Davidson, the former cricket allrounder, as the man who deserved kudos for organising the event.

Davo will be hurling streamers instead of seamers, walking blocks instead of making them.

Although the tape will have Dean Jones rather than Dow Jones written on it, Davo expects it to be a traditional ticker tape day.

"It's great that sports people are recognised for a change," he said.

"It is particularly pleasing that after all these years something nice will be dropped on Allan Border from a great height."

'It's great that sports people are recognised for a change

© 1989 Sydney Morning Herald

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