Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105Interrupting these hospitalities, in mid–1970, was a traumatic incident when Patricia was severely ‘poisoned’. Bob Mann did not remember the problem—‘Doug was very secretive about things like that’. But on 27 October, writing on Consulate General letterhead with the word ‘Royal’ crossed out, Snelling explained to his American friend Dudek what had happened: Patricia has been ill for nearly four months. She was poisoned by drugs given to her to alleviate a slight seasonal sickness. At one stage, she was so desperately ill from drug poisons and has been at the hospital for the last six weeks. I expect her home today or tomorrow. ... As soon as Patricia is well enough, I propose to take her for a vacation to Hawaii and perhaps to the Mainland, where we shall look forward to seeing you again. In his architectural business, Snelling was split between minor alterations and several houses for Sydney clients and his new passion—conceiving tropical–style resorts and residential compounds for European and American developers operating in the Pacific. Travelling around, he would ‘drop in’ on expatriate entrepreneurs and convince them to hire him to draw schemes for local sites. In 1970, he designed a family residential compound (thatched igloos separated by a communal pavilion with the traditional swooped roof of a Sumatran batak hut), and the preliminary contour plan for a resort beside the Erakor Lagoon, Vila; a 216–room Polynesian–style resort on Likuri Island near Fiji’s Nadi Airport, and another Vila tourist resort called Tassiriki Park Estate. The distinguishing features of all these building designs were their flamboyant roof styles, inspired by native dwellings that he had seen in Asia and the Pacific. None of these projects was ever built, but some seemed serious enough for Snelling to take Jim Whitelock to inspect the sites. Snelling also employed a Cambodian architecture student, Sudhin Unn, to join the office for three summer months. Sudhin recalled: He was honorary general consul for Cambodia, my country, and because of that connection he was kind enough to have me for uni holidays at about $5 a day. He was doing me a big favour. I was really impressed by his drawing. It was a very small office—one secretary, a senior and a few students. He did most of the design work but I was too young to appreciate what he was doing at the time. In June 1971, Douglas and Patricia again travelled to Los Angeles— this time with their youngest son, Andrew, then aged four. The rationale was for Snelling to meet the President of Technicolor Corp, Patrick Frawley Junior, about matters relevant to an anticipated commission to design a hospital. After several changes these events and especially because of the feeling of contributing to Asian/ Australian relationship. I am convinced that our future is inexorably tied to Asia and hope that my small contribution will assist in some way and indeed point the way to my three sons. Snelling also mentioned ‘quite a few’ recent trips around the Pacific and a planned trip to Asia and Japan for Expo ‘70 later that year. His collection of antique artefacts now numbered 150 pieces, two–thirds of Khmer origin, and were giving the house a ‘distinctive museum mood’. Before Snelling received his official letter of consular appointment on 9 March, he set up his premises—ordering a plaque for the front entrance, flags and a flagpole, official stationery and rubber stamps. As an honorary consul, he was not entitled to diplomatic car registration plates. In order to witness official forms, he and Jim Whitelock were required to become Justices of the Peace. Whitelock, retitled Charge d’Affaires, also was entrusted to look after the house and to sign cheques whenever Douglas and Patricia were away. Only nine days after the architect’s elevation to diplomatic status, his benefactor, Prince Sihanouk (away in Moscow), was deposed by his Prime Minister, Lon Nol. On 30 April, American and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to ‘clear out the sanctuaries.’ As Lon Nol set up a republic, Sihanouk and his Khmer Rouge supporters formed a government–in–exile in Peking—and the war escalated, with heavy American bombing (of both sides) and massive losses of lives. Despite the exile of his Royal supporter, Snelling stayed on as Consul–General—enjoying his diplomatic duties and immunity from parking tickets and bridge tolls as he drove around in his Mercedes 300SE coupe. Early in 1970, he was presented with a letter of introduction from Robert Waldeck, the American export agent for Thermador, in relation to a young bachelor Waldeck knew, Bob Mann, who had arrived in Sydney as a marketing executive for Reader’s Digest. In magnanimous mode, Snelling invited Mann around for Sunday lunch with the family—and continued to provide him with regular hospitality. Bob (and later his Australian wife, Joy) soon joined the Snellings’ family circle. Other close friends of this time were Dutch realist painter Aart van Ewijk and his wife Elizabeth, who regularly joined the Snellings for Sunday lunch. Douglas sometimes purchased one of Aart’s latest works, signed AVE. DOUGLAS SNELLING DOUGLAS SNELLING 86 87 1966–1976 1966–1976