1980 – 17th Australian Convention of Magicians – June 13-16, 1980

Melbourne staged one of the largest conventions ever thanks to some unbelievable guests. The committee, headed by Graham Etherington, went all out to make this event unforgettable. Jeff Krozier almost burnt the stage down in the opening show, then polarised the audience (half cheered the other half booed) in the public show.

VENUE: Southern Cross Hotel, Melbourne

REGISTRATION COST: $40 full. $35 students or spouses


GUESTS: Mark, Nani and Greg Wilson (USA), Dai Vernon (USA), George Daily (USA), Jeff Krozier.


Under 18
– Tim Ellis
Close Up – Loris Purcell
Favourite Trick – Ross Skiffington
Stage – Ross Skiffington
Comedy – Ross Skiffington
Cabaret – Ross Skiffington
Champion Magician of Australia – Loris Purcell

LECTURERS: Dai Vernon (until the early hours!), and Mark Wilson.


Friday June 13
6.30pm – Registration Desk open
7.45pm – Official Opening
8.15pm – Melbourne Entertains Show (Organised by Lyndsay Rietschel)
9.45pm – Magic Quiz (Organised by Graham Etherington)
10.30pm – Supper
10.45pm – Magic Fraternisation

Saturday June 14
9.00am – Registration Desk open
10.00am – Mark Wilson Lecture
10.30am – Dealers until 2.00pm
11.00am – Teenagers Perform (Organised by Don Dewar)
12.00pm – Lunch
1.30pm – Close Up Competition (Organised by Nat Eichler)
3.00pm – Coffee break
3.30pm – My Favourite Trick Competition (Organised by Richard Bovington)
4.30pm – Allied Arts Show (Organised by Bill Welsh)
5.00pm – Dinner
7.00pm – Stage Magic Competition (Organised by Ken Warner)
8.00pm – Cabaret Magic Competition (Organised by Bruce Browning)
9.30pm – Supper
9.45pm – Dai Vernon Lecture
10.00pm – Dealers until 11.30pm

Sunday June 15
10.00am – Lecture (by who?)
10.30am – Comedy Magic Competition (Organised by Ian Baxter)
11.00am – Dealers until 1.30pm
12.00pm – Lunch
1.30pm – Visitors Entertain Show (Organised by Jules Caffari)
2.30pm – Champion Magician of Australia Competition (Organised by Graham Etherington)
3.30pm – Coffee break
4.00pm – Champion Magician Competition continues
5.00pm – Break
7.00pm – Sherries
7.30pm – Banquet (Seafood cocktail, Consomme Double en Tasse, Filet Mignon Chasseur, Chocolate Mousse)
9.00pm – Presentation of prizes
9.30pm – Cabaret Show

Monday June 16
9.30am – Monster Auction
12.00pm – Lunch
2.00pm – It’s Magic Public Show (MLC Theatre Kew)
4.30pm – Show finishes
5.00pm – Coffee & a little surprise back at Southern Cross
6.30pm – Farewell

3 Responses to “1980 – 17th Australian Convention of Magicians – June 13-16, 1980”

  1. Hi Tim, this is a great idea.

    This was my first magic convention and I thought it was fantastic.
    Two memories that stand out were the Dai Vernon lecture, where Dai spoke for about 2 hours from memory. After he finished most of the people left but about 6 of us were sitting around talking. Dai came over and joined in saying he had a few other things he was going to show us but had run out of time. Did we want to see them. He then did another 2 hour lecture and workshop for the 6 of us.
    My other memory was of ‘Mr Magic’, Harold Webster selling a Zig Zag Balloon for $14.00 right through the convention. He put one into the auction where it promptly sold for $23.00. Harold stood up in the audience and said, in a very loud voice, “I may have another one or two of those for that price if anyone is interested.”
    Harold was always ready to make little extra profit.

    John Cairns

  2. I am so pleased to have stumbled over this site. This was an amazing program, and an amazing time for me. I had only known Jeff Krozier a short time, but it was my honor to accompany him on synthesizers on this evening, and then to go on and be part of his last band, Krozier and the Generator. This is a site for magicians, so i will not be inappropriate except to say I sincerely enjoyed the whole program but the show with Jeff!!! well…. his polarisation of the audience was a feature of almost all his shows 🙂

    Jeff was more than a magician and his untimely death just under 12 months later, hit a chord with many. If you go to Youtube and put Geof Krozier into the search engine, you will see some amazing videos.

  3. Nice to see the posts.

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