John Cann's Snake Men

John Cann and the Snake Men of La Perouse: September 2010 - February 2011

To mark the end of the Cann family snake shows at La Perouse in 2010, Bowen Library staged an exhibition of memorabilia and photographs collected by John Cann. His collection covered not only the early years of the snake shows at La Perouse but also memorabilia from his Olympic career as a decathlete at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

John is a noted global authority, not only on snakes but also turtles, having authored several books on both subjects. He has lectured all over the world and identified several new turtle species, and has been honoured with a species bearing his name. This was fitting recognition for John's lifelong dedication, interest and research into the species and his conservation work.

The snake shows at La Perouse were an iconic component of the tourist attractions on the northern shores of Botany Bay during most of the twentieth century.

The exhibition at Bowen Library was launched by the then Mayor of Randwick, Cr Procopiadis, and then local member for Kingsford Smith, Peter Garrett.

Curator: Georgina Keep, Local Studies Librarian
Collection: John Cann Private Collection

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