After breakfast, the conditions worsened. The sky was ominously leaden and the wind howled while the MPs continued on by coach out to the site, followed by a gaggle of eager Dalgety locals, keen to show the town’s best face. Hughes and his fellows shivered through the guided tour of the property, growing more miserable as they went.
Hughes wrapped himself in a coat as he wandered around the property, stopping to inquire of a local policeman about the weather.
“I’ve been here 15 years, Mr Hughes and I declare to God this is the warmest winter I’ve ever known.”
And that was it for Dalgety. The front runner had been scratched, leaving only Canberra to win the prize. When pollies, media and other visitors complain about the weather in Canberra, those frosty winter mornings where the cold southerlies cut right through numerous layers of clothing, they should stop and think how much worse it might have been had Billy Hughes and his colleagues not put the kibosh on Dalgety.