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Deputy Mayor Alexandra Luxford, along with Councillors Carlos Da Rocha, Danny Said, Dylan Parker and Philipa Veitch, hosted a very special 80th birthday party for John Cann last night at the La Perouse Museum.  A number of guests paid tribute to John, including colleagues from his days at ICI and Laddie Timbery another La Perouse Loop icon who travelled from Huskisson to be there. (L-R:  Carlos da Rocha, Alexandra Luxford, Helen Cann, John Cann, Noreen (John’s sister).

For 90 years John Cann’s family ran the snake shows  at La Perouse. His father George, a showman and curator of reptiles at Taronga Zoo, started the show in 1919 and helped develop the first anti-venom program with the late Eric Worrell of the Australian Reptile Park.  The Canns’s contribution to La Perouse and our knowledge of snakes has been recognised with a permanent exhibition at the La Perouse Museum. (L-tribute from lifelong friend and author of Johnny Cann: nature boy, R- with Laddie Timbery and Cann Exhibition sponsor Marie Slaight

John has written five books on snakes and turtles, the latest published last August, uncovered a dozen new turtle species, travelled Australia and the world to lecture on snakes and reptiles, and advised the zoo and the reptile park. In addition, he represented Australia in the decathlon in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and played Rugby League for NSW. (L:family Cann)

Selected audio and video references:

The tale of the Mary River turtle and the man who dedicated years to searching for it, ABC interview 2008

ABC interview with Richard Fidler, November 2016

The Last Snake Show documentary video 2010

1938 Video at La Perouse