"Am I having fun now? Yes, oh yes."
— Peter Wingfield at Syndicon, 9 May 1997

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Anglicon 97
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Highlander DownUnder 3 (2000)

Highlander DownUnder 3

Report by con organizer Carmel Macpherson, written 18 April 2000:

Well, I've just walked in the door from the airport having had the pleasure yesterday of introducing Elizabeth [Gracen] to the glorious sights of Sydney on her way back to LA... its magnificent Art Gallery, a wander through the Botanic Gardens in Autumn which were a sight to behold (including hundreds of fruit bats hanging upside down in trees) and drinks on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour between the Opera House and the Bridge. Sydney really turned it on — the weather couldn't have been more perfect and I know that Elizabeth is taking away very warm memories of our Con, of everyone at the Con and of Australia. So I guess it doesn't get any better than that.

Val[entine Pelka] mentioned to Sonja that he and his Father were so impressed with Brisbane that they are anxious to return... and we all know that in between raucous renditions of Australian folk songs Anthony [de Longis] made it quite clear that he had fallen in love with the place. And last I heard Maureen [Russell, author of Highlander: The Complete Watchers Guide] had cornered the market on every chocolate shop in Brisbane!

Sonja and I want to once again thank every one who helped make these last few days something very very special — and that includes all of you here who sent so many good wishes and all who have helped with our fundraising. I know that we're all still on a high and so we should be :-))) Everyone was so wonderful... everything arrived that was supposed to arrive in the way of videos (mind you, we're on first-name terms with every FedEx agent between the US and Australia!) and we seem to have succeeded in showcasing this incredible Country to all of our overseas visitors.

And yes — we did have a number of firsts. Peter did indeed send us a home video of himself wishing us all the best and apologising for not being able to be with us... and he then brought baby Edan on for his first ever screen test which he passed with flying colors. He is gorgeous. And yes — his Father did indeed give us the shirt off his back to help with our fund-raising... unbuttoned it there on the screen muttering all the time about the "...things I do for you..." accompanied by much eye rolling, and he then packed the shirt up with the video tape and sent it down to us after telling us he'd see us all at HLDU4...

We were able to obtain the Highlander: Endgame trailer from Miramax and what a way to start and finish the Con that was!

As if all that weren't an embarrassment of riches enough we also premiered Elizabeth's documentary on transvestites in Arkansas called The Damn Deal which does indeed have Peter Wingfield playing a role of a female German (?) psychiatrist. Elizabeth bought 40 copies with her, all individually autographed, and all kissed by her which left a gorgeous red imprint on the front label. We will be auctioning two of these plus the Premiere copy. I also pointed out to Elizabeth that we now have sufficient DNA to clone her ;-))

We had a bar-b-q by the river bank with Elizabeth and Anthony, readings from Dickens from Valentine, incredible dailies from Maureen including the famous "lost" scene from Ancient Greece of Methos and Kronos' split.. lots of footage and audio of Adrian being a bossy boots Director, poetry readings and songs from Anthony... it really was the most wonderful of times. Best of all it was very relaxed, warm and ultra-friendly. Just like we like our Cons to be... guests of honor could wander about freely, mingling with fans... and we finished with an enormous birthday cake for Elizabeth and a raucous rendition of Happy Birthday. The EndGame trailer started and finished the Con to remind us all that there will be a lot more excuses coming for many more Highlander gatherings...

Four lucky people got to have a very relaxed private dinner with Elizabeth by the Brisbane river and we're still trying to get the stars out of their eyes...

Now I know that Sonja still has a house full of people and I'm hoping to see a horde descend this weekend on me here in Canberra.

HLDU4?? Well Sonja was heard to say: "See you next time!" at the closing ceremony!! And...that makes my job a lot easier... Sonja never ever goes back on a promise :-)) Remember, though, that these are two-yearly events (the fundraising is a big job)... but that of course doesn't preclude other HLDU events from taking place...

Boo Hoo... I've just realised that I need to change my signature line... I can't believe that the Con has been and gone... I noticed Paul Edmonds' pen smoking all weekend so we'll hopefully have some great Con reports as soon as he is over his jet lag...

And this part is 24 hours later —I think that I'm even more ga-ga than yesterday, particularly as I had to go to work yesterday! Anyway, I've been inundated with requests from people wanting to buy any remaining copies of Elizabeth's documentary: "I hope I get the opportunity to buy a copy, too! Elizabeth deserves the money for this effort and our support during this time of her career and her life..." Good news! I spoke with Elizabeth before she left Sydney yesterday and told her of the interest in her Documentary, The Done Deal. So Elizabeth has agreed to put her remaining copies (9) up for Auction and we will also be putting up the 2 Elizabeth donated to HLDU. We also have the Premiere copy itself to auction. I will mount the web site tonight once real life stops interfering. :-))

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