Peter Carrette: A stranger remembered

, 0 Comment
10 Dec 2010

Just before I left Australia in November, I read of the passing of photographer Peter Carrette. I'd never heard of him but some of my friends knew of him and he'd been discussed affectionately at a dinner I attended in Sydney.

Carrette was a paparazzo - a field  not normally associated with such heartfelt respect or with philanthropy. He first achieved fame by photographing a critically ill Marianne Faithfull in the late 1960s. He went on to shoot celebrities as well as conflicts across the world. But Carrette had also been quietly involved in helping out some of Cambodia's most disadvantaged children. 

Yesterday in Siem Reap, I was surprised to be asked by a Khmer amputee whether I had come across him. I was doing an inspection of of a small hotel for this website at the time.

Cambodia,l'auberge des temples,Mr Mao,Siem Reap
Photo: Mark BowyerMr Mao with his copy of the Wentworth Courier from Australia
The man, Mr Mao, told me of his great affection for Australia. He had been "adopted" by an Australian woman while escaping the Khmer Rouge in a refugee camp on the Thai border in the late 1970s.

Then he told me that Carrette had been a regular visitor to Siem Reap and had been heavily involved with supporting hundreds of orphaned children. Finally he pulled out a recent copy of the Wentworth Courier with a tribute.

Apparently Carrette had used the small hotel, l’Auberge des Templles, as a base on his frequent visits to Siem Reap.

Carrette would be very satisfied to know that his contribution to the lives of these Khmer was so gratefully appreciated. It was nice to have this chance encounter with the memory of the man in Siem Reap.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
Support Rusty Compass
Rusty Compass is an independent travel guide. We’re focused on providing you with quality, unbiased, travel information. That means we don't receive payments in exchange for listings and mostly pay our own way. We’d like tourism to be a positive economic, environmental and cultural force too. If you’ve found our recommendations and guides useful, we’d be grateful if you can help us out. Make a financial contribution using the link below. Even small amounts make a difference. Spread the word about Rusty Compas too, and if you're in Saigon, pop in to The Old Compass Cafe and say hi. It’s our home in Vietnam. Thanks and travel well!

  • Previous
  • Next

There are no comments yet.