Author(s): June Porter
'Can a duck swim?' Young June Porter's reply was immediate when Lady Rutherford, wife of the Governor of Bihar, invited her to India to become her lady-in-waiting. This was in 1944, when June was twenty-five and the world was at war. Already, in Australia, she had met and married the dashing Tom Porter, who was then posted for special duties in India working for the Governor of Bengal. Sailing serenely on a cargo ship through submarine-infested waters, June Porter arrived at last, entering the privileged and opulent society of the British Raj. This was a world of elephant rides, tiger shoots and luxurious dinner parties, a kind of life now lost to the realms of history. Can a Duck Swim?, as Lady Porter writes, is an Alice in Wonderland tale, the true story of a girl from the suburbs of Perth transported 'to a mystical, exotic country to live in palaces with people who were making history, and to a life about which one only read or dreamt'.