HUNTER: Time stopped for Canadian who vanished in Australia in 1970

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In the summer of 1970, millions of young people were on the move.

They hitchhiked, flew and took the bus or train on Homeric adventures across the continent and around the world. London, Goa, Marrakesh, Thailand, Australia and a thousand spots in between.

But in that grand adventure, some never made it home and decades later, the mysteries of what happened to them endure.

Gordon “Bruce” Rogers was 21 that glorious summer at the dawn of a new decade that held so much promise and ended in malaise and disappointment.

He landed in Sydney on March 28, 1970, armed with a 12-month visa for what he hoped would be a working holiday. For a while, he travelled around the country before taking a job with the Woods and Forest Department in Mt Burr.

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According to Aussie detectives, Rogers had planned to work that job for six weeks before moving on to New Zealand. It was a trip he would never take.

On Aug. 2, 1970, he went to a party in the little fishing town of Beachport — about 400 km southeast of Adelaide. On that date, the Saskatchewan boy was last seen around 3:30 a.m., leaving behind his passport and other personal items.


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Last week cops made another appeal for information on the bizarre disappearance they now believe is a murder.

“I think the circumstances indicate that there’s been a homicide,” Det. Brevet Sgt. Anthony van der Stelt told Postmedia in 2015.

“Certainly, the way in which he disappeared, without any indication that he was going to be leaving the area, the fact that he left all his property behind, certainly indicates that he might have fallen victim to a homicide.”

Rogers was reported missing to the cops the next morning by friends.

His pals told detectives that they had been drinking before attending the party in Beachport. One took a girlfriend home, and the second who was giving Rogers a lift, drove another woman home first.

When he returned, Rogers had vanished into thin air. No one saw him leave the party.

Police have said in the past there are people of interest but no suspects. Searches of area forests and at least one septic tank proved unfruitful.

In 2015, cops said new information had become available but five years later, the mystery of Bruce Rogers endures.

“There might be people who have provided some statements to police in the past, who have omitted some details or who have not been entirely truthful in their statements,” van der Stelt said.

“If that’s the case, they might be now fearful of coming forward to police with the right information. But we’re basically saying there’s no reason for them to be fearful.”

Eventually, most of the youths who crisscrossed the planet in pursuit of fun — and maybe enlightenment— during the long-ago summer of 1970 came home.

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They got jobs, got married, bought houses and had kids. Most are retired now.

But for Bruce Rogers and others like him, time has stood still. Whether he wanted 1970 to go on forever, we’ll never know but that’s where it all stopped.

A Canadian boy on an epic adventure far from home that turned tragic and became an enduring mystery in two countries still, long after those golden days of 1970.

Cops are offering a $200,000 reward for information leading to the recovering leading to Rogers’ remains or a conviction.