Harper stands alone in wearing Aussie hat at APEC
Published Saturday, September 8, 2007 10:12AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 6:50PM EDT
SYDNEY - Canada is wearing many hats at the 15th summit of pan-Pacific leaders. Just ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper was the lone leader among the 21 member economies to emerge for the summit's "family photo" on Saturday wearing Australia's distinctive Akubra hat that went with the knee-length, wide-shouldered, oilskin bush jackets.
Harper doffed the brimmed, rabbit-skin cap when he realized other leaders were not wearing theirs, but repeatedly placed it back on his head as the photo shoot progressed.
Hats tend to spell trouble for image-conscious leaders - think of Stetson-clad Jean Chretien at the Calgary Stampede, or Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe's famously goofy hairnet - but the prime minister's APEC headgear really completed the Australian ensemble.
Canada's other "hats" at this summit have included climate change crusader and butt of Australian satirical TV.
A comic TV crew in Sydney this week has twice flagged mock motorcades with the Maple Leaf - once causing a serious security breach.
The APEC family photos have provided some of the summit's most colourful moments over the years.
Many of the world's most powerful leaders have assembled in batik shirts (Indonesia), ponchos (Chile), leather bomber jackets (Canada) and garish flowing tunics (Vietnam).
The Australian garb was a tightly held secret until Saturday, when the leaders emerged in the macho gear.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard had made public assurances before the summit that leaders would not be asked to wear the skimpy Speedo bathing suits - locally known as "budgie smugglers" - common on Australia's many beaches.