Camped at Eagle Nest near Sharks Bay WA

You can just see the glow of my laptop where I was working on a clients web sIte in Tassie hosted through Rumcorps.net servers in Dallas Texas. As good an office as any!

Whales off the NW Coast

A pod of about 20 whales come fast from astern and passed either side of the yacht, frightening hell out of us.

Fire on the road

No flames apparent so I hardly slowed down until I had travelled a hundred odd meters with no visibility. About the time I started to panic I came out the other side.

Have a good one

 

ANZAC Day 2015

I gave this address at the National Memorial Walk in Enoggera Barracks at the Dawn Service. It was 5 years ago (how time flies) but is as relevant now as it was then. It is particularly relevant for Queenslanders as the 9th Bn AIF, a Qld Bn, were first ashore at Gallipoli

Good Morning – we are gathered here today to commemorate those who have gone before us – those who have paid the supreme sacrifice in service to Australia. As a nation we have been gathering on this morning for a very long time – in fact for the past 87 years as we remember the men of Gallipoli and events that happened ninety five years ago. We also commemorate events subsequent to Gallipoli and are reminded that in many places across the world, Afghanistan included, we have troops in danger.

Where and when did the custom of Dawn Service begin?

Reverend White was serving as one of the padres of the earliest ANZAC’s to leave Australia with the First AIF in November 1914. The convoy was assembled in the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound at Albany WA, my homeport. Before embarkation, at four in the morning, he conducted a service for all the men of the battalion. When White returned to Australia in 1919, he was appointed relieving Rector of the St John’s Church in Albany.

It was a strange coincidence that the starting point of the AIF convoys should now become his parish.

No doubt it must have been the memory of his first Dawn Service those many years earlier and his experiences overseas, combined with the awesome cost of lives and injuries, which inspired him to honour permanently the valiant men (both living and the dead) who had joined the fight for the allied cause. “Albany”, he is later quoted to have said, “was the last sight of land these ANZAC troops saw when leaving Australian shores and some of them never returned. We should hold a service (here) at the first light of dawn each ANZAC Day to commemorate them.”

Thus on ANZAC Day 1923, 87 years ago this morning, he came to hold the first Commemorative Dawn Service.

As the sun was rising, a man in a small dinghy cast a wreath into King George Sound while White, with a band of about 20 men gathered around him on the summit of nearby Mount Clarence, silently watched the wreath floating out to sea. He then quietly recited the words:

“As the sun rises and goeth down, we will remember them”.

All present were deeply moved and news of the Ceremony soon spread throughout the country; and the various Returned Service Communities Australia wide emulated the Ceremony.

Almost paradoxically, in a cemetery outside the town of Herbert Queensland one grave stands out by its simplicity. It is covered by protective white- washed concrete slab with a plain cement cross at its top end. No epitaph recalls even the name of the deceased. The Inscription on the cross is a mere two words – “A Priest”

It is the last resting place of Reverend White.

In that original convoy were local Queensland boys from the 9th Battalion, 1st AIF. Their good name, Battle Honours and subsequent deeds are held in trust today by the 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment. It is fitting that we in Queensland place due importance on our local lads for not only are they among us in spirit and with their descendants but they were the very first ANZACs ashore at Gallipoli on that terrible morning ninety five years ago.

If the 9th Battalion was first ashore as a unit then we may well ask who amongst the 9th battalion boys was first ashore

We can never know for certain. C. E. W. Bean, official historian, concluded it was probably a Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, 9th Battalion.

The Queenslander wrote home:

‘I happened to be in the first boat that reached the shore, and, being in the bow at the time, I was the first man to get ashore.’

One of his men later confirmed this. Chapman was killed at Pozieres, France on 6 August 1916.

Bean, Chapman and the guy in the boat have been generally accepted as correct and 33 years ago today, as a young subaltern, I stood at the bar of 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, and heard it from the horse’s mouth . I spoke to two other men who were in Chapman’s boat and they backed the claim. Jim Bostock and Bill Clever were both in their mid to late seventies and were discussing who among them was the first ashore after Chapman .

These two old soldiers, both taller than me, one with a DCM, and one, a Pl Sergeant to Chapman, drank schooners with rum chasers . Discretion became the better part of valour and I declined the rum and undertook not to mention Vietnam…..not ever…..at least not while I was in their company. How could I – I was literally standing between two pages of sacred military history – I could only be a listener, a bystander.

Neither was I as tough as some of the younger ANZACs

Pte Gray came to the Regimental Doctor saying that he had received a wound at the Landing and, though he had been to hospital, it was again giving a little trouble. He had endeavoured to “carry on,” but had at last been forced to see if the doctor could advise a little treatment.

The medical officer found that he had had a compound fracture of the arm, two bullets through his thigh, another through diaphragm, liver and side; and that there were adhesions to the liver and pleura. He was returned at once to Australia, where he was eventually discharged from hospital and, re-enlisting, returned to the front in the artillery.

In today’s climate there are many historians who with the ink fresh on their BA (Whatever) degree, rested from years at school and in an air conditioned office write of the Myth of Gallipoli. They write of the folly of the landing, the abilities of the British Commanders and the fact that we were fighting for another power and not our own sovereignty.

And they totally miss the point. It is not always about winning; It is not always about the commanders; but it is always about the men..their courage…their mate ship…their lives……their sacrifice.

If we follow our Queenslanders; on this morning 95 years ago 1,100 1st/9th soldiers landed at Gallipoli. In that famous first boat, along with LT Duncan Chapman was the CO Col Lee, Major Robertson, Major Salisbury, Captain Ryder, The Regimental Medical Officer Dr Butler , the aforementioned Jim Bostock and Bill Clever and others whose names history has misplaced.

The doctor was Kilcoy born and Ipswich grammar educated and he had lost some of his stretcher bearers in the deadly fire of the first couple of minutes and in Clarrie Wrenches book “Campaigning with the fighting Ninth” it is said that this fact made the doctor very angry.

So angry that he yelled “Come on men we must take that gun” and started climbing the cliff with his revolver in hand. Soldiers followed, the gun was spiked…….the Turks bayoneted.

This is the RMO we are talking about. The doctors assault force dashed from the disabled gun to the next trench, the line growing stronger as the troops caught up with the rampaging medico.

“On and on we went up the cliff to the summit where we had to pause “for sheer want of breath”

Looking below we saw the British ships shelling the Turkish positions, while the Turks replied by shrapnel over the landing place. Boat after boat was smashed under our eyes and the occupants mangled or drowned

The sight maddened us; “on Queenslanders” came the cry and with bayonets fixed we rushed for the Turkish position. Then we saw the enemy coming up in force. Taking advantage of every bit of cover available, we emptied our magazines into them again and again. The Turks fell like leaves but still more come. Men dropped and our numbers began to weaken.

Where are the others? Have we come too far? were questions in the minds of all

I don’t know about you but if that had been my first 30 minutes at war my reply to the first question would have been a resounding YES

After these first heady hours Dr Butler dusted off his Hypocratical oath and over the next five days treated or interred 515 Queenslanders.

In the lottery of life and death that was Gallipoli this figure was second only to the 7th for casualties at Gallipoli.

Not surprisingly the good doctor was awarded the DSO and a couple of MIDs

The 1st/9th went on to earn the following battle honours that generally read like the chapter headings of the official military history of the Australian Army in WW1

Landing at Anzac,
Anzac,
Defence of Anzac,
Suvla,
Sari Bair,
Gallipoli 1915,
Egypt 1915-16,
Somme 1916-18,
Pozieres,
Bullecourt,
Ypres 1917,
Menin Road,
Broodeseinde,
Polygon Wood,
Poelcappelle,
Passchendaele,
Lys,
Hazebrouck,
Amiens,
Albert 1918,
Hindenburg Line,
Epehy,
France and Flanders 1916-18

I have stood in the mess at Kelvin Grove and talked with the original Anzacs as they looked at the colours and described how they were won……..how their small contribution mattered……..how their mates are still there.

It will stay with me forever!

Over all, had our erudite scholar penning books on the myths of the 1st AIF followed the Queenslanders at Gallipoli and then on to the Western Front he may have had occasion to pause at the gravesides of 1,022 of their soldiers. They also suffered 2,093 wounded and 329 gassed leaving them with a terrible total of 3.453 battle casualties!

One battalion…….Some myth

To place these figures in perspective; this one battalion, the 9th Battalion, the 1st AIF, our local Queenslanders, suffered twice the number killed and almost the same number wounded as the entire ADF involvement in South Vietnam

That’s no myth

Today we will hear the traditional Ode from Laurence Binyon’s poem” To the Fallen” more than once, but a piece of verse that stuck in my mind over the years of remembering and commemorating was this verse by A.E.Houseman

Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is,
……………………………..and we were young.

Lest we forget

Constitution change

James Patterson in The Australian

There is no place for laws that apply to someone because of their race in 21st-century Australia. Laws aimed at addressing disadvantage should apply because of the needs of the individual — not their skin colour.

He goes on to say;

The change Australia should make to its Constitution is to remove all references to race. The so-called “race power” in section 51 (xxvi), which gives the parliament the power to make laws for “the people of any race”, has no role in our modern, tolerant and diverse democracy. Section 25, which governs how to deal with state governments that restrict eligibility to vote on the basis of race, should also be removed.

That sums up my feelings exactly.

A lot of Australian’s are spending time and energy garnering support for the constitutional change that will not make Indigenous life one iota better. It will help some people, both white and black Australians, develop a warm inner glow but it will be of no practical use.

A warm inner glows does not create jobs, educate kids, protect women and kids from sexual and physical abuse or give the indigenous citizens a chance for a better life.

It will not get the young men motivated to refuse drugs nor will it develop a work ethic.

As Patterson says;

At best, it will recite historical facts no one disagrees with and contain aspirational platitudes everyone supports.

Anglican Primate’s Easter message

Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier calls for a conversation led by the people in his Easter message.  Most of his message is reasonable but then he raises his colours up the flagstaff.

He lists as examples of political failure to generate broad engagement the cases of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs’s report on children in ­detention — “labelled partisan and biased” because it was uncongenial to the government.

I thought it was labelled “partisan and biased” because it was.  She certainly didn’t raise the issue when the previous ALP government had thousands of kids in detention – it was only when the current government had reduced this to hundreds  that she felt motivated to act.

I would have thought “uncongenial to the nation’s understanding of what is fair and reasonable” is a better fit.

The mark of a man

Qld Speaker Peter Wellington takes a novel approach to a confession by ALP MP Billy Gordon that he had a criminal record, was tardy in paying maintenance to his ex wife and, on occasions, he had abused her.

It has also become apparent that the ALP knew this some time back yet still run him as a candidate.

Peter Wellington blames the victim and anyone else involved in bringing the matter to the attention of the public.

There’s the mark of the man right there.  No balance, no ethics.

Meanwhile, another Qld ALP MP is under the spotlight for threatening language and refusal to pay a real estate commission.  Rick Williams mentioned his brother at the meeting who was a NSW hit man with some interpreting the statement as a threat, as you would.

There you have it, The Palaszczuk government’s first week in power.

 

Triggs out of this world

Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has been slammed as “completely out of touch’’ after suggesting most “fair-minded’’ Australians would believe it was reasonable to give $350,000 compensation to a ­detained wife-killer.

Really?

Just exactly who does she talk to..the local Greens commune?

She  has form;

The Abbott government has rejected a string of controversial arbitrary detention findings by Dr Triggs in recent months. The Australian last week reported Dr Triggs had recommended a $300,000 payout for a US-born convicted fraudster whom the government deported after he swindled $644,000 from taxpayers and banks.

The man was held in ­detention while delaying deportation with legal arguments ­described by the Federal Court as “frivolous, vexatious, embarrassing and (lacking) any support”.

She is a Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle appointee and apparently can’t be sacked.  It will be along time before Australia is free of the damage done by the ALP.

 

 

 

Green vandals

From Nick Cater in today’s The Australian, talking about the Greens;

The trashing of the Triabunna pulp mill and its associated port on Tasmania’s east coast offers an insight into their tactics. The mill was purchased from Gunns in 2011 by the Wilderness Society, bankrolled to the tune of billions by Kathmandu co-founder Jan Cameron and Wotif founder Graeme Wood.

A Tasmanian parliamentary inquiry that reported earlier this year found the mill to be a viable business and notes the purchasers had a contractual obligation to keep it running.

 

Yet Wilderness Society boss Alec Marr set about fulfilling Ayn Rand’s 1970 prophecy of the forthcoming anti-industrial revolution. The old Left merely wanted to take over the factories; the new Left wants to destroy them.

In September 2013, a fortnight after Tony Abbott became Prime Minister, Marr recruited three marine welders and an electrician, locked the mill gates, stocked up with food and set about wrecking the logging plant.

Journalist John van Tiggelen, who was invited to join in the vandalism, wrote a riveting account in The Monthly. “There was something wild-eyed about Marr, as if he were living a monkey-wrencher’s dream,” he wrote.

“Marr had laid out a trove of new hardware: sledgehammers, axes large and small, angle grinders, spanners, pliers, bolt cutters and gloves. ‘For me, the sound of those grinders tomorrow will be the singing of angels,’ said Marr, grinning broadly.”

Van Tiggelen decided to lend a hand, sawing through a rubber belt with a hacksaw. “With an ­almighty clatter the rubber flew down the rollers, top and bottom, the violence of it shaking the scaffolding like a truck had hit it … One down, 11 to go.”

The denouement of this black-hearted act of sabotage was the toppling of the giant gantry, “the equivalent of downing the dictator’s statue”. So much for workers’ jobs and their families’ prosperity. The little people have never mattered much to the Greens in their single-minded pursuit of a “sustainable” economy, whatever that may mean.

How can anyone vote for them?

Greens fighting to kill our economy

The Greens continue to try and take down Australia’s industrial and commercial capability.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt was exasperated when Greenpeace said it had gone directly to UNESCO’s key advisory body, the International Union for Conservation of ­Nature, to lobby against Australia.

Greenpeace said the approval of coal port expansions such as Abbot Point had occurred in contravention of UNESCO’s adv­ice that no projects be ­approved that affect the “outstanding universal value” of the reef.

The government and resource groups say the true ­motive of the global campaign to protect the reef is to end coalmining, an issue that also lies at the heart of the UN’s response to climate change.

Greenpeace listed three concerns with the plan considered a key document in the UNESCO deliberations: it says it still allows coalmining, is silent on climate change and fails to address cumulative effects on the reef.

Ah…you thought the battle was to protect the GBR.  Wrong.  It is part of the Green campaign to simply stop coal mining.

Coal Mining that has lifted the world’s standard of living; that gives us in Australia a high standard of living and fuels our economy.

The Greens want it closed down and replaced with renewable energy that cannot replace coal as a base-load power source.

Greens Leader Milne;

Australia should scrap its potentially fatal coal industry.

That’s the blunt message from Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne in response to forecasts the world is on track to record global warming of 4C by 2100, driven in part by the fossil fuel industry.

“Four degrees is an unliveable planet, it is death to humanity,” Senator Milne told reporters in Hobart today.

Considering that  top climate scientists have admitted that their global warming forecasts are wrong and world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report, then Milne needs to shut up and stop inventing alarmist statements intent on frightening us into Greens submission.

In the meantime the Greens also need to shut up about renewable energy until someone develops batteries that can store sufficient supply to power a city like Brisbane over the non-sunny, non windy times.

Until then we need to just ignore the UN and their Green activists.

The reef isn’t in danger, our economy and standard of living is!

Fraser dead

Breaking news: Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has died. Mr Fraser was prime minister from 1975 to 1983.

Bloody Independents

The Australian has stooped to quoting Lambie

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie has met twice with Mr ­Abbott but remains unimpressed by his prime ministerial charm.

“He just sits there and ums and ahhs,” she told The Australian. “He’s either incompetent or doesn’t know the subject. The Liberal government is in chaos. It’s like having an office manager in the office that can’t run an office.”

Lambie can’t construct a sentence; is a bogan fool with little or no education; is in the Senate because she was bankrolled by PUP leader and gained only .046% of the quota and is remembered for saying, in public, that she is looking for a rich, well hung partner.

And she suggests Abbott is incompetent or doesn’t know the subject.  Abbott was most probably using English which would’ve stymied Lambie.

As witnessed by this quote on the 7:30 report

Yeah, I think [the vice chancellors] want reform. But what I’m hearing is they didn’t ask for a deregulation. So I’m going to double-check on that…

But you know what? These [vice chancellors] are supposed to be the brains of the country. Why are we telling them how the universities should be run? So it’s about time they stood up, they stood tall and they help come up with the solution.

Judith Sloan answers that;

As everyone knows, apart from that left-wing poseur-fraud from the University of Canberra (and ABC fav), all the other vice-chancellors support fee deregulation, including the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania.

Lambie, the Vice Chancellors DO want deregulation and if you read any thing other than the fashion and pick-a-well-hung-hunk mags you would know.

The Australian then lines up Windsor, knowing he will shit-can Abbott because he just hates him and he comes to the party and rattles on about how good Gillard was at negotiating when compared with Abbott.

And then along come Lazarus;

Senator Glenn Lazarus, who split with the Palmer United Party last week, last year accused Education Minister Christopher Pyne of harassing him after the minister bombarded him with text messages “virtually begging’’ for his vote on the higher education reforms. (Mr Pyne said he had to resort to texts because the then-PUP senator was refusing to speak to him.)

As being in the Senate is marginally more complicated than playing rugby league, Lazarus seems to think that everything the government proposes has to somehow go back to the public and be voted on…..somehow.

Yesterday Senator Lazarus said the “government puts bills to the Senate that have not been developed in consultation with the community. The reason why the government is frustrated with the Senate’s refusal of bills is that many bills being put forward are not supported by the people. The Senate is simply reflecting the will and the view of the people.”

No Glen, the Senate already represents the will of the people.  That’s how you got there…there was an election.

Remember?

If you are going to vote in the Senate then you need to read up on the legislation, talk to the people putting it forward and to those who oppose it.

You consult widely and then you the make a decision.  It’s what you are paid for.

Putting your fingers in your ears and yelling la..la..la..la just doesn’t cut it.

You don’t oppose it because the minister wants to talk to you about it.  That’s what’s supposed to happen, you dipshit.

So, in summary, an important piece of legislation, supported by all but one of the nation’s vice chancellors, was rejected in the senate because the three independents voted with the ALP/Greens because………mmm…….I’m not sure why.

They can’t articulate their reasons for voting it down and therein lies the crux of the matter.  The country is being dictated to by uneducated illiterates who don’t appear to have any idea as to where their responsibilities lie.

Poor fellow, my country indeed!

 

 

Hate Abbott666 out of control

Beyond parody

Ever watchful for a case to bash Abbott, the Canberra Times carries a headline;

Tony Abbott’s St Patrick’s Day message causes offence in Ireland

The offence?

Mr Abbott signs off his St Patrick’s Day message with an apology that “I can’t be there to share a Guinness or two or maybe even three”.

Yep! That’s it.  That has caused offence.  The Canberra Times quotes the Irish PM

TAOISEACH (Irish Gaelic for Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has dismissed the “perception” that Irish culture is synonymous with alcohol, following remarks made by his Australian counterpart.

The Irish are having a debate about alcohol at this very moment with shenanigans abound as the government’s campaign to stop Out of control drinking gets out of control

……. his comments came as a second member of the Stop Out-of-Control Drinking campaign resigned from the newly formed group.

Founder of mental health charity MyMind, Krystian Fikert, cited “resource restraints” at his charity for his decision to leave the board, less than five weeks after the launch of the Stop Out-of-Control Drinking campaign.

The Irish Taoiseach has a domestic problem and he might be well advised to keep it domestic.

And just to compound the sin;

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews also drew a link between St Patrick’s Day and alcohol consumption, tweeting a picture of himself holding a can of Guinness.

The shame of it!

All of which makes me wonder; just how many people are employed by the media to just surf the web looking for something to bag Abbott about.

You have to admit the “offence” is pretty obscure’

To all except the Nanny State, wowser Irish Taoiseach, I wish you a happy St Paddy’s Day and if you partake of the devils brew, then enjoy it and maybe toast the Irish chap and ask the leprachauns to give him a life.

And a final word….st-pattys-day-2

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