aboriginal, australia, ESSAYS, SOCIAL POLICY, Uncategorized

My Favorite Lezzie.

This is the ultra brief version. It’s true too. And there’s a twist in the tail of the tale.

I’d been posted to Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields District for the then Department Of Native Welfare as its Employment Officer. It was a long way from home in Perth and even emotionally longer from my wife, Betty, and my new-born son, Andrew. The house promised us would not be vacated by the single woman occupant so I lived in the basement room of one of Kal’s many pubs, along with a few mice and a lot of cockroaches and mossies; not to mention the urine from the drunks which seeped under my door.

The small business community up there in the Wild West was wonderfully magnanimous in assenting to my appeals to preferentially employ Aborigines. Still, there was much frustration when the newly employed couldn’t stick at it. I can tell you, being conjugally separated was an even greater frustration but you don’t want to hear about that or that within the first weeks I had been physically and sexually assaulted. But, one can appreciate why I volunteered readily to manage the newly completed student hostel for Aboriginal kids who lived in remote areas. I had dobbed in my wife who would automatically become the manageress but that was the trade-off to allow us to be together. Being young and green, I never foresaw the threats to the family nor the assaults that were to come.

The first months were exciting, tiring but immensely satisfying since we discovered that Aboriginal kids are a wondrous species, full of innocence, joy and rancourlessness.

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Nindeebai Hostel, Kalgoorlie.

[I can say that now because I subsequently experienced 9 years of managing student hostels of various types]. We were quite relieved, yet a little sad, when the Department found permanent “qualified” managers, [and you can read into those scare quotes what you will]. However, those hostel kids kept petitioning the boss [Superintendant Tomato-Face, George Budge] to re-instate Betty and I.  Short version:  we agreed to return as permanent managers on his promise to hire some assistants and that I have the say in their hiring [none of this BS psychological testing of applicants in the City]. Yeah well, that never happened – not until the second year of operation.

Enter stage left: Megan, the newly-appointed social worker for the area. We had never seen the previous social worker, but Megan visited us at the hostel daily. Ostensibly employed to attend to the well-being of the kids and Aborigines generally, she became concerned about me and my family, recognizing that two people with a baby who worked night and day in caring for 35 kids without a break or assistance were going to burn out rather quickly. She was also worried about the threat that the Warburton people were going to spear me in the leg and we did have several kids from that community. [Short version: I had previously pegged 20 mining claims in Central Australia for that community but Head Office scrapped them and I got the blame].

Megan volunteered, with no extra pay attached, to attend the hostel from mid-day Mondays to mid-day Tuesday, further giving us the key to her house in which to stay to obviate our obligation to fork out for a motel room. Great girl. But then came the Big Argument before we even got to enjoy some time off.

“I’ll arrange for a bulk prescription of the Pill for all the girls”, she announced.

“Don’t bother, Megan”, I replied, “I won’t be handing them out”.

And so, a discussion ensued, which needs no relating, except for the conclusion. I told her she could refer the matter to the boss or to Perth, but as I was the manager, my decision carried or I would leave if I was not given free reign to make such decisions. Though she stormed off then, when she returned it was as if nothing had transpired that day. And she handed us the key to her house.

It was around midnight, when Betty and I were in her bed asleep, that I apparently heard a rustle that woke me. [I have to explain that I had to be a light sleeper, attuned to the slightest squeak of a door hinge, ever ready as I slept in street wear, to jump up to investigate ……… but those particular incidents at the hostel are for another day]. The man standing at the end of the bed was as surprised as I. It was Megan’s boyfriend who had his own key to accommodate himself at his leisure or to do whatever whenever. He suspected Megan of unfaithfulness and I suspected him of burglary, but it was quickly sorted out.

On our return next day to the hostel we found Megan a little shaken. The kids had locked her in the cool room for some time the previous night. As delightful as they were, they could play up when authority was not present. Later on, the same lads involved wanted to take revenge, with knives, on some adults who had jumped me with a bashing. Anyway, we got that all sorted for Megan’s future stays, and I digress.

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Some of the girls, dressed for the school dance.

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And the boys who were bold enough to don the glad rags and go to the whities school dance. A few senior lads opted for a quiet night by the TV at the hostel.

I can’t remember how long Megan stayed in Kal, but it wasn’t long enough. Much later we were told that she had gone to live in New Zealand with her female lover. { I suppose you were wondering about the title of this blog]. I will not belabor the point about homosexuality being a choice, I’m just telling a true story. And that, dear reader, is not the sting in the tail of the tale.

Many years later, I discovered in conversation from my best friend of 50 years, a Sri Lankan who was also my best man named Maurice, that his wife was Megan’s half-sister.

May God bless all those people whom He has put in my path.

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RELIGION, Uncategorized

HOLY WEEK MEDITATION.

Going through some anguish many years ago I went on a private retreat at a convent in the tiny town of Dardanup W.A.

In the chapel was a painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus, looking through a window at the vacant crosses on Golgotha upon one of which her son had been crucified.

My meditation thus was on the three who had stood forlornly watching their beloved suffer until he expired: His Mother, John the beloved disciple and Mary probably of Magdela. The rest of His band of Apostles had not attended – deserted by His closest friends. I knew the feeling.

But my feelings were as nothing compared to those three nor to the desolation that Jesus must have felt. Amid His suffering, the Messianic Lamb could find the strength to counsel the thief on a nearby crucifix, to forgive those who were doing this to Him and finally, to anoint His mother as the Mother of His Flock in the person of John: “Mother, behold your son”.

The singular person with the dual Natures – Divine and human, became our Savior. Yet, my focus was the thoughts and emotions of the desolate threesome whom He loved so much and they in return.

I sketched a facsimile of that picture and penned these words applicable to each of them:

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[From the Anthology: Verse and Worse. Pubished & printed by Emily Zimerle, 2013]

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ESSAYS, Uncategorized

What’s Old Is Not New Again.

Commenting on my short O.P. of exactly two years ago. First: The Original……

BOUQETS:  Yes,to a Greens MP, Dickie DiNatale who went to West Africa to inspect efforts to fight ebola. Very brave,…Bon Natale, Dick, if you don’t mind the word-play and my poor Italian. [Sorry to hear that you came back]..

To Pope Frank for postulating that pets can go to heaven. [Good, but what next? Gays? Bikies? Bank managers? And what about my pet venus fly trap?] .                                                                                To Facebook for giving consideration to a “dislike” button. [Better idea: a hate button…or damn disgraceful….revolting…cancel-this-post…really boring button?] Just saying!

BRICKBATS: To ISIS for beheading four Christian children for not converting.                                   To Waleed Aly for leaving ABC shows that nobody watches and joining The Project to bore us to death on that. [not me, I won’t be watching].                                                                                             To THE MONTHLY rag for claiming that there is no such beast as the political LEFT, only the RIGHT, which is always wrong. Confused? Me too, but the rag does have some very funny sardonic articles [ if you are of the Left….which doesn’t exist].                                                                             To the Pope for letting pet snakes into heaven…

HERE WE ARE, EXACTLY TWO YEARS AFTER THE NONSENSE FOREGOING O.P. WAS PENNED. What’s changed?

Not a lot.

Dick H. Natali is even moreso as the new Bwana of the Green Jungle Dwellers who have become increasingly feral and gone “native” from such a long stint in that verdant environment of solar panels and wind turbines. [But Dick H. conquered Ebola single-handedly in that time].

Pope Frank? Well, he has been a little too frank with his throw-away lines in these two years. That’s all down to his pastoral zeal to get all souls to Heaven, along with their pets, including adulterers, non-Christians, Islamic terrorists and Barak Obama.

Facebook read my blog and now have multiple response buttons for those who never caught on to written language.

ISIS is still going strong and doing its best to deal with the world’s overpopulation problem. It has convinced most of the World’s Leaders that, while their tools of trade are a little primitive, their principles are as culturally valid as any other philosophy coming, as they do, from a profound desire for peace based on the saintly life of Mohammed.

Finally: Wally Aly. The Wally did eventually take up the reins at the Project, except on those nights following a terrorist attack. He has become the Shepherd of the “Flock For Love, Peace & Joy”, the Voice of Snowflakes & Pollyannas who block their ears whenever reality is discussed, fearing they will be triggered. He is their proxy voice. And he plays the guitar.

Oh, and the rag called “The Monthly”? I can’t even recall it now. Apparently I have moved on intellectually to those fine disseminators of truth: The Guardian, Huff Post, Matilda, SMH, The Conversation and all such rags that do such a fine job of refuting such ideals as absolute truths, grace, beauty, tradition, sovereignty, Divinity and other quaint ideas that are anathema to ‘progress’.

MAY YOU BE TOUCHED BY THE DIVINE THIS CHRISTMAS.

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