Poem -WHY?

A proud Caesar decides on what must be done

If the noble cause is to be won

Orders are issued through the chain of command

His legions obey and prepare for more carnage in the land

The seeds of defeat and victory have been sown

Life, death, fear and courage yet to be known

Such is the bloody arena of war

And too few politicians ask the questions “What for?”

In dark surrounds, weary soldiers hear the distant bark of guns

It is the signal for bloody work to be done

Soon Into the muddy mire of combat, soldiers slip and slide

Dreams of precious loved ones faraway are cast aside

Side by side and trust in each other

With the demands and harshness of war, they become brothers

When it all ends they count their dead and no more the battle cry

Later with the sanity and calmness of peace, veterans ask “why?”

The years pass and a new Caesar is on stage with terrible ire

Preparing for the field of Mars with space age laser and fire

While his soldiers in brand new uniforms march through the streets

A war widow watches and revisits another time and quietly weeps 

She recalls dreams, laughter and sweet love as it was meant to be

Etching two names with Eros and arrow on the trunk of a shady tree

Was it so long ago when her husband had waved a last goodbye

Now her son marches to war and she too asks “Why?”

George Mansford © October 2017

Opinion – A Legacy So Dear

                          A Legacy So Dear

Oh what have we done to our legacy, so precious and dear

Now with leaderless tribes and damaged moral compass I fear

Once so strong, proud, united and standing tall

With a free way of life envied by all

A nation built on faith, vision, blood, sweat and tears 

Now slowly sliding into a mire of apathy in recent years

Where Jesus has been blindfolded and stood against the wall  

Our history mocked and smothering PC revision is compulsory for all

So many miles of our journey since convict chains, pick and spade

Once a fair go, open doors and meals where conversation was made

Today, shut and lock crowded streets, pollution and blinking lights 

Sedated two legged sheep grazing on electronic text day and night

From prosperity to an empty treasury and not one brass razoo left

Family castles in cold darkness thanks to national energy plans bereft

Gone is our beloved soap box in the park to express a point of view

Now replaced by PC with many rules of what you can and can’t do

Where is the sense purpose and vision we so desperately need?

Why kill Unity by constantly sowing “Them and us” as toxic seed?

What of dams to taste sweet water and no bitterness of drought?

How can we sleep safely when night is owned by thieves and louts?

Are we robots mid crumbled concrete and windows of opaque glass? 

How can we be so blind to tomorrow and shun lessons of the past?

Can’t we see the angry dark storm clouds looming so very near?           

Oh, what have we done to our legacy, so precious and dear?

George Mansford © September 2017

PC—#***#% Political Correctness

Opinion – It’s Time to Stand Tall—No Compromises

We live in a world of increasing social changes and shrinking common sense.  Thus as we blunder into tomorrow without understanding yesterday, it does beg the question, “where are we going?

Can we really expect our youth, (tomorrow’s leaders) to march forward with confidence and sound sense of purpose when they are continually bombarded with new and questionable culture?  Surely it is a critical phase of development when they should be mastering the basic skills and values of life?

Can we really expect they will appreciate the  wonders and beauty of life including love, sharing , caring and responsibility when they are brainwashed in many dark corners of our society to believe it’s all a free ride without commitment and respect?

Do we believe that honour, duty, love of country, personal discipline and choice of spiritual belief will come from increasingly family breakdown, the current pathetic examples of political leadership or some drug dazed star on stage?

When did we decide that the education of minors provides no choice of their own to accept or deny religion?

Can we really expect a youngster to develop confidence and resilience when always wrapped in cotton wool?

How can you pursue the dream of enhancing one people and one nation when governments continually encourage the theme of “them and us” and more often than not at the expenses and inconvenience to the majority of our community?

Why should we demonstrate tolerance to those who publicly state their evil intent to destroy our society and its way of life?

Incidentally, is there a national plan in action for progressive and positive assimilation for migrants from day one of arrival? I think not. I remember clearly in early post WW2 years when my mother and other ladies met New Australian families (as we called them without malice or spite) and guided them to help adjust in the early phases after their arrival. Even youngsters were tasked to escort their new mates to school.

Attitudes and standards have changed dramatically since those days when once the law was enforced, regardless of circumstances.  Today, the opposite is true. There are examples where our government is turning a blind eye to illegal conduct. There are increasing numbers of incidents where exceptions to our rules dilute authority and breeds resentment. Masked polygamy, hidden child brides, defiance to court procedures and incredible leniency for the drug dealers who are poisoning our society are examples which already cause irritation and in time will develop marked hostility within our society.

How did all this deceptive and smothering social engineering start? Who are the authors and on whose authority? Just how many of us agreed to such monumental and very questionable change?

There is no doubt we should seek knowledge, master new procedures and pursue vision to enhance our society. However, it does not imply we charge hell bent into tomorrow and discard proven and well established values in our haste to go where we know not where.

The bitter irony of it all is that in past war when our way of life was threatened by alien forces, we were as one and gave all to protect such values. Today they are slowly being eroded, assisted by our apathy, political correctness and   obsession for compromise.

Like it or not, we are in war of social change and must defend our precious values. There is a real and urgent need for positive and sound leadership. We must stand fast in our beliefs. It is a legacy passed on to us by past generations who achieved it with blood, sweat and tears.

There is no room for compromise.

 

               A Changing World 

Forgotten are the silent scarred hills from not so long ago

Where once came screaming curses of friend and foe

Pain and misery etched in earth soaked blood

So many dreams and hopes lost in the mire of mud

 

Came the day white doves flew and church bells rang

Dancing in the streets and victory songs sang

Politicians preached of “peace and precious values for all”

For those lost in the hills came the sobs of bugle calls

Young and old gather on our special day of the year

To recall sacrifice in times of bloody strife and fear

Sadly, some still wet behind the ears with empty heads seek fame

They demand revision of our past and for war, we were to blame

Others intent on mischief to change our proud way of life

Slyly infect us with political correctness, so smothering and rife 

Space age bands blare with deceptive tunes called diversity 

While old choirs no longer sing that the power of a nation is unity

Illegal drugs, child abuse and faltering family structure  too

Xmas trees and friendly Christian wishes on cards soon to be taboo

Greedy inept politicians pick poor people’s pockets for more taxes

At schools, proven social skills and disciplines face sharp government axes 

On those now forgotten hills come the echoes of pain 

As restless ghosts whisper of betrayal, again and again 

Their youth stolen, dreams buried and a way of life lost bye and bye

Can you hear the wails of all past generations as they ask “why?” 

George Mansford ©August 2017

 

Are We Burning Our Bridges?

Are We Burning Our Bridges?

History is the soul of any proud nation

Deeds in a never ending journey via many stations 

A reminder of who we were and what we are now

A legacy from those who strived with shovel, pick, horse and plough

Recorded are the rights and wrongs and lessons to be learnt

Never should our proud past be shamed, scarred or burnt

 

There are those starved for recognition seeking to change history

No rules for such empty heads and their tantrums are common to see

Planned mischief is their aim and tempts the naive to follow

Going backwards seeking yesterday while stumbling into tomorrow

It’s all about manipulation of power to change our way life

Farewell unity and harmony –welcome diversity and strife

 

The new order demanded by revisionists is busily at work

Never a sound reason from its unknown authors who in shadows lurk 

Christianity is very much on the list as a whipping boy

Ridicule, no xmas cards, tinseled trees or magic toys

Sweet nursery rhymes censored yet blinkers used for drugs and hate in songs  

Jesus is mocked (and please tell me, “what did he do wrong?”)

So here’s to Namatjira, Henry, Banjo and Melba who helped open doors

The migrant, butcher, ANZAC, shearer, Drover’s wife and more

Revere the Pioneers who began the journey to make our country as one

Despite flood, fire, drought and famine, they always won

Shoulder to shoulder, we too must go forward; all for one and one for all  

“To seek tomorrow and honour our past” will always be our rallying call   

George Mansford © September 2017

 

Vietnam Reflections – Always as One

Address by George Mansford (Cairns 18 August 2017)

Today throughout our nation there will be gatherings such as ours to reflect on our involvement in the Vietnam War and above all, to honour our fallen. In doing so, we also pay our deepest respect to yet another generation of our military currently on operations. It seems nothing changes on our troubled planet

Was it so long ago that our men and women went to war in a place called Vietnam?

It was a time when frequent government lotteries in rolling barrels full of birthday numbers determined which 20 year old males would be conscripted for two years’ military service.

It was a time of anti-war demonstrations and vilification of those in uniform and their families which caused our military to become closer and united more than ever.

It was a time when protesting mobs burnt our national flag and the consequences were that our troops cherished the sacred cloth even more.

In Vietnam our units stood fast in battle. They endured the physical and mental demands placed on them. They refused to relent against what seemed impossible odds on more than one occasion. Always evident was their battle discipline, confidence and trust in each other and even when battle weary, no matter when or where, were the grins.

As well as major battles, it was also a time of countless patrols, ambushes, cordon and search operations, much of which is now long forgotten and gathering dust in history records

Always are the veteran’s memories of such times. How could they ever forget the wok wok of the beloved Huey and the familiar drone of the Caribou or perhaps they were on one of the warships patrolling a very dangerous coast line. The nurses waiting at the landing zone called Vampire ready to receive yet another group of wounded.  Do you remember counting the days until it was one day and a wakey before going home and so many dreams to pursue?

It was a time of varying farewells such as watching mates struggling with heavy packs and weapons boarding a chopper or armoured personnel carrier to commence another operation. Departing on Rest and Recuperation to escape the madness for just a few days or going home. No matter the circumstances, always was the firm hand shake, sharp wit, a hug, a wave, a thumbs up as a fond farewell or perhaps a shout of “Take care”. Unknowingly for some, it would be for the last time.

There were forgotten lessons of war from previous campaigns and re-learnt the hard way in Vietnam. There were also new lessons learnt in Vietnam which have since been neglected or distorted thanks to social engineering and the continual onslaught of political correctness.

 Common was the immense camaraderie, determination, wry humour and battle discipline which demonstrated that the magnificent qualities of the original ANZACs had not been diluted.

There was pride, duty, honour and acceptance of responsibilities which had been developed from early age in our society then strengthened in the military during training and mastered on operations.

It was a time of loved ones waiting for news and dreading any unexpected knock on the door. We should never forget the wives, mothers  and families who bore the brunt of isolation, not knowing and always searching for mail and the media for any fragment of news. They met the challenges with dignity and stood the test. Wives were both mother and father and always praying that the next knock on the door would not be by a grim faced official

At war’s end it was a time for adjustment and sadly that was not to be for so many who thought they had come home but hadn’t. There are still those who confront the consequences of war in so many ways.

There were those who in desperation said “enough is enough” and left us to join the fallen.

Today the ranks grow thinner and always are the increasing nudges from Father Time to remind all of their mortality. If the fallen could speak, perhaps it would be to remind all “Who they were and what they were”

They would say “Australia is indeed the lucky country and will remain so, if you, the living strive to keep it so”

They would remind us “To fight the good fight for what you believe to be right”

They would demand “Honour us by your actions as active members of the community; for you are us and we are you. While you live, we live. ”

GM 7/2017

                   

 Reflections of War

On this special day, old warriors will meet here and there

To recall times of duty and when they did dare

To honour fallen comrades, perhaps with a band or choir

Others will reflect at home, even a park bench or beside a campfire 

Father Time has caused more gaps in the ranks since last year

Often a gentle nudge from the River Boatman who is ever so near

Memories will be stirred of comrades, laughter, song, mud and tears

For many, the haunting sounds of battle and sudden fears

Waiting for hidden death to explode in a silent jungle so green

Listening to familiar sounds of wocking blades soon to be seen

Watching a Caribou* high above and all wondering where it had been 

Knowing our warships patrolled a coast line so dangerous and mean 

The electric shout of “contact” and collision with danger yet again   

Fleeting shadows, hostile sounds, racing pulse and heat or drenching rain

Devoted nurses waiting for Dust Offs* loaded with dead and dying 

Casualties in blood soaked muddy rags with grins and rarely crying

Finally came that last roll call and war weary veterans said hooray

Soon after, the first glimpse of excited loved ones screaming “gidday”

Days or years later, waking from nightmares of battle and reaching out

Believing they’re alone, no matter how often they shout 

The gathering will end and the square will be silent once more 

In lonely rooms, parks or by dying campfires, some will ask “What for?”

Whatever they were or what they did or did not do

Let no one forget, they were all as one who served true blue

They march with pride in the column until the next life to be 

Always will be their example of duty, honour and love of country 

Even after the Boatman has taken all of them from life’s stage

Their brave deeds remain forever in many a history page

George Mansford© July 2017

 

*Dust Off— “Dedicated and Unstinting Service To Our Friendly Forces”

*Caribou—RAAF aircraft

 

How Lucky Can A Useless Bast-rd Be

It is better than winning Lotto when two beautiful young women backpacking from the Old World arrive at your firm base in Cairns, Far North Queensland for several nights to explore the natural beauties of our land “Down Under.” How lucky can a bloke be?

Such was their interest in our region, they extended their stay by several days while exploring the reef, mountain ranges, rain forest, waterfalls and historical sites.

I certainly wasn’t complaining in the company of two happy charming youngsters bubbling with life.  To make life even better for an old soldier, they took command of the evening meals and early breakfasts before launching into another day’s adventure.

Given there were no political correct mentors or purse lipped UN officials close by, there was even time to introduce them to the some old Aussie language. Thus by the time they were back in Sydney and soon to return to the Old World they e- mailed me a farewell message ending with a most complimentary signature of the Australia I know. It read   “Many thanks, you old bast-rd” (a compliment they have continued to use in subsequent messages)

I can’t wait until they return and teach them more of the colourful language we use, including our use of the phrase “Useless blo-dy Drongos” to describe those who claim to lead our Nation.

In the meantime, here is a small piece of scribble dedicated to two beautiful young ladies now back in the Old World. It has been written by the useless old bast-rd who had the immense honour of being one of their hosts in the land of OZ.

Come back soon,

Luv ya

George Mansford in Paradise

 

                  For The beautiful Sixers From the Old World —Reka and Melinda             Touring the Land Down Under

They came from the old world far across the sea

Born in a far distant place and a different age from me

Two beautiful tourists drinking from a cup brimming with life

Using happiness and humour  as a shield from misery and strife.

 

Two young lasses from the old world to the new 

Chopin and Straus exchanged for haunting sounds of a didgeridoo 

Swimming at the Reef mid teeming fish and multi coloured coral bright

To see our proud Southern Cross glittering high above at night

 

Vast distance of silent bush between each sleepy town

From stone bare hills to fertile land so rich, red and brown

The cackling call of the kookaburra and the screech of coloured birds

At night around a camp fire when cicadas call and a dingo howl is heard       

 

Far away from the big smoke there’s a language known as Strain

“Howyagoin” “Strike me pink” and a friendly “gidday” again and again  

“Wouldja like a cuppa?”  and  perhaps “it’s your blo-dy shout”

“Fair dinkum” “and “Dinky Di” is very much what OZ is all about”

 

Now there’s cold ashes of a campfires long after their final fond hooroo 

Footprints fading on golden beaches, desert sands and jungle tracks too

Yet a visit not to be forgotten by screeching birds, dingo and kangaroo

While the haunting sounds of farewell still echo from a didgeridoo.

George Mansford April 2017

ENOUGH?

Enough is Enough

Bulging wallets and full troughs are part of the political game 

Canberra Suits should wear masks to hide the shame

As Battlers with more taxes and rising costs struggle to pay bills

While at family dinner tables, plates are far from filled 

The Canberra political choir sings its new anthem every day

One catchy line is “Don’t do as we do, but do as we say”

Their battle plan is to cut expenditure and give workers less pay

No penalty rates on weekends will be the new way

How about a book on leadership for our masters to read?

It tells of personal example so essential if you are to lead 

For example, never tell of cuts to weekend penalty rates

As you grab extra pieces of silver from a Treasury with unlocked gates

We need sound direction if we are to be who we should be

Rid us of crippling red tape, deceit, foreign aid and lunches so free  

Snub the smothering political correctness which pleases very few

Return our freedom of speech and stop telling us what we must do

Oh to have our own Gandhi with an Ocker accent to lead

Driven by respect and vision for the people and not conceit or greed

Perhaps a new Joan of Arc or Winston rallying us to seek tomorrow 

Someone to rid the constant bickering, excuses and feigned sorrow

Many of us tire of being treated as mushrooms on a far distant range

Can’t you hear the people shouting “there has to be change?”

A time may come when the call is “Enough is enough, for God’s sake”

Let’s hope there’s no foolish taunting reply like “Let them eat cake”

George Mansford ©June 2017

  A Proud and Sacred Place

               A Proud and Sacred Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you visit this memorial of granite stone

Its silent sentries forever standing on guard alone

No matter your walk of life, young or old, you are part of it all

They are you and you are them, so be proud, stand straight and tall 

Listen to the faint bark of orders from a faraway parade ground

Catch on the breeze the songs they sang with such happy sound  

Hear distant bugles sob and the drums in rhythmic pounding beat 

The stirring thump of marching feet 

Recall when ugly storm clouds hovered and our nation did call

So many generations stepped forward to give their all

Watch as blurred columns of yesterday’s youth march by 

Battle honours sewn on regimental colours flying high

How many dreams of warriors which were never to be

Lost in the din of war and where the blood of our youth ran free

See again the faces of those who did dare

Now resting in a peaceful place which the living know not where

Today a new generation wears the regimental badge with great pride

The regimental torch held high as they seek tomorrow, side by side

The ANZAC genes are strong as anyone can see

Mateship, love of country, wit and battle discipline as it used to be

This sacred place is now another milestone of our nation’s history 

A reminder of past sacrifice to ensure a way of life for you and me

Etched are the words “All gave some. Some gave all”

While echoing from the past, “Duty First “is the never ending call

                                  

Lest we forget

George Mansford©June2017

 

Note: The Memorial is located in Ferguson Park on Samford Road, Enoggera which is immediately opposite the northern entrance to Gallipoli Barracks. Brisbane City Council has approved that portion of the Park to be named The Royal Australian Regiment Place.

 

Future Leaders – Our Nation’s Proud Torch Burns Bright

This poem was prompted by visits to schools during ANZAC services in FNQ where young Aussies do all of us proud… 

Our Nation’s Proud Torch Burns Bright

A crowded sea of faces in the school hall

A choir reaches out to them with sweet call

Disciplined youth bursting with innocence of life

Honoring those from yesterday who gave all in times of strife 

The deeds of the fallen spoken with deep pride

They who had stepped forward as one, to serve, side by side

Now ghostly shadows are dancing to and fro among the class 

Can they be the men and women we honour from the past?

I told these scholars of the dreams all soldiers did share 

To be home with loved ones and peaceful bliss every-where 

A happy precious free way of life for those yet to be born. 

Surely the silence of the guns would signal a bright new dawn?

This audience will be our leaders in time to come

No matter who or where, they will always be united as one

Many will be parents and teach their young, our values of life

To tell them of past sacrifice during Mar’s terrible strife

In this very hall, I saw familiar images of those lost in war 

Smiling, dreaming, eager and a love of life to the very core

Today’s students are of the same ilk and our nation will stay strong

They too understand our way of life and what is right from wrong

Suddenly I was looking into yesterday and felt the bursting pride

For they are you and you are them, all marching side by side

Your sacrifice was not in vain and dreams surely did come true

Today’s proud and freedom loving youth are forever you, true blue  

George Mansford © April 2017

 

Opinion – Brothers in Arms

On recent ANZAC parades in the deep south I was appalled at the conduct of mindless fools who organised  indigenous veterans to march separately from their comrades beneath an indigenous flag.

It was a deliberate act of unjustified political correctness to flout well established protocol and thus threaten the very core of the military ethos by sacrificing established unity for questionable diversity.

Unity in the military forces implies  “all for one and one for all”  Sharing and caring for each other no matter race or colour. Be it the heavy loads, sentry duty, the inevitable dangers and that last spoonful of food or the last of the water.  So often caring for a mate down with fever or a cobber who had just received sad news from home.

All our fallen and those comrades since gone, no matter race, colour or religion have the same status. They were and always will be brothers.

The RSL and its sub-branches should revisit the past and think again on the urgent need to protect ANZAC  protocol  from mindless politically correct agitators hell bent on destroying our proud values.

George Mansford