Warrior Poet – Faith in Tomorrow

In recent times, my talks with youngsters of varying ages in North Queensland continue to reinforce my views of their immense potential for future leadership.  However, such assets may be lost, if we, as today’s torch bearers do not provide leadership including moral courage, social discipline, sense of purpose and more drive to protect our treasured values of life.

We can huff, puff and beat our chests and rightly claim with much pride, past achievements of our nation, yet such pride is diluted when we continue to have politicians wearing blinkers, labouring with heavy egos, and racing in sticky mud behind the pack. Our youth need to emulate leaders who lead.

Our tough and determined pioneers reached their goal of unity and independence by achieving Federation.  Our beloved ANZACs, their sons and daughters and subsequent generation have defended such unity and freedom with their blood, sweat and tears. In my view, the bible they passed on to us of “duty, honour and love of country” is gathering dust, and thanks to politicians of all types, has been replaced by a novel, titled “what’s in it for me?”

Today, not only is there procrastination and apathy but a willingness by our political leaders to appease and tug forelocks.  Our traditional cries of “A fair go for all” and “We are as one” have been replaced by a new Anthem; “Them and us” while political correctness is demanding we say and do what we are told to say and do. There must be sound example by all of us for our youngest generation to follow and emulate. If we fail to set the right standards, then we have betrayed those who lit the torch, and subsequent generations who carried it.  Have no doubt, even our fiery torch without the right fuel will die.

Our leaders at all levels need to roll up their sleeves, use the right compass and once more find and use the track which made our nation a lucky country. The youngsters who will carry the torch into their tomorrow are waiting.

George Mansford April 2019

            

  ANZAC Spirits visit Saint Mary’s College

With pride and joy, all students in the hall shout “We are as one’’
Such a strong call reaches for the High Heavens where life begun 
Via green fields, dusty paddocks and surf where heroes once played  Past shearing shed, factory, office or mansions where they stayed  Then become faint echoes bouncing to and fro as shadows grow tall Suddenly a whispering breeze reaches out with ANZAC coo- eeee calls

It brings a message where the fallen speak with pride of you
No better compliment, for they use the term, Young True Blues

“Stand tall, stay together and help mates who are falling behind
To share with each other and knowing the truth, speak your mind

The best way to protect your values of life is never to ignore its rules
Truth, respect, duty, honour, love of country are essential tools

Set the examples for the next generation which will follow you Freedom of speech and action are precious gifts to use; not abuse
Be alert for evil which can slowly surface to erode a free way of life Your strength is to be united, all as one, be it in peace or strife
Learn as we did, of those before us who also gave blood, sweat and tears 
They changed Colonies to Nation, slowly but surely, year after year.”
  

The gentle wind pauses and a brief silence again
Then in the distance the faint sound of tramping boots reigns

Column of ghosts gathering at Memorials we hold so dear
Ready to mingle with the living at the coming of dawn does near
For a short-time, the fallen are home again; waiting for a new sun
So proud of youngsters who yesterday had shouted “We are as one”
C

George Mansford © April 2019  

AND THEN AT DAWN – 25 April 2019

                      Rain Drops or Tears on ANZAC Day

Columns of Spirits wearing battered slouch hats join us as we mourn Soldiers from some generations, long before were born
They watch as many wreaths for them are carefully laid
Listening via crackling, shrieking microphone as tributes are paid That is not the wind rustling as the bugle sounds
It’s our confused, unhappy, restless ghosts flitting round and round

The Brown Shirts of Berlin with different names are back again Scheming, heckling, bullying, and threatening is part of their game Masters of political correctness vilifying those with other views Politicians still planning for yesterday know naught of what to do False green Prophets guide two legged sheep towards a Utopia never to be
The Spirits whisper “what worth duty and our sacrifice to keep Australia free”

Disabled war veterans searching empty pockets listen too
While buckets of gold are paid to retiring Suits for what they didn’t do
Our sovereignty stolen, be it farms, ports and so much more, day by day
Free speech is the cry, but toe the politically correct line with what you say
Now it seems.
diversity not unity, is the strength of our land
What odds of foreign compass and our heads soon buried in the sand?

Ghosts of Pioneers mingle with our fallen and groan with disbelief Freedom with their pain, sweat and tears slowly stolen by a thief More sad news on hearing that many nursery rhymes are taboo
Like Hitler’s bonfire of truth, some of our books are off limits too Drugs, home invasions, carjacks and fear of walking streets at night Rhetoric and band aids with flawed scales of justice never get it right

The parade is over and the Spirits from yesterday’s nation fade away Australia bleats, as politically correct shepherds gather more strays Teams of coloured shirts gather at polling booths on Election Day
Free to harass, pester and lie to ensure the vote goes their way
Dark clouds rumble and wetness falls from a darkening sky
Is it rain? or angry tears of the fallen as they ask “why?” 

George Mansford ©April 2019

Opinion – Pause for Thought. Time to consider the values that underline our Country

It has been a long time since Anzac Day punctuated a federal election campaign, and there could hardly be a greater contrast than that between the point-scoring, box-ticking, and vote-buying that characterises an election campaign and the patriotic unity that Anzac Day evokes.

Both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader sufficiently forgot party politics to make fine speeches at different commemorations; and, for a day, all our first world preoccupations, such as climate change and gender fluidity, faded against the contemplation of our forbears’ response to the struggle for life or death in a good cause.

So what moves us in our many hundreds of thousands, here and at services overseas, to get up early and brave the chill to honour the dead?

In a society that mostly shuns ritual and hardly ever goes to church, attending an Anzac Day service is about as close as we come these days to a religious observance. But what exactly are we remembering? Is it the grandparents and the great grandparents that fought in distant wars? Is it the friends of friends, currently serving in our military? Or is it the ideal of duty and service that they epitomise; and the values that made our country what it is — that we often fear might be slipping away from modern Australia?

When I was a child, when my grandfather’s World War II generation was still only middle-aged and when the Gallipoli generation was still alive to share its memories, Anzac Day was a day for old soldiers and mateship.

Now that the world wars have largely slipped into history, Anzac Day has become a day for us all; a day to honour those who’ve worn our country’s uniform; and a day, inwardly at least, to pledge ourselves to be worthy of the people who’ve taken great risks to keep our country safe.

This is why they deserve the special recognition they get; and why they are, in some way, a reproach to the rest of us. They call us to be more devoted to those around us, and to be more committed to our country, than perhaps we already are.

But then, so many are already committed. It is just that they are not often the voices we hear on our national broadcaster or agitating for the left’s latest cultural cause.

Instead they go to work each day, raise their family and pay their taxes, uncomfortable with the relentless push by some to change who we are, to apologise for Australia’s history and our success.

They’re often referred to as the silent majority and on Anzac Day they are out in force, because it was their sons who were the backbone of Australia’s military ranks and suffered the heavy losses.

Much more so than Australia Day — which has a lightness about it; smack bang in the middle of our idyllic summer, with flag waving, and big community barbecues — the sombreness of Anzac Day lies in its association with the sterner virtues of courage, self-sacrifice, duty and honour.

We remember the best and bravest of us, and in so doing, remind ourselves of their qualities and resolve to be more like them in our own, often very different struggles. Even if we wonder how today’s Australians would cope with horror — on the scale, say, of the Battle of Fromelles, with 1500 dead and nearly 4000 wounded in a single night — it is still a day to feel quiet pride in our country.

Thanks to our military men and women, and those of our allies, our country is free, fair and prosperous. There’s no doubt that our victories in war, plus our vigilance in peace, have made the world a better place.

But it’s the duty of all us, not just those who wear, or have worn a uniform, to preserve these hard-won gains, and to build on them wherever we can.

The values we commemorate in Anzac Day must be defended every other day of the year.

Let us hope the campaign interregnum of Anzac Day inspired our political leaders, and all the candidates, to think less of themselves and their political creeds and more for our country and our values.

For us voters, let us hope it has reminded us to treasure our vote, not to take our freedoms for granted and when we mark our ballot paper, to do so wisely.

Peta Credlin The Courier Mail April 27, 2019.  
Originally published as The Anzac message to remember on election day

Anzac Day 2019: Peter Cosgrove’s parting message to next generation

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has sought to reintroduce the Anzac legend to a new generation in his last Anzac Day address as the Queen’s representative in Australia.

Sir Peter, who will retire from public life in June, used his commemorative address at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to explain why Australians gather every April to commemorate veterans and the fallen to young people and new arrivals.

“For some here attending this moment in the national capital, and others like this elsewhere around the nation, this will be your first Anzac Day service,” he said in Canberra.

“Some of you are youngsters, some are new to this nation. From all of those newly come to this national ritual, we expect that you will all be eager to understand what it is that draws us, as a nation, to gather so solemnly.

“For those who wonder why communities assemble on this day every year at dawn and later in the morning, as Governor-general I say that in the gamut of motives from the profoundly philosophical to simple curiosity, there is a fundamental reason.

“It is by our presence to say to the shades of those countless men and women who did not come home or who made it back but who have now passed and to say to their modern representatives, the ones around the nation who today march behind their banners ‘You matter. What you did matters. You are in our hearts. Let it be always thus’.”

The crowd in Canberra burst into applause when the National Anzac Ceremony’s master of ceremonies, journalist Scott Bevan, thanked Sir Peter for his service and wished him well for his upcoming retirement.

Sir Peter will leave public life after five years as Governor-general and previous service as the Chief of the Australian Defence Forces. He will be replaced later this year by NSW Governor David Hurley.

RICHARD FERGUSON – The Australian APRIL 25, 2019

Opinion – When Australia Punched Above its Weight


ONE hundred years ago in Paris, the victorious allies were negotiating a treaty to formalise the armistice declared on November 11, 1918. The Little Digger, PM Billy Hughes defended our diggers’ sacrifice.


PM Billy Hughes with Aussie Diggers

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ANZAC DAY 2019

Thank you Australia for keeping the spirit of Anzac alive

See the video presentation that will be shown on the big screen at the MCG  before the Anzac day clash between Essendon and Collingwood.

RARA QLD – eNews 2/2019 April

RARA Queensland’s eNews replaces the previously printed Newsletter “The Spirit”. This is the second quarterly edition.

Enjoy the Read

Poem – Of God and Soldiers

Many would say that this poem is a true reflection of how God and Soldiers are valued today:


Yet this poem was written nearly 400 years ago by Francis Quarles in his Divine Fancies (1632) ‘Of Common Devotion’

‘Thank you for your service’ – photographic exhibition

A photographic exhibition titled ‘Thank you for your service’ showcasing the diversity of current Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans, and their families, will go on display today at Sydney’s Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, in the lead-up to Anzac Day 2019.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the exhibition is made up of remarkable photographs taken by one of Australia’s most respected photo-journalists Alex Ellinghausen, of more than 40 men and women who serve or have served in defence of Australia and their families.

“The images showcase men and women from a wide range of backgrounds doing a wide range of jobs in all three services and from a variety of deployments, as well as the family members who have supported them,” Mr Chester said.
“This exhibition is a reminder that as a nation we should be immensely grateful for what our current and former ADF personnel have done and are doing, and the sacrifices made by their families.
“It highlights why it is important to acknowledge their service, which can be as simple as saying ‘Thank you for your service’.”

Mr Chester said Alex Ellinghausen had been invited to photograph the exhibition after being awarded the 2018 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year.
“Alex is an incredible talent and the first photojournalist to win this prestigious award,” Mr Chester said.
“He has done a remarkable job capturing the images on display and I congratulate him on the quality of his work.”

The exhibition comprises four themes: diversity of personnel, diversity of task and individual, transition into civilian life, and support of loved ones and respect and recognition. The exhibition has been put together by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in partnership with the ADF, the New South Wales Government, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I encourage all those in the community to visit the exhibition, view the photos and read the stories of these individuals,” Mr Chester said.
“To those who participated in this exhibition, thank you. For those who haven’t served, it is difficult to understand what life in the ADF is like and it is my sincere hope this exhibition will provide a further appreciation of what it means to serve.”
The exhibition is free to attend and will be on display at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park for three months. For those looking to visit the exhibition, please check details on the Anzac Memorial website. Australians can also view an online gallery of the exhibition on the DVA website here.

Anzacs ‘killers’, British arrival ‘an invasion’, uni students told

Students at Murdoch University are being taught that the Anzacs who fought at Gallipoli were “killers”, that the British arrival in Australia in 1788 was an “invasion”, and that asylum-seekers on Manus Island and Nauru are “prisoners”.

A lecturer in Australian history­ at Murdoch, Dean Aszkie­lowicz, told School of Arts students earlier this month that many of the young people who attend annual Anzac Day services in Gallipoli were “drunk”. In an audio recording ­obtained by The Australian, he also described Anzac Day as a “cliche” that would diminish in popularity.

Dr Aszkielowicz declined to comment yesterday. The Aust­ralian has been told some of the students in the course are concerned about an apparent left-wing bias among academics and that they are being given only one side of the argument about Australian history and culture.

Murdoch University was standing by its academics last night amid allegations of left-wing bias in their teaching, and criticisms that the comments about the Anzacs were “insulting” to fallen soldiers.

Federal Liberal MP and former SAS commander Andrew Hastie said Australians should be free to question assumptions around Anzac Day but should be careful about attacking or repudiating what it stood for. He also questioned the teaching in Australian universities. “Humanities students would be better off building a home library based on the Western canon, rather than listening to an overpaid radical malign our war dead,” he said.

Murdoch University Challenges our Future

DFWA President Kel Ryan in a letter to the Australian Newspaper today said, “I wonder if Dr Dean Aszkie­lowicz from Murdoch University ever plays back and listens to his lectures. Describing those who fought at Gallipoli as “killers” in terms that were hesitant, contradictory and replete with clichés would not get a “Pass” in a Year 12 history essay is clear evidence that he does not. To suggest that most of the youth who attend the Dawn Service at Gallipoli “are drunk” and blindly following the ‘warrior myth’ which is ‘fuelled’ by the military highlights his lack of understanding of the place of ANZAC Day in the social fabric of the nation. To ridicule is easy but to proffer considered and well-articulated views free of superficial platitudes is obviously a challenge for Dr Aszkielowicz.   More power to those students who question this lecturer and his rationale and the absence of clear and considered understanding of this important chapter of the nation’s history.”

The RARA President Michael von Berg in endorsing the DFWA’s letter added, “The Royal Australian Regiment Association is disgusted in the quotes attributed to Dr. Dean Aszkie­lowicz from Murdoch University that our brave ANZAC’s were “killers” and that ANZAC Day is “clichéd”. Dr. Aszkielowicz is doing his students a disservice in his attempts to rewrite or scrub out history in presenting an inaccurate view of our proud ANZAC past to promote his simple-minded, ideologically driven, political left point of view. It’s not what we expect from those responsible to teach history, not debase or destroy it for self-interest purposes.”

Opinion – Respecting National Sensitivities

The decision to move this year’s Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day commemorations in northern France from dawn to mid morning caused outrage. PM Scott Morrison has since reversed this decision but was that the right thing to do?

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