Guest Post: ANZAC Day

Guest Post by JooR

In 1915.. on the 25th of April.. Allied Forces invaded Turkish soil… WE WERE THE INVADERS… and we were defeated in that campaign. But We remember those who served, we commemorate their mateship, their resilience, their determination…AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK TURKEY.. the land we tried to capture.. for allowing us EVERY YEAR to return to commemorate the landing of the ANZAC…..

In these times of ugly bigoted racism rising it should be reminded to some, that Turkey is an Islamic Nation and they have paid us a great honour in allowing and joining with us in our commemorations.

ANZAC Day is the day on our Calender that has always meant the most to me..have never been a Big Australia day person.. and I worry that ANZAC Day will become a day that is abused by the dumbfuck racist bogan, another day to drape the flag around one’s shoulders and allow it to drag along the ground…

Another day to cry AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI (which in itself is disrespectful because without the Kiwis it would only be AAC DAY).

Another day to abuse the *Mozzies* and the *towel heads* and cry STOP THE BOATS…………..

And .. that is ALL NOT what ANZAC DAY IS ABOUT….

ANZAC Day is to remember those that fell and those that fought and it is NEVER about the glorification of war, although .. SOME try and make it so……

It is about the bloke beside you and watching out for him and hope he is watching out for you.. It is about thinking of the people left at home.

It is about WHAT was important to Australians at one time, but has seem to be going the way of the ANZACS themselves.. lost to time..

Even realising that the bloke on the other side of the trenches, though with a different faith, a different language and a different look were really not that unlike ourselves… They had family, they had mates, they had their fears and their nightmares….The bled when they were wounded and died when their wounds were too great.

In No-man’s land the men of both sides came together to bury their dead before returning to the trenches and adding more numbers of those that they just buried..

ANZAC Day reminds me that War is a bloody awful thing.. but amazing stories , strangely stories of hope, can come from war time.. and maybe NOW we need to be reminded of that..

We need to be reminded that although we were the invader.. that Turkey has forgiven and had forgave decades and almost a century ago and that they lost Thousands at Gallipoli themselves.. AND YET… THEY have the Dignity .. to allow us to return every year.

Would we have the dignity ????

130 comments on “Guest Post: ANZAC Day

  1. I love this one:

    The Coloured Digger

    He came and joined the colours, when the War God’s anvil rang,
    He took up modern weapons to replace his boomerang,
    He waited for no call-up, he didn’t need a push,
    He came in from the stations, and the townships of the bush.

    He helped when help was wanting, just because he wasn’t deaf;
    He is right amongst the columns of the fighting A.I.F.
    He is always there when wanted, with his Owen gun or Bren,
    He is in the forward area, the place where men are men.

    He proved he’s still a warrior, in action not afraid,
    He faced the blasting red hot fire from mortar and grenade;
    He didn’t mind when food was low, or we were getting thin,
    He didn’t growl or worry then, he’d cheer us with his grin.

    He’d heard us talk democracy–, They preach it to his face–
    Yet knows that in our Federal House there’s no one of his race.
    He feels we push his kinsmen out, where cities do not reach,
    And Parliament has yet to hear the Abo’s maiden speech.
    One day he’ll leave the Army, then join the League he shall,
    And he hope’s we’ll give a better deal to the Aboriginal.
    —by Sapper Bert Beros, a non-Aboriginal soldier in WWII.
    Written about an Aboriginal soldier, Private West.

  2. Jen, it becomes a contradiction doesn’t it. We have the bogan element spitting phrases such as towel heads, yet these people in the vast majority have treated us with far more honour than we have treated them – from the Turks and others “of Middle Eastern appearance” to people who trust us enough to seek asylum in our country.

    I think that one thing often turned and twisted and warped is the denigration of boat people. Our nation is built of refugees of one sort or another, from the displaced persons due to the Irish and west England potato famines through to war refugees from the Boar War onward.

    Our nation is built on boat people, at least 80% of our nation arrived as assisted immigrants.

  3. You never miss an opportunity to float your multiculturalist agenda which has now been denounced by the Leaders of the UK, Germany, France, Holland etc as it has proved disastrious for those countries.
    Wars and conflicts are between ethnic groups fighting over territories and they will continue to do so. Australia is now forming into ethnic enclaves, much the same as much of Europe has and already there have been disasters such as Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Germany/Poland etc etc. They continue in Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, the Sudan etc etc. Do you learn nothing from such events?. Australia has its major conflict to come in the same way as Yugoslavia.

  4. Thank you, JooR, for reminding us that this ANZAC Day is to remember that war is a bloody awful thing. As a nation we should do everything we can to avoid it.

    I’ve just been reading another poem about Anzac day at

    You’re so right to point out the contradiction, Min. Some people are still unnecessarily terrified of the peaceful boat people coming here just to find a better home. Imagine the terror we must have caused all those years ago with our own ‘boat people’ who landed as part of an invading army on Turkey’s shores.

  5. Jarl. I actually find you offensive today,

    I feel sorry that you cannot see all people as having equal value.

    It is your loss, not ours.

    Please go somewhere like Switzerland, which is the only country I can think of the will meet your needs.

  6. Jarl, your lack of knowledge of Australia’s history is nothing short of abysmal.

    Australia has been a multicultural society since the days of the First Fleet. Did you know for example that there were a number of black Americans who were part of the Eureka Stockade? I’ll bet that you don’t. Do you know how many European/Chinese marriages occurred in Victoria until 1888. I do. I’ll bet that you don’t.

    Jarl, the next time that you visit your specialist and it’s Dr. Nguyen, have a think about where his parents came from.

  7. I have to laugh sometimes..the surname Costello. OMG, you wog, you Iti, you greaser. Actually Costello is Cornish but as many Cornish names end in the letter O, so many of Cornish descent were mistaken for wogs. Thus the shallowness of judging people.

  8. Great post, Jen.

    Jarl, you’re entitled to your view, but posting it here is about as effective as pissing into the wind. Posting it in response to a blog that celebrates the coming together of different cultures, former enemies, in a demonstration of mutual respect and reconciliation is just plain boorishness.

  9. Min @ 1.46pm, Jarl doesn’t seem to have much of a clue about anything really… that could be why he operates in a fearful little enclave of his own making.

  10. Jarl would prefer us to be a flag waving, ethnic hating bunch of bogans. He’d be happy to know that many Australians are. But we at the Cafe certainly are not.

  11. Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

    Kemal Atatürk

    Australia had about 6 700 deaths while the Turks suffered more than 80 000. it inded was an invasion.

  12. That Ataturk quote is deeply moving, and incredibly generous. Thanks for posting it, Col.

    Re Jarl – attitudes like his are a major contributor to ethnic conflict … make migrants feel marginalised and unwelcome while expecting their unswerving loyalty. The absurdity is that, except for indigenous peoples, we are all migrants or descended from migrants in this country.

  13. And then in norway the ultra right nutter was so offended by immigrants he murdered young norwegians, why? because the young weren’t ultra right. anzac day,especially, is not a time to yell ultra right clap trap. go away JR save your thoughts for the sydney shock jocks

  14. Jarl,

    Yes we “never miss an opportunity to float (our) multiculturalist agenda”. Whereas you never miss an opportunity to prove yourself a racist prick.

    By ethnic enclaves you must be talking about Chapel Street, Prahran..but wait a moment, haven’t those wogs successfully integrated?

  15. Jarl as a fifth generation Australian on all sides. I am proud of our multicultural nation. As Min said, it has been so since the First Fleet.

    My people all came here before 1850. All came as free men. Most came from Ireland, north and south, France and a small number from England.

    Since world war two, we have has massed migration from all parts of the world.

    It has made us what we are today.

    Jarl, Australia proves it can work. We have nothing to learn from the country’s you mentioned.

    Jarl, if you do not like it, move on, as it is far too late for us to change.

    My children’s background is similar. Their father’s background goes back further, including one on the First Fleet. Yes a convict that done well for himself.

    When I look at my eleven grandchildren and six great,

    Funny, there is no difference in any of those children. They just have different coloured skins.

    We seem to have borrowed what we want from all cultures, The food is extremely interesting and varied.

    Whether from the Pacific Islands or South America.

    Jarl, it makes for an exciting world.

    Cultural of any nation is not set in stone. It is forever changing. Ask any migrant that came here in the sixties and later. They held on to the culture they left behind, only to find out when they revisited their countries. they were holding onto the past, that no longer existed.. Their native countries has moved on.

    Before you say I have no idea what it is like, I raised my family in Guildford, Sydney. I spent my working life in that region, all the way out to Liverpool.

    Towards the end of my working life in Liverpool, I was outnumbered in my workplace.

    I believe the soldiers we are remembering today, would be proud of the country that many died for.

    I know I am.

    I am not proud of how we treated our indigenous people. I am not proud of how we made life harder for immigrants. I am not proud of how we treat asylums seekers today.

    I also know, we are very lucky, as all these people seem to forgive us.

    Jarl, as I said, I feel sorry that you cannot enjoy what many of us do.

  16. PS. I should add, I lived in one of the main enclaves for years. I choose to buy an unit in Cabramatta. I enjoyed living there.

    I have watched Cabramatta grow from a ,market garden suburb, to am enclave of Italians, to Yugoslavs, to Vietnamese. I have also watch each of these groups, after they found there feet move out other suburbs, and further afield to the north and south coast and further.

    Since the 1950’s people from many cultures have moved through Cabramatta.

    When younger, I lived in Wentworthville that was made up of Maltese and lesser extent Italians. One would be hard press to identify these people as a separate culture from Australians.

    Jarl, do you know why? They have become Australians.

  17. Cu, many people have assimilated but do you know what? I have no problem with those that don’t. I may assume you are the same as me.

  18. They are so meaningful.

    Maybe? But why is it the case that so many people will get/receive so many different ‘meanings’ from the same set of words? Or maybe we have the cart before the horse? For example, why is it the case that Jarl Ragnvald ‘gets’ a certain meaning from those words while most contributors to this site ‘get’ totally different meanings?

    Could it be the case that the words in themselves don’t ‘give’ the meanings but cause (evoke) readers to give certain meanings to those words (in a particular context) based on the cultural, historical, social backgrounds of the readers.

  19. ” many people have assimilated but do you know what? I have no problem with those that don’t. I may assume you are the same as me.”

    Roswell, I do not believe in assimilation. I am sorry if I gave that impression.

    Assimilation to me hints a absorption. That is the new giving up their culture and accept ours. That does not and should not happen. In fact cannot happen.

    I see the new comers blending in. The outcome a new culture,

    No culture stays constant, it is forever changing,

    My Italian neighbor bought this home to me when after nearly 20 years he returned to his homeland.

    He was always concerned of the freedom kids had here and how shocking it was.

    When he returned, the first thing he said to me, was that it was worse in Italy. In other words, not only was Australia changing, so was Italy.

    He was a exceptional family man. Two of his sons becoming good lawyers. His girls did not do so bad either.

    The likes of Jarl like to point at what goes wrong. Yes things do go wrong. I could not live live in Guildford and not know this.

    The things that are good far out way what is bad. Each of the problems with the gangs violence of each wave eventually disappeared.

    I found Cabramatta a very violent place in the days of the Yugoslavs. Probably more so than in the days of the Vietnamese.

    The bikie wars and the shoot out at that south western pub did not consist of Muslims. I seen to remember the were very white.

    The bikies that terrorized us, with young families behind the Guildford pub, were also the same race as us.

    The problems in the UK have more to do with poverty than they do with race.

    I can remember back when I was in my early twenties, two Irish families that live next door to one another at Villawood, another suburb near a migrant hostel. If these two families lived in Ireland, they would have been killing one another.

    Here they became great friends.

    Religion was not the main problem.

    In my eyes. It was that one mob had the power and money, the other did not.

    When all have a fair go, the problems disappear.

    When one focus on the things we share, not what divides us, there does not appear to be a problem.

    It is easy, it is about respect for your fellow human beings.

    I fear for the problems we are creating, when one looks at how we treat asylum seekers.

    They must be angry when they are eventually released.

    Those enclaves that worry many, have had many different races go through them.

    All in the fullness of time move into the general community. Some quicker than others.

  20. Col, I can get different meanings from those court papers lodged last Friday evening. I suspect the judge might too.

    Words do not give meaning unless one can put them in context.

    You are right, our own beliefs or what we would like them to mean, also come into play.

  21. Col, those words were written a long time ago by a man who led his troops into battle against Australia. He didn’t sound bitter. He wasn’t filled with hate.

    I too take them in the context of the time they were written.

  22. “I can get different meanings from those court papers lodge last Friday evening”

    Could it be the case that you are actually the ‘meaning maker’ here?. The one in control – re the meaning that is given rather than received?

    Roswell, re Kemal Atatürk he didn’t just lead troops into battle against Australia. His achievements go far beyond that.

  23. Cu, you are right. Assimilation does give the inference of one culture absorbing another. For example, should Aboriginals assimilate? The inference is that people should abandon their own culture in preference to the majority culture.

    In Australia we have benefited from many cultures. A weekly menu in most households might consist of European, Chinese, Thai and Indian. Eldest daughter spent 4 months living in the Dolomites in northern Italy and was astounded how everything was Italian when we in Australia are used to so many differing cultures.

  24. Col, maybe we are. How can we get so many different views on our media, that has no relation to what some of us here think.

    Why can the Geoff’s and Iain’s see things we cannot.

    Why can the likes of Mr. Brandis get up and make the comments on legal matters as he has been doing for the last few months.

    How can other’s accept the words that come out of the mouth of Mr. Abbott as truth.

    How can one stick to the mantra that she lied, that she said no carbon tax, when the words do not say that.

    How can one call it a carbon tax everyone has to pay, when this is obviously not the case. Well to me it is not.

  25. I’m not saying I’m for or against assimilation. I think it’s the choice of the individual, not the State.

  26. How can we get so many different views on our media, that has no relation to what some of us here think

    Maybe we don’t ‘get’ views but simply ‘give’ views, based on our backgrounds, defined to include values, history experiences, culture and the like?

    The theory of ‘giving’ rather than ‘receiving’ meaning explains ‘diversity’ of same does it not?

  27. Min, how many millions have come in the last 60 or 70 years. We appear to have one of the most stable societies in the world.

    That alone proves their arguments wrong.

  28. LOVO, I think we just about have it re Migs..the Middle Eastern and English portions ok..but hmmm that Port section I’ll have to give some serious consideration.

    BTW, did anyone else notice that the Pies won by a point today.

  29. LOVO, peace and blessed be too. I used to do psychic readings for the Sannyasins of Mullumbimby..blessed be Shahido. I’m so glad that I’ve integrated. 😀

    It must be music time.

  30. Col, it appears words have no meaning on their own.

    The word debt and deficit to me is not necessary a negative. To others it is the kiss of death.

    I think we just see things different.

    Our courts are set up for this very reason, I believe.

    Facts are not always facts. To make things harder, facts can change.

    This is why it is stupid to make statements, like, it worked for Howard, it will work again.

    It will be very likely that statement is false , because the environment and other facts have come into play.

    I do not think I am talking about semantics. Other can correct me if I am.

    Mr. Abbott is working on the proposition in that what we are saying is not true.

    What is more amazing, he is getting away with this,

    Have Australians just become to lazy, to think for themselves.

    Have we reached the stage where we only take in two or three words. A sentence any longer, is just too hard.

    When Abbott comes across a question he does not want to answer, he will start off with the answer but after a very few words, will go off on another tangent that has naught to do with the question. He does not falter in his speech while doing so.

    The interviewer does not appear to notice, or cannot be bothered, meaning it is just too hard.

    We keep hearing this government cannot get it’s message out because they lack the communication skills. This is simply not true.

    The messages, especially from the PM are very clear and to the point.

    We still have journalist walking away say, they do not know what she said.

    There is no problem with what she said. There is a problem with their listening skills.

    Communication is a two way street. There is a speaker. There is a listener. It does not work unless both play their part.

  31. “I’m not saying I’m for or against assimilation. I think it’s the choice of the individual, not the State.”

    I like the blending idea better.

    Like when we pick colors to paint a room or to dress,

    We can pick many colors. When they blend in together, the result is good.

    We can have problems when they clash.

    With our society, we just work on where we clash. Most work it out for themselves.

  32. Cu, I can’t say that I’ve seen many clashes, this is in spite of growing up in Hawthorn. There are put-downs from both sides, and who can blame some new immigrants for wondering what the hell sort of society they’ve wandered into when they are confronted with the bogan-style opinions.

    I remember when soccer was considered a wog’s game, spaghetti was wog food and wine was called plonk.

  33. Bravo to all those people who braved the Canberra chill to attend the dawn service.

    It was well and truly over before my big toe hit the floor.

  34. LOVO, we don’t sell plonk. We stock premiums wines only. Help yourself all the same.

    Bacchus has the key to the cellar. 😛

  35. Why Roswell – I guard that duplicate key with my life :mrgreen:

    What premium “plonk” takes your fancy LOVO? Come join me – we’ll go exploring 😉 If you’re over your little head cold, you might like to join us Migs…

  36. What is it about ANZAC day? Unlike many others here, I have no history of family involved in any wars – WW1, WW2 or Vietnam, but emotions have been close to the surface watching various shows all day. I think it started with Eric Bogle’s rendition of “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” this morning 😥

    I even teared up this evening in the car when the program on the ABC said that about 38 MILLION people were killed or injured in WW1…

  37. We weren’t invading anybody: Being high-minded doesn’t give you licence to re-write history in your image. Turkey was an allies with and supporting the German war machine and the German war agenda. That is why the Commonwealth forces were there. (Hint for the foolish: The Germans were the bad guys, hence so were the Turks). Oh, BTW: Turkey does very well thank you with the ANZAC tourism. Granted they have and continue to act with honour & dignity and we all appreciate that (and readily recognise it)

  38. Brian Bligh, WW1 was not as simple and clear cut as WW2 was. The reasons for it were more a convergence of political disputes and competing alliances than anything else. To say that the Germans (and Turks) were the ‘bad guys’ is a complete oversimplification of the political scene at the time. Many people believe that Germany only signed on under the assumption that England would side with them, being long time rivals of France. This was a fatal assumption, one that if it had not been made may have even averted the crisis.

    It really was a war for no real purpose (in hindsight) with no real ‘good’ or ‘bad’ guys.

    And, as JooR says in his post, the way that the Turks respect our wishes now, years after the event, makes it difficult to believe they could ever have been the ‘bad’ guys.

    They were just the other side, of a futile war.

    Lest We Forget

  39. Brian, I think a few things you raise miss the point of this post.

    Yes, we were at war with Turkey who, incidentally, were amongst the cruelest people of the war.

    We attacked their country, killed 80,000 of them, and they forgive us.

    The remembrance of battles is not for glory, but for forgiveness.

  40. Tom, very true. The Turks mainly entered the war to regain territory that they had previously lost to Russia. The British didn’t want the Turks to possibly take control of the Suez Canal. More than most wars, WW1 remains a story of power and control.

  41. Churchill didn’t want to sacrifice the British at Gallipoli knowing that the losses would be heavy so he sent in the ANZACs as dummies. From old documentaries I have watched the returning Aussie diggers never forgave him. They didn’t talk of any hatred of the Turks, but of Churchill.

  42. so he sent in the ANZACs as dummies

    Actually, I don’t think they just picked on the ANZACs. I saw a doco that had them landing forces all along the peninsula to act as a diversionary tactic. Many forces, many of them English, were simply wiped out. In fact, once they found out that the ANZACs had created a beach-head, they appeared totally unprepared for it, and didn’t really know what to do with it. It was never on their agenda for them to succeed.

    The point being, the Generals appeared quite as happy to sacrifice English lives as they were Australian or New Zealand ones.

  43. More tragic consequences of Bush’s wars:

    It’s estimated that a US war veteran dies every 80 minutes… not in combat, but by committing suicide.

    Nick Lazaredes reports on the emotional scars left behind by service in Iraq and Afghanistan, as veterans return home from war unable to cope with what they’ve experienced.

    In addition to being rocked by some 6,500 suicides each year, the veteran community is grappling with the trauma of returned servicemen killing their families and even complete strangers in violent attacks.

    But who’s helping the veterans deal with what’s known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? No one, say the families, whose pleas for help have been all but ignored.

    With more troops coming home for good in the next few years to both the US and Australia, it’s left many wondering where it will all end.

  44. Not just Bush’s war…

    Rupert Murdoch

    On the Iraq war

    In March 2003, Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Murdoch backed Bush government plans to invade Iraq. “We worry about what people think about us too much in this country. We have an inferiority complex, it seems,” he said.

    “I think what’s important is that the world respects us, much more important than they love us … There is going to be collateral damage. And if you really want to be brutal about it, better we get it done now than spread it over months,” he said.

    In April 2004, days after major military clashes in Iraq, Murdoch wholeheartedly backed the U.S. government policy and dismissed the magnitude of the ongoing guerrilla war against coalition military forces. “We have got to see the job through. And I think it is being misrepresented. There’s tremendous progress in Iraq. All the kids are back at school – ten per cent more than when Saddam Hussein was there. There is one per cent more fresh water. There’s … most of Iraq is doing extremely well,” Murdoch said.
    “There is one small part where the Sunnis are, which were the people who supported Saddam Hussein, who are giving trouble, and more by, I think, giving cover to international terrorists and people from the Taliban and from Afghanistan coming in. And it’s not – this is notable – they’re not really trying to kill Americans even, they’re trying to kill people, like, from the United Nations. Anyone who is trying to come in and help get their country going properly,” he said.

    Murdoch had no doubt that the war in Iraq would have no impact on Bush’s election prospects. “They’re with him on that, completely. He’s going to walk it in. The economy is doing extremely well and, you know, there is an international crisis,” he said.

    In November 2006, on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections, Murdoch downplayed the number of deaths in Iraq. “The death toll, certainly of Americans there, by the terms of any previous war are quite minute,” he said. “Of course no one likes any death toll, but the war now, at the moment, it’s certainly trying to prevent a civil war and to prevent Iraqis killing each other.”

    “I believe it was right to go in there. I believe that certainly the execution that has followed that has included many mistakes,” Murdoch said. “But that’s easy to say after the event. It’s much easier to criticize the conduct of the war today in the media than it was in previous wars. I’m sure there were great mistakes made in the past, too.”

    On January 26, 2007 Murdoch participated in a panel discussion on “Who Will Shape the Agenda?” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In response to the moderator asking if “News Corp. managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq, Murdoch said: ‘No, I don’t think so. We tried.’ Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: ‘We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution.'”


  45. Tom, and in those days one might say that the armed services in senior ranks were not filled to the brim with talent. Tradition had it for the aristocracy that the eldest son inherited, the 2nd son entered the church and the 3rd son or the ne’er do well was sent into the Army.

  46. JooR Here…

    I would like to address the Author of the post that criticises my piece because I am pushing the muliticutural agenda…
    (please excuse the langugae to follow) …

    But Sir/Madam…
    whatever the gender you are.. please allow me to tell you what a God Damned Fucking Moron you are, your appalling lack of Knowledge in regard to the history of who FOUGHT ALONG SIDE US .. is frightenly sickening.

    Your comments are a slap in the face to the indigenous for have fought in many of our conflicts, A slap in the face to the African and other *coloured* soldiers ( the Ghurkas, the Hmong, the Indians , The islanders that hid our troops from the Japanese) .. and one of the worst slaps in the face.. To the *Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of New Guinea.

    I WILL remind you that .. Mostly .. Our enemies have been extremely like ourselves .. **NICE AND WHITE** even Christian,
    In WW2 we had the Pope bless the troops who were about to go into battle against our allies troops.. SO MUCH for similar cultures..

    SO, Jarl Ragnvald…your utter ignorance negates EVERYTHING you wrote.. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME for you.
    yours ever so sincerely

  47. ……….I’m actually of Middle Eastern descent. Shhhh, the other half is English.

    Then i must insist that you go and stand in te corner, Migs. Why, I have no idea, I must have been programmed to react to “Middle” and “Eastern”. 😯

    When I was about 7, we lived on a scrub block in the south east. Because we had no money, my father got a job with the E&WS draining the south east, which was actually a vast wetlands stretching from Meningie into western Victoria.

    He was too scarred by the depression to consider being a soldier settler. His co-workers on the drains came from every corner of the world, men who had either lost their families during the war or were displaced persons trying to rebuild their lives in this country as well as two Aboriginal men from Meningie.

    Each weekend, my father would bring home an assortment of his fellow workers, who would otherwise have had to stay in the camp in the middle of nowhere.

    I still remember those Friday and Saturday nights. The Europeans were mostly from middle Europe, including one Russian, who used to get drunk and depressed, poor bugger.

    The Aboriginal men were like chalk and cheese-one sadly unable to handle grog, but a lovely man, the other a commanding dignified leader of men, who could drink anyone under the table, but rarely felt compelled to do so.

    The point of this story is that the refugees wanted a fresh start, a bit of kindness and understanding and some family life which they were able to have briefly with us. That experience has shaped my attitude to those who come here looking for that fresh start.

    They also were boat people, refugees, most of whom had lost their papers in the turmoil WW2 had created. They were looking for a new life free from the wasteland the war had created at home, just like the current boat people.

    No doubt there were a few wrong ‘uns as there are in any society, but we’ve been the beneficiaries of that migration on so many levels.

    It gladdens my heart to see and hear the voices, of all these cultures enriching us. I feel very sorry for those whose minds and hearts are so closed to the all these people have to offer.

    I watched a tv program on the Anzac tradition yesterday, during which letters and diary entries by both ANZAC and Turkish soldiers were read. The most moving, imo was from a young Turkish soldier writing a farewell to his parents in which he asked them to look after his wife and two young sons and to pray for him and for the enemy soldiers, who would kill him a fortnight later.

    The respect shown to the fallen ANZAC and British soldiers by the Turks then and now does us all proud. We should at least attempt to emulate their attitude.

  48. JooR, this from Jarl’s comment:

    You never miss an opportunity to float your multiculturalist agenda

    Quite extraordinary, don’t you think? Your first ever post here yet, apparently, you never miss an opportunity to float your multiculturalist agenda. 😯

    Obviously your reputation precedes you. :mrgreen:

    Ignoring Jarl for now, the positive responses your post has attracted (both here and Facebook) far outshine the negative. Well done. We’d be honoured to have you write for us again.

  49. Turkey had a very hard time actually deciding whether to stay out of the war or what side to be on.. It wasnt a simple case of Let’s Go With THOSE GUYS..

    their decision could have JUST have easily had been to side with us..

    I think that is where we often make a huge mistake about War.. breaking it up into the GOOD GUY and the BAD GUYS .. it is far more complex and while we have agressors which possibly can be classed as BAD Guys.. There’s always MORE to the story
    And Also .. the general run of the mill footslogger on our side… He/she is definitely not that different to the general run of the mill footslogger on the other side

    And alliances are formed, not because of who is good and who is bad,,, but by who can do more for YOU and What can WE get out of it… and anybody who thinks TOO much otherwise. has been watching too many Hollywood movies.

    Don’t Kid yourself to think that it is about Much more..

  50. My Italian neighbor bought this home to me when after nearly 20 years he returned to his homeland.

    He was always concerned of the freedom kids had here and how shocking it was.

    When he returned, the first thing he said to me, was that it was worse in Italy. In other words, not only was Australia changing, so was Italy.

    How often does that occur, CU?

    When you leave your country of origin, that is the template of its culture you carry with you. You forget that as the new culture you live in is constantly changing, so is the old one.

    A friend had this experience. In her street was an Italian family with 2 daughters, both born here.

    Neither of these women would go out without a chaperone and were very scathing about the morals of Aussie girls who never were chaperoned by a male family member or a granny.

    My friend was surprised at this attitude because their parent’s attitude was nfar more relaxed.

    They both decided they would go Italy, find themselves husbands and live happily ever after in the medieval culture they imagined. To their horror 1970s Italy was the antithesis of all they fondly imagined.

    Girls had jobs, wore revealing clothing and went out completely unchaperoned and slept with their boyfriends!

    After just a few weeks the women returned broken hearted and still like aliens in a world which had moved on and left them marooned in a culture which no longer existed.

    I never did hear whether they came out of their self-imposed cocoons, but I often wonder.

  51. And Also .. the general run of the mill footslogger on our side… He/she is definitely not that different to the general run of the mill footslogger on the other side

    That’s exactly how my father felt about the Japanese he fought against in New Guinea. They were just like him, but fighting on the other side.

    He respected them. He said you had to respect your enemy. The moment you didn’t was the moment you dropped your guard. Your chances of getting killed thus greatly increased.

  52. Jane and..

    Girls had jobs, wore revealing clothing and went out completely unchaperoned and slept with their boyfriends!

    After just a few weeks the women returned broken hearted and still like aliens in a world which had moved on and left them marooned in a culture which no longer existed.

    I had the exact same thing happen with a Greek friend of mine. She was not allowed out without a chaperone and the family arranged a marriage for her with a good Greek “boy”..some 20 years her senior, from the old country. She went back to Greece to discover that her parents were living in their idealised world of 20 years ago.

  53. One of the lesser known stories of WW1 was how the Turks caused the death of 800,000 Armenian civilians. Don’t quote me on those figures.

    They marched those people without food or rest until the last one had dropped dead.

    It didn’t win the Turks many friends.

  54. Roswell,
    AND there is yet to be Recognition in the form of Apology for that event also……..

    please don’t think my piece here was in any way an attempt to dimiss that event

  55. Can I just say that yesterday was the first day of shopping in Adleaide on ANZAC day.

    Luckily, it wasa huge faiulure.

    I think it is disgusting that, on such a day of rememberance, the shops push their wares on people again, often with hollow platitudes about ‘teh Diggers’

    It makes me sick.

    Same with the football, and overpaid sportsmen getting their ‘ANZAC’ day medals.

    It misses the whole point, imo, and demeans it.

    I was glad to see that, Gallipoli has reverted from the rock concert it once was, and is now simply a sombre occasion. Apparently, they played documentaries and the like in the evening, instead of glitzy songs. Well done to them.

  56. Roswell, the Turks were also known for their use of torture. The Bedouin tribespeople originally sided with the Turks but later switched sides to the British..and later rued the day for making that decision. The British promised them recognition, and reneged, relegating their concerns to that of lowly colonials.

    And the British tended to treat everyone this way, they were the Empire and we and all other colonials were way down the social ladder.

  57. Not at all, JooR. I enjoyed your piece and grasped the meaning. I commend you on your great effort.

  58. JooR, to add to your list of coloured folk..the Pacific Islanders who hid many of our service people from the Japanese, who provided them with rations when the Japanese had them on starvation diets.

    One of the stories that I love of WW2 is of the Japanese Hawaiians who served in Europe, all volunteers in spite of many of their own families being incarcerated for the duration of the war as possible enemies of the state. They couldn’t be sent to the Pacific just in case they were accidentally shot by allied troops.

  59. Min, my father said many diggers owe their lives to the Fuzzy Wuzzies. And to think the Fuzzy Wuzzies wanted to stay out of the war if not for the Japanese cruelty towards them.

  60. I remember when soccer was considered a wog’s game, spaghetti was wog food and wine was called plonk.

    Me too, Min. But spaghetti came in a tin and you had it on toast with an egg, for breakfast. 😯

    Oy, Bacchus @11.19pm 25/4. I thought it was man flu, a strain of virus peculiar to the male sex (:oops:) which is far more serious and life threatening than the common cold we females suffer? 😕

    Nas’ @9.43am, the irony is that I doubt that we’re getting too much respect for our roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The really worrying thing is that we don’t seem to have learned anything since the Vietnam conflict wrt post conflict rehabilitation and support for returned soldiers.

    We seem to be making the same old mistakes; no matter what we think of our involvement, the soldiers don’t get to pick and choose their deployment. These men have been sent to experience some of the most terrible things anybody has to bear.

    We owe them and their families the safety net they need to return to normal life. What is happening is a disgrace.

    And these chickens will be coming home to roost here, perhaps as early as July next year. We need to have the assistance in place!

    JooR, great post and rebuttal of Aryan Nation sentiments. Interestingly, I doubt that holders of those sentiments realise that the sub continent is full to the brim of Aryans.

    Why can’t people celebrate the diversity of sizes, shapes, customs, languages and cultures that exist on the planet? After all, all of us outside of Africa share a common male and female ancestor.

    The differences are skin deep; if we need a blood transfusion, it’s the blood type which is important, not the physical appearance.

  61. We mustn’t forget WHO it was that started the idea of Concentration camps either.. and it wasn’t the **BAD GUYS**…..

  62. Tom R, I’m with you wrt having the shops open on ANZAC day. The holiday is not for an orgy of shopping, ffs! If they want it to be business as usual, they should all go to work, afaic, not just the retail workers.

    What an insult to all the dead, injured and survivors!

    It should be a day for remembering the sacrifies made by those who fought, bled and occasionally died, their families and the civilian victims of these conflicts.

    And contemplating how we can stop engaging in these slaughters.

  63. And the British tended to treat everyone this way, they were the Empire and we and all other colonials were way down the social ladder.

    Especially them darkies, Min. And Gyppos and WOGS and……..

  64. Several Yrs ago now K-Mart was pushing for an all Day trading right on ANZAC Day…. Myself and what must have been 1/3 of the nation bombarded them with phone calls and emails and they ended their push….

    I even hate the way the shops are open half a day ..

  65. Yes Jane – man flu was what I nearly died from. Turns out Migs only had one of those woossy head colds :mrgreen:

    I mentioned to the receptionist at the doctor the other day that I was had man flu. She laughed and sent her commiserations to Mrs Bacchus 😆

  66. Oh how age doth weary (and soften) those of us who are left to grow old.

    Once upon a time broken bones or storms couldn’t keep me away from the battle grounds of the football field.

    These days I don’t even like to get my hair wet. 😦

  67. Bacchus @12.14pm, I trust the redoubtable (and long suffering) Mrs Bacchus recieved the message verbatim? Has she stopped laughing?

    How is she, btw? I realise she has a lot to put up with. Please give my best wishes and commiserations to her.

  68. LOL – yes Jane – she had a cackle too.

    Thanks for asking – she’s good. Got some of her stitches out today – she was hoping to get them all out as we’re headed up to the Sunshine Coast for a few days from tomorrow – the rest come out on Monday. Pathology showed no cancerous cells at the extremities of the chunk of flesh that was removed, so all good.

    Just as we get through that one, we’ve found out that sister-in-law has breast cancer. Once again though, prognosis is good. Surgeon said it’s the best possible result apart from not having cancer at all – they found it very early. She gets the lump removed next month, and will then know if further treatment (radium) is required.

  69. Thanks Migs – she’s quite upbeat about it now. Her & hubby are off for a holiday for a couple of weeks to the NW of WA, Broome area.

    I think the visit to the surgeon this morning has reassured her that she’s got a very good chance of coming out the other side relatively unscathed. She’s also got several friends who’ve recently been through or are going through breast cancer as well, so lots of support. Actually, they all used to work in the same office – coincidence, or cluster i wonder…

  70. Bacchus, proven over and over that a positive frame of mind does more for a person’s wellbeing than any number of drugs.

    Perhaps one day researchers will discover the common factor, however for the present the cynic in me suggests that businesses do not want to know about it for fear of litigation – the major downside in business rather than governments being in charge of funding for research.

  71. Don’t listen to her Migs – that evil girl flu morphs into deadly man flu once it gets a whiff of testosterone :mrgreen:

  72. Jane wrote: We owe them and their families the safety net they need to return to normal life. What is happening is a disgrace.

    I agree Jane. The returning soldiers will need a great deal of assistance to adapt to civilian life…and deal with their trauma…some of them the “turned on” aggressivity.

    We can’t afford to ignore these issues.

    Jane wrote: And these chickens will be coming home to roost here, perhaps as early as July next year. We need to have the assistance in place!

    Indeed. If there is not appropriate, effective funding and help for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other combat-related issues in place it’s the immediate family of the soldiers I worry about…I’ve witnessed firsthand the abuse inflicted on a wife by a returned military officer with problems.


  73. JooR wrote: Even realising that the bloke on the other side of the trenches, though with a different faith, a different language and a different look were really not that unlike ourselves… They had family, they had mates, they had their fears and their nightmares….The bled when they were wounded and died when their wounds were too great.

    Indeed JooR.

    Certainly it’s a bit different when you’re dealing with war criminals…the scoundrels who committed attrocities in the SS…some of these brutes in the Syrian regime…

    but the average soldier has fought to protect their family, land, country…or been forced into joining and fighting by dictatorial regimes who threaten their lives and families…

    and nationalistic propaganda machines can really do a job on their heads…particularly if they are exposed to little else.

    My grandfather on my Dad’s side ended his military career as an officer in charge of prisoners of war…he found many of the Germans and their allies to be regular down-to-earth folk.

    War is oft created by extreme nationalistic (sometimes overly religious) politicians and generals egged on by those who benefit financially from invasion, expansion and so on…including industrialists and resource companies…with the aid of propaganda machines…

    in this day and age the 24hr corporate media has become addicted to the LIVE and handheld action shots and competition style buildups to war.


    It’s not surprising that many participants of war feel traumatised and exploited by the end of conflict.

    A FEW walk around with their bank accounts and vaults stuffed fall of the spoils of war.

    The regular folk need to put their differences aside…and realise who is screwing them over…using them.

    Dopey flag waving xenophobic ockers just assist the profiteers and creators of war.

    Good post.


  74. Good news about Mrs Bacchus. Enjoy your break and I hope all goes well for your s-i-l.

    Which reminds me Min. How’s your Mum? OK I hope.

  75. Thank you Jane, yes Mum is doing ok. My cousin is dropping around every week and I phone her every other day. Instead of walking 2kms each way to the library, she is now catching the tram back.

  76. And speaking of Radar O’Riley….. what are we drink’n to/for….. (like it matters) …. cheers…. 🙂

  77. Jane wrote: Good news about Mrs Bacchus. Enjoy your break and I hope all goes well for your s-i-l.

    I’ll second that.

    Bacchus, please give yer wife and sister-in-law our best wishes.

    Keep up the great supportive approach.

    Yer a goodie.


  78. Min, your Mum must be a real goer! Great news that she’s OK and you’ve got someone on hand to ndrop in and make sure she’s OK. A great relief for you.

    Give her my best wishes.

  79. It’s also significant to note that were it not for the arogance of the British in and about the Crimean War, we need not have fought there, and it was the British Lords of the Admiralty, and one Winston Churchill, that put us there, however it has forged a great tradition.

  80. Agree with you on both points, Chris. We embrace the tradition yet it was the old diggers who pointed the finger of blame at Churchill.

    It was also Churchill who wanted the Aussies to forget about New Guinea and get the diggers to help out the British in WW2. Menzies supported this. Can you imagine the consequences if the Japanese had have reached Port Moresby?

    Fortunately, a defiant Curtin sent the troops to New Guinea.

  81. That indeed was the attitude, that the colonials were the expendables. It wasn’t until Darwin was attacked that Australians thought, wait a moment..what about us. The British only ever considered the Pacific conflict of minor importance. Hence the rise of importance of the Americans to Australia.

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