Memories of a Second Class Cricketer

A Good Innings

I

Because cricket was for many years my chief escape from what are sometimes  laughingly called serious affairs, I promised myself I would never write about it. This is the seventh book I promised never to write.

Benny Green A History of  Cricket  Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1988.

For my agnostic father Alex, cricket was a religion. Perhaps it was an obsession.

Whatever it was, he bowled countless leg breaks or wrong’uns to my brother Vic and me in our backyards or on holidays wherever we went. That was probably the reason I hit Australian leg-spinner Peter Philpott for four leg-side boundaries on the Sydney Cricket Ground for Combined Country against Sydney in 1957. I don’t wish to imply I was ever a first-class cricketer, so that makes those boundaries an even greater achievement for my Dad.

During our annual visits to Berrara, a camping place of long ago (in the Forties) south of Nowra, off Fisherman’s Rock Road, we took a big spade and made a turf wicket for the “Test” matches that went on through the school holidays. There were plenty of players from the tents around us.

Mum and Dad were parents of the Great Depression and I was born in the alleged winding down year, 1933. Dad made me a billy-cart for Santa one Christmas, and added a cricket bat he also fashioned himself. Lots of cricket bats followed though, real ones, with compound cricket balls (cork not leather)  to play with as times changed for the better.

I remember buying a Stuart Surridge bat from Mick Simmons’ sports store:  George Street, corner with Campbell Street. Simmons made his money first from tobacco and then branched into sporting goods. Creams and shirts were bought there too. I loved going into that shop. Mick also would employ famous sportsmen to serve there, another big attraction for me and many others. Sport was not a corporate business then so the “stars” of the time were probably often glad of that job.

As I write, other sporting stores of my era come to mind. I bought my first wicket-keeping gloves from Bert Oldfield’s store, 243 Pitt Street Sydney. He taught me where to stand behind the stumps, advice I kept for the rest of my wicket-keeping days. A funny anomaly in those first cricket days was the sticky stuff we used to put on wicket-keeping gloves. Now I realise that if you didn’t concentrate, didn’t watch the ball and thus moved too late and snatched, the glue was a waste of time and money.

Yes times did move on as I’ve implied. In that past, you oiled your bat with linseed oil  – quite a test of your loving care. I think I remember rolling it with a broom handle and bouncing cricket balls on the surface to harden it. How different things are now – iron clad surfaces already on some of the bats you buy!

I remember too Stan McCabe’s store. He was a very quiet man who always served you courteously and humbly.  I bought in particular practice cricket balls from him. I was very sad to hear of his untimely death when it happened long ago now. His deeds against bodyline don’t die.

My introduction to Sydney Grade cricket came from Glebe South Sydney. This was because we moved to Newtown. I have learnt that the administrators of the grade competition decided, I think around 1910, that you had to live in the area of the club you played for. That aimed to strengthen the competition and draw crowds. So because I lived in Newtown, off I went to Jubilee Oval Glebe via the Glebe Point tram.

Albert (Tibby) Cotter, Warren Bardsley, Charles Kelleway and Bertie Oldfield all played for Glebe. Cotter, Bardsley and Kelleway also went to Forest Lodge Primary where Bardsley Senior was headmaster for many years, having taught one time in Warren, New South Wales. Oldfield was secretary of the Glebe Club in 1915.

Tibby Cotter was actually killed, in his life’s prime,  at the Battle of Beersheba in October 1917. He chose to join the cavalry charge although not strictly required to do so. As I write, the centenary of that event is being celebrated with full military honours. We can actually join the celebration of this and other fatal events for a deposit of $500 AU and then further payments. Death and destruction have strange bedfellows these days.

We young Glebe players were cared for paternally by a small group of senior players. I remember especially Jim Bowden, the First Grade keeper and later a Sheffield Shield umpire. A lucky friend for me. There was practice at the nets and there were practice matches mixing the grades on the main oval.

It was a great inspiration for us lower grade players to practice with the seniors. Ron Kissell, a state player, was there. He played eleven first class matches for New South Wales between 1946 and 1952. Bobby Madden was also there, an opening batsman briefly for New South Wales and a soccer player for Australia. I remember when he was dismissed for 99 for the state. 

One of the umpires in those practice matches was George Borwick, an umpire in the Bodyline series. Mrs Borwick made and served, with other ladies, afternoon tea for us. That was the kind of community we had then and will always need.

Mr Borwick was an influence on me. I remember a durable piece of advice: “If you think you are not out, look in the scorebook.” That has stabilised me many times since.

I was chosen in the club’s Green Shield (under 15) team as a leg spinner. I remember in a match at Waitara Oval that the fence was far to close for my bowling..

I made it into Fourth Grade as a batsman however, and so began a beautiful friendship. Then a wicket-keeper was needed so I volunteered. The friendship blossomed. Jim Bowden was a great help to me down a few years.

Those years passed and I worked my way up into Second Grade. Never to First Grade with that club.

Then came the family move to Ferodale, four miles north of Raymond Terrace on the Pacific Highway. In his usual way, Dad fostered my cricket interests as well as all the others. In conversation with Doug Rawlings, the manager of a shoe-store in Raymond Terrace, Dad found a link with Northern Districts Cricket Club in Maitland.

Another beautiful friendship began there, both with Doug and family and with cricket. Maitland has a special place in my life. I met my wife there much later. The cricket too is a lasting memory.

I remember Doug Rawlings, a memorable man who drove me up from Raymond Terrace each Saturday, and often rolled the wicket before a match. Col Johnstone, a State second eleven player, was our captain and my mentor. Our opening bowler’s name was indeed Mudd. The other opener was Keith Smith – a source of inspiration too as he had lost an arm in a factory accident. He batted quite well and bowled very well. He got a hat-trick against a visiting Sydney team (Western Suburbs). There, with those true friends, I studied the game further.

Inter-district cricket was one of the joys of that time. I met Doug Walters then, a while before his fame. He was a Dungog lad. I noticed the strength of his forearms.

The inter-district cricket led to selection in the Combined Country team of 1957.

Combined Country Selection

It all happened because I had resigned from teaching for a year to play cricket. First came the selection trial match at Tamworth. I survived that. On next to another match in Armidale. I survived that. Finally on to Grafton Oval. No mistakes there either, and I remember taking a diving catch out near square leg. That may have helped me gain selection in the final team.

At this time of writing I interpose a momentary reflection on Robert Holland. “Dutchy” has just passed away. Fate has been kind to me as I had the honour of playing Golden Oldies cricket with him in Vancouver and in Queensland.

A most inspiring person. Kind, humble and gifted in sport. I was present at the Sydney Cricket Ground when he took ten wickets against the West Indies when they were at the height of their power. I lost my voice for a week or so from cheering. I remember his Lords achievement of many wickets too.

Another kindness of fate was my sitting next to him in an Air New Zealand plane en route to Vancouver for twenty-odd hours. There was so much to share on that lucky journey. He told me of his talk with Bill O’Reilly when he Robert was chosen for Australia. O’Reilly told him the bowler was captain when the bowler bowled.

When he went to England, Robert saw fit to talk to the great English leg break bowler Douglas VP Wright, whom I saw dismiss Don Bradman with a lifting “leggie”  at the SCG just after the war. Wright apparently took eleven hat-tricks in his cricket lifetime. The advice from the Englishman, who by the way had a long run up and spread his arms like wings just before his last stride of the delivery, was to bowl the third ball of the hat-trick fast and on the stumps.

“Dutchie” was a gentle man; he was humble and not intent on winning above all else. I am so lucky to have known him and he gave me a stumping in one of his Golden Oldies overs. I am sad he has gone but memory eases the pain a little.

Now back to my narrative… (I will go on writing from here soon.)

Au revoir to the reader,

Royce

Gateway

My Time With Gateway

This is a little story about a university group. It is a tale of adversity, determination and, in many cases, ultimate triumph. The students who joined that group had experienced life the hard way. Some had been floored by drugs, there were several divorcees with children, one candidate had MS and used to talk to me each week about how his friends were getting weaker and sometimes dying; I have a beautiful painted shell given to me by one of several indigenous members of the group, and there was a blind student who typed her answers deliberately without using brail.

Gateway was a program, funded by the Federal Labor government in 1989, at the University of Wollongong. It was a spin off from the similarly funded “New Start” program, which my colleagues and I ran at UWS, two years before, with promising success.

This so-called equity scheme was a one-semester course for non-matriculated students to give them a chance to enter university. There was an English component, a mathematics component, and introductions to various aspects of university life, such as the library and the student union.

I am not a mathematician so my information on that is zero, except to say that the staff member was a revered member of the Mathematics Teachers’ Association, had both feet on the ground, and was a highly experienced university teacher.

As for English, we taught them that when you speak, you write on air, but when you write for formal occasions such as essays or examinations, it stays there for everyone to see and judge. We focused on the university essay and ways to make it good. We discussed especially the power of the sentence as a package of meaning; faulty package: damaged meaning.

We explained that every essay, whether it is an assignment or an exam question, ALWAYS has two components: the topic words, which tell you what to write about, and the directives, that tell you how to write about it. So, for Compare and contrast Sydney and Melbourne as modern cities, the topic words are Sydney and Melbourne, and the directive is compare and contrast as modern cities. To succeed here, you must talk about both cities; you must both compare and contrast them and not merely describe them; you must also discuss them as modern cities, not (necessarily) as football teams.

There is another essential. To do well you must have worked hard and know a lot about the two cities. The point though was that a fountain of knowledge sabotaged by irrelevance or incompleteness leads to at least disappointment, if not failure. Naturally spelling, grammar, style and narrative structure were among the outcomes of the weekly marking and post mortem discussions.

Can you decrypt this code I filled their first essays with: KTTQ?

It was Keep To The Question. Failure here still is a common weakness.

Candidates were given a 250-word essay to write each week. It was marked and returned to them in the next lesson a week away. There was always a post mortem session on strengths and weaknesses before the next lesson started. Words in excess of 250 were penalised. Too many, and the essay was marked but with a zero score. They were all informed of Blaise Pascal et al.’s famous words: “I am sorry I have not time to write you a short letter; I have to write you a long one.”

We worked through some of the commonest university tasks: description, analysis by resolution of controversy, analysis through definition or clarification, analysis through interpretation, the writing of technical reports and individual creative responses. We learnt the best way: with quick feedback from our mistakes. Everyone had to give a speech before the class group (a terrifying task for some) and we nurtured each other through that and every other ordeal. It was good for me as the teacher too. To teach is to learn something twice. Notice I prefer the word “teach” to “lecture.”

Now I want to talk about a few people I remember specially. No names, as we have such respect for each other, and they seem to be sitting beside me now, although it is part of two decades ago.

In one of the night classes, a man and a woman were sitting at the back of the room. I said to the class, “I might bring my ‘thesises’ next week to show you.” Within about two minutes, both of them were standing up waving their dictionaries at me. “You should have said “theses.”

I was a student of Professor Wilkes, at Sydney University. He had spent much of his life getting rid of Latin and Greek endings in English. I brought them my Collins Dictionary, which Professor Wilkes edited, and there was my version too. But I agreed with them that their version was easier to say.

The male student is a lawyer now. During his Law studies, he became World Champion Client Interviewer. It was a very big contest, run for law students around the world. He won the final in Scotland. The woman who waved the dictionary was an expectant mother. The baby joined us about a week after the Gateway course finished, and I had the delight of giving a present to a beautiful baby girl. Her mother was a brilliant student, went on to an honours degree and a position at the university.

On another occasion, I was spoken to on the telephone by the daughter of a potential student, who was seeking admission to the program for her mother. It turned out that both the mother and father were involved in a bus disaster some time previously in Queensland. Both were unconscious for a long time and both eventually survived. Recovering, they returned to Wollongong and were getting on with their usual life when the father dropped dead at the family home. The daughters wanted a remedy for the empty sadness.

We admitted the mother to the course. I could hear the screams of joy from her daughters in the background when I rang to tell them. That student walked with the aid of a walking stick. I remember her delightful, meticulous, small handwriting, and her willingness to discard her former ways and try something new. One of the first things I had said to each beginning class was “Warning! Warning! This course is dangerous to your preconceptions.”

The vision I remember most, however, of that particular brave person is her long walk to the stage on Graduation night, without her walking stick, in a beautiful, sparkling, black dress that contrasted with her neatly arranged, white hair. She entered university and studied with one of her daughters.

On another memorable occasion we had a call from the Secretary of the Steelers Rugby League Club, seeking a place for one of his young players. I was impressed by the caring attitude of that League official and his concern for the player’s welfare. The young man was qualified to enter the course, so in he came. He did the course, but was a star second-rower in First Grade for many seasons, with no time for university. Perhaps he could have used his entry qualifications later in life.

I remember too, a brave and diligent divorced mother with children who was badly treated by a recalcitrant ex-spouse. She dreamed of becoming a family lawyer. She became one.

We had a very popular leader of a musical group, suddenly dreaming of becoming an academic. Through Gateway, he gained university entry and an Honours degree in Creative Arts. He went on to his PhD thesis. Alas! When he passed away two years ago, I lost a true friend.

I am not sure I can explain the success of this group. In the six years I taught in the program, I could feel a sense of their bonding, their support for each other in a common cause. It is something that is hard for teachers to create, and even harder to define.

The Gateway group was the most successful of any identifiable undergraduate group in the University. Changes came, with lack of funding from the Federal Government, but I was gone then and the struggle belonged to somebody else. Sadly that gateway is now closed.

I still have a message from one of the women in the very first Gateway class, on a card given to me on my retirement from the University. It says, “Royce I will never forget you.” She had won the University Medal for Psychology.

Somehow, when I think of all my failures, of all the things I wish I had done better, people like these tap me on the shoulder and say, “Never mind; you did your best.”

So here I am in the wasteland of advanced maturity. Can you imagine how I feel, with my background, when I see the barriers to university study placed on students today. Wherever I go – OfficeWorks, Woolworths and Coles checkouts and elsewhere – I wish young people good luck with their studies and with their HECS payment. Almost always they smile back and thank me.

I have three degrees, each taking six years of part-time study. Because of the whims of time I have not paid one cent of HECS.  In fact the Department of Education of New South Wales actually paid for my first degree’s university tuition.  Such a golden age that was. Somebody then understood that the thousands of pupils in my 50 years of teaching would all fill workplaces and pay taxes. Lord what fools these present day political mortals be!

And what bigger fools vote for them!

Afterthought

If you have failed in one of those diabolical, terminal, one-off qualifying tests and still want to go to university, don’t give up. Go for it as a provisionally matriculated student. You’ll have experience on your side. R.

On Testing English

Words are loaded pistols according to Rudyard Kipling.

You certainly can shoot yourself in the foot with those unruly, dangerous little things. Some political power-seekers are showing  prodigious naivety when they claim a one-off test of English skills will be a valid and reliable measure of acceptability for new citizenship. This Fallacy of the Crucial Experiment, the implied existence of evidence that doesn’t exist, is the Trump Card of too many leaders now in power. Today, when I hear a politician speak, I tend so often to think both feet are wounded and there isn’t a leg to stand on.

My evidence won’t take long.

Here are three pieces of writing for hypothetical assessment. Let’s see what hypothetical marking achieves.

Sample 1

Fellers of Australier,

Blokes an’ coves an’ coots,

Shift yer bloody carcasses,

Move yer bloody boots.

Gird yer bloody loins up,

Get yer bloody gun,

Set the bloody enermy

An’ watch the blighters run.

MARKING: Spelling Errors 7; Comma Splices: 3; Vulgar Words: 5; Excessive Abbreviations: 3; Capitalisation Errors: 0; Punctuation Errors: 0; Style Ranking: Extremely low class, repetitive and undignified. Test Result: FAIL.

Sample 2

The soil on which we now live was not a gift bestowed by Heaven on our forefathers. But they had to conquer it by risking their lives. So also in the future our people will not obtain territory, and therewith the means of existence, as a favour from any other people, but will have to win it by the power of a triumphant sword.

MARKING: Spelling Errors 0; Comma Splices: 0; Vulgar Words: 0; Capitalisation Errors: 0; Punctuation Errors: 0; Style Ranking: Elegant and emotionally moving.                            Test Result: DISTINCTION.

Sample 3

Hi Royce

How are you doing?

Congratulations on your marriage. I wish you and your wife would be happy.

Royce I would like to thank you on your assistance during I study here. Royce here is my souvenier. I do hope you still remember me by this souvenier.

Although  my structure sentences are not good, I still receive your corrections. Again, thank’s very much on your assistance.

(Name withheld )

MARKING: Spelling Errors 2; Comma Splices: 0; Vulgar Words: 0; Excessive Abbreviations: 3; Capitalisation Errors:3; Punctuation Errors: 4; Style Ranking: Much improvement needed in sentence structure. Test Result: FAIL.

FINAL DECISION: Candidate 1 Citizenship Denied; Candidate 2 Citizenship Approved. Candidate 3 Citizenship Denied

Sources:  Sample 1 Candidate 1 C J Dennis. Extract from his poem  “The Australaise.” Sample 2 Candidate 2  A. Hitler Extract from Mein Kampf, page 556. Sample 3 Candidate an unnamed student from Indonesia completing a Masters program at an Australian university. Special Note: The Sample 3 student became aware that I was a widower who had married again. The souvenir was just a little card. The student went on to graduate. The date was December 29, 1992. I still have the card. Another graduate, on becoming aware of my second marriage at age 62, sent me a card from Thailand hoping I would soon have lots of little grandchildren. Such people would still be honoured in my life now, for as long as they desired, if they could survive the regulations.

politifact-photos-Standardized_test_image

[Image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons; photographer unknown]

EPILOGUE: The Earth is peopled not by categories but by extremely complex human beings. Progressive, structured assessment over a period of time, with workshops and teaching is an essential way to rank us. A study-guide controlled, hit or miss showcase of pretence test is not.

But I’ve been a teacher K to university for the last fifty years or so and politicians don’t seem to listen to us.

r.

Afterthought

Here’s a little poem I wrote some years ago. It may be relevant; I don’t know…

Dear Teacher Did You Read It?

‘Our headmaster thought the school was marvellous and wouldn’t face up to facts.’ A fifteen-year- old school-leaver, quoted in The Newsome Report: ‘Half our future’–1963 (England)
Dear teacher did you really read my story really truly read it really truly?
What I said was true–
My darling mother died when I was only ten.
It is true I didn’t understand we’d never meet again.
It is true I longed just one more time to hold her hand in mine.
It is true I jigged away on trains
To the end of every line.
It is true my father ran away
When his world seemed to end.
It is true I searched the human race and couldn’t find my friend.
It is true you are busy every day planning and doing your work.
So much to read and so much to say that it’s only rest you shirk.
But why did you talk about full stops and little slips of the pen
And give me an E on my report card and make me write it again?
Dear teacher did you really read my story really truly read it really truly?

August 2006

PS: I love C J Dennis. He is one of my favourite writers. He provided good material for this piece however. r.

Incompetent Scientists Trumped

Bilge

Creative Commons Is Our Image Source

Vale Global Warming AKA Climate Change

NOTE WELL:The Hogwash, Bilge, Claptrap And Hooey Are Over

AT LAST OUR REALITY IS VERIFIED, VALIDATED AND ENDORSED

All Hail to Post Truth!

Now we can put the lies of 98% of the world’s scientists in their rightful place.

Look at this example of what we can now cast aside forever…

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.

The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient or paleoclimate evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.3

The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:

If you want to read more of this claptrap go here.

Ah but the folly of all the rot, moonshine, hooey, garbage is over now. The recent brave, dramatic act of the Australian Treasurer:  holding up before the cameras a piece of coal as a stage prop, is now bearing fruit.

Yes It’s All Over! Scientism Bites The Dust!

We now have the world’s most powerful ally.

2016-08-08-1470670721-3250713-donaldtrump
Image From Creative Commons

President Donald Trump Agrees With Us…

Wow! What an ally!

Take a windswept look at this:

President Trump’s proposed budget plan calls for a $100 million cut in funding for climate change programmes. 

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said during a press conference: “We’re not spending money on that anymore” because he said federal climate change programmes are a “waste of your [tax] money.”

Wow! Wow! Wow! Now he is spreading the word around the world. Jobs! Jobs for the miners and coal CEOs will follow.It’s great!  Great! Great! Great! Great! Great! Great!

Yes! The Age of Action at last has arrived, thank Gold;

Truth and Certainty.

Now it’s goodbye from me and it’s goodbye to stormy weather,

r.

On The Matter Of Unjust Laws

Obedience to the Law is on our Australian minds just now. Fascinating questions on a recent  ABC’s 7.30 Report concerning cutbacks to penalty rates and obeying the law as a duty.

Just thinking…

Saint Augustine: An Opinion

A law proven unjust is no longer a law.

Now here is a law passed by a democratically elected government:

The Enabling Act:  Source: http://www.worldfuturefund.org/Reports2013/hitlerenablingact.htm Date March 1 2017  6.58 AM.

“Law for Removing the Distress of Volk and Reich.”

The protection of the frontiers of the Reich, and with them the life of our Volk and the existence of our economy, is now in the hands of our Reichswehr which, in accordance with the terms imposed upon us by the Treaty of Versailles, can be regarded as the only really disarmed force in the world. In spite of its small size prescribed therein and its totally insufficient arms, the German Volk can regard its Reichswehr with proud satisfaction. This slight instrument of our national self-defense came into existence under the most difficult conditions. In its spirit, it is the bearer of our best military traditions.

Those reading this who, like me, were alive during World War II, will understand my attitude to that particular law. Of many more examples, I choose just one more:

1640 — 1660: The Critical Period: Custom to Law when Status Changed to “Servant for Life”

  • 1639/40 – The General Assembly of Virginia specifically excludes blacks from the requirement of possessing arms
  • 1642 – Black women are deemed tithables (taxable), creating a distinction between African and English women.
  • 1662 – Blacks face the possibility of life servitude. The General Assembly of Virginia decides that any child born to an enslaved woman will also be a slave.

You can read more on my second example here.

My consent for them is not engineered.

I have nothing more to say so I will make this my shortest ever post.

Thanks for being here and happy thinking dear reader,

r.

Bring Forth What Is True

Bring forth what is true

Write it so it’s clear

Defend it with your last breath.

Goethe Faust

Hello and welcome here. You may have discovered by this that I am in the extreme maturity stage, 83 to be exact. I have spent my last two posts sharing memories, largely related to many years of teaching. This one will be a continuation of that process.

I love history. Always loved teaching it. Theatre history in universities, Captain Cook in primary schools, Adolph Hitler in high schools.

Adolph Hitler! Now there’s a subject that might out-rate even the crime soaps of the present.  I am remembering the Hitler of those high school teaching days. I’d love to be still teaching. About the Führer especially. He was a relatively easy subject to conjure up interest in, although not necessarily complete understanding. More thoughts have emerged since my teaching days. So this post will be about that subject, Hitler and his time. Yes. More thoughts.

Now I was not a contemporary of Thespis or Cook when I taught about them. But I was of Hitler. He and I breathed from the same vast canopy of air. Certainly I was only in kindergarten when he consolidated power in Germany. As maturity increased, I was taught to hate him and drew his funny moustache with the rest of his face on my Fifth Class desk (I am ashamed now  to tell you). But just now things are very different. I’ve grown up a bit.

Words! Words! Words!

Are words the “loaded pistols” Jean Paul Sartre knew?

Here are some words from recent research that I could use in new history lessons.

Adolf Hitler – Official Speech on the Enabling Act to the Reichstag:
Berlin, March 23, 1933

In the course of the past fourteen years, our Volk has suffered deterioration in all sectors of life, which could inconceivably have been greater.

Adolf Hitler – Official Speech on the Enabling Act to the Reichstag:
Berlin, March 23, 1933
The program for the reconstruction of the Volk and the Reich is determined by the magnitude of the distress crippling our political, moral and economic life…
Adolf Hitler – Official Speech on the Enabling Act to the Reichstag:
Berlin, March 23, 1933
The theoretical concept of equality before the law shall not be used, under the guise of equality, to tolerate those who despise the laws …

Source of the above: http://www.worldfuturefund.org/Reports2013/hitlerenablingact.htm Date Accessed: 8.2.17

REICH CITIZENSHIP LAW  Nuremberg, September 15, 1935

The Reichstag has unanimously enacted the following law, which is promulgated herewith:

Article 1.

1. A subject of the state is a person who enjoys the protection of the German Reich and who in consequence has specific obligations toward it.

2. The status of subject of the state is acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and the Reich Citizenship Law.

Article 2.

1. A Reich citizen is a subject of the state who is of German or related blood, and proves by his conduct that he is willing and fit to faithfully serve the German people and Reich.

2. Reich citizenship is acquired through the granting of a Reich citizenship certificate.

3. The Reich citizen is the sole bearer of full political rights in accordance with the law.

Article 3.

The Reich Minister of the Interior, in coordination with the Deputy of the Führer, will issue the legal and administrative orders required to implement and complete this law.

Nuremberg, September 15, 1935.

At the Reich Party Congress of Freedom
The Führer and Reich Chancellor [signed] Adolf Hitler
The Reich Minister of the Interior [signed] Frick2

Source of the above laws: http://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/primary-source-133-nuremberg-laws-1935.pdf Date Accessed: 8.2.17

Instructions to Invading Commanders In Chief:    Joseph Goebbels
…there was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be the man in the street.
Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology…Hatred and contempt must be directed at particular individuals.

H. Trevor-Roper (ed), The Goebbels Diaries, p. XX, cited in Regan, Geoffrey. 1987. Great Military Disasters. New York: M. Evans and Company.

Source of diary comment:  http://www.psywarrior.com/quotes.html Date accessed: 8.2.17

Law and Order In Nazi Germany – Sicherheitzpolizei, Sipo (Security Police)

Here is a list of the protectors of the German way of life of the time:

Kriminalpolizei, Kripo (Criminal Police), handled regular crimes and worked in close association with the Schupo.

Weibliche Kriminalpolizei (Women’s Branch of the Criminal Police), worked with women and children.

Geheime Staatspolizei, Gestapo (Secret State Police), handled political crimes.

 – Grenzpolizei (Border Police), handled border protection.

Source for Sipo: http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations/161-germany-polizei/polizei-unsorted/4624-overview-of-the-polizei-forces-in-the-third-reich Date accessed: 8.2.17.

BORDER PROTECTION IN NAZI GERMANY Outlawing and Blocking of the GYPSIES/JEWS
Nuremerg Laws 15 September, 1935

“Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour”

Terminology and Status

Deutschblütiger =  Belongs to the German race and nation; approved to have Reich citizenship = German-blooded = German.

We must prevent further intermingling of blood, and which regulates all the most pressing questions which go together with the existences of Gypsies in the living space of the German nation.  

 Joseph Himmler

Source for terminology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws#Text_of_the_laws Date Accessed 8.2.17.

NAZI CONTEMPT FOR FOREIGNERS: More Instructions For Invading German Leaders :

God knows, you are not sent out there to work for the welfare of the people in your charge, but to get the utmost out of them, so that the German people can live. That is what I expect of your exertions. This everlasting concern about foreign people must cease now, once and for all. I have here before me reports on what you are expected to deliver. It is nothing at all, when I consider your territories. It makes no difference to me in this connection if you say that your people will starve.

Hermann Goering on the 6th August, 1942.

Source of instructions: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/judwarcr.asp Date Accessed: 8.2.17.

NAZI SEPARATION OF THE POWERS   Leader vs Law Courts

The Courts of Pre-Nazi Germany

The independence of judges, before the Nazi regime, was guaranteed by the Weimar Constitution. The fundamental principle was stated briefly in Article 102:

“Judges are independent and subject only to the law.”

Source of the quotation: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/nca/nca-01/nca-01-07-means-18.html Date Accessed: 10 February,2017.

The Courts of Hitler 

If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice for conviction of the offenders, then all that I can say to him is this: in this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people!

Source of Hitler’s words: https://jimsnowden.com/2013/11/06/the-nazi-judiciary/ Date Accessed: 10 February, 2017.

GERMAN MOTHERHOOD, FAITH AND RACIAL PURITY

Extract From a  Journal in Nazi Germany

Hold fast to what your mother taught you early on, in her lap,
Before your little heart had protection against the alien,the false.
Dead is that which you get from strangers,
To which your blood does not testify.
Flee! It will smother you, as it has brought many people to its knees.

Source of the poem:   Date Accessed : 8.2.17.

On The Nazi Spirit of Things

The slogan that inspired the Fatherland:

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer – “One People, One Nation, One Leader.”

_________________________________________

Well there you are. It’s time to end this brief  “lesson.” Once long ago my theatre students and I wrote these words for a children’s  play we were producing:

Don’t be surprised if you find you are not where you think

Imagination can set you free.

For just a few moments, let us speak through our imagination. Please ring the school bell below to end the lesson.

That bell in our imagination can sound the end of our lesson linked to a school of my memories.

“Well thank you everyone for your good attention. Homework is up to you for this subject. In this recess maybe you will find time to chat to each other. Out into the playground now. Perhaps our lesson will make that playground of life more understandable. Keep on thinking about things anyway; that is how we will all survive.”

More thanks for your company.  Royce

An Effort To Escape

No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.

George Eliot

So far I have lived twenty-three years longer than Shakespeare. Oh my! What he would have done with that extra time.

As for humble me, I have noticed so many dark deeds in my eighty odd years I will feel guilty unless I at least draw attention to some of them now. That is why I am writing this.

That looking glass of mine still seems to be getting darker and darker. All my years of teaching and that infinity of classrooms have created so much data.

I feel driven just now to talk about the shadows that worry me. Are you familiar with Plato’s Cave? That sums up the way I feel pretty well. So many people in my life have announced THE answer to so many things. One of my problems is that I have seen so many unexpected changes I am beginning to wonder if you can be sure of anything.

Is uncertainty the only certainty? But wait a minute. If my answer is “yes,” how can you be certain about the certainty of my answer? My brain needs a rest. Contact with these four heroes of mine might help you understand what I am trying to say: Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing?

Please note therefore I’m into suggestions not certainties but possibly useful points of view here. For now, as I’ve said elsewhere, I focus on one cause of my anguish at a time. This is the second post in my list.

I am sick of all the sad news around me so I have decided to laugh a bit here.

The problem this time is

Things are not what they seem to be.

The means alas, justifies not the death!

FAKE NEWS 4 SALE. MEDIA WHERE R U?

FROM OUR FOR REIGN CORRESPONDENT

  • I bought a bottle of grow-tall juice by Beanstalk Jack Inc. from my chemist last week  I know it will work because I have seen breathtaking computer generated TV images to prove its effectiveness. Six foot six within my reach! I took my first dose this morning. Watch this outer space!
  •  Midas Merten sold me a pair of Bullshit-detecting Reading Glasses for my 83rd birthday. Cost him a fortune I believe, although included was a pair of absolutely free Climate Change Sunglasses. Haven’t detected anything yet, as I read, but patients are a virtue.
  •  Error-free pens are the latest craze in the US. They are just now poker machine prizes. A new age is approaching and it’s good buy to misspelling.
  • My dear wife has bought me a Truth-selecting Hearing-aid  for our anniversary. So sweet of her!  When I hear words of suspect truth, I notice the volume gets louder but it’s good to know lies won’t trouble me anymore.
  • That Anti-aging Potion I also bought from my chemist last week has caused me a bit of trouble. It’s a three times a day job with a free, precise measuring glass and a homogenised plastic spoon. The first day of treatment went very well but for the last few days I can’t remember where I put the bottle. Damn!

MORE FROM OUR LOCAL CORRESPONDENT

 How Political Schemes Do Come True
  • A dog has just been elected to the Australian Parliament after a long series of court battles. Citizen Canis, as his owners named him, was declared a valid, living being by the High Court and approved on constitutional grounds because dogs have not been specifically forbidden by law to occupy a seat in the House Of Representatives. The dog is functional. All it needs is one bark for yes and two barks for no. The new independent member for Black Tree wags his tail a lot. Frequent requests for support in divisions are usually backed up by gifts of  export quality steak.
  • Citizens are advised that postage stamps are now, as the border enquiry suggests,

A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

  1. “threatening our freedom and much envied way of life. Classified sources now reveal messages in stamped envelopes have been detected avoiding border security. This is a clear and present danger. All foreign stamps therefore will now be vetted by dedicated, well versed geologists. Please note that this may lead to delay of up to six months in delivery.”
  • The Treasurer has announced for tomorrow a state of the art plan to reduce costs and improve the lives of the aged and the disabled with a spectacular Budget switch. On this given date, all motor services for members will cease. Parliamentary vehicles and drivers’ roles will be be diverted  to welfare service for the aged, incapacitated and dying. This will save as the needy will die off more quickly than politicians and so reduce costs and workload.Self-sustained member transport will be applied henceforth. Free bicycles will be issued. For the bicycle infirm, substitute  three-wheeled scooters are planned. Long distance transport will, from this day forth, be by train only. All air transport is banned save for helicopters in a state of emergency. Overseas conferences are already missing from members’ agendas, interstate conferences will be fewer in number, and Skype and internet conferencing will become the new mode of travel.
  • Notice this. Bold steps have also been taken to reduce needed attention span in Parliamentary Question Time. Now, for both questions and answers, the number of words spoken will be limited to what can be stated in a single breath. Breath Detectors have been fitted to all microphones so that if a second breath is taken, a BD switch renders the member totally silent. An increase in the use of gestures has been noted. So too have the many Speaker demands to withdraw unparliamentary gesticulations.
  • In addition,  we report that Standing Orders in the Parliament of Australia have been privatised. The Speaker now has digital support, at a small taxpayer-funded cost, for all judgements. Notable is the Question Time Relevance Monitor. Now, whenever an answer strays from the topic, a whistle blows and a QTRM recorded voice will say loudly, “Tell the truth you devious scam artist.” Disruption has already become suddenly rare and speeches in reply are noticeably brief.
Last Comment: Ad Folk Regularly Advertise Confusion
I just don’t understand these things.

Because I am old and infirm, I don’t get out much. This means I depend on television for my awareness of the world and for advice on how to spend my meagre pension. As you can see, that is serious business. I have to concentrate hard to get things right.

That is the problem!

They keep saying things that don’t make sense. I am nearing an Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood over this. Big challenge in my extreme maturity!

Look. Here are some examples of what I mean.

  • I needed a new scrabble set because I’d lost Q. So I saw this advertisement

BUY ONE TODAY AND GET A SECOND ONE ABSOLUTELY FREE.

I contacted them and told them I’m pretty poor so I would just like the free one please. This caused an immense fuss as they said no. Well how about that! How can something be free if you have to buy something else to get it? So I’ve made a new scrabble rule. If you’ve got u and e, you’ve got q.

  • And then there was my wheelbarrow insurance.

I couldn’t afford to pay a lump sum so I spaced the cost into 12 monthly payments. Would you believe I broke an axle in January and they told me I could get only one twelfth of the value as I hadn’t paid for the whole year. They didn’t tell me that on the big blurb that got me in. Fabulists!

  • My sweet tooth got me into trouble recently. I love hundreds and thousands.

Now look what that has done to me. In one of those shops with good deals I saw a huge jar of hundreds and thousands marked SPECIAL. Now I’ve no surplus money for luxuries, but I decided on a cunning little plan to forgo toothpaste for a month and use salt to clean my teeth.

That was how I bought the great jar. That was why, when I opened it, I had another mixed anxiety and depressed mood outbreak. The jar was only  half full. Jar size trickery. No thousands just hundreds. For some sad reason those pretty sandwiches I made  were not delicious at all.

  • And now I must tell you about the Truth Converter I picked up at Vinnies for a song.

It works under the old AV system. I’ve kept my out of date AV recorders just for old times sake. When you’re 83, old times are important. Things fade away like the old Stanley Steamer don’t they, for various reasons, but they might still be useful one day. This one was.

This Truth Converter works for me! Only me.
I just plug the lead into the old AV recorder.

Look at these results. A mindblow! Look at what I fed in and what came out.

The hordes on that PM did trample as he thought a sample was ample.

robust discussion … a vicious argument

responsible spending … gainful cuts to welfare 

 a deep trust alliance …  all the way with LBJ     

a finely balanced budget … any profitable asset sold

 as soon as is  practical … before the next election

within reasonable time  …  after the next election 

   telling the truth … agreeing with me

nothing but fake news … not agreeing with me

            great prime minister …  great at hiding the truth

There you are. What fun my little toy is! Only paid $1.50 for it. Can’t wait to get back to it.

Finally, to end this post, here’s a little piece I wrote.

Use-by Date

Once in a fit of ill-informed hate

Back in the mists of my time,

Somebody wrote the use-by date

When I would be past my prime.

Then, it was thought, my mind would decay

And the voice would lose its thrall.

Thus, even though I still seized each day,

No one would heed me at all.

It is true, now that I’ve seen a few years

And I’m often in need of a bed,

Some people don’t give me access to their ears

Or even a nod of the head.

But there’s always a trumpet with smiling face

Who will tell you he’s got a solution;

But alas he is crass, brain so far out of place

Any wise thought’s a true revolution.

Yet he’ll offer false dreams with lucrative schemes

To turn all your strife into money.

All that does for me is awaken my screams

As I hide his junk mail in a dunny.

It’s a lonely place this, with your energy spent,

Where half-truths will still come and go;

If you spend your last cent to dispense with the rent,

There are few other strings to your bow.

Yes here then am I, much older than most,

Foundering, some say, and dismasted.

You may feel that I’m past it, or even a ghost,

But I’m not a loot wizard’s snared bastard.

 March 2004

Howard Littlejohn

A Loot Wizard

Thanks and respect to Howard Littlejohn

______________________


Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Twitter is no longer a place for me.

 That is all I have to say about that.

______________________

All images on this site are my own or from Wiki Commons, Creative Commons or Public Domain. If there is any error, please tell me and I will fix things immediately. All my thanks to the wonderful Wiki service and to the artists who share their gifts.

Royce

 images-1

The Further Adventures of Ern McQuillan OAM

We continue the Ern story as promised.

Imagine you were the one wanting to be a press photographer in the early 1940s.

This seems a good place to resume the story.

You see, the Second World War had started for us school kids when Ern made his debut in the press photographer business…

Enemies were everywhere! For wider experience I recommend this site: http://www.pinterest.com/lordchelsea/propaganda/
Enemies were everywhere! For wider experience I recommend this site: http://www.pinterest.com/lordchelsea/propaganda/ .

In the Thirties, Forties and Fifties Newtown was so different from the rejuvenated, expensive, rising class suburb of today.  Back streets were back streets then, yards were small, King Street’s trams rattled determinedly on through pedestrians and other traffic, and paperboys, swinging like Tarzans from the running boards, sold you for but a penny or two, tomorrow’s fish and chips wrappings.  This is where the journey we are tracing, began.

Transport for the poor and the poor planet.
Normal and cheap transport for the poor!

Let’s start close to the beginning. Remember the time: c. 1942 amidst World War II.

What a moment in history to start a newspaper career!

Talk to us surviving people from that time.  You will find memories still vivid.  We might mention the blackouts – no neon lights in the city, only shadows and uncertainties.  Things you had taken for granted suddenly became very scarce. 

The Probe of the Threatening Dark.
The Probe of the Threatening Dark.

Petrol became a major problem. 1940 was an election year.  The Government dithered and delayed with petrol rationing, afraid of losing votes.  The motor industry also fought hard against petrol rationing for obvious reasons. Petrol licenses were eventually given to more than a million people.  Two thousand miles per year were considered a fair maximum allowance.  It was later doubled for votes.

War Really Worked Then To Save Petrol.
War Eventually Had Some Success With Efforts To Save Petrol. The Charcoal Burner Invention.

Petrol rationing filtered through the various states from June 1940 to December.  There were a few arguments between governments.  As children, we were often startled to see motor cars with strange boxlike contraptions on their hoods.  As adults we came to understand the research to create another fuel from charcoal was not enthusiastically supported by the petrol companies.

From December, 1941 Australia was placed under total war preparedness. We kids had a joke we were rather proud of: “Don’t panic; remember Pearl Harbour!”

Fear , Then as Now – A Proven Way To Control People's Actions
Fear Then as Now – A Proven Way To Control People’s Actions

Prime Minister Curtin promised “equal sacrifice” for all, and pegged wages and prices on February 11,1943. 

High Motivation For Car Sharing
High Motivation For Car Sharing

Other shortages began to change the world for us.  Chewing gum and rice, for example, disappeared completely. Radios, vacuum cleaners and bottled beer drifted out of sight. 

Gradually the public swung into action to promote the war effort. Metal products and silver paper were brought into schools, to be collected and turned into weapons of war, or so it was said.  Penny-lines were placed around school playgrounds to be converted into war capital.

We All Thought We Were Helping!
We All Thought We Were Helping!

Austerity became another war-cry. My young brother, Victor Henry Levi,  won a prize at our school fancy dress ball as “Austerity.” He wore a sugar bag, neatly stitched together by a loving mother Marjorie Levi, and featuring bottle-top buttons.

To reinforce the drive for austerity, bicycles suddenly became attractive.  Horse-drawn ploughs became more common in rural areas.

The economy was soon focused totally on war production.  Mind games also began.  People who over used their cars were publicly maligned. The States openly competed to protect their financial interests, especially against Federal Government income tax access because of the war.

Identity cards and ration books (with their precious coupons) also became a part of life. So too did the Black Market. Rationing was strict.  All people from 9 years upwards were required to register for rationing. The “waste-makers” were temporarily cured during that war. 

In 1942 really serious restrictions began: March 30, tea; May 9, clothing; August 31, sugar; and in June, 1943 butter and drapery were rationed.  On January 17, 1944 meat was rationed.

Things were tough for all but the very rich during those early war years. Black Markets existed too, by the way. Political change was in the air though for us ordinary people.  Widows pensions and child endowment belong to those years. Labor’s 1943 National Welfare Fund, involving invalid pensions, funeral benefits, and maternity allowances for all, was new ground for Australia.  Also the proposal for a national health scheme was another first. 

There were many other new experiences during the war.  Railway stations had their names taken away to help invaders become lost. Air-raid shelters were built by home owners everywhere – an apparent government regulation.  At night we children loved to watch the searchlights darting among the clouds.

Searchlights Of An Earlier Time. Things Change Little.
Piercing The Dangers Of Darkness

Also at night, if you looked out to sea, you would see the flashes of gunfire, like lightning in the sky.  This was practice sometimes, and at others the real thing. 

The Tweed Heads and District Historical Society, a fine source of knowledge today in the twenty-first century, tells us that 41 Allied ships were sunk off our coasts during the war, by submarines, ships, mines and Japanese aircraft (mainly to the north and in 1942). These losses included HMAS Sydney off Geraldton, Western Australia on November 19, 1941 with the loss of all 645 sailors, and the hospital ship AHS Centaur of the east coast on May 14, 1943 with the loss of 268 lives.

Merchant sailors died too.

Just a Symbolic Image. One of Countless Similar Pictures. My thanks to Bundesarchiv, DVM 10 Bild-23-61-17 / CC-BY-SA.
Just a Symbolic Image. One of Countless Similar Pictures Down All The Years. My thanks to
Bundesarchiv, DVM 10 Bild-23-61-17 / CC-BY-SA.

We children of the time knew little of these imminent dangers to us.  Nor did we know of submarine sightings by fishermen such as Claude Edds, who sighted a submarine off Tweed Heads in 1943 and told the authorities.  Many merchant sailors died off the eastern coast, from such ships as the Wollongbar which was sunk off Coffs Harbour with the loss of 32 crew, and the BHP ore-carrier Iron Crown, sunk of Gippsland’s coast in Victoria, with the loss of 37.

Partial Source: http://www.bigvolcano.com.au/stories/THDHS/index.html  Date accessed: 18/5/12 at 6.38 AM.

Life at that time was exciting for Ern — until he broke his leg, one miserable sports day, in a school football match on Erskineville Oval. It was a bad break. It meant a year of school without football.

Now Ern was a good Rugby League player. Played on the wing. He loved the game. He was fit and fast and fearless. Under those conditions the game loved him.

Ern's Heroes: Newtown's 1943 Sydney Competition Winning Team. You can find more on this here, if you are interested.
Ern’s Heroes: Newtown’s 1943 Sydney Competition Winning Team. You can find more on this photo here, if you are interested.

When the break came in two places on his leg, the prospect of a break from the game as well, for a whole year, was a dire prospect for the teenager. He was quite good at schoolwork but Rugby League was his real passion. Without it, life was incomplete.

That was why he asked his father, Ernest Edward McQuillan, OAM — the famous coach of 60 boxing champions, and a man of some influence — to try to get him a job as a press photographer. Ern Senior did that for him.

Ern became a “copyboy with a camera” with Truth And Sportsman Limited, under the mentorship of Ezra Norton and his staff.

This photography copyboy was chosen, among other things by Fate, to help found Sydney’s Daily Mirror. Thus began the “golden apprenticeship” which led to this story.

Such was the world Ern was plunged into. In those early years with Truth and Sportsman Limited, he learnt his craft well. He had good teachers.

Work for Ern was definitely not child’s play.

No elaborate equipment in those days. The film for your day’s work was savagely rationed. No digital cameras or electronic transfer of your photos. No multiple images to choose the best from. It was one shot and you’re out! No cutting and pasting. At the end of the day you had to return to head office, develop your prints and then hand them to the editors.

Public transport was all you had. An early Packer rule was that en route to Head Office you alighted from the tram at the end of one particular section and walked the rest, to save a penny or two.

♦ ♦ ♦

Come with me now and share a little more of Ern’s life. It’s quite fascinating simply to take random samples from the jobs he did, from the meetings he had  –  mere small parts of the historic infinity that was his new existence.

 Darby Munro was the most inspiring jockey in my lifetime.

Ern has told me that Darby said to him one day in 1952, “Hey Ernie! I want you to do your best quality close-up picture of me.”

What his reason was I certainly don’t know. But this picture was the result. You will find it in many places, scattered throughout the sporting archives of the twentieth century. Somehow it reveals more than words can do, the intractable spirit of both the jockey and the photographer.

Darby Munro – "The Demon Darb!"
Darby Munro – “The Demon Darb!” He and Ern were good mates

Here too are Darby’s Racing Hall of Fame details, a brief but fair summary of a special life,

Here is the1955 Maitland flood I was trapped in, as a Raymond Terrace dweller.

If you visit the link on the flood, you might be interested to hear that I saw the surf boat working on its way to the place mentioned, Millers Forest.

Ern's Picture
Ern’s Picture

Ern took the flood picture from a Gypsy Moth. His pilot was A J “Titus” Oates, the distinguished World War II air ace. Ern spent four years with him photographing Australian landscapes. Once they sighted a crashed and missing paper delivery plane in the Barrington area of NSW. They landed in a paddock. A bull put a horn through the plane’s wing fabric, during another “unconventional” landing. “Titus” patched the hole with glue, fabric and paper.

Such was that life of Ern and his friend. It’s an honour to record it here.

 and now the queen.

Yes, the kid from Newtown, sparring partner of his father’s champion boxers, photographer for the first edition of Sydney’s Daily Mirror, and former military photographer, was honoured by a meeting with a new Queen in 1954. Ern Junior shook a royal hand.

Her Majesty's First Visit To Australian Soil
Her Majesty’s First Visit To Australian Soil. Ern’s camera noted that very first step.

One of Ern’s earlier duties was to create images for The Australian Women’s Weekly. During the first Royal visit he worked with distinction to create a historic record of the Royal Visit we can now admire in the National Library’s Trove, as well as other social events down the years. You can see this archive, via the magic of modern technology, here, here, here and here.

then there was “the queen of the night.”

Nobody knows the truth of the saying, a picture is worth more than a thousand words, better than newspaper proprietors. Their evidence dates back even beyond Joseph Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst. In the pre-Australian television days, press photographs were crucial and extremely powerful. Ern therefore found himself a frantically busy “I’ve been everywhere man.” In these many daily duties, he was part of history.

Characters of every description were part of his job. That is why I have found, in my chats with Ern McMillan, stories of amazing links with our Australian past. One of those stories involves the legendary Matilda (Tilly) Devine.

"Tilly"
“Tilly”

That name, “Tilly” Devine is the stuff of gangster folklore. She suits many storytellers, especially in television, as an attention-getting element of wickedness. She was part of the recent, Australian TV Underbelly series.

Ern, however, found something different. Accounts of Tilly’s childhood in England filled with suffering and danger. A violent marriage and immigration to Australia in her teens, to be caught up in the slough of despond and despair of Sydney’s Darlinghurst neighbourhood. Suffering, rivalry, police convictions and punishment were all part of her norm.

Ern has told me she was friendly, pleasant and easy to talk to. A kind of soft compassion for the underprivileged she seemed to have, especially towards her brothel “girls.” No pretence. Just a quiet understanding of the way life is.

I myself feel a different person, having talked to Ern about “Tilly.” As a teacher I have often had to search for that little bit of good that is in the worst of us.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now I have so much to choose from, writing here that I can be selective, for the fun of it. So why not this one to start with?

Bernborough: ruler of the 1940s racetrack.

 

This is another underworld story, of sorts. Bernborough, as you may have noted from the link, was virtually hidden for his first six racing years in Toowoomba, Queensland because of a shady deal by his first owner. That owner had a horse called Daylate, whose death he forged and whose victories under another name in beginners’ races earned the owner a very long ban! It also meant that Bernborough was not allowed to race outside Toowoomba. There, racing authorities could check his entry into races and make sure the original owner was not illicitly using a substitute owner for himself. Outside Toowoomba they felt less confident.

 

Two Champions: Bernborough and Athol Mulley, both very good friends of Ern.
Two Champions: Bernborough and Athol Mulley, both very good friends of Ern.

All this limitation changed when Dazzlin’ Azzalin Orlando Romano, the sly-grog Sydney restauranteur bought the horse. Also a string of 15 victories began for the remarkable stallion. I saw one of them at Randwick, from the Flat (no longer available) where the poor people went. How could you forget the thundering red giant coming from last in the Straight to comfortable triumph.

Here are some more of Ern’s glimpses of Bernborough.

Two Champions at work: Mulley and Bernborough.
Two Champions at work: Mulley and Bernborough.
One of 15 Consecutive Triumphs: The Newmarket, 1946.
One of 15 Consecutive Triumphs: The Newmarket, 1946.

I’ve read quite a bit of Shakespeare. His words come back to me now when I think of Bernborough. Or Tulloch for that matter, another of Ern’s friends.

…When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk:

The Flight Of Tulloch

he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it …

Henry V Act 3, Scene 7

There is no space at all here for a complete file of Ern’s Press Duty contacts. No room for all his friends either. To complete this post, I choose but a few names.

The first is  Joseph Patrick Taylor (1908–1976). Joe Taylor was a long time friend of the McQuillan family. When the Newtown Hub was a “normal” cinema and not a porno haunt, there was always a free seat on a Saturday night for the two “Newtown kids” Ern and his brother Allan. At Christmas, there was regularly a treat for the whole family.

Joe was quite a character in the world of his day. Grade Rugby League, restaurant and nightclub ownership and racehorse ownership and illicit gambling were all part of that mix. He also described himself at one of his weddings as “bookmaker and shipwright.”

He owned a number of racehorses and served on the committee of City Tattersall’s Club for more than ten years. His horse Birthday Card won the 1962 Sydney Turf Club’s Golden Slipper Stakes. He gave away most of his winnings and lost the rest on another of his horses which ran last in the last race of that day.

During the Forties, in the war years, Joe linked up with ‘Thommo’s’ Two-up School. George Joseph Guest, the original owner was an actor. When he opened the illegal venue in 1910, he use his acting name Thompson to protect his identity. In 1954, when Guest died, Taylor became “the Boss” at Thommo’s. It was quite a place, that two-up school. Illegal clients were dutifully protected. If you had a big win, no other player was allowed to leave for twenty minutes after you left the establishment. A gunman with a criminal record was available to accompany you home on request.

It’s very hard to find images of Thommo’s. I suppose that is understandable, considering it’s nominal illegality. The Australian National Library gives us this link which may satisfy some of your curiosity.

Bouncers needed understandably to be tough in such a place – capable strongmen. Jack Gibson, the famous League player and coach was one for a time.

Ern visited Thommo’s only once. His father, Ern Senior, forbade further visits as he was afraid Ern Junior’s trigger camera finger would endanger the secrecy of the establishment. He need not have worried too much as the “secret” establishment was actually well known in the real world, frequented by such public figures as Jack Davey or Errol Flynn,

Errol Flynn in the very early film Operation Burma
Errol Flynn in the very early film Operation Burma

State Premier Bob Askin,

Premier Askin, as Private Askin in World War II
Premier Askin, as Private Askin in World War II

or, as an example of the reality of things, by a leading Sydney cleric of the period. Ern worked for Ezra Norton, another frequent visitor to Thommo’s. The archives reveal that the secrecy of the “invisible casino” also had considerable support from the media and the police force.

The fascinating thing however, is that Ern had personal contact with with so many of Thommo’s attendees: Davey, Flynn, Askin and  so many  others. He said so much more to them than “Smile” or “Say cheese.” Tales to tell elsewhere.

In the golden days of Ernest Mervyn McQuillan, Arch Press Photographer, managers and agents were relatively rare. Ern’s camera with jockeys, for example, was clearly a “ticket not to Ryde but to ride.” His publicity was so often a source of future engagements.

Another fascination for me now is to listen to Ern talk about his meetings with the famous in various other places as well. He has given me a much better understanding of their personal qualities – the kind of understanding you don’t get from media glimpses.

When Joe Taylor died in 1976, the funeral procession of cars took a long time to arrive at Sydney’s Catholic Cathedral. The largest wreath was spectacular. It contained affectionate words from “Thommo’s” stating how much “Boss” would be missed.

For Joe Taylor I found, among others, these sources interesting and well worthy of your visit:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/twoup-taylors-chequered-career-20110531-1few1.html My visit: 29/9/14 @10.05 AM

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/taylor-joseph-patrick-11830 My visit: 29/9/14 @10.21 AM

http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/archive/index.php/t-393413.html My visit: 29/9/14 @10.25 AM.

The fascinating thing however, is that Ern had personal contact with with so many of Thommo’s attendees: Davey, Flynn, Askin and  so many  others. He said so much more to them than “Smile” or “Say cheese.” Tales to tell elsewhere.

In the golden days of Ernest Mervyn McQuillan, Arch Press Photographer, managers and agents were relatively rare. Ern’s camera with jockeys, for example, was clearly a “ticket not to Ryde but to ride.” His publicity was so often a source of future engagements.

Another fascination for me now is to listen to Ern talk about his meetings with the famous in various other places as well. He has given me a much better understanding of their personal qualities – the kind of understanding you don’t get from media glimpses.

When Joe Taylor died in 1976, the funeral procession of cars took a long time to arrive at Sydney’s Catholic Cathedral. The largest wreath was spectacular. It contained affectionate words from “Thommo’s” stating how much “Boss” would be missed.

For Joe Taylor I found, among others, these sources interesting and well worthy of your visit:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/twoup-taylors-chequered-career-20110531-1few1.html My visit: 29/9/14 @10.05 AM

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/taylor-joseph-patrick-11830 My visit: 29/9/14 @10.21 AM

http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/archive/index.php/t-393413.html My visit: 29/9/14 @10.25 AM.

Second last, I choose a tragic pair of contacts.

Harold and Zara Holt
Harold and Zara Holt

Ern met them a number of times. As with all Press people, he was involved with the disappearance and consequences.

♦♦♦

I thought I might end with a special event for us ordinary folk. 

 I invite you to visit this lovely, fascinating, historically significant site:

ROUND OFF THIS POST.

This is the one of the many fine pictures here, picture really important to us. Ern took it. It shows his great awareness of time in our lives. I hope you enjoy its social significance. Be sure to look at the clock.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Two minutes to a lovely closing time."
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Two minutes to a lovely closing time.”

More of my thanks to you for coming here.

Royce

Another plea:

Where are you publishers? Film makers?

Ern and I need you.

If you lose our stories, you’ll be sorry, I think.

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 A Welcome From Me