For Anzac Day

What better than to repost from last year?

I have posted often on this, as last year’s Anzac Day reposts: 1 shows. In 2015 I posted:

In my Neil’s Decades series you will find much that is relevant.


And going back to the South African War I should add:

….pictures of the people – all relatives – mentioned in those posts…

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John Hampton Christison in South Africa; David Christison, his son, a sapper on the Western Front in WW1; Keith Christison, my uncle, WW2

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Neil Christison, my uncle, RAAF WW2; Jeff Whitfield, my father, RAAF WW2

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Norman Harold Whitfield MC and bar, German New Guinea, Gallipoli, Western Front – from Wollongong; Kenneth Ross Whitfield, my uncle, from Shellharbour



Fire and fury this weekend!

And I am avoiding talking about Syria or Donald Trump in any form. Sprayed a bit on Facebook though…

No, locally we have been very much watching this. A relative was in the firing line.

See Police hunt ‘arsonist’ after out of control bushfire in Sydney’s south west eases. Fortunately thus far there has been no loss of life and little property damage. Great job by the firefighters!

But how about this? What a bizarre thing! This view was taken from a passing suburban train!

See Train drives through bushfire zone.

It is unusual to have major bushfires in this part of Australia in April. See my 2013 post Still on bushfires. See also Bushfires in Australia.

A bushfire of another kind has been fanned by the Closing Ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Now I watched quite a lot of the Games and loved them, even generally loving Channel Seven’s coverage. But how on earth did they manage to OMIT the participants — the traditional entry of the athletes — from the televised coverage of the Closing Ceremony? At first I tended to blame Channel Seven, thinking they had prioritised My Kitchen Rules over the key part of the ceremony, but apparently it was not their choice to bring the athletes in almost an hour before the telecast began.

Not enough athletes. Too many speeches. An overlong presentation for Birmingham. I ended up turning it off…

So Peter Beatty has done a mea culpa. But maybe the problem began here:

Some controversy has surrounded the appointment of Jack Morton Worldwide – an international firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Fortitude Valley – to run the Gold Coast’s Commonwealth Games 2018 opening and closing ceremonies, rather than an “Australian company”.

There were four applicants to the tender.

Tender rivals including Ric Birch, who has produced opening and closing events from Brisbane’s 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo 88 and then six Olympics, and David Atkins, wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier this week (December 2015) to protest Jack Morton Worldwide’s appointment….

Day 3 Commonwealth Games 2018

I’m really enjoying the Commonwealth Games. I could rant about the Revenant of Oz’s outburst about the Opening Ceremony being “disgusting” and “too Indigenous” — but why would I bother? I did think it was too long, and the music didn’t exactly turn me on — but that Indigenous Smoking Ceremony was just brilliant! A side note though: The Revenant apparently thinks she is Indigenous herself — rather like the Cane Toad, the fox or the rabbit. I get so bored by (never OF!!!) that silly and not uncommon claim, sometimes made by people not nearly as objectionable as The Revenant. But let’s leave her in her box, eh! And Alan Jones in his! (Related: Family history and mystery–the Indigenous connection.)


That Smoking Ceremony: magnificent!

My mind went back to 1970 and the thrill we Whitfields felt as we followed events in Edinburgh.


Beverley Joy Whitfield (15 June 1954 – 20 August 1996)

Three gold medals in swimming at Edinburgh! 100m and 200m breaststroke and 4X100m medley relay. Much excitement in Dapto and Shellharbour at the time!  (My family and I were in July 1970 living in Dapto,)

One thing I love about the current Commonwealth Games is the way the “para” events have been integrated into the main competition. A brilliant idea which is working very well indeed.

Related (from 2014): Channel 10, the Commonwealth Games, and Ian Thorpe.

Among my better photos — 8 — bushfires

Here in NSW and in Victoria fires have very much been in the news this past weekend. The Tathra/Bega fires are about 300 km south of here, but there is a distinctive smokey look in the air even here in Wollongong.

Fires quite often affect our area. Fortunately, the nearest in the time I have been here (since 2010) came close, but not too close. See from 2013 ABC Local Radio says fire now just 6km over the mountain:-


And from my window looking west/southwest:


Not to panic, and things are more serious in the Lithgow/Blue Mountains area. However we are now being asked to watch for embers and the weather forecast is not entirely favourable.

And another post from that time which canvasses climate matters:

Looking out my window at 6pm:


That is looking at Mount Nebo in the foreground, where there are quite a few recently built homes, and beyond that the main escarpment. Behind that the Southern Highlands current fire zone is from 10 to 30 km away. Tomorrow, we are told, is to be “about as bad as it gets”, with temperatures in the high 30s, humidity at 10 per cent and wind gusts of up to 100 kph….

Meanwhile I do commend Trove as a check on our faulty memories!

For example:

27 houses lost in fires near Wollongong [coming soon]The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995) Tuesday 29 October 1968 p 1 Article Illustrated… Faces masked against smoke, volunteers move to a new fire at Unanderra, south of Wollongong. 27 houses lost in fires near Wollongong SYDNEY, Monday. – Twenty – seven homes lie in ashes tonight after the worst bushfires known in the suburbs of Wollongong. The fires were fanned by 50 mph winds and … 235 words



I remember that one, though I was at this time living in Paddington and commuting to St Ives…

From my window October 2013:

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