Stormy weather

Last night was a corker! Such thunder and lightning, and so close overhead in West Wollongong.  Some pics by way of illustration: the first I took from my place five years ago, but it could have been yesterday. The second is from Illawarra Storm Chasers, and is in fact February — but it is so good!

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…and in March 2014

Selections from my archive.

Weird sky: West Wollongong:

Mount Kembla — brooding:

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Hellenic Club, West Wollongong:

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Batty: near Figtree:

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Lunch at Steelers with long-lost cousin…

Not really lost, but as he is considerably younger than I we hadn’t seen all that much of each other over the years, though his late father unfailingly kept in touch. See What a gathering of the clan that was! and Roy Hampton Christison 1927 – 2011.

The “selfie” of the two of us is by Russell Christison, the rest by me. Dampish day, but great conversation.

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After Steelers we went to the Illawarra Brewery. When Russell left I stayed on and read for a while over a half-pint of Apocalypso.

Well well, Pell!

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Even bigger news here than the summit in Vietnam has been the delayed release of the guilty verdict against Australia’s Cardinal George Pell.  On all that see George Pell has been found guilty of child sex offences. Here’s what you need to know, and a response worth considering from Father Frank Brennan. A summary of events:

The suppression order in relation to Cardinal George Pell has been lifted. In December, a jury of 12 of his fellow citizens found him guilty of five offences of child sexual abuse. No other charges are to proceed. Cardinal Pell has appealed the convictions. The verdict was unanimous. The jury took three days to deliberate after a four-week trial. The trial was in fact a re-run. At the first trial, the jury could not agree. The trial related to two alleged victims, one of whom had died.

I thought of conversations I had via ICQ long ago.

June gone already! And what a time for news!

Just as well you aren’t depending on this blog to keep you up-to-date, as there has been a bit of a break here as I nursed my remaining data allowance. And in that time we’ve had so many things happen, most recently the charging of Cardinal George Pell for alleged historic sex offences against children. He will be fronting court in Melbourne next month. I can’t help wondering what an old internet friend, Father Ken Sinclair, who died in 2005, would have had to say. Back in 2001-2 he was foreshadowing some of this stuff in conversations we had on ICQ. See my post Back to very early days–and the strange immortality of the internet.

That earlier post:

Weird. Here I have the earliest still extant Diary-X entry* from my proto-blog back in May 2001:

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I really don’t remember what that was about, except obviously I survived!  Atakan was/is a teacher in Turkey. Kenny was Ken Sinclair, 6 Feb 1927 – 19 May 2005,  openly gay man and priest at St. Francis (Melbourne) for many years. The “strange immortality” in my title refers to the fact his website, which is of interest, is still out there!  He was a lovely man and it is hard to believe it’s so long since he passed away.

Here you’ll learn all about me: my life, my interests and hobbies, the people in my family,  and more. I’ve even included a list of my favorite links to other sites.

In surfing the web, I’ve realised that lots of people have their own personal websites, so I thought, why shouldn’t I have one, too.

I am a 76 year old Catholic priest, living in Melbourne, which is the capital city of the state of Victoria, in Australia. I am living in [sort of] retirement, since a stroke I had about seven years ago. “Sort of” retirement means that I no longer carry out any “public” ministry in the church, although I do a lot of indirect ministry in my daily interaction with people generally. Despite the stroke, I am still reasonably mobile, thank God.

When I was born [at home], in 1927, my parents were living with my maternal grandparents in Footscray, a working class suburb of Melbourne, on account of the early stages of what we called The Great Depression. These grandparents were of Cornish and English extraction, whilst my paternal grandparents were of Scots and English extraction. In those years I can recall the UK still being referred to as “home”…

In one of our conversations Ken said he looked forward to the day when George Pell got what he deserved. I wonder what Ken would think now?

You can find an obituary on Ken Sinclair here (pdf). What a fine man he was!

Update

More on those 2001-2004 conversations with Ken Sinclair, which arose after I (not a Catholic) asked him what he thought of George Pell, then newly appointed Archbishop of Sydney.  In his responses Ken alluded more than once to the matter of Gerald Ridsdale, of whom I must say I had never heard at the time.  It is also fair to say there was little common ground ideologically between Ken and Pell, Ken being somewhat a progressive in the Catholic Church.