Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bombing of Darwin 19th Feb 1942

Today the 19th of February 2012 at 10.00am marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia by the Japanese military. The attack was planned to prevent any response from Australia for their invasion of Timor. A total of 242 aircraft flying from aircraft carriers and bases in the Netherland East Indies caused significant damage during the two wave attack that day dropping 114620kgs of ordinance the first lasting 40 minutes the second some 25 minutes. The casualty list that day has often been disputed with official figures stating 243 killed and 3-400 wounded however unofficial numbers for the dead have been as high as 1000 though most believe its roughly double the official toll. 20 military aircraft were destroyed and 8 ships at anchor were lost and the RAAF airfields destroyed.

Today we remember those who lost their lives in the first ever attack on the Australian mainland and those who fought on in the defence of their homeland and opposing tyranny in the Pacific.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Return of Pomp and Pageantry

Those of you who are regular readers of A Young Fogey Down Under will recall a recent post in regard to the slow destruction of many of the ceremonial traditions here in Australia well this week a counter blow has been struck by those who value their heritage and history. This in the form of the new speaker to the Australian Federal Parliament The Honourable Peter Slipper.

 Mr Speaker has decided that the Tradition of the speaker wearing ceremonial dress should be restored, this in the form of a QC gown and jacket, it has even been rumoured that he has flirted with the idea of donning the full-bottomed wig, which detractors have said cant be done as its on display at the Museum of Democracy obviously they have never heard they can be bought through Ede and Ravenscroft. The last speaker to do so was Sir William Snedden who retired as speaker on the 4th of Feb 1983. Since then there have been many variations of dress with speakers in later years wearing a simple academics gown to the last speaker the Honourable Harry Jenkins simply wearing a suit.

The move by the Speaker has not been without controversey with a section of the press covering the front pages of their tabloids with caricatures etc however this has not deterred Mr Slipper who has announced that once  a week he will lead the formal procession of Speaker with his Sergeant at Arms through areas viewable to the public. This has not occured in the new parliament building outside of the opening of parliament after every election(roughly every four years) the Speaker and the Sergeant at Arms currently enter the chamber through a side door from the speakers office. While the press have labelled the Speaker  an egotist those of us who seek to protect our traditions know that the speaker is simply reintroducing those  which have been abolished by the true egotists those custodians of the office of speaker who have trashed centuries of traditions by removing bit by bit the symbols and customs of that office.

So this Young Fogey would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the new speaker on his appointment and his decision to restore a little history and colour into our parliament. Lets hope it is only the beginning of things to come.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The 6th of February Accession Day

On this day sixty years ago HRH Princess Elizabeth became our Queen and whilst around the globe there will be much rejoicing for Her Majesties achievement of sixty years of unblemished faithful service one can not help but feel that Her Majesty views such a day with a heavy heart. As becoming Queen could only result from the the death of her much loved father and our King. A King who had the crown thrust upon him in unfortunate circumstances but set the standard of service which his daughter would follow. We the people of the Realms are truly fortunate for their dedicated service. In this jubilee year let us all partake in the celebrations which will take place throughout the Commonwealth of nations and celebrate the achievement of our Queen.
But on this day let us remember King George VI may he have eternal peace.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Loss of Tradition

In recent years a cultural war has been taking place in Australia often unnoticed to the general population, this war has been fought between traditionalists and that group who like to style themselves progressives. Now progressives unfortunately arn't always sure why they are opposing the traditions that have stood us in good sted often since the early years of white settlement of our continent usually presenting tired cliches about the modern world and the need for change,  But  being the ideologues that they are they believe that any change must be good  often even when the evidence blatantly points to the contrary or just simply would have no impact what so ever an excellent example of change for changes sake . Now traditionalists are always stereotyped by the progressives as the old fogey character longing for the certainty of yesterday frightened of the modern world. However the facts couldnt be further from the truth, traditionalists are neither stuck in the past nor frightened of the future they simply have the common sense to know that human beings throughout the world have always had traditions and rituals as the bedrock of their society, even whilst at the forefront of modern living. These traditions and rituals keep us in touch with where we came from, subtle reminders of the past whilst dealing with the issues of the day. Traditions also sometimes have a more purposeful objective lending dignity to events that otherwise would not in themselves seem of importance or as an example in  our courts  the robes and wigs whilst an anachronism to some, actually serve to give those wearing them a sense of authority(so often labelled by progressives as intimidation) thus assisting them to perform their duties and with the respect their office deserves.
What is certain is that the culture war will continue and progressives will continue to seek to minimalise or destroy what traditions and rituals we have here in a country where the phrase "we dont have many traditions" is all to often uttered. And it is up to us the traditionalists to be vigilant.