Musical Monday: Wake up my mind…

Badge. No conscripts to VietnamGrowing up in South Australia with all the horror of my brothers, their friends and mine threatened with the dreaded “lottery”… which could see them conscripted, at the age of 19, to go fight in Vietnam gave me a perspective which you can read about here.

Young people, at that time, gave voice to their opposition of government decisions which severely impacted on their  lives through music and song.  My children grew up to the sounds of “Songs of the Protest Era”and right now I can’t get one particular song out of my mind, given the way our Australian political situation is playing out right now.

Here it is…  Songs of the Protest Era

Here is the entire collection:

Songs of the Protest Era.2

Copyright © 2014. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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MUSICAL MONDAY: The Digger’s Song

Ahhh… I’ve been going through quite a lot of emotional turmoil lately and the whole Remembrance Day bizzo, this year, has simply added to it. Music certainly is “balm for my soul” and I just about cracked up when chancing upon “The Digger’s Song” so am sharing in case you also need a spot of stress release…    😆

The notes on “YouTube” report:

“The diggers song also known as “Dinky Di”, this song, one of many to the tune “Villikins and his Dinah,” was probably first sung by Australian soldiers during the first World War, so it is hardly a “modern” song.

Bill Scott wrote the following notes in his compilation, “The Second Penguin Australian Songbook” (Penguin Books Australia, Ringwood, Victoria, 1980): I first heard this song during the Second World War, sung with great feeling by a soldier of the Sixth Division, who sang it as above, except that instead of using the first and second lines of the second verse, he sang:

The Digger then shot him a murderous look. He said, ‘I’m just back from that place called Tobruk.’

The song was not only sung during the first and second World Wars but it was updated to fit the settings of both the Korean and Vietnamese wars.”

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RESOURCE:  YouTube

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

THE MAN IN THE ARENA!

Truth Seekers Musings

The man in the arena!

As arguably the most contentious, vitriolic, nasty, parliamentary term in our political history comes to a close, and the election for the next parliament draws near, I thought it was worth reflecting on a Prime Ministership that Could and should have been seen as a coming of age for Australia.

It could also have been somewhat of a cultural watershed,  as a leader of fine intellect, courage, determination, skill, substance and vision, stepped up to negotiate the political minefield of forming minority government, with the help and confidence of two of the most truly decent (albeit right leaning) independent politicians that this country has seen.

A formidable task for any Labor man, but this was not a Labor man, but rather a Labor woman, Julia Gillard, who went on to become our first female PM.

images

Now we all know the history of her rise to…

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ANZAC DAY 2013 – LEST WE FORGET

THE SILENT BATTLEFIELD

“THE Australian soldier returned, he made it home to me:
Beyond the joy, the twinkling in his eyes I could not see;
His eyes were full of darkness, twinkling there was no more;
The man I loved had not returned, it was only the soldier that I saw;
So confident and so brave, but something had gone wrong;
He left himself behind in that battlefield all alone;
Where is the man that I adore, for it is he I need;
Silent prayers have gone unanswered, please return to me;
I hold my breath and make a wish, for I know that he is trying;
Trying to leave his battlefield, a battlefield for the dying;
Waiting is what I will do, for eternity if need be,
Waiting for my love to return, return once more to me.”

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Last ANZAC DAY I posted this haunting poem written by KRYSTI NEALE of Kapooka, New South Wales, Australia (born and raised in Semaphore, South Australia)…  Since then I have constantly wondered how life is now for her, her husband and family and continue to send much love and healing energy their way.

Last weekend the following article, by Ian Henschke, appeared in the SAWeekend section of the South Australian Advertiser which reminds us all that it is not only the dead and physically maimed members of the armed services we should be re-membering and honouring this ANZAC DAY, but also those carrying the horrific hidden injuries that were once called “Shell Shock” and “Battle Fatigue” but now carry the moniker of PTSD “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” 

The High Price of War.2

IT READS:  (the emphasis is mine)

I’ll be co-commentator for the BC TV Anzac Day coverage again on Thursday morning. Every year we see fewer and fewer veterans. First the World War I Diggers thinned to just a lone marcher. Then there were none. The World War II ranks have been decimated too as they get their final marching orders. The bulk of the ex combatants this year will be from Vietnam and now they’re falling away as age wearies them.

It makes you wonder about the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. I met a mother the other day whose son is a vet from the war on terror. He is now fighting his own war on terror. He is one of those from the bloody-roadside bomb-ridden conflicts who won’t march, not because of physical wounds, but because of psychological wounds.

Last Remembrance Day Major-General John Cantwell was in Adelaide to raise aware- ness of vets like that mother’s son who were suffering privately. He had just published his biography Exit Wounds. He’d enlisted as a private, gone up through the ranks, been on the front line in Iraq in 1991 and by 2006 had risen to be commander of the Australian forces in Afghanistan, but within a few years his world caved in.

Seeing enemy soldiers buried alive and a car bomb blow up a Baghdad marketplace crowded with women and children left haunting memories. His mind was filling with horror. And it kept filling. Ten of his soldiers were killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He came home and was about to be promoted to the pinnacle of his military career when he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. We’d heard about the war trauma before but from not such a high-ranking-soldier.

Perhaps the most famous incident of a high-ranking officer confronting post-traumatic stress was 70 years ago when US General Patton had a brain snap in a military hospital. He wasn’t a patient but he showed the symptoms. He came across two of his fellow soldiers suffering from battle fatigue. He slapped them across the face, and verbally abused them. He kicked one of them and pulled out a pistol on the other and threatened to shoot him on the spot. He is reported to have said, “I won’t have those cowardly bastards hanging around our hospitals. We’ll probably have to shoot them some time anyway, or we’ll raise a breed of morons”.

Post-traumatic stress disorder was diagnosed as shell shock and war neurosis in World War I. It became battle fatigue in World War II. In 1943 at the very time General Patton ws thinking about how many “yellow bastards”  should be shot, the US military was frantically making secret training films to show their medical officers just how serious and real the issue was becoming. In one, now declassified, film they talk about the campaigns that Patton headed in North Africa and Italy where they were seeing up to 50 per cent of soldiers with some form of “battle fatigue”. 

Patton led an army that fought for 281 days straight from the landing in Normandy to the fall of Berlin. It ended up killing, wounding or capturing around one and a half million enemy. For its part, it sustained 140,000 casualties. The long term toll of PTSD is still debatable, but it is now recognised that up to a third of those in sustained fighting end up with some sort of psychological wound. It prompted the US military by the end of the war to come up with the slogan: “Every man has his breaking point”.

General Patton’s was when he broke his neck in a car accident on the way to a pheasant shoot near Speyer in Germany just before Christmas 1945. One of his last comments was: “This is a hell of a way to die.” He was buried in a war grave in Luxembourg alongside his men. This Anzac Day spare a thought, lest we forget, for those who won’t march because they have PTSD, and that’s a hell of a way to live.

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EXIT WOUNDS

When discussing his Book, EXIT WOUNDS, Major-General John Cantwell is quoted as saying… “This is my story, but it is also the story of thousands of Australian veterans from Iraq, East Timor, Afghanistan and other conflicts who bear similar emotional scars. This is what becomes of those men and women we send off to war, pay little attention to, then forget once they are home.”

We are told that: “As a country boy from Queensland, John Cantwell signed up to the army as a private and rose to the rank of major general. He was on the front line in 1991 as Coalition forces fitted bulldozer blades to tanks and buried alive Iraqi troops in their trenches. He fought in Baghdad in 2006 and saw what a car bomb does to a marketplace crowded with women and children. In 2010 he commanded the Australian forces in Afghanistan when ten of his soldiers were killed. He returned to Australia in 2011 to be considered for the job of chief of the Australian Army. Instead, he ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

Exit Wounds is the compassionate and deeply human account of one man’s tour of the War on Terror, the moving story of life on a modern battlefield: from the nightmare of cheating death in a minefield, to the poignancy of calling home while under rocket fire in Baghdad, to the utter despair of looking into the face of a dead soldier before sending him home to his mother. He has hidden his post traumatic stress disorder for decades, fearing it will affect his career.

Australia has been at war for the past twenty years and yet there has been no stand-out account from these conflicts—Exit Wounds is it. Raw, candid and eye-opening, no one who reads this book will be unmoved, nor forget its imagery or words.”

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To read my previous posts re: ANZAC Day and our Diggers… please just click on HOME, in the Menu bar above, and then select “Military” in the Category “side bar”… Cheers, Catherine.

RESOURCES

Thankyou to the South Australian Advertiser for the poem – “The Silent Battlefield” Published in: “The (Adelaide) Advertiser“, Remembrance Day, 11 Nov 2011
Thanks also to  “The (Adelaide) Advertiser“, for Ian Henschke’s article – “The high price of war” published in SAWeekend 20-21 April 2013.

EXIT WOUNDS can be purchased from the following bookshops and the quotes I’ve used can be attributed to both these companies. Many thanks…

Random House Books – Australia: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/john-cantwell/exit-wounds-one-mans-war-on-terror-9780522861785.aspx

ABC Shop: http://shop.abc.net.au/products/exit-wounds-tpb

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Copyright © 2013.  Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.
Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~Finding Family

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Australia’s “Close the Gap Day” and Constitutional change…

THINKING - Hmmm.cloudThinking… navel gazing… reflecting… call it what you like.  I love it!

From the time I was “knee high to a grasshopper” I’ve always wondered WHY? … asked endless questions and no doubt driven those around me nearly crazy, which is probably why I’d sometimes get infuriating answers like:

*  It’s  a wig- wam for a goose’s bridle.
*  That’s for me to know and you wonder about.
*  Just because…

As this blog is a legacy for my descendants, I’ve decided to start up “Thoughtful Thursday” posts to share some of the thoughts which have engaged me.  Maybe other readers will enjoy them too and may have had similar thoughts?

If you have your own “Thoughtful Thursday” reflections it’d be fun if you share and I’ll set up some sort of a link. How I would do this I have no idea… guess that’s another “Thoughtful Thursday” post for another day… but seems pretty “do-able”, I reckon.

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My thoughts, this week, have been flying around all over the place… hither and thither… and is why, despite having done all the research long ago, this weeks “Tuesday Trove” post was rather late off the “starting blocks“.

Australian Aboriginal Flag

Australian Aboriginal Flag

Then not so long ago it all hit me right in the very centre of my forehead and my thoughts focussed totally on matters to do with our original Australians. This was prompted by a FaceBook post from Lanie, the delightful niece of my former husband whom I also claim as my own. Up popped the following vid, from Lanie,  titled “Generation One Real Studies”

Aboriginal warning.vid

Ohhh… reached into my very soul, touched my heart and gave it a good old tweak. Of course the long term unemployed, and those who’ve grown un with generations of welfare dependancy, are stuck in a rut don’t know how to get out and need REAL training for REAL jobs, not these “mickey mouse” training schemes which “tick all the boxes” but are meaningless, useless and unfocussed.

Close the Gap

So me, being me, I went “a-googling” and was SO surprised to discover that TODAY, the 21st March 2013, is our Australian “National Close the Gap Day”

HOOLEY DOOLEY!!! … how come I knew nothing about this? …

Closing the Gap.

Then, a little earlier today this wonderful breaking news hit the media…  the South Australia’s Parliament is expected to approve recognition of Aboriginal people in the state’s constitution.

So proud, am I to be a South Australian on this memorable day. A bill to amend the constitution received bi-partisan support in the Lower House and will go before the Upper House this afternoon and is expected to be passed. The bill recognises past injustices and acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupiers of South Australia. Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Ian Hunter, says the change is long overdue.

“For too long, our foundation document, our South Australian constitution was a blank canvas in terms of mentioning Aboriginal South Australians. It had no recognition of them and paid no respect to them whatsoever.”

Aboriginal leader and convenor of an advisory panel on the bill, Professor Peter Buckskin, says the amendment acknowledges that Indigenous people were dispossessed of their land.

Professor Peter Bucksin

Professor Peter Bucksin

“There is now a new respect for our culture that has survived the 175 years of that dispossession.

This process has really been one of continuing the reconciliation journey. It’s getting more South Australians to understand Aboriginal culture, traditions and knowledge and our connection to our country, land and sea”

Here’s a clip of the wonderful Warrumpi Band with “Jailangaru Pakarnu” for your enjoyment and in celebration of “Close the Gap Day 2013”.

So, there you have it… my focussed thinking for this week.

Hoping that if this week hasn’t been the most WONDERFUL ever for you that you’ve got through it OK and have come out smiling on the other side.  Cheers, Catherine.

CATHERINE.ME

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RESOURCE re: Constitutional Change in South Australia.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-21/constitutional-recognition-for-indigenous-south-australians/4586158/?site=indigenous&topic=latest

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

TROVE TUESDAY… of Washing Days & Suffragettes

Back in TimeAlways fascinated by the daily life of my Ancestors  I’ve found Australia’s free digitised newspapers, on Trove, as a perfect way to satisfy my curiosity and have decided it will be fun  to share these discoveries with readers by participating in Amy Houston’s, theme of Trove Tuesday

The plan is to select items at random from a range of South Australian newspapers, from 100 years ago, and have a look at what my Ancestors may have been reading.  It will be interesting to see what turns up.

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The Advertiser - Banner

Washing Day a Pleasure

Washing Day a Pleasure
12 Mar 1913. pg 3.  The Advertiser: Adelaide, South Australia.

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The Border Watch - Banner

Those Suffragettes

Those Suffragettes
12 Mar 1913. pg 3. Border Watch: Mount Gambier, South Australia.

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 map-south-australia

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Thankyou to Crissouli of “That Moment in Time” for the opening image.

TROVE

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

The Year that was… International Women’s Year, Australia, 1975.

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

“Well Kathleen, you choose which one of them will go through High School. Of course Catherine doesn’t count  because she’ll just get married, have children and leave.”

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This makes my dad sound like a heartless beast but he was simply reflecting the social beliefs and expectations in our part of the world, Port Adelaide, South Australia, at the time – the mid 1950’s.

Women's Year. 1975. equal pay. opportunitiesFortunately my precious mum had ideas of her own. From her earliest years and right throught to her dying day mum loved books, whom she considered to be her “best friends“. She valued education, delighted in learning and always regretted that, despite gaining the QC (Qualifying Certificate) which was necessary if one were to attend Secondary School, the family situation required that she leave school and begin paid employment at about 12-13 years of age. So when dad presented mum with that choice she rebelled, challenged the social mores of the time and started working outside the home to ensure that all of her 4 children, and especially her only daughter, were provided with the education she yearned for but was denied.

Women's Year. 1975Trying to explain what it was like growing up through the 1950’s and 60’s, and coming into maturity as the second wave of the so called “Women’s Liberation Movement” gained momentum is very challenging. It was far easier to do a “wrap up” of the origins of International Women’s Day because that is “one step removed” and requires no emotional investment.

Personal experience, filled with all the highs and lows, the excitement, the hope and the opening of opportunities… combined with the personal conflict, disappointments, mis-understandings and outright nastiness which certainly was “another kettle of fish” but it’s a story that must be told to help the present, and future generations, begin to understand the ex-periences, and decisions, of their Ancestors which helped shape the world they now occupy and indeed helped shape them. I’m referring here, of course, to my children and grandchildren.

Women's Year. 1975. owning my bodyIt was a time of protest when more and more women began to challenge the status quo. It was a time of marches, protest, and demands for equal pay, equality in employment and education, free 24-hour child care, the right for women to control their own bodies, safe contraception, abortion on demand, and an end to both violence against women and discrimination against lesbians.

In Australia  thousands of women formed women’s groups and organisations and, through direct actions such as marches and demonstrations, women vocally demanded change to economic, political and social discrimination. Women’s liberation influenced women’s fashion, with women favouring the ‘natural look’, long hair and comfortable free-flowing clothes, including bell-bottom jeans.

In order to focus attention on women’s rights, the United Nations declared 1975 to be International Women’s Year and 1976-1985 to be the UN Decade for Women. On International Women’s Day (8 March) 1974, the Australian Government announced its own program to mark IWY.

Women's Year. 1975. reclaim the nightThe Whitlam Labor government, which had demonstrated its commitment to women with the appointment of Elizabeth Reid as the special adviser to the Prime Minister on women’s issues, allocated $2 million for 1974–75 and a further $1.3 million in the 1975–76 budget for International Women’s Year activities. A National Advisory Committee was Womens Year. WELestablished in September 1974 with Reid as convener. Its role was to publicise and coordinate the government’s IWY program, and to allocate funding to individuals and groups for projects that supported the three objectives: to change attitudes, reduce discrimination and encourage women’s creativity. The National Advisory Committee was supported by the IWY secretariat which was located within the Department of the Special Minister of State.

International Women’s Year also marked the debut of ABC Radio 2’s Coming Out Show dealing with women’s affairs. The weekly program covered issues of importance in the struggle for gender equality. Behind the scenes, the show was a training space for women in broadcasting, a place for skilling up and enabling women to take over the airwaves – or at least to claim some of the airtime.

To hear the Audio of the inaugural  ABC  “Coming Out Show” please click HERE

Women's Year. 1975. shelters.refuges

For this inaugural edition broadcast on 8 March 1975, reporters took to the streets to record some of the excitement of the International Women’s Day demonstrations. Comments from those interviewed in Sydney range from the chauvinistic to the evangelical, including a precious cameo from the late Bessie Guthrie who founded the first refuge for women and children in Australia.

Bessie Guthrie's house     - 97 Derwent St, Glebe, NSW. Australia

Bessie Guthrie’s house – 97 Derwent St, Glebe, NSW. Australia

Collectively the women driving these initiatives were known as the Australian Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative. The Coming Out Show ran for 23 years and changed forever the way ABC Radio sounded and the issues it canvassed.

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Protest March in Melbourne - International Women's Year, 1975

Protest March in Melbourne – International Women’s Year, 1975

As I said, it’s very difficult to explain to the younger generation(s) just how very different life, opportunities and expectations were for women “back when I was a girl“.

This video explains it far better than I ever could. Please click HERE  to view. 

The Women’s Movement, those heady days of the 1975 International Year of Women, combined with the many reforms of the Whitlam Labor Government, after a lifetime of a Conservative policies, all combined to provide opportunities I’d never dreamed possible.  Of course I paid the price with spiteful behaviour, attempts to undermine my confidence, my marriage and more examples of negativity than I even care to think about, but who cares??? … I certainly came out the winner which is reflected in the achievements of my 3 beautiful children.

Mum always said that it’s a parent’s responsibility to give their children a “leg up” that rickety ladder of life. She did that… I did that… and my children are now doing that with their own “chickadees”.  Life is good.

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RESOURCES & FURTHER READING:
http://australianpolitics.com/2001/03/19/womens-electoral-lobby.html
http://www.whitlam.org/gough_whitlam/history_and_legacy
http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs237.aspx
http://www.myplace.edu.au/TLF_resources/R2736/description.html
http://www.abc.net.au/archives/80days/stories/2012/01/19/3415303.htm
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/international-womens-day
http://youtu.be/b0TgGb8f-SE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Anne_Reid
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/guthrie-bessie-jean-thompson-10382
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/creating-a-space-the-life-of-bessie-guthrie/3218016
http://www.glebewalks.com.au/Politicians-Publicans-Sinners-14.html

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

Celebrating our South Australian Pioneering Spirit

John McDouall Stuart (Wikipedia)

John McDouall Stuart (Wikipedia)

On this very day, 150 years ago, my 26 year old Great Great Grandmother, Susan (Kelleher) Nicholls was plying her Needlework talents to feed her 3 daughters, Catherine Ann, Mary Anne and Margaret. Widowed for 2years, Susan had recently purchased a nearby block of land at Armagh, close to Clare in the mid-north of South Australia, and I do wonder if she had any inkling that 12months later she would marry my Great Great Grandfather, Timothy Rowen.

What seems most likely however is that, living so far out in the country, Susan would not yet have known about the excitement, celebration and jubilation that was playing out on the streets of Adelaide as she went about her daily work.

The South Australian Advertiser reports:

“WEDNESDAY, January 21, 1863, will be one of the most memorable days of South Australia. On that day the explorer, John McDouall Stuart, accompanied by his gallant band of fellow travellers, made his formal entry into the City of Adelaide, after having crossed the continent from the southern to the northern shore (and return). Stuart had arrived in town some time previously, with one or two of his companions – but the formal entry of the whole party – as such – was arranged to take place on Wednesday, and the citizens determined to give them a true South Australian welcome home.

It is not, however, merely the fact that Stuart has crossed from shore to shore, which entitles him to be placed amongst the heroes of discovery; – of still greater significance is the fact that he wrested from the interior its long hidden secret. What was the map of Australia in our school days? What was it ten years ago? It was a vast blank, having no line traced upon it, no mark by which an opinion might be formed of the nature of the vast interior.”

 

John Mc Douall Stuart-map

This was an amazing feat and of HUGE benefit not just to South Australia, but to the whole of Australia and even further afield.

Flinders Ranges Research. logo.

The “Flinders Ranges Research” website tells us that:

“As a result of this journey, the opening up of the Northern Territory was made possible, and a route discovered for an Overland Telegraph Line linking South Australia with England and the rest of the world in 1872.

In 1863 Britain added the whole of the Northern Territory to South Australia, a decision greeted with great enthusiasm by most South Australians. George Fife Angas though believed the new area to be too big a responsibility for South Australia.”

It grieves me that this intrepid (Scottish born) South Australian explorer goes largely un-recognised not just in Australia but also South Australia. In my schooldays, during the 1950’s, we were still so attached to the British Empire/ Commonwealth that our History lessons were all about the Kings and Queens, of England, and I seem to remember something about some battles in a far off land somewhere.

John McDouall Stuart arrived in the fledgling Colony of South Australia in 1839, just 3 years after European settlement/ colonisation. My Susan arrived just 16 years later and I’m fascinated that they shared the same space in time as well as geographically.

This is a story I’m not going to be able to let go… how was my Susan’s life playing out as our intrepid explorer’s life was also unfolding?… be prepared for some follow up posts folks as the research continues 🙂

RESOURCES and FURTHER INFORMATION: 
http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/stuart.htm
http://gutenberg.net.au/pages/stuart.html

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel