Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 27, 2011

Wednesday, 26th October 2011 – early visit to the radio.

A very early start today, awake before 5am for an early morning ‘one off’ start at the radio station, as a fill in presenter for the normal presenter, my friend Ron Bourke. His program normally went from 6am to 9am, so I agreed to stick with that time format, and the general mix of his program, which usually began with an hour of ‘country’ music, and then moved on to a broad genre of musical types. Of course Ron’s program is full of lots of other ‘activities’ shall we call them, including a number of regular and other telephone interviews. However, I was quite happy to give most of those a miss, assuming Ron had advised all concerned he’d not be on air. Not all!  Cr Jack Olgilvie [one of our local Sunbury councillors] rang up just before 8 o’clock wondering why his normal call from Ron had not come through! So we went ahead with that one, as Jack had some interesting news to relate about a couple of events coming up in the town, including a special event to dedicate a plague to hundreds of [children mainly] who had died whilst inmates of the various ‘institutions that used to be located up here on the hill where the radio station is now located.

The Family History Society has been much involved in that program, including the research and collection of names, dates etc. As the local paper reported yesterday – ‘Misunderstood and misdiagnosed, the patients of the former Sunbury Lunatic Asylum will be remembered with a memorial to be unveiled this Friday. Opened in 1879, the institution that overlooks the town operated under the names of asylum, psychiatric hospital, mental hospital and training centre before it was closed in 1992. During it’s time, 1,894 people are known to have buried in unmarked graves at the Sunbury Cemetery [which lies adjacent top the grounds of the former institutions]…………………..many heartbreaking stories of neglect and tragic tales of those who had died in the asylum from ailments now managed with medication. At 2pm this Friday, a plague bearing the names of those 1,894 former patients will be unveiled at a new rotunda to recognise those who for so long were forgotten’. As  a member of the Friends of Sunbury Cemetery group remarked, ‘They can’t be just discounted. They needed to be recognised, they were human beings’.  I noticed in that article that no reference was made to the extensive research and input that had been undertaken by some members of the Sunbury Family History Society, and I also needed to remind Jack of that during his discussion about the occasion.

Ron himself rang me later in the program, for a bit of an on air chat – I assume he’d been unavailable because, although now retired, his former employer, the Melbourne commercial radio station 3AW, keeps calling him back every now and then to fill in an overnight gap on that station [paid work of course, compared to here!].  We chatted, amongst other things, about the Queen’s visit to Melbourne today, and her potential ride on a Melbourne tram down St Kilda Road [where I was yesterday], and the possibility that protestors [those who had been responsible for the problems in the centre of Melbourne last week] might attempt to disrupt the Queen’s brief visit to Melbourne. I think we were both pleased [I certainly was] at the overnight decision by that group not to take any disruptive action.

As it would eventuate, contrary to current opinion, thousands turned out in the streets of Melbourne during the day to welcome and cheer on the 85 year old Queen and her 90 year old husband, Prince Phillip in what I think is the Queen’s 15th visit to Australia since her inauguration back in the early 1950’s. While the Royal family in general, and the whole concept of British royalty as it applies to most Australians these days, is pretty much ‘out of favor’ the Queen herself obviously remains much liked and very popular with a large section of the Australian population, and this has been borne out during this current tour.  I think it ends tomorrow, or Friday, with the principal main purpose of her visit – to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting [CHOGM] in Perth, under the hosting of Prime Minister Gillard, who herself needs something of a boosting in her own popularity and public support!!

Part of the rest of my day – no, I didn’t travel into the city to wave flags at the Queen [left that to the real enthusiasts!!] –  was spent out in the garden, mowing the rear lawns and pulling out the curse of all gardeners, the common weeds!! Also noted that a potential hopeful for the Melbourne Cup next week – Tanby – competed, and won the Bendigo Cup today. I had a couple of minor bets on that race meeting up north, and lost my money, all $8.00 of it, should have backed Tanby, the horse I selected as one of my tips on the radio this morning!! At least I would  have come out in front!!

As I seem to get tired quite quickly working at the computer during the evening, I decided to watch one of the DVDs given to me last week, as a farewell gift from the VPTA –  called ‘Kenny’  a movie about a guy who is described as “Australia’s most lovable toilet plumber. Part philosopher, part comedian and all heart, Kenny is one of the cogs in society’s machinery, a k night in shin ing overalls taking care of business with his faithful ‘Splashdown crew’”.  Not the kind of movie that I would normal bother my time with, but it was a gift, and I really can’t be bothered doing anything else tonight, I have the freedom, almost, to choose!  Susie has just gone out with Jodie to play volleyball I believe, so I am deserted again. The movie was enjoyable, though I doubt I would be willing to pay the cost of a movie ticket [or DVD hire] to watch it!!

Not a particularly great overnight sleep, went to bed early enough but woken on a couple of occasions – Susan seemed to be having one of her post-midnight ‘spring cleans’!!!  Such is life!

 

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