Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 24, 2011

Saturday, 24th December 2011 – Christmas Eve, memories, and events!!

Placed  this on Face-book early this morning – 
“No matter your age, treasure your parents always. It may be 42 years, yet sadness, memories and   love remain as strong. Thankyou , Jean, for your separate posting.  Tribute for our dear Father, who left us 24 Dec 1969”. Pleased to see some ‘quiet’ responses [no words, just a ‘Like’  from four people initially –  son Adam, friend Ruth, and  Jean’s [my sister] husband, Ross, and their daughter, Rosie. Earlier, Jean’s words on the same media site expressed similar thoughts – “Well dad after 42 years I still miss you heaps, even more now I have children to, will bring you some flowers up later on. Love you heaps” [daughter, Jean].

[I made a brief visit into town this morning – very busy in the shopping centre, and at Bakers Delight where Adam was working, as he suggested, everyone must be buying their bread needs at the last minute!! I noticed Susie was home, don’t know if she is on the roster to work there today, hopefully for her sake, not, as it looks rather hectic and stressful behind that counter, like everywhere else!!  Adam wandered out from the rear of the shop with a fresh batch of buns, etc, but it was too crowded and busy to even attract his attention – will see him tomorrow – I see he must have finished work not long after I saw him, after a 13 hour shift – two days worth of baking to be done, I guess].

To be continued >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> My little message received responses from various quarters.  Colin [youngest brother] wrote ‘I was driving a train down to Maryborough over night [last night] and was thinking of that phone call we received early Christmas Eve, only 11 years old but still have fond memories of that 11 years with Dad’.  I added to that the observation that ‘Yes, I forget that Jean and yourself were quite young at the time – I had visited Dad at RMH the night before, and stayed at Bev Blyth’s place – her father took at hospital call at 5am, and then at my request, rang Ballarat for me, I couldn’t tell Mum!! Then I had to finish my Christmas shopping at Ivanhoe, before driving down to Ballarat that morning. Met at the front gate by an old schoolmate, who’d just arrived to enquire as to how Dad was getting on!!’……………………..

Sixty nine [69] years ago, these words were written by my father from a war zone in New Guinea.

  • Through life’s dim ways
  • Sweet memory strays
  • Of loving thoughts of one
  • Who lives and loves for me
  • Of she who is my heart’s delight,
  • My love who waits for me.
  • That voice is dear
  • I long to hear
  • Dear heart I dream of you,
  • And swear my love t’is true.
  • Though all the world may be awry,
  • Sweet love, my hearts true blue.
  • [by JKK, 23-12-1943, New Guinea]
  • Back to 2011, and it is ironic  to read reports of warnings of a potential cyclone ‘attack’ on Darwin, our northernmost city – exactly 37 years to the day of ‘Cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin in 1974, hitting the city on Christmas Eve that year, and killing 49 people on land and another 22 killed at sea, and destroying most of Darwin. I was in Ballarat those two days, and listening/watching the TV with horror as the disaster hit. Let’s pray we are not going to be doing the same thing tomorrow.
  • Meanwhile, news came through yesterday of the death of Bruce Ruxton, outspoken former president of the RSL [the Victorian Returned & Services League], at the age of 85. As one comment made about him noted – ‘Bruce was a fearsome fighter for [war]veterans and their entitlements and [also] for things that he considered to be right [or wrong] in the world’. A man who ‘fought’ for what he believed in, even often at the cost of his personal popularity or standing in the eyes of many. He enlisted in the Australian Army in 1944 and served in World War II in the south-west Pacific, the Dutch East Indies and Balikpapan in Borneo, and then for 3 years with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, in Japan. As RSL President for 23 years, he was equally well known for his controversial statements which included called Archbishop Desmond Tutu a ‘witchdoctor…..breathing hatred’ in 1987. Some of his other nore controversal views and statements included ‘Their [the republications’ cause] argument is so shallow, if it was water you wouldn’t get your feet wet’, or, ‘I’ve done nothing to the Aborigines and I’m not apologising; and, It is outrageous that public finance should be made available to give boat people access to our legal system. We must be the laughing stock of the world’. Certainly, many of his comments were out of tune with modern sentiments and attitudes,  but that never stopped Bruce from making them!!
  • As the afternoon of the 24th draws to a close, it is warm & humid outside, and thunder rumbles in the distance [quite close actually]. I would spend the next few hours up at the radio station, as a part of our annual presenters’ Christmas Eve on air celebrations, and I would return to an empty house tonight – Susie is staying elsewhere, at Jimmy’s place, I assume!!



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