Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 7, 2012

Friday, 6th January 2012 [No. 2 entry] – problems in South Sudan & thoughts of a former ‘refugee’ friend.

My intention was to again fill in a gap on the radio station tonight, with a mixture of jazz and show music.  However, decided after another ‘rough night’ of sleeping, tired, and not feeling as well as I would wish to be, that I’d give tonight a miss  – I was not expected by listeners I don’t think, and simply felt like a brief break until Sunday morning.  I did let one listener know of my intentions [or should we say ‘non-intentions’], and received a rather nice response  –  ‘Thank you Bill, you are over doing things. You must slow down, enjoy your retirement. Give yourself time to adjust to your new routine, your health and well being TOP PRIORITY. I am giving you a PEP talk from my heart. Hope you feel better soon./ Jayne”,  Jayne is one of the station’s most loyal listeners, and actually admits to regarding 3NRG Sunbury as her family out here in Australia, and she doesn’t even live here in the town, but in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, about an hour from here by train! She has suffered from immense health problems over the past twelve months or so in addition to the recent loss of a brother [on Christmas Eve] over in Scotland. I do generally try and find at least one piece of music most programs, that has some kind of Scottish connection with it!

Meanwhile, at the newsagent this morning, found myself thinking of a couple of other people myself  –   and purchased a couple of cards for the circumstances involved –  brother Robert, who turns 63 next Wednesday, and long time friend [and former girlfriend of 40 years ago], Shirley, who lost her mother, last Friday. By coincidence, I was sorting through some old photographs last night, and came across a few photos from the late 1960s/early 1970s involving ‘Shirley’ [the old friend] and myself. She looked rather stunning in a ball gown that she was wearing, obviously for one of those ‘old style’ balls we used to go to in those days – although if I remember rightly, something she drank that night, did not ‘treat her very well’, and her night ended up with my ‘date’ feeling a little unwell!!  Memories, not always the way you would like them to be, but nevertheless, all a part of good and bad times in life. Another little verse I found somewhere, comes to mind here:

Life can be brief

In nature’s world,

A season’s but an hour,

And those who take the bad too soon

May never see

The flower –

It only seems a few months ago that we saw the creation of a new nation in Africa, with the arrival of Southern Sudan out of Sudan. But it seems that a new name and new existence does little to change the way things are in that part of the world.  I’m seeing reports of more than 3000 people killed in South Sudan last week in ethnic violence, that forced thousands of others to flee  – although ‘fleeing’ seems to what the people in part of the original Sudan have been doing for decades –  these kind of mass killings or massacres seem able to be perpetuated despite the presence of United Nations personnel, South Sudanese army,. etc   With the report that this is the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in the new nation since it split from Sudan in July, seems to be the indication that such violence is an ongoing activity anyway. Also seems that nothing has changed in terms of conflict and violence between the various ‘tribes’ of much of Africa down the centuries. As I read that, I’m wondering what has happened to a Sudanese friend/refugee who was in Melbourne some years ago – we brought Godfrey out to the Sunbury Church to talk to the congregation about the plight of Sudanese refugees, and in fact, at one stage, undertook a fund raising effort to bring a small group – two adults and two boys –  out here to Melbourne as approved refugees to this country. Presumably they are still here somewhere, the boys would be teenagers by now. But Godfrey went back to the Sudan, where for the past few years he has been working to better the life of many of his fellow countrymen and women, and from memory, he would have been very enthusiastic about the creation of Southern Sudan.  I wonder where he is now  –  his old email and mobile phone illicit no response when one tries to contact him, and the one occasion when he was back in Melbourne briefly for the Christmas of 2010, initial plans to meet up with him, fell through, and contact has been lost since. We even had a Sunday afternoon tea and meeting here at my home a few years ago, when he spoke about the work he was doing in his homeland. An example of a refugee who found his way to Australia, but has returned two or three times to his own country – simply to help the people there, at considerable risk to his own future out here I would imagine. I might come back to Godfrey, and our past associations, in a future contribution, in the meantime, my intention is to renew my efforts to contact him.

As for the cricket, the 2nd Test ended, once again this Summer, a day early, when Australia eventually bowled out the Indian team late yesterday afternoon, to win the match by an Innings and 68 runs, and take a 2-0 lead in the four test series. Disappointment of the day [and probably not just for Indian supporters] was that Sachin Tendulkar failed again to scored ‘that elusive’ 100th century in international cricket. That ‘expectation’ will follow him now to Perth, for the 3rd Test, due to start there on the 13th January. Meanwhile, not surprisingly, after his mammoth batting effort at the weekend, Australian captain, Michael Clarke, was named ‘Man of the Match’. But not all good news for Australia. Successful new fast bowler, James Pattinson, has been ruled out of the rest of the series, due to an injury to his foot. Pattinson has been the player of the Summer, claiming 25 wickets in four tests, but he now joins  Australia’s growing casualty list of injured players.

Meanwhile, in the national soccer competition, the so far unsuccessful season for the Melbourne Victory team [after a number of top seasons] has had the inevitable outcome for the man at the top –  the Club sacked successful coach, Ernie Merrick in January 2011, and later in June, appointed Mehmet Durakovic as the new Coach. However, just 3 wins from 14 games, and now he is gone –  the club’s view being that ‘the club is in a position which isn’t acceptable and change is required’!! Durakovic was sacked this morning! Thankfully, for Victorian soccer fans, the other team down here – Melbourne Heart in it’s second season, is currently close to the top of the ladder and continuing to perform very well.

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