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Re: The Breaker

From: Nick
Date: 2/24/2002
Time: 8:50:47 PM
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I originally posted the first response to this part of the discussion for exactly the reason Bryn Dolan has pointed out. There IS a difference between honouring and celebrating. If we celebrated as winners, it wouldn't acknowledge the importance of the events. It would be like watching just another "march past" or indifferently looking at our numerous War Monuments that sometimes list the decimation of whole families. eg 3 Mills bros from Bruthen, the 2 Jones bros from Tunstall who were killed at Fromelles or the McColl Bros (8th LH) of Mansfield . To apply this to a recent issue, it then wouldn't matter to us that the Somme battlefield maybe going to be turned into an airport. But it does and should.

However, I'm glad most people identified the point. I meant no offence to anyone and was particularly annoyed to see on the news that the British did not send anyone to lay a wreath for their Singapore War dead. To acknowledge rather than commemorate the event also entails a responsibility to look beyond it as well as its significance and repercussions. For instance, those who returned from War were often expected to resume their former lives. How could they? Fortunately, neither of my Grandfather or Great Uncles were killed in WW1 or WW2 but my Great Uncle tried to return his medals in the 20's, my Grandfather died as a TPI, one of my uncles suffers episodes where he believes he is back on East Timor as part of the Commando force left there in 1942, another uncle died TWO YEARS AGO from radiation sickness contracted while part of the occupation forces at Hiroshima and one of my own (older) friends suffers from a nerve condition contracted when exposed to Agent Orange while part of RAME at Nui Dat(?).

So what do we do with Henry Harboard Morant? Today I read where the producer of a movie about Ned Kelly sees Kelly as a victim. The police had a parade in Mansfield to commemorate the deaths of the heroic police. Who, then, is the villain? Lalor, as you know Bryn, became a parliamentarian and then a Melbourne suburb, only after a court case that acquitted the "conspirators." Now, were the miners "not guilty" or did the powers that be bow to the prospect of possible rebellious consequences. My point? Morant has been portrayed as a victim and hero in this discussion page. To acknowledge the event is to evaluate all the circumstances, from his personal decision to impose "rule 303" to his use as a political pawn. Hero or villain?


Last changed: February 24, 2002