Monday, November 13, 2017

Readers Write

An email from Mary C in response to yesterday’s Thought for the Day, which was:

Mary’s comment:
Some days you just don’t want to seize or even a little poke . . . . 
Thanks, Mary.

From Robyn T in response to the old Sydney pics . . . 
Hi Otto

Fabulous collection of photos of old Sydney in the above Bytes. My partner Allan was an apprentice butcher in a butcher's shop owned by Don's Smallgoods zin Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross in 1960 (his parents having taken him out of Sydney High, which he was selected to attend along with his Maroubra Public School classmate Jim Spigelman, so he would have a trade which his parents thought would stand him in better stead). He said it certainly was an education (he subsequently transferred his apprenticeship to Grubb & Sons in Oxford Street Darlinghurst).

And yes I was in that crowd at the SCG in 1971 too.

And thank you for the further info about your time in the hostel. I remember the Nissan huts from my childhood - we drove past them on our Sunday afternoon drives.

Thanks, Robyn.

Some quick comments in response:
  • The Jim Spigelman referred to was a student activist at The University of Sydney, or Sinny Uni as it is usually vocally called, just as he was finishing uni and I was starting. He became a solicitor, private secretary to Gough Whitlam and then a barrister, being appointed a QC in 1986. In 1997 he became Solicitor General for the State of NSW and was appointed a judge of the NSW Supreme Court in 1998, a 13 year term of office which included becoming Chief Justice. On 1 April 2012 he was appointed to a 5 year term as Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Not bad for a lad who is the son of Polish Holocaust survivors and who arrived in Australia with his parents in 1949.

  • The crowd at the SCG in 1971 referred to by Robyn is a reference to the photograph of the protest at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the touring Rugby Union Springbok team. The SCG protest was part of anti-apartheid protests throughout the country, wherever the Springboks played.  This is the photograph:

. . . and also from Kerrie B, who is a member of the Trivia team of which I am part:
Hi Otto,

I don’t remember seeing you at the anti-apartheid demonstration at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1971.
I also was there.

Love the photos of old Sydney – especially when so much is changing.


Thanks, Kerrie.

Is there anyone of our age who wasn’t at the SCG demonstration in 1971?

An anecdote about that demonstration . . .

The demonstration was a nasty affair. Back in those days of protest against the Vietnam War and against South Africa’s apartheid policy, the police went out of their way to manhandle protestors – the flying wedge formation, police horses, police badges removed . . . 

At the SCG demonstration, protestors threw smoke bombs onto the football ground, the police threw them back into the crowd of protestors. People who ran onto the field were arrested quite roughly.

This is what happened in Melbourne:

This is a report on the Sydney SCG demonstration:

Some other photographs of that 1971 SCG demonstration:

I attended with a longtime friend, nickname Ding, and Michael Knight, who subsequently became a Member of Parliament and Minister for the Sydney Olympics. 

Ding, Michael and myself had all attended Doonside High School with Michael being in the year below and a friend of my brother in that year. Michael and I both attended Sinny Uni, where we often saw each other.

Organisers of the SCG demonstration encouraged demonstrators to blow whistles to signify opposition, with the result that there was a neverending wall of whistle sound.

A day or two later Michael still had tinnitus, a constant ringing in his ears from the whistles. He saw the doc who told him that it would eventually go away, which it did.

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