Wednesday, November 30, 2022




Yesterday I posted a quote from Clint Eastwood’s movie Heartbreak Ridge where he uses the phrase “You improvise! You overcome! You adapt! ”

You can see the clip at:

Here is another:

I mentioned that the phrase is an unofficial term of the US Marines.

It should be adopted by all of us to respond and deal with Life’s myriad situations.


Many commentators on military strategy, from Sun Tzu to Colin Powell, have said that the best laid plans last only until initial contact with the enemy.

Have a plan (or a series of contingency plans) but leave room for flexibility.

Shift plans to take advantage of situations as they arise!

Items can be repurposed or put to dual use.


Things are often going to be different from what you have planned or have planned for.

Expect this, be alert to it, be creative.

There may be new ways of doing old things and oif seeing things differently.


Don’t give up, keep pushing on.

Know what other options may be available.

If you encounter an obstacle, go through it, around it, over it, under it or remove the obstacle. Or do something different where the presence of the obstacle doesn’t matter. Come up with solutions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Monday, November 28, 2022


Byters and readers . . .

As you will have realised, Bytes emails are going out again, the dove has returned with an olive leaf in its mouth.

Those who miss having received their emails for the last week or two whilst the site was playing up will be able to view what was missed by going to the blog direct and looking up the archives on the right of the page. Click on:




To compound the situation, the service provider for our emails crashed last Thursday.  Our office, family, office members personally etc were all unable to send or receive emails until Saturday, along with everyone else using that provider. Most frustrating, we were reduced to using photos sent by SMS, faxes and telephone.  Most frustrating.




Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) was an American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. She remains best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

She became a poet and writer after a string of odd jobs during her young adulthood. These included fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and correspondent in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonisation of Africa. She was also an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs.

She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made approximately 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties.

She continues to be renowned for her writing and contributions to the civil rights movement, as well as for the realness and raw honesty of her writings and disclosures.

Below is one of her lighter poems.

My Younger Days

by Maya Angelou

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
to wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses
As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to gray
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
It's the outside's changed a bit.


Saturday, November 26, 2022





The stories behind the names on the signs at the rest stops on the Remembrance Driveway, which goes from Sydney to Canberra.

The highway commemorates persons awarded the Victoria Cross by naming rest stops after them.


The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. The metal used to make every Victoria Cross medal has been made from cannons captured by the British at the siege of Sevastopol.



William Henry Kibby, VC (15 April 1903 – 31 October 1942) was a British-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to a member of the Australian armed forces at the time.


Location of rest area:

Hume Highway, NSW, past Goulburn near the junction of the Hume and Federal junctions,
New South Wales



Kibby was born at Winlaton, County Durham, England on 15 April 1903.

In early 1914, the family emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia, where Bill attended Mitcham Public School. After leaving school he was employed at a plasterworks in Edwardstown, where he designed and fixed plaster decorations.

In 1926, he married Mabel Sarah Bidmead Morgan; they lived at Helmsdale and had two daughters.

Although he was diminutive (168 cm (5 ft 6 in)), Kibby was a strong man and loved outdoor activities.

In 1936, he joined the Militia, and was assigned to the 48 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.

Kibby joined the Second Australian Imperial Force during the Second World War. In 1942, he was a sergeant in the 2/48th Infantry Battalion, during the North African campaign.

At the Second Battle of El Alamein, during the period of 23–31 October 1942, Kibby distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon, after his commander had been killed, during the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge.

The citation for Kibby’s posthumous Victoria Cross read:
During the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge on the 23rd October, 1942, the Commander of No. 17 Platoon, to which Sergeant Kibby belonged, was killed. No sooner had Sergeant Kibby assumed command, than his Platoon was ordered to attack strong enemy positions holding up the advance of his Company. Sergeant Kibby immediately realised the necessity for quick decisive action, and without thought for his personal safety he dashed forward towards the enemy posts firing his Tommy-gun. This rapid and courageous individual action resulted in the complete silencing of the enemy fire, by the killing of three of the enemy and the capture of twelve others. With these posts silenced, his Company was then able to continue the advance.

After the capture of TRIG 29 on 26 October, intense enemy artillery concentrations were directed on the battalion area, which were invariably followed with counter-attacks by tanks and infantry. Throughout the attack that culminated in the capture of TRIG 29 and the re-organisation period which followed, Sergeant Kibby moved from section to section personally directing their fire and cheering the men, despite the fact that the Platoon throughout was suffering heavy casualties. Several times, while under intense machine‑gun fire, he went out and mended the platoon line communications, thus allowing mortar concentrations to be directed effectively against the attacks on his Company's front. His whole demeanour during this difficult phase in the operations was an inspiration to his Platoon.

On the night of 30–31 October when the Battalion attacked "ring contour" 25 behind the enemy lines, it was necessary for No. 17 Platoon to move through withering fire in order to reach its objective. These conditions did not deter Sergeant Kibby from pressing forward right to the objective, despite his platoon's being mown down by machine-gun fire from point-blank range. One pocket of resistance still remained and Sergeant Kibby went forward alone throwing grenades to destroy the enemy now only a few yards distant. Just as success appeared certain, he was killed by a burst of machine gunfire. Such outstanding courage, tenacity of purpose and devotion to duty was entirely responsible for the successful capture of the Company's objective. His work was an inspiration to all and he left behind an example and the memory of a soldier who fearlessly and unselfishly fought to the end to carry out his duty.

— The London Gazette 26 January 1943
The posts captured by the 2/48th that night were lost to the enemy.  The German troops buried Kibby with other dead in a common grave. 

Later, when the area was retaken by Australian troops, the men of his unit searched for ten days, found the grave and reburied the men individually, in line. 'We couldn't say much', one recalled early in 1943, 'but I guess we all knew . . . that if it hadn't been for Bill Kibby we might have been lying there with them'.

The Governor-General of Australia, Baron Gowrie, himself a recipient of the VC, presented Kibby's award to Mabel Kibby on 27 November 1943.

In January 1944, Kibby's remains were re-interred in the El Alamein War Cemetery maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

In the same year, a memorial trust was established and raised A£1,001, which was used to purchase a house on Third Avenue, Helmsdale, for Mabel and their daughters.

Along with the Victoria Cross, Kibby was also entitled to the 1939–1945 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939–1945 and Australia Service Medal 1939–1945. Later, Mabel donated his medal set to the Australian War Memorial; it is on display in the Hall of Valour.

Apart from the rest stop, a veteran's shed and a street in Loxton are also named after him.



Grave of Bill Kibby at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, El Alamein, Egypt

Bill Kibby's grave after reburial by his mates.

William Kibby VC -Veteran’s Shed.

The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is an initiative of a Vietnam veteran, Barry Heffernan.

The Shed and Memorial Garden at Kibby Reserve, on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, South Australia is the first Veterans shed registered with the Australian Men’s Shed Association that is specifically intended for veterans of any gender, of all conflicts, and anyone who served in the Australian uniform regardless of whether or not they saw operational service.

Special Membership for non-service individuals can be Partners of Ex Service personnel, Skilled Trainers for the benefit of the Sheds Operation and People approved by the Executive Committee.

The aim of the Veterans Shed is to create and maintain an environment for veterans and ex-service personnel where concerns, past trauma, health issues and welfare issues can be discussed with other veterans who have empathy through similar life experience in operational areas.