My dad arrived in Australia from Scotland in July 1950 and by September of that year he was on his way to the Korean War. In April 1951 he served at the Battle of Kapyong where one of his commanding officers was Captain Reg Saunders, the first Australian Aboriginal with a commissioned rank in the Australian Army.
Kapyong was a fierce and bloody battle where a UN contingent, including Australian troops (3rd RAR), stood firm against a numerically superior foe and, against overwhelming odds, won the day.
When Dad got back to Australia his rights as a British subject were fully recognised but Captain Saunders had to wait until after the 1967 referendum to be included in the census and to see the constitutional changes that enabled the federal government to make uniform laws regarding Aboriginal people.
There are many stories of Indigenous Australians who served with little or no acknowledgement and who returned to a life of discrimination and disadvantage.
The struggle of all Indigenous Australians for rights in their own country deserves greater recognition in any celebration of national unity. We need to reflect on the past and imagine a better future which supports the aspirations of all Australians.
I support the move to change the date of Australia Day and I am optimistic that positive change is possible in Australia – that is worth celebrating every day of the year!
Doug Reckord, Kalaru
No sense to fluoride
Would you let your child drink pool water every day? Or for that matter would you? With the current Bega debate around fluoridation, if council has its way it’s as usual a forgone conclusion.
Google fluoride and you will come up with a huge list of toxic substances.
Fluoridation makes absolutely no sense. Fluoridated water washes over your teeth and straight into the rest of your body where it is doing all the damage. It’s no use having the beautiful teeth fluoride is supposed to give you if the rest of your body is cactus.
The little bit that gets on your teeth makes absolutely no difference. In Sydney I drank fluoride water all my life and the health of my teeth is very ordinary to say the least.
What I would really like to know aside from the health benefits is who will make a profit out of it?
I would encourage every resident of Bega Shire to say a very loud no to council on fluoridation. We have survived 100s of years without it. My advice if you want fluoride, buy fluoride toothpaste or go to the dentist rather than poisoning the rest of us.
Frank Pearce, Bega
The newly created Tricka Valley Shire Council has released the results of the latest survey on public water fluoridation.
The question was: “Do you agree with adding toxic chemical residue to the public drinking water supply in order to slow brain decay”. Only four responses were received, all from the local lunatic asylum. The shire brain development officer could not say whether the answers were negative, positive or neutral.
The Water Fluoridation Lobby Group will hold a public meeting in the next few months where volunteers will be selected to test and verify the benefits of the toxic chemical addition to public drinking water.
Bernard Lagarenne, Merimbula
Infinite love and mercy?
Meredith Coe says that God can help us overcome our addictions (BDN, 19/1).
Nice one God. But if you love us so much, why didn’t you make us impervious to addictions in the first place?
And while we’re at it, why didn’t you also prevent cystic fibrosis and cancer in children? Where's all that alleged infinite love and mercy?
Hello, God, is anyone actually there?