Hi Erwin, ironic to see your article on the races …

Comment on When you have cattle in your blood by Ray.

Hi Erwin, ironic to see your article on the races up so soon after I had just returned.
I was going to say a few words on the event, but you covered it so well.
I’ll post some pics to the Facebook site to go with this. I would like to add to your story with some observations of my second weekend out there.
I mentioned to a mate that if anybody asks you what living in the NT really means to me, all I would have to say is go out to the next event and you will see.
I looked at the clouds of dust as the triple cattle trucks come rolling in, and realise how tough this country life is, and yet there are a group of people out there, just on the outskirts of town, who work for sunup till sundown, and are the continuing lineage to the people who opened up this country.
Watching the fence building comp, I was struck by the sight an Aboriginal ringer, in the the Akubra, RM Williams shirt, jeans, boots and spurs. A big strong lad, in his element, and you could imagine the pride his descendants (who also rode horses, worked cattle and lived in the country they were born to) would have in him.
And there were so many, just like that. The kids too, with all the western clothing, hanging out the back and cracking their whips with ease and style, and you can see the future of the skilled Aboriginal ringer and station worker is in good hands.
Up in the stands we were entertained by a group of hirsute lads singing what first sounded like Irish backpackers chanting at the soccer. Unfortunately just a group of likely lads from Melbourne, with one obviously brave enough to ride a bull, ending with a moon salute to the crowd near his mates.
I gave the dance a miss after my messy performance last year, but you’ve gotta take your hat off to Local DJ Darren Rumble, who is at all the the great events. He never fails to get the crowd on the dance floor.
One of the biggest impressions was remembering I was not on a movie set. One of the riders in the ring could have easily been a young Tom Cruise.
In fact most of these station workers, ringers, cowboys, station owners just looked … well how do you describe it? The way the looked, dressed, talked, walked. I seem to have forgotten how much respect I have for these salt of the earth people. Text book Dinki Di Aussies.
How proud must these parents be when their 13 or 14 year old gets on a brumby and has to crack a whip while holding on for an eternity of eight seconds?
In a world where we are faced with schools banning cartwheels in the playground, these young boys are climbing on over half a tone of pure muscle, and then the get on a big cheeky bull!
Boys become men out here, fast.
Finally the wives and girlfriends of these guys. You can have your Kardashians, supermodels or Bondi beach babes, these ladies were simply stunning in their raw and natural, beauty. Obviously not as stunning as my wife, it seems I was standing in an RB Sellars catalogue.
New jeans with press stud jewellery, pristine shirts, teeth so white they dazzled, and skin like China dolls.
I can’t remember so much beauty in close proximity in a long time. And they were so friendly.
All in all, what a great weekend. Thanks to the folly ambos, bush firies, the coffee man, the country coppers and the Harts Range Race committee, thanks for allowing my son to experience some of his own heriatige, and the people who make our country what it is.

Recent Comments by Ray

Park, lights: ideas for a brighter town centre  
James, the idea of the riverside area is to make it unattractive to drunks, but making it attractive to shoppers, families and so on.
The grassed area outside the Todd Tavern would just be a starting point [followed by] the other side, where the bistro, bottle shop, coffee shop and cinema are located.
If that area all the way up to the Parsons Street area is developed, featuring a massive, landscaped skate park complete with undercover indoor cafe, gift shop, picnic area and outdoor sports area, it would be a terrific expansion of the Mall, as long as it was policed properly to keep it that way.
Build it high enough to incorporate flood mitigation and planning for flood events (eg proper planning), it could be fantastic.
If Matt Paterson and his fellow councillors, through consultation with the Chamber of Commerce, residents and relevant Aboriginal groups, it will be a terrific legacy.
Some of the skate parks in major regional areas are not hidden away, they are celebrated and woven into the fabric of the community, and are virtually public parklands that have the infastructure that attracts young people and families.
All the best Matt, love to have a chat to you about it.

Park, lights: ideas for a brighter town centre  
Hmm, using the riverbank for a community open space, that seems familiar, thought that appeared in the readers’ comments section last year some time. Glad somebody has picked it up.

More government handouts for alcohol traders
Can we get a program called HomeSecure, as once they discover it’s harder to steal from the shops, our backyard beer fridges are next.
Close down all the IGAs and smaller licences, in exchange for them running an off site seperate Dan Murphy’s.
Only one store to patrol, pricing in line with national prices, and secure to prevent break-ins.
We get lower prices all the time, a lot less police needed for the only solution that ever really worked, and less humbug at shops. Problem solved.

How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
The battle to fall over ones feet in the race to show how much Australia respects it’s Aboriginal people is nauseating to me, and obviously also to Mr Baranski.
The Welcome to Country ceremonies that are no more than tokenistic gestures for tourists are everywhere and are unfortunately portrayed as a long held traditional cultural ceremony, when in fact they were invented in 1984 in part by Ernie Dingo.
The Aboriginal people in suits nod along when our so called leaders play this game and the fee of sometimes thousands of dollars is paid.
Sadly it makes no difference at all to the lives of the traditional Aboriginal people who struggle to successfully integrate with our modern society.
Same with the divisive acknowledgment of country where we humble pay respect to Aboriginal elders or leaders past, present and in a crystal ball moment, those of the future as well.
They fail to mention anything about the hard work, determination, resourcefulness and hardships endured by the pioneers and explorers that made the country what it is today, failing to mention them is blatant hypocricy and once again there seems to be no real advantage for the bush Aboriginie who should somehow appear greatful they live in the town that boasts one of the biggest renal dialysis facilities in the southern hemisphere.
So much rhetoric and time is spent on issues of the past so the politicians and handwringers feel good they have paid respects, but how many of them, or these tour guides have sat down with real traditional people and understood that they really don’t care to much for tokenistic gestures, because they do nothing for them.
On the surface in the big cities with all the billboards about Aboriginal history, place names, tribal groups makes it seem that all is well, then people see what is really like for the traditional Aboriginal, as opposed to those of mixed heritage.
I quite often attend sporting events and occasionally officiate at them, and to look out at the crowd to see black and white sitting together shoulder to shoulder demonstrates that this is probably one of the least racist towns I have lived in.
Many social outings in this town have a lot of blacks and whites just mixing as workmates, team mates of simply as friends.
Unfortunately the current political PC rubbish is causing more of a divide than anything.
I just wish they would forget their apologist ideals and self flagellation, and accept that we all make up this country, and we should give understanding and respect to everyone that lives here, not hold up one as more important, or more deserving of acknowlegement than the other.

If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?
Former NT Surveyor Marc Hendrickx has been speaking nationally against the absurdity to closing the climb.
As he points out there was never any cultural taboos about climbing it until the rangers bean telling the TOs that climbing it disrespecting their culture.
Quite a lot of misinformation is clarified as well.

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