I was at the mass when Fr Adrian Meaney took …

Comment on Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived by Alex Nelson.

I was at the mass when Fr Adrian Meaney took Chief Minister Paul Everingham to task over the prospect of a casino being established in Alice Springs. This happened one Sunday in 1979 as I recall, and Everingham was in the congregation.
Fr Meaney was a staunch opponent of the casino and didn’t hold back his criticism during his sermon; however, Everingham was having none of this and stood up and gave as good as he got.
The argument raged to and fro for several minutes until someone else had enough and yelled out to shut up and get on with the mass.
That would have to be one of the most memorable church services I’ve ever attended.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived
@ Jim Brown (Posted April 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm): You must be referring to another occasion, Jim. The event I witnessed was long before the casino was operating, and what I described is what occurred. You were not the person to speak out on the occasion I witnessed.
Here are some facts: Fr Adrian Meaney departed Alice Springs on Sunday, March 15, 1981; the Alice Springs Federal Casino was officially opened on Thursday, July 9, 1981, and amongst its attractions on offer were the first poker machines in the town.
This shows your claim that “the casino was already in operation for some time” when Fr Meaney lectured the congregation on the evils of gambling cannot possibly be correct.
On the day prior to the casino’s opening a letter from the local Ministers Fraternal was published in the newspaper entitled “Casino will hurt many families” and amongst the signatories were three Catholic priests, they were Fr Kingston Summerhayes, Fr Pat Dodson (now a senator for WA), and Fr Dennis Murphy (who replaced Fr Meaney earlier that year).
There was much opposition to the introduction of pokies in Alice Springs including from the Town Council (notably Mayor George Smith, who feared their spread to other clubs in town); and a citizen at the time who also strongly opposed their introduction was Fran Kilgariff.


Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived
@ Careful with that $, Eugene (Posted April 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm): As far as I know, Fr Meaney is still going strong. The last time I saw him he was a co-celebrant of the state funeral for Bernie Kilgariff in April 2010.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Turn rock-throwing into backflips: how community can help
I smile at the circularity of Rainer Chlanda’s preferred location of a youth hub without walls at the “courthouse lawns” (DD Smith Park), adjacent to the Alice Springs Police Station (the former Greatorex Building) and across the road from the local magistrates courthouse.
I say “circularity” because the first drop-in centre for youth on the streets at night was located in the old police station on that corner where the courthouse now stands. Established in 1976, it was named “Danny’s Place” and lasted all of no more than a year when it was forced to shut down to make way for the said courthouse.
And from that time on, youth drop-in centres, real or proposed, have bounced around from one site to another all through town; including an old house in the north end of Todd Street that was demolished to make way for an office block (now called Eurilpa House), the empty Turner Arcade – the last shop there was Grandad’s icecream shop, a once popular hang out for kids of my generation, also in the north end of Todd Mall (that was my suggestion, nearly 30 years ago) which was later bulldozed to make way for expanding Alice Plaza and new carparking spaces; and even the abandoned waterslide site in the early 1990s, which instead was demolished to make way for infill real estate development (Mercorella Circuit, near the YMCA).
We have decades of recent history of kids in trouble (or causing it) being shunted from pillar to post. As a society, history shows we’re not really fair dinkum about resolving this issue.
Sadly, there is nothing new in any of this – Rainer’s father and his colleagues were reporting on these kinds of issues 40 plus years ago, and it continues unabated to the present day.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ 5 Minute Local (Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:41 pm): Definitely living up to your pseudonym. Your suggestion is not a new idea – it’s been raised several times since the early 1970s.
The last occasion was when the construction of the railway north to Darwin was being finalised in the late 1990s-early 2000s when there was significant lobbying of the NT Government to re-route the railway around Alice Springs, including by the Alice Springs Town Council.
I also took up the cudgels on this issue as an individual and was publicly criticized by a local CLP member, notwithstanding the same member several years earlier had himself advocated the removal of the rail yards out of the town centre and to re-route the eventual railway to Darwin via west of the town.
These pleas were rejected by the government as being too late or too expensive (it would have added about three per cent to the overall cost, from memory). There’s no prospect of this happening now.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ John Bell (Posted June 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm): John, the only sacred trees on the Melanka site would be (or are) two old river red gums near the southeast corner adjacent to the intersection of Stuart Terrace and Gap Road.
None of the other trees I’m aware of on that site are local native species nor predate the construction of the Melanka Hostel.
This includes the towering lemon-scented gums of which the majority are now dying or dead as a consequence of lack of care and the extended dry conditions.
Consequently the trees don’t pose any significant issues for redevelopment of most of that area, at least as far as sacred sites are concerned.


Wakefield insists on Anzac Oval, ignores majority
@ Hal Duell (Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:59 am): Hal, I’m still in the process of collating information. Gathering the history pertaining to this location is rather like measuring a piece of string but it all adds up to demonstrating the considerable heritage value of this site, the extent of which I think will surprise many people.
The nomination for heritage listing of the oval and school will definitely proceed.
The fact that this issue has blown up in the NT Government’s face demonstrates the stupidity of over-reliance on advice from vested interests (with no regard for anything except their bank accounts) and overpaid outside “experts” who have no background in local knowledge.
Once again we see the consequences of the corporate amnesia that afflicts this town and Territory, and history shows it makes no difference which party is in power.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
There is another method of burying the dead which is also held to be environmentally friendly, it is called “promession”.
According to the Wikipedia entry on this subject, it’s a system of disposal of bodies of much more recent origin (two decades ago) than alkaline hydrolysis (19th century).
It involves cryogenic freezing of bodies in liquid nitrogen to -196°C (in effect, crystallising them) after which vibrations are applied that shatter them in minutes into fragments.
This material in turn is freeze dried and all metal or other non-natural components (eg. fillings, artifical joints) are removed.
The final stage involves “the dry powder being placed in a biodegradable casket which is interred in the top layers of soil, where aerobic bacteria decompose the remains into humus in as little as 6 to 12 months.”
Invented in Sweden, it’s a method already expressly adopted in South Korea and has expressions of interest from up to 60 other countries.
I think promession also deserves consideration as an option for burials.


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