The annual St Patricks Day Ball was a memorable part …

Comment on Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived by John Bell.

The annual St Patricks Day Ball was a memorable part of Sacred Heart Parish events, directly behind Sacred Heart in the 1960s and early 70s.
Religiously attended by all us dedicated Roaming Carflick young lads and lassies, and others, from Melanka Hostel.
It was eld out in the open on the cement courtyard, in beautiful crisp night air, Milky Way blazing in the Central Desert night sky, a ritual symbolic gate crash invasion by the Orange Men at a suitably hazy stage of proceedings.
Wonderful Irish music, Pride of Erin, Barn Dance, rock n roll, imported big bottles of Melbourne Bitter from Down South.
Beyond the Mexican border, on our table, ripping the sleeve of the only suit coat owned climbing over the courtyard fence at 3am.
Then quiet reflection on indiscretions at Mass on Sunday. Good memory.

John Bell Also Commented

Alice Easter 88 years after the altar arrived
I believe the Aboriginal community and the wider Christian community would be well served if Pat Dodson were to return to the Sacred Heart parish and talk to the people about his time as a priest in the Alice.
I am sure that his reflections on the faith and difficulties and internal politics of those times would be enlightening and welcomed by all.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@Nadine Williams. “We are the future, we are the link”. Such wonderful inspiring marching music lyrics!. Reminds me of the Good old days of peace activism and the stirring calls to arms (so to speak)…”Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” circa 1968. I can see Kim Jong un joining in….singing at the top of his voice…as today’s born again ICAN Nobel Prize peace activists march on the UN – that paragon of global justice – to demand that all countries get rid of their nuclear warheads. I always loved Puff the Magic Dragon. Ah,nostalgia. Here am I at three score years and eleven, trying to persuade that other paragon of justice -the AFL – to get rid of Collingwood Football Club. In the interests of world sanity.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
Russell writes a nice heartfelt article. Emotional and committed to the notion that he and his fellow self-named “peaceniks” are enlightened and inhabit a black-and-white “Us against Them” world where they have always been pitted against those hateful “conservatives” who are warmongers who refused to see the light in all the peace causes down the years.
But my experience has been that life is shades of grey. Vietnam halted the Communist drive down through SE Asia long enough to let Malaysia and Indonesia overcome the insurgency.
My South Vietnamese friends Tom and Than Dong will tell you of genocide cleansing throughout their old Montagnard village countryside when Hanoi took over and the oppressed people have since learned to keep their mouths shut on fear of death.
My left wing American friends who did contract work at Pine Gap will tell you that the facility does good work to ensure world peace stability.
And the Amerixan community in Alice has been a socially binding force for good in the Centre.
My German friends from the Black Forest will tell you that the Wall came down because the West fought the good fight but they warn the reality of world Communism in Russia remains an ever present and constant evil.
The best way to describe our world where the vast majority of us “progresives” and “conservatives” know the reality and we all work towards peace in our own ways – is that our daily lives and values are a good mix of “fifty shades of grey”. Not peaceniks v warmongers.


Gap Centre is the centre of The Gap
I would like to commend both Centres for their incomparable work with the young people of Alice down the years.
They have all been magnificent in their selfless work and countless Alicians must have great stories to tell about them.
I would like to pay special tribute to the late Mrs Joan Higgins and Alan, her trusty sidekick of many years at Wills Terrace, and Graham and Ronda Ross down at the Gap.
I have had the great privilege of seeing them in action, giving amazing help to kids in need, 24/7, 365/12. Such good hearts. Alician Treasures.


Same sex marriage campaign in the bush takes to YouTube
Peter. It looks like you have me sorted as a bigoted, born-to-rule white male heterosexual No voter – in no uncertain manner.
To make matters worse, I was also born an Essendon AFL third generation supporter and will go to the death as a True Believer, maintaining the faith in the Mighty Bombers. Your mind is made up. So be it.
However, your comment makes me wonder what your moral judgment is of a No voter who happens not to be white (eg Vaughan) or neither white nor male (eg Theresa)?
Do they have any redeeming qualities as No voters, or are we all No vote bigots with no empathy etc? How do you rationalise their No vote views?
I ask these questions in good faith. I am genuinely curious to learn your thoughts.


Same sex marriage campaign in the bush takes to YouTube
Vaughan, Malcolm, Theresa and Steve. I would like to say thank you for speaking out to vote No. Please be aware that voting No exposes you to being called a homophobe and a bigot. You will be seen as a weirdo bigoted heterosexual in today’s new world. Don’t be afraid. You know in your heart that you are not what they say you are. You no doubt have gay friends, like I do. We believe what we believe. When the Yes vote wins the day we will not be in the majority. Stay true to yourself. You must keep the faith in the face of the vitriol you will cop. That’s life.


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