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

Remains of missing man found near Yambah
@ Alex Nelson. Thank you Alex. It was a very sad situation. I have often wondered about the two young lads who found him and how they must have felt.


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This brings to mind the finding of a human skeleton in the early 70s.
Up on the cliff face of the MacDonnell Range near Heavitree Gap, stuck in a cleft, an old .22 by his side, ragged remnants of clothes, with pre-decimal currency in the pocket.
He had been looking out over Sadadeen for quite a number of years, discovered by young lads climbing.
I cannot recall if identity was ever established, whether it was suicide or an accident.


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@ Carly. Your rather crass comment is perhaps better suited to the Twitteratti social comment medium, rather than in this respected cyber news medium?


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Strewth. A Federal prison in the Alice. The mind boggles. It could be filled immediately with Feddie ratbags and bushrangers for whom warrants are still outstanding from Traeger Park days of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
I can think of a few lads to be cell block chiefs. And then there are the Eover boys, the Pioneer lads, the Soupies … the place will be chockablock in an eyeblink.
They will have to throw away the keys.


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@ Local1: $300 for a Welcome to Country is chicken feed compared with the going rate down here in Melbourne Town Wiradjuri country. More than five and ten times that amount is usually the go, with competing elder groups jostling for position to get the gig. It tends to lose a bit of its oomph in this fiercely competitive monetary atmosphere.
Then you toss in the imposed mysticism of a La La Green White local council eg Darebin Council that adds to the mix, declaring non-Australia Day and banning all white ratepayers from a Smoking Ceremony in Council Chambers on 26 January to give the finger to Captain Cook.
All this from a moral-lecturing White Council that would not know a churinga from a chopstick – and it gets a bit much.
Ernie Dingo and Richard Wally must be sitting back in Suby, enjoying a nice quiet ale, grinning, saying to each other: “Our job is done here!”
I really like those two rascals. Richard was on our NASF Board in the 80s.
Mind you, they may sincerely believe they have done a great thing. Good luck to them.


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