Welcome to the August retrospective of news and social media presence across the platforms I use.
Gallery of Family and friends
August included travel with opportunities to catch up with old friends and new. There were themes to explore including Multiculturalism and my status as a senior citizen.
My travel took me to Sydney and to my birth city of Geelong for a school reunion and a family celebration. With my new leisure time available as a retiree I decided to take the train using my NSW Discovery Pass which gives me three months of travel from Brisbane to Melbourne and lots of places along the way. Travel hint: pack your own snacks and nibbles as the trip to and from the diner car can be an obstacle course if the train suddenly turns a corner.
While visiting Sydney I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried the latest in hostel type accommodation at The Capsule Hotel, Sydney It’s another one for the bucket list but unlikely to be a repeat experience.
This slide show is a montage of people, faces and places that all have a story. A few shots in my purple hoodie are from a visit to my birth city of Geeelong. I got along to an “old Boys” reunion of St Joseph’s College Geelong, where I jumped in front of the lens with Des Podbury, one of the oldest former collegians and John Mildren, former ALP politician for the seat of Ballarat. My other Geelong old boy catchup was with Russell, with whom I went through St Pat’s Geelong West as well as “Joey’s”. The last pic in the purple hoodie was a family get together with my late’s father’s brother and sister in law, Chris and Margaret.
The lady wearing the Geelong footy scarf is my late mother’s only surviving family member, Majella Tracey FMM. Religion pops into a few of the other pics with a selfie taken with Bishop Vincent Long and a series of heads from St Mary’s Cathedral as well as a memorial plaque to Gough and Margaret at St James Church.
The pick of the pics is the one where I am wearing my Keffiyeh with a young Middle Eastern guy. I was in Parramatta and popped into the local Macca’s for a coffee, Ahmed, the young man in the pic noticed me and made a point of coming over to chat. He had never seen an Aussie wearing a Keffiyeh. We chatted and he introduced himself as a Muslim from Lebanon. We talked politics, religion and peace and embraced each other in a quiet suburban space of harmony.
The group shot was taken as part of Rainbow Seniors Free Screening of Victor Victoria.
How do we have respectful disagreement with politicians like Peter Dutton or media moguls like Rupert Murdoch?
How do we tell Senator Fraser Anning he is not just wrong but offensive?
How do we tell John Howard he was a liar about the Iraq invasion and Tampa?
How do we tell Malcolm Turnbull he is a gutless weak political leader?
How do we have a respectful disagreement with #Indonesia about the genocide and transmigration policies in West Papua?
How do we have a respectful disagreement with weapon manufacturers and the government s like ours that support them?
How do we have a respectful disagreement with Donald Trump?
My best wishes and solidarity to my Muslim friends during this holy time of Ramadan.
May we who are not Muslim fast from prejudice, misinformation and ignorance about our sisters and brothers of Islam.
May we who are not Muslim be generous in our willingness to understand this faith and welcome this community into our neighbourhoods.
May we who are not Muslim take time to reflect, pray and be still with the wonder of faith that calls all people to peace, collaboration, respect and love.
The months of February/March this year mark a significant milestone as I reach my 65th year, five short of my biblical allocation. On 23rd February I celebrated my 65th birthday and on 8th March I celebrated the 65th anniversary of my baptism.
I have collected a series of plastic cards that affirm my status. I am a card carrying member of National Seniors Australia, COTA, and as of now I carry my Qld Seniors Card with me for discounted public transport and other advantages listed in a handy booklet. Combined with my cinema cards I calculate my cost of living to be almost zero!!
Feature Photography for February-March
Additions to established albums
A New Year
2018 is one of those significant years in my life. I celebrate my 65th birthday which still marks a watershed moment for many as the era of “retirement”, grandchildren and far less clubbing. I am considering a change in my workload and a simpler lifestyle. The “grandchildren” are borrowed from friends and clubbing has been added to the agenda thanks to sharing a house as well as lots of time and friendship with a much younger housemate.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights with an opportunity for everyone to contribute to a global campaign of awareness and solidarity.
The Calendar Storyboard
Despite the digital frontier I hold on to some classic practices including physical calendars. As a child I learnt o check the days from the calendar my parents had in the living room. We grew up in a traditional Catholic Family where the Columban Calendar was the norm. As well as providing useful information on holidays and saint days it served as a mini gallery of the European masters in our humble house.
In recent years I have attempted to be a little more frugal by recycling calendars where the year was a repeat. The 2007 calendar is a match for 2018 but I only had one in my set from the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters Having space for 7 calendars can be a challenge but if you spread them between bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, study and hallway you can create a pretty colourful set of wall hangings.
During the month I managed to get along to two cinema events:
I am Not Your Negro A powerful documentary about race
Public art is more than decor. It educates, challenges, inspires, and amazes us. One of my commitments for 2018 is to share the art works I see in my daily travel. This piece is in the foyer of the Mater Mother’s Hospital South Brisbane.
Churches are a great source of inspiration for photography. I celebrated Christmas with the Byzantine Catholic Community on January 7th
Invasion Day is an annual pilgrimage of justice and solidarity with the First peoples of the land.
Some pretty vigorous discussion happened on my Facebook wall when I posted the following comment:
This government is bereft of morality, undeserving of respect, and callous in its commitment to abandon integrity. Those who hold membership or support the Liberal and National parties should hang their heads in shame for their failure to stem a culture of cruelty, abuse of human rights and failure to work for the Common Good of Australia.
Malcolm Turnbull Liberal Party of Australia #tonyrobertson
Although I have cancelled my Linkedin account I still get requests so if you sent a request please note this account is inactive.
Feature addition of the month was a new item to my Manhood Mates and Masculinity page.
January Odd Spot
Thanks to Catholicism there is never a shortage of “odd spots” to lift the eyebrows. This month the Catholic Leader takes the cake with a new year item, What Brisbane Catholics are reading this summer. Now you might wonder why not “What Brisbane Catholics are eating this summer” or “What Brisbane Catholics are drinking this summer”. However, the books won and 6 lucky contestants got a guernsey. To their credit they gave four possies to women and only two to blokes. All were “professional” Catholics and no one from an Indigenous or Non English speaking background.
The item itself was interesting with a broad range of texts and the usual suspects from the enclosed religious whose library probably doesn’t run beyond spiritual reading. The story didn’t make the Twitter feed of the CL but it did make the Facebook feed. The FB feed only attracted 9 likes and three shares. What is interesting is that not one of those interactions thought to add their reading selection to the conversation.
So, my summer reading in fact, part of my daily reading for the year: Classic Catholic with good wine.
To honour this day I publish two of my fave icons of Saints Perpetua and Felicity next to Saints Sergius and Bacchus. These ancient martyrs have been revered and honoured for their witness to same sex affection, commitment and devotion.
My thanks to FB friend Paul Halsall who in 1997 published a comprehensive Calendar of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Saints
We who are people of faith celebrating our diverse sexuality can look back to a rich history of mentors and witnesses to the grace of love among our LGBTIQ ancestors.
On this historic day let us unite in prayerful thanks for this legislation and invite our Church to begin a new journey of affirmation of our love and commitment.
26 Boxing Day