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It is over two years since the passing of Prince Philip. It was something that in many ways symbolised the passing of the old guard. The handing over of our future to a group of people who have never learned that, without respect for the past,  we will be given a future that none of us could ever have imagined or ever wanted.

It is a future that fills me with dread. It is also a future that we still have a chance to retrieve, if only we have the courage to fight for.

But these days, so many people don't really care.


When I look back at the image of the late Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, sitting alone and isolated, wearing a black Covid mask and bowed in sorrow as she bade farewell to her beloved husband and friend of 73 years, I cannot help but reflect how many of us were isolated and distanced from all we hold dear.

To me, it is the image of Covid and the image that best demonstrates how the world has changed, so quickly, so much and so badly.

As is so often played out these days, Punishment is handed down by our governments without so much as a care. 

Have we not seen this in the condemnation of our Australian soldiers? 

Where accusations are thrown like mud and it sticks to all?


As ANZAC Day passes again for another year, I wonder how many rose to meet the dawn and honour those who fought to keep us safe and free?  Or stayed at home and sat back and slept while forgetting the long sleep that so many have slept when they passed away on the battlefields of the Somme or on the beaches at Gallipoli.

While petulant children protest climate change and glue themselves to our roads and disrupt our lives without sanction, we tend to forget those who died in order to give them the right to be disrespectful, uncaring, and apathetic. Ignorant of history and only caring about what social media tells them is important. .


What has happened to us? How did we allow this to happen?

I read a story about a chained dog. Every day, someone removed a link in the chain. The dog did not notice, until, one day, it realised it could not move at all, so short was its chain.

I fear that this is where we are at right now. 

When I was a child back in New Zealand back in the 1960s, we had a Memorial Gate at our local footie field.


We also had an ANZAC plot at our school. Each soldier who had died in the First World War got a tree planted and a plaque at the base of " his " tree.

For a small rural community, there were about 30 trees, which is so sad when you think about it. One for each soldier who died in the fight for freedom of our small country and community.

Each was a native timber, like rimu, or totara, or other New Zealand native. Our headmaster set aside an afternoon every month for the kids in the senior school ( so we would have been about 9 - 12 years old ) to go to the plot and be responsible for the clearing and cleaning of a plaque.


The price of liberty is eternal vigilance

Over the months and years I cleared those plaques, I read their names and developed a deep respect for those that, as my headmaster used to tell us, " can no longer be here to watch the tree grow, but have need to rely upon others because the tree of HIS life can no longer grow. "

That is what creates patriots. That is what creates respect and a deep love of history, of family and of life in general. I returned to the school after many decades of absence and part of my tour of my school involved a trip to the plot dedicated to those young men. Somehow, I was reassured when I saw that the plaques were still neatly tended and the tradition of respect had been passed on to a new generation of children.

Without teaching our children to honour The Past, how can we create a Present that will give us hope for an optimistic Future?


While we allow the petulant and spoiled children to rage and throw tantrums; while we allow the angry youth who grew up without a solid understanding of history to dictate what happens in Government Policy; while we allow corrupt and self serving politicians and bureaucrats to change our laws and societies to fill their ever bulging pockets; while we ALLOWED our Queen to sit alone in mourning while others ran rampant in defiance of our so called laws, all because it is " racist " to object; while we ALLOW the theft of elections and the theft of our ways of life and culture; all I can say is 


Those that can no longer be here to watch their tree grow are relying on us to make sure that the seeds of their sacrifices are sown and broadcast widely. We need to tend that seed of sacrifice and nurture it. Teach our young ones to tend their fields and gardens, their monuments and their stories.


Now is the time to stand up, stand tall and fight for our past, fight for our present or be forever condemned to a future of a tethered chain where all our links from our past have been slowly but surely removed and from which there will be no escape.

I read recently that the elections here in Australia and overseas will always be won AND lost because people will support the biggest and fastest growing political party in the world.

The Apathy Party. and that is the biggest problem we face today. 


Apathy, O apathy
Why do you cloud the minds of men
And hold them from their duty
Until when?
Awakened from your binding spell,
With eagerness they seek to clasp,
The fleeting opportunity,
That once was theirs to grasp!

William Richard Whiteside, Whakatane, 1946

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