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As 2020 draws to a close, I tried to come up with something that would reflect on what a year it has been. 

I think we all know it has been a shit of a year. No one needs to be walked through the nightmare that we have endured since the clock ticked over to midnight nearly one year ago and announced with great celebration that it was 2020. To say it was SOSO would be kind. 

Instead, I want to tell you about a week I spent with my grandchild when I learned something about the power of the human spirit.

It was the school holidays of 14 years ago when I was asked to entertain my then 8 year old grandson  I will call him Luke.

I lived in a small apartment so I realised that I would need to do something every day for 5 days that would entertain him,  keep him busy and make the day pass as quickly as possible so that I could collapse at the end of each day without looking or feeling like a character from Night of the Living Dead. 

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 So it was that I came up with the idea of The Magical Mystery Week.

The first day, we met at McDonald's and noshed into a McBrekkie knockout plate of pancakes, syrup and a side of hashbrowns. 

So far so good, as long as my daughter didn't spot my car parked in the Maccas car park.

Luke assured me that his mother would have no problem with him having an ice cream cone for dessert so that was OK by me. Our first day led him to sheep, shearing and wool. So we headed off to the Jondaryan Homestead west of Toowoomba.

It was a stinking hot day. My grandson, always showing initiative, managed to steal some wool from one of the bails of wool in the shearing shed and shoved it into the top of his cap. He then spent a few hours explaining the marvellous powers of wool as a natural insulator against heat and cold. While I did not condone his sticky fingers, I did applaud his ingenious quick thinking. 

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Over the course of the week, we learned how to cook damper, the importance of bees to our world and the insulative properties of wool.  We learned, from visiting a cuckoo clock shop that engineering is actually really really interesting. We visited a graveyard and pondered what happens when we die. We went and saw a dam that was nearly empty and talked about how stupid it was that we didn't store the rain. 

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We laughed and joked about being scared of aliens and then got really scared because one, disguised as a farmer, started following us on a deserted road and we knew that he was going to abduct us for experiments and extract our DNA and then we talked about what DNA was.

We got sketch pads and painted using only the colours from grass and flowers to make our paintings and we made memories out of stories about the gravestones, who the people were and what their lives might have been like.

But the most impactive day of all was the day we went to the Milne Bay Museum. It commemorates those who fought at Milne Bay in New Guinea and the dreadful lives that they endured while defending Australia and the world against the horror that was raging during World War 2.

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Luke was being given a guided tour by one of the retired Veterans at the museum and he was thoroughly enthralled with what this old gentleman was saying. Luke has aspergers and was less than forthcoming emotionally, so I was quite surprised to see him holding this old man's hand as they looked at some of the photos.

I walked over to see what had grabbed his attention. It was a collection of images of starving men, skeletal and emaciated. 

" Are you OK ? " I asked.

He replied " Yeah, I'm OK. But they're not ."

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The old gent stepped in and said something I have never forgotten.  He simply stood there, holding Luke's hand and said " they suffered for you Luke.  That made it OK . "

That was over 14 years ago.

2020 has made me think about that moment at Milne Bay Museum more than I have ever done before.

It was a cherished memory of a man reminding a very young lad that sacrifice is a heavy burden that comes at great cost. But it is one that many bear, if not gladly, certainly with grim determination.

While many out there in leftie luvvie land believe the sacrifice is wearing a mask, surrendering their freedoms and being subjected to deprivation of normal civil liberties, there are those of us who believe that sacrifice is only made when it is needed, not when some twisted ideology decides that it is ours to give on their command.

Story about the Battle of Milne Bay

If we are to suffer for a cause, make it a GOOD CAUSE. 

But never ask us to surrender, because we have kids like Luke to consider and he is what we exist for. 

My New Year's message is therefore to greet the New Year with grim determination, hold hands and never give up hope. 

Monty.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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