The drinking age in Australia was 21
He was too young to drink, too young to live the life of a man, yet he was old enough to enlist in the Army.
It was not a chosen career, it was not something he wanted to do but he thought that he should.
There was a war in Europe and we were part of the Commonwealth.
Our soldiers were going and they needed more.
There was no conscription, it was voluntary and he volunteered
He was a boy----not tall or robust. He had never seen a gun or owned knife. He hadn't finished his trade apprenticeship but he signed up---he thought it was right--he thought that he should.
He had never been lucky, things never seemed to go his way yet he was prepared to gamble with his life.
Basic training was over and he was heading for the war---the last day in Australia, and it could be the last day he ever saw his country.
His luck did not improve when he and a mate were placed in charge of loading luggage onto the troop ship---the rest were allowed to have time with family and friends and even drink---yes, they were now soldiers and the age law did not apply to them.
A little luck turned into the luckiest day of his life.
They had finished loading the luggage and supplies, so his mate convinced him that they should have a drink for a good job done ---why not---there was two hours til departure time and they were legal---the wharf workers directed them to a local hotel and away they went.
They weren't gone that long but it was too long---departure time was an hour before what they had thought and back at the wharf they saw their ship sailing away---they were quickly reassigned and and sailed three days later.
What they didn't know til after the war was that their original ship sailed into Singapore Harbour not knowing that Singapore had fallen to the Japanese---the troops were prisoners without firing a shot in anger.
He saw action in North Africa and the Middle East and survived to be sent back home to Australia but his war was not over.
He didn't get back to his State or his family before his battalion was posted to New Guinea.
He never told me but I know he walked and crawled the Kokoda Trail, I know that he suffered badly and that he came home with mental images and memories that no one should ever have.
He never spoke of the war in terms of battle
He found no glory in anything that had happened.
He would talk of the wonderful people in Palestine and how beautiful he found the country to be---how wonderful the jungles of New Guinea smelled and how friendly the natives were, but no more.
He had no hate in him for the men he fought---they were doing no more of a job than he was.
Today is Anzac Day in Australia---a day we remember all of those who have fought to protect the liberties of this country and it's allies.
But I remember him every day---he is my hero.
I miss you dad, I love you
Sunday, 25 April 2010
The drinking age in Australia was 21
Posted by Clyde at 7:31 pm
Monday, 5 April 2010
OK, a little Clyde history lesson.
I grew up in a loving family of four. One brother and two wonderful caring parents.
My brother died young, never having married and having no children.
I married a beautiful woman who had a child from a previous marriage. Our plan was to have at least one more child----well, that was the agreed discussed plan.
After failing to get pregnant for quite some months, my beautiful lady went off to have some medical tests which resulted in me going off for tests----I passed with flying colours but after a few more months, I was asked to try testing again.
I phoned my wife's doctor to get my result but was told that I was not the patient and they could only give my wife the result.
Although he shouldn't have, my wife's doctor phoned me a couple of weeks later----he said he knew he shouldn't tell me but that there was no way my wife would conceive while she still took birth control pills.
I never confronted her---I just hoped that she would change her mind.
She never did and that plus many more factors resulted in a bitter separation and divorce.
My experience made me a little less trusting but I still wanted children and I hoped for a loving relationship-----I still hope but I think I'm past the children stage---unless the lovely lady already had children to bring into any relationship.
Both of my parents have died since, so I am a family of one---oh, except the beautiful dog laying at my feet.
Eight years ago I had a relationship with a girl 20 years my junior who I had met through work.
It was her instigation---I was reluctant at first but she was very insistent.
Caroline was young, beautiful, forward, horny and I was alive.
The relationship lasted just on 8 months but finished as abruptly as it started---she walked out one day to spend a weekend with her mother and never came back.
There was no explanation, there was no fight----she just left and didn't want to talk----she got angry if I contacted her so I just had to leave it as a mystery of life.
On Friday I ran into an old work mate----I hadn't seen him in 7 or 8 years---we talked for hours when he came up with a great revelation----it was so off the cuff, I don't know where it came from----but there it was.
"So Clyde, are you the father of Caroline's son?"
I had no idea that he knew Caroline or that I had a relationship with her.
Turns out that his partners' sister is Carolines best friend and that he knew everything about us----including Caroline giving birth in a period of time that could count me in for fatherhood.
He also knew that the child's birth was registered without a father and that Caroline insisted that she didn't know who it was and had claimed to have a few partners around the time of our break up.
So tell me where I stand now.
The few times over the years that I have tried to contact Caroline, she has become very angry.
When someone from work contacted her in relation to another official matter, she accused them of phoning on my behalf and accused me of stalking.
I cant force this matter----how much of a stalking wanker would I be to try to interfere with her life now.
How could I join in now even if I was the father of her son-----he hasn't known a father----it would not be fair on him---it's not fair on her----how would she explain it to him.
I am almost a desperate to find out-----even just knowing would satisfy me---but I am sure that she wouldn't tell me now.
I have a lot to think about
I'd given up on fatherhood, but maybe I am.
Posted by Clyde at 8:41 pm