Archive for the History Category

X is for (e)Xtravaganza

Posted in A to Z, Family History, History, Music with tags , , , , , , , on July 16, 2016 by EnglishStreet

imageOk, happy to admit I struggled with this one. Not a fan of the Uncanny Xmen or Xavier Rudd, so I had to take some liberties here. I noticed that Paul Kelly had to skip X (along with V).  Not a real story to go with this one either, but I’ll try to make something good up anyway.

One of my favourite things is a really good Scottish accent. Case in point Ms Kelly McDonald. A mighty fine looking lass, but her voice, it just does it for me.  Might be the Scottish blood in my veins. Continue reading

V is for Via Chicago

Posted in A to Z, Family History, History, Music with tags , , , , on July 14, 2016 by EnglishStreet

imageToday marks 15 years since I married the love of my life. 15 years.

2001, the year Wikipedia was founded, the year Windows XP was released, George W Bush rose to power, John Howard retained and the Twin Towers fell. We lost George Harrison, Nigel Hawthorne, Joey Ramone and Douglas Adams.

I was a mere 20 year old for all bar 15 days of 2001, and despite ‘wise’ folks saying we were too young, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m glad she agreed to come for the journey too! Continue reading

W is for a Wonderful World and Wonky alphabet

Posted in A to Z, Family History, Music on July 9, 2016 by EnglishStreet

13620228_1077543238988820_6181925629216447383_nI know, I know. T, U and V come before W, but today is special.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of my paternal grandmother. I had a pretty special bond with her, and I love and miss her dearly.

Her line of the family has some Aboriginal heritage. A few years ago I met a traditional Aboriginal healer, a spiritual man. One of the first things he said to me was that there was a lady with me in spirit. He said she wasn’t a happy lady, but she was happy to be walking with me.

Grandma wasn’t the happiest of campers, and I’d guess that most people wouldn’t be associating the song made famous by Louis Armstrong, What a wonderful World. This video in particular, a 1968 TV performance from what I can gather, makes me think of her. I don’t know, I think it is him more than the song, his mannerisms just make me think of her. Continue reading

Cultural cringe

Posted in Culture, Family History, History, Reflection with tags , , on October 13, 2014 by EnglishStreet

IMG_4368After months of having nothing to blog about, my mind has exploded in the last few days as I try to gather and order my thoughts.

I spent two days leading indigenous cultural awareness sessions at my workplace last week. The training sessions look at the history and culture of Australian  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the impacts of colonisation and government policies and the ongoing effects that these policies have had and how we can get beyond these issues to push for a better future.

I am an Aboriginal man, and although my great-Grandfather left the traditional lands as a child and none of his descendents in my line have ever been back to Cunnamulla or Eulo, I’m proud of my heritage, just as I am proud of my Scottish and Italian heritage.  I’m learning about Aboriginal culture and what life might have been like for my ancestors, and for others around the country.

The response to the 8 or so training sessions I’ve been involved in over the past few years has been positive, people surprised with the value of the sessions and leaving with a greater understanding and awareness. No one has been confrontational or argumentative. We debunk myths of free cars and a race of drunks.

Then on Saturday I went out to Moruya Golf Club to play in a local comp. I overhit the 4th green and had to chip on from the back right. My playing partner had safely hit on the green and was waiting for our opponents to hit on. I saw him turn to his right and spit on the putting green. Now, I’d never seen him spit anywhere before, let alone on a putting green, which I assume there is some etiquette guiding.  As I walked up onto the green I noticed where he spat, a large Aboriginal flag had been dug into the putting green, leaving a deep rut which will take a while to grow out. All four of us putted in and walked off to the 5th tee, past the equally deeply scrawled letters, each at least a metre high “C**T”. Our opponents noted that, at least, it was spelt correctly.

Now, I have no idea who made the impressions on the green. I’m assuming from my past experiences that the symbol was scrawled by someone who associates with the image, but it could just as easily been put there by someone trying to draw negative attention to the symbol. Either way, it’s not a good look.

I didn’t say anything to my playing partner, my friend. Let that one through to the keeper. Myth debunking per training would lead me to say that there are bad eggs in every community and people will always be around to share lewd images and profanities on fences, windows, walls and putting greens. Yes, there is a mistrust with authority and a disdain for upper-middle class ‘white’ people, who make up the majority of golf club members, but I just wish that some bad eggs weren’t so proud of their, and my, symbols!

5 years

Posted in History, News with tags on April 18, 2013 by EnglishStreet

1986 Porsche 911 Carrera, from

While I was 5:

  • Usain Bolt, Jack Perkins, Rafael Nadal and the first ever computer virus were born;
  • L Ron Hubbard, Benny Goodman and Cary Grant died;
  • A safety test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plan resulted in the deaths of at least 4000 people;
  • The Challenger Space Shuttle explodes shortly after lift off.
  • New Kids on the Block released their debut album New Kids on the Block, Belinda Carlisle released her debut album Belinda and Crowded House released their debut album (you guessed it), Crowded House;

    Continue reading