A message from Brigid ....

I have been a blogger since 2005. At the height of my blogging busy-ness, I had "a small stable" of blogs on different topics: social and political commentary; desert spirituality; food; waste and ....

A few years ago I called time and ceased blogging altogether - although there was an occasional post. I had called it quits. I am an aged woman these days with a couple of serious illnesses. I am not allowed to drive. I am no longer active in organisations. I think it fair to say that I am housebound. I am active on Facebook, although I am not there as often as once I was. I have decided to embark on a re-entry into the blogging world ... beginning with The Trad Pad and, possibly, a return to my food blog, Oz Tucker. I have always used a lot of photographs on my blogs ... and I miss not being out and about with my camera.

The Trad Pad has been my blog for the lovely things of life. The controversial or political has seldom intruded. Occasionally, the spiritual has found its way in, but I kept spirituality for the blog, Desert. I don't yet know if I will revive that. I will stick pretty much to food and the lovely things of life. If I have some regularity with those two categories, I feel that I will be doing well. I hope that, with this blog new friendships can be formed and old friendships renewed; new lovelies discovered; new reflections can enter into the meaning of modern life. I would love to hear from you - particularly if you have suggestions for new topics to enter into the conversation. So, it is a new year. Let's see what it has in store, what it can bring to us. And I hope that those who share the spirit of The Trad Pad can spread the message of a world of beauty, the creativity of humanity, and the joys of simplicity and tradition. ~~~ February, 2017

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Remembering Burke and Wills

To-day a memorial plaque will be officially launched to commemorate the departure, 150 years ago, of Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills on a journey of exploration.  The Burke and Wills saga is well embedded in the Australian consciousness - not least because it was an unmitigated disaster and an example of how not to conduct exploration in Australia.

I live in Melbourne and Burke and Wills are big here.  I sort of knew that before I came to live here.  However, I am frequently confronted by the mass adulation of the B&W pre-expedition and their memorialisation post-disaster.  There are statues here and there but I was really gobsmacked by a very, very large artwork at the State Library of Victoria which portrayed the adulation of the crowds of Melbourne as they farewelled these yet to be heroic men.

I hate to be a party-pooper but I am a North Australian living in exile in Melbourne and where I come from Burke and Wills are regarded as prize dills.  We don't think they knew very much.  We don't think they needed to perish.  We think they were amazingly arrogant and ignorant.  While they were doing a perish not too far away Aboriginal groups were thriving.

If any memorials are being built to Burke and Wills to-day they should be done in the context of the ignorance and arrogance of the post-1788 white settlers.

The State Library of Victoria is entering into the commemorations with an ongoing exhibition which began in  May and will run through to October this year under the title of Burke and Wills: Terra Incognita.  To-morrow and Friday there are workshops related to the exhibition from the Curator's viewpoint. Gerard Hayes will discuss items on display including contemporary portraits of Burke and Wills, their last notes and firearms used on the expedition.  Bookings for the workshops are essential.

And for everything you ever wanted to know on the B&W 150th, please go here.

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