LETTERS 3.9.16


Slim chance
THANK YOU for the interesting article on the motorised submersible canoe (MSC), nicknamed Sleeping Beauty (“Manual a beauty,” Herald, August 27, 2016).
You correctly attribute its invention to Major Hugh Quentin Alleyne Reeves who sadly was killed post-war when he was sucked into a jet engine intake whilst conducting another experiment.
It is my understanding that one of the very few originals is on display at the Army Museum in Fremantle.
Unfortunately, you make the common mistake of calling the unit Z Force — it decidedly was not.
Along with its counterpart, M Special Unit, its designation was Z Special Unit, a cover name accorded to it by Special Reconnaissance Department.
Z Force was part of Slim’s XIV Army in Burma and Force Z was the ill-fated HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse.
Also frequently overlooked is the fact that Z Special Unit was a mixed Allied force, with some 23 of our ANZAC cousins from the 2nd NZEF serving in it.
None the less, well done for throwing some light on this little known aspect of our military history and heritage.
Kevin Bovill
Noble Way, Success

Love the wave
I WOULD just like to say as a local Attadale resident that I’m fully supportive of the innovative artificial wave that has been proposed.
I am a surfer and I would intend to use the pool on a regular occurrence.
I’m also a father of two daughters, one already starting to surf. We do have concerns with sharks, so whilst shark deterrent technology improves this will be the perfect way for me to teach my children the incredible sport of surfing.
My wife has already mentioned that it would be a great family outing for us surfers or just viewing from the lagoon side café. Who knows she may even get enticed to have a go!
I would also hope that schools maximise this opportunity to allow a safe and controlled place for children to learn ocean skills.
As mentioned I am 100 per cent supportive of this proposal and feel it will benefit the whole community.
Brett Hainsworth
Stock Rd, Attadale

DID I just read in an article that Fremantle council is going to pass an ordinance, aka law, that a person cannot cut down a tree on their own property?
Then the problem all stems from the council cutting down trees for “progress” and not replanting them.
It is easy; cut one, plant one. They don’t even have to be planted in the same place or area, just plant one.
Most local governments around the world do strange things or are comprised of people we don’t like. But you, Western Australia, have some of the biggest goofballs going.
Stop voting for goofballs and go cut down some trees before the ordinance takes effect and then go to the beach. Everyone loves the beach.
Scott Petrill
Peachland, North Carolina

I AM writing to express my pleasure and delight at the prospect of a wave park at the end of my road.
Surfing is a great fun and healthy sport and something I fell in love with many years ago, despite being from Glasgow originally.
Let us hope that the community gets behind this positive and modern proposal and that we can enjoy this wave park as soon as possible.
Lorne Campbell
Coverley Street, Alfred Cove

WELL done Fremantle council, spoiling the pleasure and enjoyment of hundreds of families by cancelling the Australia Day fireworks in order to please the politically correct few.
I suppose spending another $145,000 on fireworks was too much for their budget after lashing out on the oversized pile of “nursery blocks” welcoming visitors to Fremantle.
Margaret Paynter

For the birds
THE foresight and intelligence of local councils is something amazing; who would have thought you could put a wave park alongside the river where people used to walk dogs, admire the tranquillity of the Swan, play on the grass with kids, bowl, play cricket. Now they will be able to surf.
Budding surfers will not have to make the tedious journey to the sea some kilometres away, where they can get stung or bitten or even dumped by real surf.
Sheer brilliance, just like Elizabeth Quay; yet another fine example of the commercialisation of public space.
Geoff Dunstone
Carrington St, Palmyra

Who’s happy?
I AM no fan of fireworks, you see one lot you have seen them all and a lot of money goes up in smoke, however I remember as a child I loved fireworks displays and I am sure most young ones do.
However, I wonder whether the ban on the annual Australia Day fireworks is actually about making the indigenous community feel better about the day of celebration, or is it more about making the council feel positively warm and fuzzy and good about themselves.
Geoff Dunstone
Carrington St, Palmyra

50,000 seems fair support
FREMANTLE councillors may soon learn that far from stopping the fireworks, the explosions have only just started.
The confused rationale for this decision can be found in the Council minutes:
“Community sentiment is calling for an alternative to the recent tradition of celebrating Australia Day with fireworks on January 26. We also need to consider the ongoing cost and environmental impact of the fireworks event. The budget for this event has been reduced for 16/17 so the city could not deliver the same level of event as in previous years.”
How the level of community sentiment for change was determined is not explained; but If 50,000 people keep on turning up, that would seem to demonstrate a fair amount of support for the status quo.
However, if sentiment for change indeed exists, the council has missed a golden opportunity to start a community conversation about the significance of Australia Day, what it stands for and how it should be celebrated.
For this they would have been commended, rather than being rebuked by an editorial in The Australian, no less (though some may wear this as a badge of honour, of course).
The sad thing about this fracas is that the weekend of activities proposed as an alternative is wholly admirable and would be nicely complemented by a fireworks display, perhaps reduced to meet budget constraints.  Now that would be a positive move to bring people together rather than setting them against each other. Maybe it’s not too late.
Gerard MacGill, Michèle Dreyfus
Harvest Road, North Fremantle

Just a year ago
WHAT a difference a year makes…
In 2015 Fremantle Council’s views, expressed in its media release, quoted deputy mayor Josh Wilson: “Families from all over Perth have enjoyed Fremantle’s distinctly relaxed Australia Day celebrations since its humble cracker night beginnings many years ago and I know everyone in Freo has taken pride in seeing our celebration blossom into this fantastic one-of-a-kind event in recent times.”
Deputy Mayor Wilson went on to say: “This year the fireworks also mark the start of an incredible period of arts and cultural activity.”
Over 30,000 people attended the 2015 fireworks celebration…that’s actually more than the entire population of Fremantle which is now about 28,000.
Of the 1.6 per cent of locals who identify as indigenous, it’s a fair bet that many of them also attended the fireworks! What a fantastic public endorsement of this wonderful community event!
Fremantle council’s politically correct decision to cancel the 2016 fireworks in response to the noise from a handful of activists, is an embarrassment to the vast majority of residents who support the Australia Day celebrations and the community spirit embodied in this for all Australians.
Fremantle council, your actions disrespect all Australians.
Raymond Bell
Doepel Street, North Fremantle

When will it stop?
Throughout human history nations have been settled and or conquered by other nations.
The Romans and Vikings were masters at it. In most cases history will show that those countries have prospered and grown and Australia is no different.
Whilst we have people such as Aboriginal activist Herbert Bropho who sprouts rubbish such as the first bang at the Fremantle fireworks show reminding him of  the guns of the early settlers, we will never move forward.
What a load of rubbish, and that weak-kneed excuse of a mayor who is determined to send Fremantle back into the dark ages should have come down out of his ivory tower to see the many indigenous kids and adults who enjoy the fireworks each year.
The stolen generation is another good example; does anyone honestly believe that these kids were taken from the dirt and squalor with any malice in mind, and is it not being once again considered to save these kids from squalor and poor health they once again find themselves in?
Abolishing the Fremantle fireworks is just another form of reverse racism and will do nothing to forward the cause of Aboriginal people.
The best thing they can do is drop people like Mr Bropho, embrace multiculturalism, live for today and help make a better future for all kids.
To the mayor; 50,000 local people will miss the fireworks and that’s a lot of lost trade.
Maybe you should listen to the majority rather than a few activists.
David Phillips
Curedale Rd, Beaconsfield

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