Saturday, May 22, 2010

WW2 Aboriginal servicemen

The Aboriginal Lady I gave a Mac to and whose Wireless account I set up has had a lot of trouble connecting to the net. She is not very familiar with the technology and I have had to visit her place quite a few times doing ‘in service’ courses on email and Googling. She is getting there and will one day be able to let me go.

Yesterday I went to the Optus store where I bought her modem and wireless plan telling them that there seemed to be a problem with the modem. The young Chinese/Australian guy I had previously dealt with gave me a new sim card and after fitting it today, the connection is holding up fine. I have spent more time helping her than any other person I have given a computer to and this is because she was the wife of an Aboriginal teacher we knew in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s. He died some three years ago.

Her house has a garden area which is not well looked after and bare garden beds, so I took a pile of plants from our garden along with some soil wetting agent and fertiliser and if she waters them occasionally there should be a flourishing garden in a few weeks.

She and her sister are children of the ‘Stolen Generation’ and were brought up and educated by a Catholic Mission some distance North of Perth City.

Her father was one of more than 5000 aboriginals who served in World War 2. Many Aboriginals joined as Maoris or Indians because of a ban on recruiting Aboriginals. He served in Borneo at the close of the Pacific War in 1945 in the 2/16 Battalion.

Ted Farrell 2/16 Battalion

It is not widely publicised, but Aboriginals were treated very badly for their sacrifices. No pensions, citizenship or medals for them. No reunions on ANZAC day; no welcome at the local RSL club. Things have changed, but most of those veterans didn't see much change before they died. Sad!