Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ralph OBE

Yesterday, my long-time friend Dennis and I drove down to Mandurah to visit Ralph OBE (over bloody eighty).  Ralph is in respite care whilst his wife Wendy is in England preparing to cross the channel to Fromelles where her uncle who was killed in WW1 has been reburied in a military cemetery.  250 bodies of Australian and British servicemen were discovered in a mass grave and over some years DNA identified the remains of 20 Australian soldiers.   Wendy’s uncle Adolf Knable was one of them.   See the story here.

Dennis and I took Ralph for a drive around Mandurah and some of the canals.  Mandurah is a large retirement town; not much industry there, but the amount of building since I last visited, is amazing.       We had fish and chips for an early lunch and we headed back to Fremantle as I had to be home for a computer delivery.
Ralph is being well looked after and he seems to like it there. 

A few days ago I received a phone call from a fellow I had met at a recent gathering of Papua New Guinea expatriates from times before Independence.  He told me of a fellow teacher I had gone through college with, dying.  It seems that he didn’t talk much of his time in PNG and the eulogy at the funeral taking place today needed some link to his teaching years up there.  I knew Tom and caught up with him over a couple of visits to Queensland, but couldn’t recall significant details about his PNG service, so I emailed a good friend who was also at the college and fortunately Jim was able to supply some good stories about Tom which will slot nicely into his eulogy at the funeral.   Farewell Tom.

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