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Stan’s Stuff – Catch-Up – Twenty days in Queensland – our recent visit.

By Stan Stewart.

On a day or two a week, at 7.00 in the morning, our brother-in-law, Vincent walks around the huge Chermside Mall in Brisbane. Great idea! The Mall provides pleasant surroundings, muzak, wide air-conditioned walkways, no swooping magpies. For around an hour, he walks it with seven or eight women, all around 80 years of age (I guess). There are men but the predominance of women cannot be ignored. We were invited to join them for coffee on one of those mornings.

Here is the first amazing thing. One of the walkers looks exactly like a good friend of ours who lives here in Whitianga. Facial likeness, hair, dress, voice – in fact I thought it was our Whitianga mate. But it wasn’t. I asked her did she have a sister (I was thinking twins) or relatives in New Zealand. But she did not. Pauline also noticed this resemblance. We have no explanation. Perhaps there is someone who looks likes me walking around Chicago or Dublin? Scary thought.

The second amazing thing was I noticed a number of these older women were wearing ‘smart’ watches. I had always associated these watches with the younger and more trendy. Unprompted, in our coffee time chat, two of the ladies shared about their recent adventures (misadventures really). In the last two weeks, both women had fallen over (different times, different places). Their falls were heavy and that couldn’t get up by themselves. For anyone their age, falls are scary things. People I know about have spent agonizing hours waiting for someone to come and help them up. The two ladies shared their separate stories. They were out walking when they took a tumble which left them incapacitated on the ground and no one noticed. But within 15 minutes professional help was at their side. And in their dazed condition neither of the women had done anything. Their smart watches saved them. Immediately they fell their smart watches notified emergency services, relayed the fact they had fallen and the location of their fall. I’ve told my wife I want one of those watches.

OZ Observations (Australian observations)

Walker: Our son Walker may yet walk again! Readers of The Informer know about him. He went from being an athlete to complete paralysis from toes to upper chest in the matter of 42 days. There seems to be some connection with the Covid Vaccine. This was followed by almost a year in three different Brisbane hospitals and075 continuing rehabilitation. I was with him for ten months of this time. He made no progress for months and then little by little his physical capacity returned. The top half of his body is now almost normal, and recently in a heated pool, he has taken steps. While we were in Brisbane, between rails assisted by two therapists, he took a few steps. We wept with joy and I still weep. No one knows how far this recovery will progress. What I know is that our son Walker is determined and will give full effort to his therapy. I thank everyone who has supported Walker and Pauline and me with prayers and friendship. The devotion and attitude of Walker’s wife and son has been inspiring – immeasurable.

The Voice: On Saturday, 14 October 2023, the same day as our election, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing a body called the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander VOICE’.

Many of our kiwi friends are interested in this referendum. They ask me ‘How is it going?’ I didn’t undertake any formal investigation, but here is my impression.

The Albanese government has given the ‘Yes’ vote massive support. Their heartfelt and emotional promotions for the ‘Yes’ vote are omnipresent – constantly in your face. But, no one I met is talking about it. What I take from this is that they will vote ‘No’. How things are going in other states I don’t know. Apart from the government promotions, I think support is muted.

Members our family who are aboriginal and Tories Strait islander who are involved are also muted – not so much an extra law is needed but a change in the system system and some entrenched attitudes of privilege need to be removed or remove themselves.

Climate Change: We travelled from Cairns in the far north of Queensland to Brisbane -1700k. I took every opportunity to ask locals about rising sea levels and beach erosion. No one I spoke to was aware of any beach erosion. Nor were rising sea levels on their minds. It seemed to me that unlike here, beach erosion and rising sea levels are not on the agenda of local bodies or worrying local populations. They do think about

Kiwis in Australia. I gained the impression that Aussies have lost interest in Rugby – I wonder why? Rugby League is their enthusiasm. Everyone knew one or more kiwis. They were also aware of an increasing number of Kiwis coming to live in Australia. Their attitude was welcoming – ‘The more the better’ I was told. We have found that here a few kiwis are reserved towards Aussies coming to live here.

Well, that’s my catch-up. I know I speak for Pauline when I say we are glad to be part of this friendly and forward-looking community in this most beautiful part of the world.

 |  The Informer  | 
By Stan Stewart.

On a day or two a week, at 7.00 in the morning, our brother-in-law, Vincent walks around the huge Chermside Mall in Brisbane. Great idea! The Mall provides pleasant surroundings, muzak, wide air-conditioned walkways, no swooping magpies. For around an hour, he walks it with seven or eight women, all around 80 years of age (I guess). There are men but the predominance of women cannot be ignored. We were invited to join them for coffee on one of those mornings.

Here is the first amazing thing. One of the walkers looks exactly like a good friend of ours who lives here in Whitianga. Facial likeness, hair, dress, voice – in fact I thought it was our Whitianga mate. But it wasn’t. I asked her did she have a sister (I was thinking twins) or relatives in New Zealand. But she did not. Pauline also noticed this resemblance. We have no explanation. Perhaps there is someone who looks likes me walking around Chicago or Dublin? Scary thought.

The second amazing thing was I noticed a number of these older women were wearing ‘smart’ watches. I had always associated these watches with the younger and more trendy. Unprompted, in our coffee time chat, two of the ladies shared about their recent adventures (misadventures really). In the last two weeks, both women had fallen over (different times, different places). Their falls were heavy and that couldn’t get up by themselves. For anyone their age, falls are scary things. People I know about have spent agonizing hours waiting for someone to come and help them up. The two ladies shared their separate stories. They were out walking when they took a tumble which left them incapacitated on the ground and no one noticed. But within 15 minutes professional help was at their side. And in their dazed condition neither of the women had done anything. Their smart watches saved them. Immediately they fell their smart watches notified emergency services, relayed the fact they had fallen and the location of their fall. I’ve told my wife I want one of those watches.

OZ Observations (Australian observations)

Walker: Our son Walker may yet walk again! Readers of The Informer know about him. He went from being an athlete to complete paralysis from toes to upper chest in the matter of 42 days. There seems to be some connection with the Covid Vaccine. This was followed by almost a year in three different Brisbane hospitals and075 continuing rehabilitation. I was with him for ten months of this time. He made no progress for months and then little by little his physical capacity returned. The top half of his body is now almost normal, and recently in a heated pool, he has taken steps. While we were in Brisbane, between rails assisted by two therapists, he took a few steps. We wept with joy and I still weep. No one knows how far this recovery will progress. What I know is that our son Walker is determined and will give full effort to his therapy. I thank everyone who has supported Walker and Pauline and me with prayers and friendship. The devotion and attitude of Walker’s wife and son has been inspiring – immeasurable.

The Voice: On Saturday, 14 October 2023, the same day as our election, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing a body called the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander VOICE’.

Many of our kiwi friends are interested in this referendum. They ask me ‘How is it going?’ I didn’t undertake any formal investigation, but here is my impression.

The Albanese government has given the ‘Yes’ vote massive support. Their heartfelt and emotional promotions for the ‘Yes’ vote are omnipresent – constantly in your face. But, no one I met is talking about it. What I take from this is that they will vote ‘No’. How things are going in other states I don’t know. Apart from the government promotions, I think support is muted.

Members our family who are aboriginal and Tories Strait islander who are involved are also muted – not so much an extra law is needed but a change in the system system and some entrenched attitudes of privilege need to be removed or remove themselves.

Climate Change: We travelled from Cairns in the far north of Queensland to Brisbane -1700k. I took every opportunity to ask locals about rising sea levels and beach erosion. No one I spoke to was aware of any beach erosion. Nor were rising sea levels on their minds. It seemed to me that unlike here, beach erosion and rising sea levels are not on the agenda of local bodies or worrying local populations. They do think about

Kiwis in Australia. I gained the impression that Aussies have lost interest in Rugby – I wonder why? Rugby League is their enthusiasm. Everyone knew one or more kiwis. They were also aware of an increasing number of Kiwis coming to live in Australia. Their attitude was welcoming – ‘The more the better’ I was told. We have found that here a few kiwis are reserved towards Aussies coming to live here.

Well, that’s my catch-up. I know I speak for Pauline when I say we are glad to be part of this friendly and forward-looking community in this most beautiful part of the world.