Category Archives: Commonwealth Corner

Yarn February – March 2019

The Southern Yarn’s February – March 2019 issue is ready for your reading enjoyment again. Here’s the editorial to get you started:

Thanks to Jenny Gates for typing up the Getting to Know feature for this issue – about “Two-Up” (p.6). Now, I think there needs to be some explanation for readers who have never attended one of our events here in Winnipeg.

We play Two-Up at many of our gatherings – it is easy and fun for all ages, and results in a winner in just a few tosses. So, here’s the explanation: the way we “place our bets” is to stand up and place both hands on your head, or both hands on your butt, or one hand on your head and the other on your tail. Everyone who doesn’t match the result of the toss of the two pennies (yes, we use genuine pre-decimal Australian pennies) is out and they sit down. Those left standing place their bet again and there is another toss. It usually only takes three or four tosses to get a winner. So, we’re not really breaking any laws; and, in fact, we’re upholding a long-observed ANZAC Day tradition.

There is a charming 1937 book titled The Lore of the Lyrebird by Ambrose Pratt in which much of the credit for advancing the knowledge of lyrebirds is said to be due to an amazing friendship between a male lyrebird and a widowed lady named Mrs Edith Wilkinson, who, at that time, lived hermit fashion on one of the higher slopes of Mt Dandenong, Victoria, Australia. Since then these birds continue to fascinate and impress and have become superstars through YouTube and David Attenborough documentaries. They are also the subject in this issue’s Birds I view (P.8).

Thank you this month to Jude McCudden, Jenny Gates, Chris Brasher, Malcolm Whyte, Judy Powell, Peter Munn, Terry Delong, Murray Burt, our advertisers and you, our readers!

Yarn December 2018 – January 2019

The end of the year is upon us, and the final Yarn of 2018 is upon us. 

Here is the message from the Editor:

The month of November heralded several momentous events: the Melbourne Cup, the US mid-term elections and the DUCW’s Annual Meeting, to name a few. More seriously, of course, it was the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Here in Canada, “Remembrance Day” is commemorated more like ANZAC Day is downunder – the 11th of November is a public holiday, there are dawn services as well as larger gatherings at 11:00 around cenotaphs in most towns, Veterans, active service personnel and cadet units parade while pipers and bands play and march, speeches are delivered and prayers are offered, the Fallen are remembered in the moment of silence between the Last Post and Reveille. A very informative site to visit regarding the Armistice is: https://armistice-museum.com/understanding-the-history/the-armistice-of-1940/ Thank you again to all who have contributed to this issue of the Yarn – we may even be running to 8 pages! For insight into other historical events regarding the Armistice, read on!

Yarn October-November

The Autumn (October-November) 2018 version of The Southern Yarn greets us with the arrival of chilly weather and colourful leaves, and some early snowfalls. Read it all here!

All our back issues are available at the Yarns page, too, of course.

Editorial: 
Lots of bits of news for your reading pleasure again this issue. While browsing, the persistent story that kept coming up was the drought that is affecting widespread parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand. Folk have even resorted to rain dances!  While it is a good example of typical Aussie humour in the face of hardship, it could be taken as a bit too light-hearted for such a critical issue. I believe the “performers” are dead serious and desperate to get the attention of the public and the politicians any way they can. For many, it is past the point of rain now providing relief: they need financial and emotional assistance. And in the longer term, some new strategies to mitigate the hardships of future prolonged extreme dry seasons. Obviously great minds have been at work addressing this challenge for some years. A good summary of one such effort is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) publication: “The science of providing water solutions for Australia” [available online here]. For our part, we catch what spring run-off we can and pump it into barrels for use on the garden. This year there was precious little (yes, Manitoba experienced a drought, too), so plan B was drip-irrigators, sprinklers and buckets. My thanks, on your behalf, to the other contributors to this Yarn: Jenny, Ed, Peter, Judy, Murray, Brian and our advertisers! Enjoy, Charlie.

Yarn June 2018

The June issue of the Yarn is available for download. You can download it here, or from the Yarn archives page.

And let’s start adding in the editorial on these announcement posts…

Apologies for not getting a Yarn together for May, but I was away for half the month, downunder. The primary reason was a reunion of the class of ’69 who attended Queensland Agricultural College – it was certainly great to meet “old” mates again. Of course, with every trip back “home” there are always many reunions – other friends, family and, naturally for me, the birds. I managed to photograph about 40 different birds and chose one of them, the fan-tailed cuckoo, for Birds I view this month, p.6.

Thank you to Jenny Gates for her summary of our ANZAC commemoration on April 28th. While in Queensland, I also visited the Sandgate Museum – friendly volunteers and a very well-presented display of memorabilia – I noticed a protected copy of “The Anzac Book”. I have since found a pdf copy online – 100% the words of the men who wrote them in 2015 at Gallipoli. Something else that caught my eye was a notice on a lamp-post on the South Bank in Brisbane calling for new sensitivities to events of history.

Thank you also to Catherine Bowering for her second part of the Nancy Wake story, Getting to know, p.4 – it’s a big help having such articles written and offered. Others who have contributed this month are Peter, Murray, Judy, Malcolm and our sponsors – Thank you!