Woodfire chats

7 May 2023

On this day, I sat with my old mate (Maurice G. Barwick) of some 38 years and chewed the fat so to speak. We served together so many years ago and yet when we are together, it is, as if, it was but yesterday. We spoke of the past, our friendship, our lives, our mates and our relationships with others.  What is of interest is that without knowing each other we were both at the Infantry centre, (Ingleburn) back in 1972. Maurice was a Major as 2IC Infantry Centre and I was just a little Digger undergoing my Initial Employment Training – (IET). But that’s another yarn.  WOOD FIRE CHATS

Anyway, back to the chat, Maurice and I began our conversation, both sipping on our respective beverages (for medicinal purposes only) we became mesmerised by the fire. We watched while the flames curled around the dried twigs, licking and stripping them of them to outer coats of bark to expose their inner core, crackling and tiny explosions brought forth more flames from the heat generated by the combustion.   

Suddenly the flames lit up as if in a roar enveloping asunder the twigs, amidst the large log placed by his niece Evelyn (Lyn). Lyn and her husband Paul who now live with Maurice. They are both wonderful company for my mate Maurice and I know that he is good hands.   We both came to the same conclusion that we had reached a stage in life where we can honestly say that we feel we have contributed to the Australian way of life. We had and still do, remained true the values and moral codes of conduct that society today takes for granted.    

We laughed and joked about pulling each other’s leg and how some of our twisted and somewhat bizarre sense of humour could only be understood by those who have served the nation in one form or another.  We discussed the development pf the HANZAC Memorial and pleased to see that in five years so many projects had been completed. A tribute to the many who contributed towards making it a unique memorial to three nations. In addition, discussion took place regarding the HANZAC MARATHON for the year 2024 and the support that we are receiving.       

We both believe that life is what it is and that why we still had the ability to think, breathe and be mobile, we would continue to make our world a better place.   We felt that as we age, we remained relevant by using the wisdom of years effectively by encouraging the youth of today to reach for the stars and not to fear the unknown. We realised that fear is an emotion and should be avoided as a companion.  

Furthermore, we are of the belief that the mind is a wonderful tool that has been underestimated and that it was possible to rewire and harness it to meet the challenges of life. We also found that wisdom and knowledge if not used correctly could be and is misconstrued and misused by innocuous and self-centred personalities seeking to enhance their social status at the expense of others.         

Maurice mirrored the words of a disciple long since passed, that to be happy in life, one must not speak of evil, to enjoy what you have, avoid conflict and anger, do what is right and look after one’s self first, (otherwise you will not be able to look after others). Be not like the oak tree that can be blown over on a storm, but be a willow tree that will bend in gale.  

Wise words indeed and if I were to add more, I would say that in today’s world, “Wisdom, Commonsense and Freedoms ” are sadly lacking in society today. We are being overwhelmed by the needs of the few at the expense of the many.  It is an age where many of the positive paradigms of the past have been manipulated and morphed to suit the needs of those who should know better. It is time that we called a spade a spade and discarded the companions of fear and aggression.  Australia is on the verge of becoming a great nation in its own right with policies that will define it as a leader on the world stage. A leader that will change the geopolitical balance in the Pacific region. We believe that it will happen sooner rather than later.      

As always be of good cheer, remain vigilant, keep close those you love, fight the good fight and never give up.