Norma-jean Morrison

Lockyer VALLEY, Australia

Name Normaje, i live in Lockyer Valley, Australia..i am wanting to get better with my art and image work / so i can be friends with you...

"Why do we weep"

ANZAC DAY 2008.
Most of this letter is a repetition of the one I send you each year but to this one I add the ‘TRUE’ meaning of a single word, I will do that at the end.
I feel sure that the composer of the original ‘SUVLA BAY’ will not be concerned if I change the ‘SINGULAR’ to the ‘PLURAL’!

WHY DO WE WEEP?
WHY DO WE PREY?
OUR LOVES ONES SLEEP SO FAR AWAY!

THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT APRIL DAY
AND NOW THEY LAY BURRIED
AT ‘SUVLA BAY’!
Are the Dawn Services held all around Australia on ANZAC DAY; 25 April each year held so that Relatives, Friends, Loved Ones and Descendants can remember the lives lost in the many futile pursuits of ‘Imperial, Governmental and Media Driven’ calls to Arms – to defend and save our loved ones and a way of life!
NO! I think not!
Ask anyone that attends those Services the Question; WHY?
You will be surprised with the many and varied answers! However, in the main it all comes back to ‘Tradition’.
Very few people still live on 90 years after the original ‘APRIL DAY’ and fewer still actually know ‘why’ we remember.
It is a beautiful tradition, provided we do not ask why; be satisfied that the ‘DAWN SERVICE’ is a solum time for us to reflect on the futility of such ‘DAYS’ and to recite those words: “LEST WE FORGET”!
The Anzac Day Marches are a different kettle of fish altogether, the March and the meetings held in the various Pubs, Parks, Halls, Clubs and the traditional ‘Swy’ or ‘TWO UP GAMES’ are not for remembering the Dead or for Glorifying WAR!
They are a traditional gathering off the people who lived a different life, spoke a different language, felt a different pain, sometimes for only a short while but mostly for Years, than those who did not live the life of WAR!
Does not sound right does it?

I served in the RAA, mostly in 3RAR during the mid to late 50’s but I never marched; my Father served in both Wars, attended most Dawn Services, met with his mates after the Marches but never marched and his mate who was to become my ‘Claytons’ Father, attended his first Dawn Service in 2002, he died in 2003!

We all had or have ‘Ribbons or Medals’ that we are entitled to wear but never did or will, not through any disrespect or shame, my reason is that those who fought Wars to keep this country and their loved ones safe need no ribbons or medals that they can wear, where everyone can see, as proof of their service; no memento will ever teach me how to talk to or understand those who lived or live that life.

This is all very deep I know but the March is deep and meaningful, not in the way it is portrayed but in its true meaning; to explain it a bit better I add some words spoken to me by my father on ANZAC DAY 1953: –
Please read and absorb them.
………………………

It was the only time I ever saw Dads WW1 & WW11 ribbons and medals -——

He told me that the ‘Dawn Ceremony’ was for remembering fallen comrades of both War’s but particularly WW1, it wasn’t about courage or valor, it was to remind the Survivors and their Kin of the unnecessary Death and Carnage suffered by all, at ANZAC COVE and throughout that WAR; the last seven words spoken at all Anzac Day Dawn Ceremonies are:

‘We Shall Remember Them; LEST WE FORGET’

‘The March’ and two-up is for all Service personnel, particularly the Returned Service People, it’s where you got to meet the only living people, who shared the same language, the same experiences, the same night-mares; diggers who’s own families could no longer understand them or accept that War had changed them, could meet once a year, relax and understand one another!

It was the one day of the year, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, set aside for Re-unions of all service personnel who had sworn to protect and defend their Homelands and Families, Dad said:

“We never talk about our fallen comrades, we reminisce about the times and the places, on that one day we are all comrades, we feel and share unreserved love with our Mate’s, for them and our Country!”

Now to that Word!
Yesterday I watched and listened to a speech made on ABC TV by the new, young, Labor MP, and the Honorable Peter Garret! (Sorry if I spelt it incorrectly young Peter but I meant it to be your name; bet you would get upset if I called you Peter Ferret)

The Honorable Peter Garret was extolling the virtues and necessity for all Australians to attend the numerous Dawn services; he said that he may attend the one at KOKODA, to remember the diggers who fought on the KOKODA –
“T’’—‘R’— ‘A’ - ‘C’—- ‘K’ —? Yes, he used that political correct word;

I would love to meet up with the Bureaucrat or arty fartie who decided that it was more proper ‘Aussie’ to call it the KOKODA TRACK – after all, the poem about the Dog sat on the Tucker Box talks about a Track winding back.

That fool need only talk to any soldier who was there from July to November 1942, he will not be able to talk to the elite few members of ‘J’ Force who marked and mapped the Trail from the Villages of Gorari and Oivi to the village of Kokoda because they all dead now, (if they were alive they wouldn’t talk to that arrogant arsehole anyway), prior to ‘J’ Forces marking out or blazing the TRAIL, no way existed for anyone to travel overland from the South Coast to Kokoda; an existing, well marked road ran from Buna on the North Coast to Kokoda and the Japs used it often. Get it right next time young Peter, it is the:

Kokoda Trail

History
Mountain trail that stretches from Port Moresby, beginning at Ower’s Corner to Kokoda.
From July – November 1942, a village on the Kokoda trail, from Buna on the north coast thru the Owen Stanley Mountain Range to Port Moresby. After Battle of the Coral Sea May 5-8, 1942 that resulted in the failure of Japanese sea borne assault of Port Moresby, the Japanese Army 144th Infantry Regiment commanded by General Horii’s attacked overland across the Owen Stanley mountains, using the Kokoda Trail. On the trail the Australian 7th Division resisted the Japanese, and the advance was halted within 30 miles of the city, and due to losses, and lack of resupply, the Japanese began to fall back towards their beachhead at Buna.
Lat 8° 52’ 60S Long 147° 43’ 60E. Village in centre of the Owen Stanley Mountains, where the Kokoda Trail ends
Kokoda Trail is the name of the small track that linked the village of Kokoda to the coast and distant Port Moresby. The trail ran from Gorari and Oivi to the village of Kokoda, which stood on a small plateau 400 meters above sea level, flanked by mountains rising to over 2,000 meters. It then climbed over steep ridges and through deep valleys to Deniki, Isurava, Kagi, Ioribaiwa, Ilolo and beginning at Ower’s Corner, linked with a motor road (Snake Road) leading from plantations in the hills above Port Moresby down to the coastal plains. Between Kokoda and Ilolo, the trail often climbed up gradients so steep that it was heartbreaking labour for burdened men to climb even a few hundred yards.
Much of the trail was through dense rain forest, which enclosed the narrow passage between walls of thick bush. At higher levels, the terrain became moss and stunted trees, which were often covered in mist. From July to November 1942, this was the setting for a bitter campaign to prevent the fall of Port Moresby.
Today

Those interested in history or challenging treks walk this historical trail. Most of the travellers are Australian, but the trail is becoming more popular every year, and for Papua New Guineans too. The route takes several days to complete. Occasional landowner disputes occur over the trail, but a ‘trek permit’ spreads fees between all villages.

I hope you enjoy this small extract from;

The JEB Book 1-:KEN’s TALE’

Over the years we often went or were sent on raids on Australian shores against what we believed were Australian traitors, in all up to 1957, we carried out 35, such assignments, always successfully, but we were the first over the Owen Stanley Ranges, we marked out the Kokoda Trail and put battery operated direction beacons half way up the trail and in Kokoda Village.
That was one hell of an assignment, it took us 6 months and we never lost a man.
Before we headed out from Cook Town to the Kokoda thing, me and Ernie went for a night out in Townsville, we got drunk (Not pissed) and disorderly (We didn’t get arrested) again but while we were still reasonably sober we planned each step of the way; I was to take a team consisting of 4 Jebs (One of whom was ‘Bowman’) with 4 Lookout crews and assemble at Karema just North of Port Moresby where we were to pick up 10 Highland Natives as carriers and 2 sets of beacons with their batteries. I was to meet up with Ernie there and then plan how we were going to get to Kokoda.
I arrived at our meeting Place with my 4 Jebs and Lookout Teams and received the first of what were to be continuous surprises, the carriers were there but they were a different tribe than I had expected, their home country was the Western Province of Dutch New Guinea (Later taken over by the Indonesians and re-named West Irian or Irian Jaya) which we later called Fussy Wuzzy because of their fuzzy hair, none of the Eastern Indigenous New Guinea people had Fuzzy Hair.
The Fussy Wuzzy knew who Ernie was, but they only saw him of a night, in full make-up or camouflage and he was like a ‘Good Devil’ to them, I think they called him something like:
“Im pella debil kill Jap pella all same lik lik.”
And the Fussy Wuzzy hated the Japanese and didn’t put up with any rubbish from the Highland natives or the Eastern New Guinea people, in turn; all the Highland or Hills People were terrified of the Fussy Wuzzy.
Ernie visited me that night and was quite content to let my Jebs believe that I was receiving instructions by radio from Australia (Mainly because I got all my instructions by night or when the Jebs were on guard patrol or sleeping) and despite each of the Jebs being very good at their job, (they often killed Japs or infiltrated behind the Japanese lines) but they never knew that Ernie would slip past them to see me and slip out again, except for perhaps “Bowman”. (James Edward Bowman)

When I told the Jebs to put matchsticks in their headbands or hatbands, “Bowman” said:
“Yes, I don’t want that bastard to slit my throat without me knowing”!
I was surprised and said:
“What bastard is that Edd?”
And he replied:
“That bastard that our Fuzzy Wuzzy call ‘Im pella debil’!”
Anyway, that night Ernie told me to follow his ‘Trail’ markings until we got to Kokoda and if there was any danger, he would take care of it, or drop back and change the trail, he also told me to put that ‘Bowman Kid’ in front as scout, and show him what my markings are, Ernie said:
“He’s good that boy, see you in Kokoda mate!”
The trail was easy to follow, the distance from Karema to Kokoda was about 50 miles as the crow flies but Ernie picked the roughest and toughest jungle to go through, always upward, at times almost straight up, so the distance we travelled was more like 90 miles or even 100 and I pitied those who were to follow us later, we were very fit boys but it knocked the piss out of us.
The only problem we struck was on the second day when “Eddy Bowman” came back to us and told us to hold up for a while, he then went back up the Jungle trail and was gone for about 2 hours, when he got back he said: “You’ve had a good rest ‘Boss’ so let’s go again, Oh by the way, the problem was these little Hill Tribes blokes were collecting my trail markers, so I put a stop to that!” I didn’t ask him how and the rest of our journey to Kokoda, though it wasn’t any easier, was trouble free.
We placed the first battery operated beacon on the top of this rocky outcrop, about halfway up the “Trail” late on the fifth day.
I get very angry in this modern day and age when the politically correct twerps want to rename it the “Kokoda Track”, we named it the “Kokoda Trail”, in honour of the first “Australians” who climbed it, it was “Ernie’s” trail that we followed, who do these ‘Twerps’ think blazed the trail for our Troops to follow?
On the ninth day ‘Eddy Bowman’ came back to us and said; “Kokoda is about a mile further down the valley and the little spooks are all decked out in feathers with spears and bows, it looks like a pretty rough welcoming committee to me!” I said: “OK, spread out as we go in, you blokes cover us from the edge of the jungle and the Fuzzy Wuzzy and me will go in and see what eventuates!”
We walked into the village and there was no trouble, except for a lot of posturing and singing, but that quietened down after the Fuzzy Wuzzy had spoken to them for a while.
I signalled the JEB in from the jungle and we set up camp.
Ernie called in that night as expected and his first words were: “You looked buggered mate! But that’s to be expected from you city types!”

I hope that this small part of Book 1 – KEN’s TALE, helps to get the message across, if any of you know how to get a copy of this letter to the Hon Peter, please send it on, If anyone hasn’t read or kept a copy of Book 1, just send me an email to edwinan@bigpond.net.au and put JEB Book 1 in the subject line; if I don’t know you and you don’t have that subject, it’s doubtful that the email would be opened at this end.
Just in case you have lost or do not know the WEB Site address it’s:
www.users.bigpond.net.au/jeb
Until next time,
Love and/or regards

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