THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL GIVEN YOUR ALL - NOW WHAT ? HOME ISBN 0 9577 426 7 3 CHAPTER 18 Written/published 08/02/09 - 21/02/09
am amaze amazeme amazemen amazemeNT
"I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
(Revelations 22, 13)
18. The dead rainbird
As I write, on Sunday afternoon 8/02/09, Australia is in shock. Nature, whoever controls it, is unleashing its fury across our continent. Heavy rains during the past week are causing havoc in vast areas of Queensland. News reports say as much as 2/3rd of this huge state is affected by flooding.
But more shocking are reports of Black Saturday, the day before writing. Extreme weather, record heat, fanned by strong winds, have brought infernos across the State of Victoria. Heavy loss of life is reported, and expected to rise, as the extent of the devastation becomes clearer.
I personally am in awe of what I had written in the previous chapter, and published four days before this writing. The name at the end of the introductory paragraph points directly to one of the hardest hit areas of the Victorian tragedy - Kinglake and Whittlesea.
Words fail ...
- - - - - - -
(Back to the bicycle journey - New South Wales)
It was Thursday December, 4th 09. I crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge one last time, aiming to reach Mittagong on my heavily-laden 24 speed-Giant bicycle. My plans changed not long after passing Sydney's Central Railway Station. A sign indicated to turn left for the Pacific Highway.
This more scenic route appealed, rather than the Hume Highway, which I knew would turn into a four-lane freeway on the outskirts of Sydney. Cycling for three days beside a busy freeway, even though it's shorter, is monotonous.
According to the map the Pacific Highway leads to Wollongong, south of there I planned to turn west, toward Mittagong. Just as well I had not carefully researched this route. Had I known of the degree of incline, I may have been inclined (pardon the pun) to not cycle that way.
A noise beside the Pacific Highway, which led through rugged bushland, made me turn my head. For a brief moment I saw a four-legged creature scurrying into bushes in fright. I had seen many animals on my tour, never a wild goat.
Approaching Wollongong I should have taken a left turn down the Bulli Pass, instead of following the Highway. I may have been spared from more hills. Before the steep six-kilometre drop into Wollongong a police man, directing the heavy traffic, gave me a look as I pedalled past. I heard him say: "You are keen ...".
What did he know that I didn't? Perhaps he just saw the parade of heavy trucks, huge rigs and semis, with their enormous tyres, when my tiny, small-framed, bicycle, paradoxically called GIANT, came along? Maybe his comment was to compliment me on my attempt to be a David among all those Goliaths, holding my ground on the descend into Wollongong?
For those who don't ride bicycles, downhill you go fast, very fast, without trying. While dozens of trucks were crawling down the mountain in the left lane, I overtook them in the centre lane. Unlike these heavy vehicles, a bicycle cannot use engine power to assist with engine-braking. I felt safer to let my bike go, avoiding heavy braking.
As I flew down this hill, I was glad to not be pulling, or more likely being pushed, by my trailer. I would be braking very hard. I was even more glad to not have to cope with the trailer the next day.
Tullimbah Inn, looking toward the Macquarie Pass
Historic Marulen, New South Wales
Surely, the zebra crossing was more vital when the highway went through the centre of town. As by-pass roads do, they tend to make us pass-by little gems like Marulan.
I snapped a couple of photos and had a shandy in the pub, exchanging a few words with the locals.
Rolling into Wollongong, around 3.30 pm, it was a little early to be pitching the tent. I only stopped briefly at this large, but magnificently situated city on the south coast. I wheeled my bike up and down the Crown Street Mall, and ate a bread roll on the steps, near Eagle's Wings Christian Bookshop.
Continuing south took me past the huge cooling towers of the Port Kembla Steel mills to the shores of Lake Illawarra. (Those with a good memory recall this name, the name of a boat, a few chapters back). My destination that day was Shellharbour, one of the oldest towns in the area. Today it's a major tourist resort with a choice of two caravan parks.
It was strange, the way the receptionist greeted me after arriving. Was this person really expressing pity for me, that I was travelling by bicycle? I heard the question: "Jesus, why do you do this to you?"
I didn't know what to answer, since I was not really sure, if the person was meaning to use the Lord's name in vain.
The question arises - should we as Christians react, when we hear the Lord's name used in vain? One thing we should NOT do, something radical Muslims tend to do, when their prophet is insulted - answer with fire!
- - - - - - -
Sign outside Shellharbour.
Aboriginal name: WONWIN. Aboriginal meaning: BIG (S)HELLFISH.
WON WIN - What an interesting word! Playing my game I see oi. Aussies love winning - oi oi oi !
Please note: I did not erase the S, resulting in BIG .. HELLFISH. I spotted it, which made me stop and take the photo. Only then did I see the unusual aboriginal name.
- - - - - - -
After putting up my tent and showering, I asked a resident of the park, where to find a shop to buy some food. A young man recommended a good fish & chips shop. He directed me: "Go to the roundabout, first street after the roundabout turn right, it's on your right."
I cycled down the road I thought he meant, but came to no roundabout. Nor did I find the popular take-away fish & chips shop.
From experience, whenever you ask a stranger for direction, if there are more than 2 directional changes involved, and they say - you can't miss it - go through it all again, or you will miss it.
Looking back, I was meant to not find this place. God wanted me to experience one of those intimate moments, an opportunity to show, how interested HE is in our everyday life. An immediate need, expressed in a god-directed thought, call it prayer, was answered in a most specific way. (Read on).
My journey the next day, the steep incline inland, up the Illawarra Highway, was to be rather demanding. I was to climb from sea level up a mountain pass into the New South Wales' Southern Highlands. For this reason I needed to eat something substantial that evening. At another time, a leftover slice of bread and/or a raw carrot may have sufficed.
After buying some milk at a petrol station, searching the shelves in vain for something suitable to eat for dinner, I rode back into Shellharbour.
How and why, I myself find is a mystery, but suddenly the thought of Chinese Take-away entered my brain. I had not seen such a place on arrival two hours earlier. Approaching the main street of Shellharbour I found myself thinking, no praying, this little prayer: "Lord, let there be a Chinese Restaurant, where I can buy take away fried rice for six Dollars." My thought was very specific - Chinese Fried Rice for six Dollars!
Moments later, after half a kilometre riding further into Shellharbour, on my right I saw a Chinese Restaurant. It looked rather posh. I parked my bicycle and walked up the few steps and into the reception area. When I noticed, on my right, the lavishly decorated dining room, I thought for a moment - they don't even have take-away service.
But there was a sign, pointing to the left - 'Take-away'. I asked the young lady at the desk: "How much is it for a small fried rice?"
She answered: "Six dollars."
Friends, this is our God. It was not my habit to ask God for things I needed or wanted, like a rich man, whose servants procure any fanciful wish in an instant. The thought, to ask for this meal, the detail of it all, came from God, it was inspired. This was HIS way of demonstrating, how powerful HE is, and how interested in the little, everyday affairs of our lives.
"...for it is HE who works in you, both to will and to do, of HIS good pleasure". (Phil. 2, 13).
The price could have been $ 5.90 or 6.20; no it was right on $ 6. During the time, waiting for my fried ...
... (ie drf ... on editing I also saw ... fried + n = friend)
... rice on a nice, antique-style lounge chair, I could not stop thinking about it all; I felt overwhelmed.
(Please note, my financial position, which is and was very healthy, had little to do with this incident. If I had wanted to, I could have sat in the dining room and ordered a full meal - but that wasn't my style, not at that time).
There was more. I can't recall when exactly I noticed the name of the Chinese Restaurant, either while waiting for my rice, or on leaving. But when I did, it caused some considerable amazemeNT: The place was called TANGS - G's N a(nd) T.
Left: Waiting for take-way at Shellharbour.
To capture the moment I asked the young lady, who had taken my order, to snap a photo of me. She must have wondered why? What would she have thought, had I tried to explain ...?
Right: What exercise, combined with a good diet, does for you! Take my word for it - my name is Dieter.
On final editing, by pure chance (or not) I came across another Chinese Restaurant in my long journey. It also has an interesting name - YAN. (Book 3, Chapter 16).
- - - - - - -
For the following bit of fun, take the word RICE and rearrange the four letters to make ICRE. From there it's easy to 'see ER'.
Fast forward to February 09, six days before this writing. I had a most unusual experience, which produced the letters ER by surprise. Here is how they came to crystallize:
It was the day I was to change the roadside pulpit outside our church. (Another person will be responsible for the roadside pulpit in the future). I usually came up with a quirky sentence, one that has meaning, and causes those reading it to ponder. If the saying is also topical, even better. I asked God, what it was HE wanted.
Once I had decided on what to display, the quickest way to change the sign was like this: I wrote both, the new slogan and the existing one, on a piece of paper. Then I crossed off, one by one, the letters already up. This way I had to only fetch those letters that are not already on the board.
During my prayer that morning the new slogan came to me. It could not have been more topical: RE THE BIBLE WE NEED A HIGHER INTEREST RATE. The day before our Reserve Bank had dropped the official interest rate to its lowest rate in many years.
The existing sentence I had put up during the week of the AUSTRALIAN OPEN Tennis Tournament (nice word) being played in Melbourne.
Here is how the two sentences looked, and how the letters worked out:
RE THE BIBLE WE NEED A HIGHER INTEREST RATE
A GAME OF TENNIS A WALK WITH GOD BOTH BEGIN WITH LOVE ALL
R E E E R E R E R E
Starting from the far left I needed an R, since no R was present on the right sentence. Each of the following letters was available from the right, until I needed EE (in NEED), next the R for HIGHER etc.
How the magic came to being, flabbergasted me. Co-incidence, perhaps? Inspired more likely! To appreciate my amazement with ER, see Chapter 12.
Our box of letters contained just enough E's (10), otherwise I would not have been able to create this new slogan.
ER, German for HE, is a good source for healthy food. (Man shall not live by bread alone - rice also).
- - - - - - -
(Back to climbing mountains)
Cycling the Illawarra Highway from Shellharbour, on Friday, December 5th 08, was the hardest stretch of my tour. No doubt it was also the most scenic. A lovely country road, (see first picture in this chapter) led me away from the coast, via Albion Park, toward the Macquarie Pass.
At the turn-off to Lake View Road a car had stopped. It was a rather lonely place. I asked the driver, if everything was OK. The sole, male occupant behind the steering wheel, wearing a CHAMPION T-shirt, assured me, it was. Not that I could have done much, if there were a mechanical problem. There is a fine line between being regarded an intruder of privacy or becoming a careless passer-by.
It was a most beautiful climb up the narrow, winding road. On one occasion a big truck, pulling a trailer, had to reverse on a hairpin bend, to be able to negotiate the bend. As the road climbed higher, vegetation grew lusher, and the views became more spectacular - a broad valley, green gentle slopes with the coastline in the distant haze beyond. I took a few photos as I marvelled - did I come all that way?
After about an hour and a quarter of grinding up the pass, the landscape turned to beautifully green, rolling hills, with the occasional forest and lake, tucked into pretty valleys in between. Just before the township of Robertson, I celebrated my achievement, climbing Macquarie* Pass, at Mrs. Robertson's Famous Pie Cafe. It must have been the best meat pie, washed down with chocolate milk, I ever tasted.
*The day before writing, a name appeared on the TV News. A gentleman was giving his 6 second opinion in a matter. His name was Robertson, from Macquarie Bank.
Historic Robertson, 730 m above sea level, was named after a former New South Wales Premier. It achieved recent fame. The movie Babe was filmed there.
Before reaching the main, four-lane, heavily used link between Sydney and Melbourne, I briefly stopped at a little town called Sutton Forest. I wanted to make sure, the road I was travelling on would lead to the Hume Highway. A young lady in the Irish Gift shop was just picking up her order for Southern Glass, Order No. 59.
Travelling in this district reminded me that nearby must be the Belangelo Forest. The name may end in angelo, it has a very sinister history associated with it. The forest was the scene one of Australia's most gruesome mass murders, known as the back-packer murders.
One must shake the head in disbelief. What kind of deranged, evil mind would offer a lift to backpackers, take them to a forest and kill them? The perpetrator was the same man, I had mentioned in my previous chapter. He allegedly had cut off his little finger and tried to mail it to the High Court.
I just remember, on final editing, did I not cross paths with a similar, potentially dangerous man? Just looking up the story in Book 2, Chapter 29, unexplained magic!
The incident happened near Mannheim (man home), a name you will read later in the chapter.
But there's more: In the story in Bk. 2, 29 - is a quote from the Psalms: Verse 15 of Psalm 50. My ISSO had not yet been revealed. It came 11 chapters later.
Soon after I reached the Hume Highway. Thankfully, the weather was ideal, near perfect conditions for cycling. A fresh tailwind pushed me briskly south-west.
As was the case on the Pacific Highway, the emergency stopping lane on this busy road, was wide, with a smooth surface. I made very good time, which allowed a small detour and a brief stopover at Marulan (see picture above).
The town of Goulburn, which boasts to be Australia's first inland city, has around 22 500 residents. According to their tourist website its history goes back 170 years. With my family I had travelled this road many times, on the way to Sydney. This was the first overnight visit.
The Caravan Park was located not far from the jail, where above monster murderer is imprisoned. (This was the address mentioned in the previous chapter - 77 Sydney Road, Goulburn). I was glad to reach Goulburn, my day's destination. It had been a long, hard ride.
I was very thankful that during these three weeks in the saddle, I suffered not one headache, backache or stomach complaint.
The tent area of the caravan park was not fenced off. As I proceeded to erect my tent, four large kangaroos, happily grazing, hopped off into the bush. I felt an intruder - but then, was this not symbolic, the story of all of us white Australians, arriving unexpectedly and putting up our tents? I never saw those kangaroos again.
There was plenty of daylight left for a little shopping, plus a quick look around town. In large towns (by Australian standards Goulburn is large) the major supermarkets open until late.
Waiting at the checkout, I noticed the person in front of me had nothing but 4 identical items in his shopping basket - 4 picture frames. In his household it must have been picture-frame Friday!
Before cycling back to the caravan park I had 1/2 hour of daylight left, so I took a short ride to Belmore Park, in the centre of town. It's located right opposite the historic courthouse. This is the place, where Sydney-bound travellers, as the last stop before their destination, stop for a bite to eat and a pee*.
*(A slight distraction - found in the archives)
Stop sign, Salisbury (circa. 1996?)
Recently I came across this photo in my archives. I am standing under a stop sign, rubbing my chin in amusement.
I had seen the funny side of the three separate signs: Stop, 2P, and the yellow arrow for buses to turn. I created the caption: Stop, to pee, turn left.
(Many times had I been teased when I operated L to P Driving School - does it stand for Learn to Pee?)
But the real magic, hidden until recently, added amazement to the amusement - the four letters of the company name in the background: MANP... (Manpower).
The firm has since moved - too smelly perhaps? (Just kidding).
- - - - - - -
At Belmore Park, Goulburn, a group of young musicians had assembled, practicing marching and playing. I stayed briefly to watch the bag pipes and drummers, all moving back and forth on the wide path beside Auburn Street. The bandmaster was shouting his commands, wielded his long stick to a strong beat, poking holes into the air.
The tune the band played sounded familiar. I knew it from my childhood, a German folk-song: 'Heimatglocken rufen leise' ("Bells of home call silently").
Well, I was on my way home, sort of.
The Lieder Theatre, the name derived from Goulburn Liedertafel, had been operating since 1891. That night was the opening night of 'Ladies Night Out". As I walked past I looked at my watch. The show had started only 8 minutes earlier. I considered going, but I had not eaten, and no cash on me, only plastic money. Besides this, I had not phoned home yet, which I had done almost every evening. The bells of home were calling - back to the caravan park at No. 77.
The next morning, the date was Saturday 6/12/08, I took another short ride around Goulburn. The front door of the Cathedral stood open. I entered to enjoy 10 minutes of meditation and admiration - admiring HIM, thanking HIM for HIS intimate friendship and the way HE shows IT to me.
As I was leaving I noted a vehicle, a van. While unlocking my bike, the driver was unloading some goods. I only took notice superficially. As if my code was trying to catch up with me, I noted the writing on the van - Rose's Flowers, and the registration number ... 10055. It really ISSO.
What was it, and still is to this day, the compulsion of my brain to take note of numbers, letters, colours and all kinds of data, then create a link to the one BIG story, which has occupied my mind for almost ten years? This is the mystery.
Top: Auburn Street, Goulburn - observing digits 1 3 6 and 9, opposite Robertson United.
The two digits 61 struck my brain, because the evening before my football team Adelaide United had won their A-League match against Wellington (New Zealand), with the biggest score ever - 6:1.
Centre: After I had locked up my bike, outside the Convention Centre, Canberra, I noticed I had locked it right next to another GIANT OCR3.
Bottom: The big moment of accomplishment - arriving at my host's apartment, after covering around 1400 kilometres. I had found the registration plate on the outskirts of Canberra - 1 for the collection.
- - - - - - -
As if fate is trying to tease us with numbers: At this point of writing (on Mon 16/2/09) I went for a short bike ride to Salisbury, returning via Salisbury Highway.
On the roadway, outside a small block of units, I picked up a 10 cent coin. It looked like the coin had been run over many times. I checked the address of the house - No. 152
152 + 10 = 16.2. Today's date!
Already this morning I experienced a similar ...
Hey, now I see a link from the morning numbers twist to this evening's: 152 remade = 1511, read on)
... numbers twist. I cycled to the Ingle Farm shopping centre. I dropped a film for developing, I did some banking and renewed my concession card for public transport.
There was one chore left to do - pay for my licence at the Motor Registration Office. I arrived in the waiting area, where a young man handed me a ticket, my place in the queue. Later, I noticed the time of my arrival, printed on the ticket - 11.15 am. My ticket number was A 105.
On leaving, how Da Ninci, I met a gentlemen, an ex-driving examiner who I used to work with. His name - I5 D & N (Hi Denis), surname ...very Da Ninci!
- - - - - - -
As I had done the previous day at Marulan, I stopped for a refreshment in the tiny town of Collector, just off the Hume Highway. Tiny Collector is significant enough to have a pub. Why not another shandy? To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time ever I consumed two shandies within two days. (Marulan and Collector can therefore be called Shandy Towns, just kidding).
The fifteenth and final leg of my ride ...
...it just came to me - another Australian by the name of Rolf, boasts to having 3 legs, nothing against my 15 ... (More of Rolf a later).
... that Saturday afternoon was probably one of my fastest. With favourable winds pushing me along the shore of Lake George, I must have averaged 35 km/h. It was rather sad to see the lake totally dry, a drastic reminder that large parts of Australia are still in the grip of a severe drought.
Ironically, as I write (February 20) widespread flooding is still causing major problems in many parts of Australia. Not only Queensland, but northern New South Wales experienced a big wet. Heavy rainfalls, with severe flooding, was reported right along the same coast I had cycled along.
All along my ride I had seen the odd dead kangaroo. On the outskirts of Canberra, however, I saw at least three large ones, who had not long before been run over, and just left there. Whoever held responsibility for clearing the roadside of these dead animals must have been away on holidays. Not only recently killed animals, but also carcasses, which looked like they had been there for weeks, littered the roadway.
On my final day in Canberra, two days later, two large kangaroos hopped up the driveway of my host's place. We went outside. I snapped a photo, just before they too off again at great speed. This was not near the bush, but on State Circle, beside Parliament House.
Why is it, our closest friends often live far away? It was a pleasure to catch up with two long time Christian friends, whom we had known for 30 years. We knew each other when both families lived in Tasmania. Our children were young then.
Canberra is fortunate to also have a Christian Radio Station, which plays easy to listen music. Tuning in the next morning, I heard a hymn, which made me feel not only right at home, but reminded me it was Sunday morning: Joyful, joyful we adore you.., the signature tune of Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.
My mind, however, didn't just leave it there. As the lyrics of the fifth line were sung ..."melt the clouds of sin and sadness ..." I noticed the time on the clock - 7.50 am.
Aha - Cloud! Wasn't there a cloud, shaped like a 7, which, turned around, makes L = 50 in Roman numerals? Jon, my son was with me. He and I saw the cloud near Narrandera, New South Wales. (Book 5, Chapter 27).
My hosts were Christians, but did not normally go to church Sunday mornings. That morning my friend agreed, we could visit a service, one they occasionally go to at night, at a church called Crossway. He thought starting time was 9.30 am. We ended up somewhere completely different.
On the way to Crossways my host, while driving us there, handed me a leaflet of this church. I read it and saw that Sunday morning church starts at 8.45 am. We were already 45 minutes late. He had been mistaken.
Just as we pondered, should we still go, we passed another place of worship. The car park looked busy, parishioners just arriving. It was right on 9.30 am, so I suggested we attend there. It turned out to be the Lyneham Uniting Church.
Montage: Church Bulletin St. Ninian's Uniting Church, Lyneham ACT (Some data blanked out for privacy).
Note the way the scripture reading has been written: John 1.01-5 ...
Does the extra 0 have a purpose? It completes the four digits of their PO Box Number 5011.
One name suddenly came to life during this writing - LAM.
At the time I had not seen it. Did I not experience magic with this name - right at the beginning of my ride - also at a Uniting Church in Brisbane? (Chapter 14).
How prophetic was my introductory scripture, right under the am ... amazement? The Lamb, the first and the last indeed.
- - - - - - -
Stop Press: At this point in my writing, at 9.30 pm, Wednesday 18/2/09, my wife told me of a TV Show on Channel 7 - Gangs of OZ. I stopped writing to watch it. Gangs of OZ was a documentary about the Mafia, and it's evil activities in Australia, going right back to the 1960's - Corruption, murder, drugs unlimited.
Minutes into the show (remember this was moments after I had written 'The Lamb, the first and the last') the first person shown on the screen was the former NCA (National Crime Authority) chief Mr. Lamb.
Is anybody wondering about the missing b (Lamb - Lam ?)
Moments before this writing (Thu 19/2) cycling in the back streets of Para Hills, I spotted registration plate WEB 182 (not in order).
On 18/2, yesterday morning, I went for the first time to a Companion Club in Norwood, where the guest artist was baritone - Mr. Webb. He links to the amazing Easter 06 story at Tanunda, in the Barossa Valley. It all makes sense.
(My diary holds a story, featuring the name Webb in Tasmania - God willing in a future chapter).
- - - - - - -
(Back to Canberra)
It was only weeks to Christmas. A hymn at the Lyneham Uniting Church that morning had a Christmas flavour to it. The tune was that of the German Christmas song: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her ... Translated literally: From heaven high, there I come from ...
Not since my youth, I think, had I sung this hymn. I had forgotten it had 9 verses. We sung them all. Nine verses may sound a lot, but consider this: From heaven high to earth in nine verses is still much better than the fastest space shuttle!
Unlike the name Lam, one name during this service jumped immediately into my brain. as I heard it mention. It had also emerged during a church service, another one I had stumbled across unexpectedly, in Brunswick, Melbourne, the name Hunter.
At Lyneham, ACT that morning a few teenagers were inducted into the main church. The first girl's name was Hunter.
Since my hosts lived so near to the action, we did not have far to go to the 'Terribly British' motor car show that afternoon. A large number of British-made vehicles, from vintage and veteran to classic and modern, were on display outside the Old Parliament House.
Of course, I looked for and found a Wolseley 444. It was blue, but not original. A modern engine had been installed. On occasions like this, as many former vintage car owners do, I regretted selling my green, all original 444 - pictured ...
... how amazing, I just discovered this - the picture of my Wolseley is in Book 5, Chapter 3. This chapter shows a picture of Jesus, the Lamb of God, hanging on the cross. The chapter tells of Good Friday 06. I had driven to the Barossa Valley to hear the Musical 'The Witness'. The main character, the Apostle Peter, was played by none other than Mr. Webb, the same man, mentioned a few paragraphs back.
The precise timing, isn't it amazing!
For an hour or so my hosts and I walked among the marvellous, terribly British bodies on wheels. The sun was blazing down. Out of the loudspeaker I overheard three songs that I later remembered and noted in my diary. They were from vastly different styles. Maybe that's why I remembered the songs: Abide with me, Danny Boy and My Way.
Please note, it's not 'Abide with me Danny Boy'. They are two different songs! But then, it just came to me, while writing, did I not hear the tune Danny Boy at a church in the previous chapter, at The Entrance?
Above: The author, in a rare moment of bonding with a Wolseley 444.
Bottom: The absolute star - a terribly British Rolls Royce. Why I don't know, but many of these British beauties were named Mark; some like Royalty - Mark I, Mark II. I think this fantastic, magic marvel is called Phantom.
- - - - - - -
A few minutes walk away was the place for Canberra's latest attraction - the Portrait Gallery, a gallery of mainly portrait paintings. It was a busy place that sunny Sunday afternoon. A small orchestra and guest artist, played in the courtyard, providing entertainment for the many visitors.
It was especially busy that day. It was the first weekend the gallery was open. Australian entertainer Rolf Harris had only days earlier officially opened the new attraction. (This is the three-legged Rolf mentioned earlier).
A star exhibit, no doubt, was his portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, which he was privileged to paint on the occasion of the monarch's 80th birthday.
(Now, if anybody succeeds in having his or her visage not only painted, but hanging on a wall in this Canberra gallery, they know their face value has been recognized).
Later in the afternoon, I must have suffered from pedalling withdrawal symptoms, I took off for a little exploration ride. My hosts didn't mind a rest from their active visitor.
I had only a rough map and managed to get myself lost. But those, who have read my story so far, know that I don't get lost. Rather I usually come to the right place, even if it's the wrong place.
My first destination was a nearby suburb, called (love the name) Manuka. I checked for a suitable restaurant to take my hosts to dinner that evening. Having done so, I tried to find my direction to Lake Burleigh Griffin.
This is where I was geographically disoriented for a few minutes. I ended up in more than one dead-end street. It was not important, where I was riding. I just enjoyed the sunshine, the freedom on two wheels, without a schedule to follow.
At a large, old warehouse people were loading goods into their vans. It looked like everyone was packing up, ready for closing. Later I found out this was the market, which was held every Sunday at the foreshore in the suburb of Kingston. The warehouse actually was the Old Bus Depot; it was near the lake.
Quote from the Old Bus Depot Market website:
Canberra’s only indoor markets have a contemporary urban feel and promise a truly sensory experience for locals and tourists.
Whilst I probably would not have bought any souvenir anyway, I came away with a special find. Shall we call it golden junk? (Golden Junk is the name of a Chinese Restaurant in Tasmania, one I shall report on in a future chapter, God willing).
Well, for me it certainly became a sensory experience. Here's why:
Slowly freewheeling through the now almost empty carpark of the Old Bus Depot Markets, I spotted a business card on the ground. A lady was loading her vehicle nearby. I sensed that I should pick up this insignificant piece of junk. At least, reading what's on the card would do no harm.
As I began writing this chapter I had no idea how significant this insignificant bit of trash would become. The very first two letters of this chapter (am) plus the little German word er, earlier in this chapter, could hardly fit any better into my sensory find in Kingston.
See for yourself. (I blanked out many personal details for privacy).
Suburb Mitchell ACT 2911
Christian name: An
Surname - am he
- - - - - - -
That evening, after having enjoyed a meal with my hosts at Manuka (the lady ordered Nazi Goering), I was listening again to the Christian Radio Station. Broadcasting on FM 93.5 K/HZ the radio host interviewed the author of the best-seller 'The Shack'.
It's not that I suddenly saw the AO version (The Shock). I had discovered this some weeks earlier. I have since bought and read the book, but must confess, I'm not a fan of any kind of fiction. I love facts!
- - - - - - -
Stop Press: Monday evening, 16/2/09, I wrote in my diary:
"Spent the afternoon writing on Chapter 18. In my mind I wonder, how frank I should be writing re: Kinglake / Lake King and the bizarre fact* ... (End quote diary)
At the same second as I wrote the word fact, an English gentleman spoke the word on television. My wife and I were watching Stephen Fry's documentary on his bi-polar journey. (In the UK this screened in 2006).
Having alluded to the fact that the previous chapter holds a link to the town of Kinglake and Whittlesea, friends, I can do no other, but release more facts, plain truth.
The magnetic fridge calendar, which I linked to the name of a real estate firm and the name ... A N I AM SON, has an office in Kinglake and Whittlesea.
Another amazing fact - the death toll of the fire, for some inexplicable reason, had stayed at 181 for at least five days. I wondered, why. (The latest number is 209 - Australia's biggest natural disaster ever).
One final fact - On 9/9/08 and again on 8/10/08 I emailed 97 Victorian Members of Parliament. In my short, sharp, straight to the point emails, I expressed how senseless and barbaric of a modern society it is, to kill thousands of helpless, unborn babies.
Late in 2008 Victoria passed legislation, allowing abortion on demand, as I understand it, any stage of pregnancy.
What a cruel God I hear you think? No, God is not cruel, HE is a loving God.
Maybe God allowed 200 innocent lives to be taken on this tragic occasion, to save 20 000 innocent, helpless lives every year?
Sometimes God speaks with facts that speak for themselves.
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Here is the text of one of my emails, sent to a Victorian Member of Parliament. Note the name Vogels* (Vogel = bird).
Date: 8/10/08Dear Mr. Vogels,The unborn can not speak for themselves. If politicians don't protect them, who* will?I would be ashamed to be a citizen of a barbaric state, where abortion on demand, no questions asked, were the law.God is not pleased when we don't protect those, who are most vulnerable. I urge you to vote against the proposed abortion bill; rather introduce one, which protects life.Children are the future of our nation. Let's value them, not allow them to be killed, before they are even born.Dieter FischerPS * WHO is God, who judges all things, even politicians who vote against HIS laws.
(Please note, I'm not picking on this gentlemen. HE may well have voted against the bill. I sent the same text, more or less, to all MP's).
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To end this chapter I must address another abomination (evil) which has been allowed to continue unchallenged - the innocent man in jail.
The author of The Shack, interviewed on Christian Radio in Canberra, is P.Y. My records show that one young man, who accused Peter Liddy of sex abuse, has the identical, rather common name.
All the above magic with names, on the surface, may sound meaningless, but are they? Is God leading me, taking me places, to show HIS power, that HE is the ONE who really sees, who passes test after test?
Will it lead to success, will my struggle set the prisoner free? Is it to bring justice to a wider world, a world, where God's Spirit has been poured out, as prophesied in Joel, Chapter 2, Verse 28? Will it lead to the ultimate sacrifice?
As you will read further into this chapter, I am continuing to fight for justice in this case. To this end, I cycled into the city of Adelaide on the day before this writing (note the date: Friday 20/2/09). I made application to view a section of the Liddy trial. (More in a moment).
On the way an interesting observation, a 30 second detour, produced a starling, sorry startling find. I was not going to include it here, but because I overheard a news story about the Italian city of Florence this morning, I will.
Normally I take the back streets of Clearview (Melrose Street etc) when cycling into Adelaide. But yesterday I took a different route, via Florence Street, Blair Athol. In a side road (Stanley Street) I saw police cars in the middle of the road, and water all over the roadway, a broken water pipe obviously.
Precious water was flowing down the drain; thousands of litres of wasted. A policeman stood there directing traffic. At least one resident saw the abundance of free water. He was busy scooping up as much as possible for his garden.
I couldn't help turning back and without stopping my bike, circled the policeman and called out: "I should have brought a bucket!"
The 30 seconds were not up yet. At the 29th, approximately, I spotted at the edge of the water, right near the policeman, a dead, colourful bird.
(Hey - water? rain? bird! - Now I see the real link, spooky! Read on - amazing!)
The dead bird was not a starling, it was three times the size. It was a rosella - rose (and) all. Was I lead to my own death-threat?
Frankly, friends, I had been wondering, why I had not received any letters in the mail, warning or threatening me, telling me to back-off, abandon my chase for justice?
The answer, however, is very simple. If I were to receive such a letter, I could simply go to police with it. The matter then would have to be investigated seriously. So far, it's still in the too hard basket. (But we know what's written on the too hard basket!)
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On the very day, totally unplanned, as I made application in the Samuel Way building to view a certain file in the Liddy case - this was my bible reading:
Dying for Justice (Our Daily Bread - Feb. 20, 09)
Text: When Presbyterian clergyman Elijah Lovejoy (1802 - 1837) left the pulpit, he returned to the printing presses in order to reach more people. After witnessing a lynching, Lovejoy committed to fighting the injustice of slavery. His life was threatened by hateful mobs, but this did not stop him: "If by compromise is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more than I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post." Four days after these words, he was killed at the hands of another angry mob. (End text).
Are Rosellas birds that migrate? If so, to North America!
Why? - Try am er & rica.
Why North? - a prominent lawyer, associated with the Liddy case lives in North Street.
But there's more: In a few hours after this typing I shall, God willing, watch and support the Adelaide United Soccer team in their bid to play in the Grand final, next Saturday 28/2/09.
Why am I saying this here? Two weeks ago I also went to Hindmarsh Stadium. It was the day of the big fire in Victoria, but the news had not come through as yet.
Adelaide played Melbourne Victory, a very strong team this season. Only one single goal scored separated Melbourne Victory from second place getter Adelaide United.
The allocated seat my son and I sat in was right behind the Melbourne supporter's group. I noticed a T-shirt: Sun Hunter. Two Melbourne supporters, standing right in line with us, both wore soccer jerseys of their stars; one wore Muscat 2, the other Thompson 10.
My son sat on my right, a stranger on my left. We chatted only little, but toward the end I asked the first time visitor to Hindmarsh what his name was. It was Stephen, the same name as the first martyr in the bible.
Stephen spoke his mind, straight and sharp. They didn't like hearing it. They stoned him on the spot.
Maybe the stranger at Hindmarsh Stadium beside me was Stephen ... Lovejoy? If so his wife's name was Rosella.
At the end of the row at Hindmarsh Stadium on 7/2/09 I noticed a couple, about 60 years of age. The lady looked just like the person Rita, I had worked with, and wrote about on may pages, in my early books. The gentleman beside her, that's why I report it, was a look-a-like of Rita's husband.
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Apart from the whistle blowing in Sydney (to the ACC and Federal Police) I had not been active in this matter during this trip. On my last day in Canberra, Monday morning 8/12/08 I wrote two letters (by hand) and delivered them on my bike.
The first one was to the Attorney-General, the highest political office holder in legal matters in Australia. Arriving at Parliament House, to deliver the letter I was told, you can't just drop a letter in person. You must post it.
That I had cycled 1400 kilometers, hoping a personal delivery would have more weight, made no difference either. So I posted the letter from the post office, situated inside Parliament House.
My second letter, a handwritten note telling the sad story of corruption in high places, was not successful either. It did not even reach the right person. It was to a journalist from the Canberra Times. I had heard his name during a radio broadcast. His German name, also that of a German city, sounded so nice, Mannheim - 'man home'.
Later back home, a reply came from the Attorney-General. It was the usual - we can't help you, the matter has to be dealt with at state level. My other letter to the journalist came back: unknown at this address. He must have changed from the address I had found in the Canberra telephone book.
But thank God, there is always the internet, this wonderful instrument for speaking your mind to let readers know the truth - if you happen to be ONE who tells the truth.
Googling the name Peter Liddy recently I came upon this interesting find:
More truth about Peter Liddy
The Rainbird Murders 1861, by Peter Liddy
Did you know Peter Liddy wrote this book? Published in 1993, it's the story of a brutal murder of a woman and her two children by natives. The crime took place near Kapunda, the place Peter Liddy had lived.
(Quoting from the introduction): The author, a criminologist and lawyer of 26 years experience, a graduate of the Universities of Sydney and Adelaide, inaugural member of both the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and Forensic Science Society and a member of two American historical societies, has published several articles relating to Australian Criminal history and criminology.
He is currently chairman of the South Australian Police Disciplinary Tribunal and Stipendiary Magistrate for the area where the Rainbird murders occurred.
In his capacity as State Coaching Director of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia he has also written articles on sports coaching and lectures on the subject of coaching children in sport.
So this gentleman, just picture it, one day might have flown to New Zealand, mixed with the cream of New Zealand's lawyers and judges, and together they launched the New Zealand Society of Criminology and Forensic Science ...
... next Peter flies back to Adelaide to finish work on his lecture 'How to be a better surf life saving coach' ....
... after which, at the weekend, he picks up some Nippers, to drive them to the Surf Life Saving Club, during which he openly masturbates, while steering his van through intersections, roundabouts and traffic lights, then abuses the boys at the Club.
I don't think so!
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(To understand the following, readers should be familiar with the full details of my findings in Book 5, Chapter 13).
A thought came to me recently, regarding the aspect of Mr. Liddy offering a bribe to an alleged victim. When Peter, a magistrate, was first investigated by police into these serious allegations, he knew what to do. He went to a young man, whom he had trusted and kept in contact with. He even sent the young man birthday cards and included money.
Peter, somehow embarrassed about having to involve this young man, asked him to make a statement (to his lawyer Eugene McGee) that no sexual impropriety ever took place.
I had always wondered, why was the first sentence the young man said to Peter: "They're after your money?"
Did he know of a conspiracy? Or was it, what I suspect was the aim, to gain Peter's trust at that moment, by saying virtually:
"I will stand behind you Peter, I will say nothing, I will go and make a statement to Eugene McGee."
With this affirmation of loyalty, naive Peter didn't see the trap being set. His young, long time friend asked for a favour in return: "Could you please give me some money. I'd like to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring?
Naive Peter went to the bank, withdrew the cash and handed it over to his 'Judas Iscariot'.
From my previous research into the court transcripts, years earlier, I clearly recall reading that the alleged bribe money was handed over in two instalments - $ 3000 first up, then $ 2000 a few days later.
The day before writing I did some research at the State Library into this aspect of the case. It took some time, and a prayer for help. But I received the answer and found what I was looking for - the article, where the newspaper reported about the $ 5000 being handed over in 1 envelope.
(Extract of Article, Advertiser Newspaper 15/5/01):
Headline: 'Liddy said he'd leave me the lot, alleged victim says'.
Text: The witness said he told Mr. Liddy he did not have the money to buy and engagement ring, on which he wanted to spend up to $ 5000. Mr. Liddy offered to give the witness money, and he accepted, the court heard. The witness said he had told Mr. Liddy: I would deny everything and say that he was never anything but an upstanding citizen and a role model to me and that nothing ever happened between us.
A few days later Mr. Liddy had handed him an envelope with $ 5000 in it, the court heard. "He ... said I should sit on it for a while and not bank it because it would look suspicious if I banked $ 5000... after he had withdrawn it". The witness said he has spent $ 1600 before going to the police. The trial continues today.
The question is, was the Advertiser's court reporter, Sam Weir, mistaken in his reporting?
I shall try once again try and gain access to the Liddy file and compare the proceedings of 14/5/01 with what was reported the next day.
(This was my reason for cycling into the city, yesterday via Florence Street, Blair Athol. God willing, I shall keep you pasted, sorry posted, unless a female stops me, Rosella Lovejoy)
If the court reporter is correct in his 1 payment made, and I assume he is, then the witness changed his story during the court case.
If so, every thinking person must ask: How could the jury still believe this man, who would first tell a lie to court, then change the story?
This witness was the same one, who claimed in court that Peter Liddy had forced his head over a porcelain sink at the Glenelg Police Station, then abused him. The defence found out that there were no porcelain sinks at the Glenelg Police Station.
This witness is alleged to have also lied in regard to the handing over of the money. He claimed that on the day, when the second handover was to take place, he was rostered on at his work place. Defence council procured evidence that he was not rostered on.
Friends, the people of Adelaide were not told the full story, the other side, Peter Liddy's version of events. This is how I see it:
After Peter was investigated by police he knew, if there was a court case, he needed ammunition, statements from others, who he could trust and who would stand up for him in court!
(There were a few vouching for Peter's integrity in the court room, including Mr. K, a senior figure in the Surf Life Saving Association and good friend of Peter. But the newspaper did not report this (unless I missed it).
The young man agreed to make a statement, then asked Peter, as return favour, if he would give him money to buy an engagement ring. Peter obliged and paid the money on a Tuesday (or Wednesday).
The young man, possibly saying the ring would cost more like $ 5000, asked Peter for $ 2000 more. Naive Peter again went to the bank and paid up.
When the young man demanded a third amount of money, Peter wanted the young man to keep to his side of the bargain first, to go and see Eugene McGee). An argument broke out. Peter said: "Go to hell, you won't get another cent."
To which the young man replied: "There are other ways to get it". The rest is history!
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On 16/2/09 I emailed a Member of Parliament, with whom I had a brief exchange of thoughts. He didn't know anything about the Liddy case. I had mailed him the long version of my findings, but never received an answer. This latest email was just a follow up.
To my surprise the very next evening, after emailing this MP, his face flashed across the TV screen, about 8 minutes into the six o'clock Channel Nine TV News.
He allegedly had committed the unpardonable sin - travelling at 9 (nine) km/h above the speed limit in a 60 zone. I could not help thinking, why on earth is this on the TV News?
I emailed the gentleman immediately with my latest thoughts in the case (the story of the cash above).
At the start of typing I noticed the clock on my P/C. It showed 6.09. So I started the email with ...
Amazing. It's 6.09 on my P/C and I just heard you allegedly travelled at 69 km in a 60 zone. Why are they putting this on the 6 PM Channel 9 News?
As if somebody loves numbers, another number emerged the next morning. I suddenly remembered that I had pressed the sent button at 6.40 pm - the magic-69 email had taken 31 minutes to type. It was totally unplanned, as if somebody is watching and directing it all - HE is!
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Sunset on the Leven River, Ulverstone, Tasmania
Photo: Dieter Fischer
Friends, God created a perfect world. It's human rebellion, not following HIS ways, which spoiled the party.
But God is a good God. HE makes ALL things new, in HIS time.
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Why then is the matter of 1 envelope with 5000 Dollars, compared to two payments such a big issue?
In 2001, long before I ever dreamed that I would be doing battle for truth in this case, I also regarded the bribe money as proof of the magistrate's guilt. From what was written in the paper and reported on TV or radio, on the surface it seemed straight forward: A rich, well-connected man did an evil deed, then tried to buy his way out of trouble!
Had the full story been told, about the ring, about the main accusers' criminal records, that there were many, who swore to the gentleman's integrity etc etc, at least there would have been some public debate. But Peter was judged by the public without his side ever being made known.
I feel called to do what the TV, radio and newspapers failed to do.
Friends, justice in South Australia is crying out, as much as nature is crying out for water!
Anybody praying for rain may better spent their time, praying for justice.