Chapter 7 Written / Published 28.9./2.10.16 Pics by author, unless indicated
At the commencement of this chapter South Australia is experiencing its worst storm. Strong winds and heavy rain had been forecast. An unprecedented state-wide power outage added to the problem. This is one reason why the planned publishing date of 30.9.16 was not met.
I feel God is near when my mind is thinking on a particular subject or person, and the next second there is physical evidence with a clear link to what I had been thinking. This happened at the beginning of my road trip to Victoria, which is taking much of this chapter.
Readers will get to know regional Australia a little better, as well as smile at some quirky signs, with my equally quirky interpretation along the way.
Thank you for sharing my journey with me.
7. The Best Win
Booting up the computer early on the morning of the start of this chapter the Google homepage featured a Google-doodle. Up came a large pen, as we all learned that September 29, 2016 is the 117th birthday of Mr. Biro, the inventor of the ball-point pen. How appropriate, I thought. Not only, because it was to be a day of writing, but I knew the numbers 2(0) and 7(00) were to play a role in this chapter.
I had planned to finish and publish this chapter by the end of the month. However, on 28.9 after hours of facing the screen, fingers dancing over the keyboard and the mouse rolling all over, I achieved very little. By mid afternoon I had only managed to transfer the images from camera/phone onto this page. Then the power went off.
South Australians had been warned days before of bad weather ahead, The winds were expected to be the highest in decades. Rainfalls, which already had broken records during winter, were forecast to be heavy again and cause more possible flooding to an already waterlogged landscape.
Two weeks prior, Adelaide experienced the same conditions. The Adelaide hills were particularly affected. The damage to the walking track to Mount Lofty (featured in the previous chapter) was reported to take many weeks to repair.
One commentator labeled the power outage a 'once in a lifetime' event. The whole state of South Australia, all 1 1/2 million people, were without power for hours. Port Lincoln residents were still 'powerless' two days later. Worse weather was to come. As I type, rain is again pelting down, trees sway to and fro by the force of the gale.
Fortunately, this wasn't the weather on August 29th, when I left Adelaide in my green machine, my good-old faithful Suzuki. I was on the road, starting out on the 2000 km road trip, as indicated at the end of the previous chapter. The purpose of this weeklong excursion was to support our son Jon. He was riding his bicycle to Geelong.
Driving on the freeway, over the Adelaide Hills, history seemed to be repeating itself. A pattern had developed. On a number of occasions, after finishing a chapter I would start a trip to Melbourne and spot certain car registration plates, which referred back to the writing I had just published. So it was on that Monday.
Our fit bike-riding son and I met up as planned at 11 AM in Murray Bridge. After a snack and last bit of shopping, we took the quiet road south of the big river, which took us to Jervois, where we crossed on the 24-hour ferry. I was glad Jon avoided the danger of the heavy, high-speed traffic over the freeway bridge.
Jon on his 'Specialized' bike, enjoying the tailwind.
Memories kept coming back of our adventure in 2015 through Europe. At the time I was not merely the support crew, but in action on the road. On the positive side, while Jon spent hours on his bicycle, I had plenty of time to take a closer look at villages, which in the past were just a toilet stop.
Tailem Bend was a good example. On that Monday, after crossing the Murray River, Jon took off east, while I had time for a walk around the town. For the first time I ventured onto the other side of the railway line. There I had a wonderful, spiritual experience, a close encounter with God, which blessed me immensely.
Here is what happened: To keep my mind active I had been singing in the car all that morning. But I put a little structure into my solo-concert. The first song was one starting with the letter A. Then I would think of a person with the letter A and pray for them; next, a song starting with B, and a prayer for B. etc.
On my walk at Tailem Bend I was up to the letter J. Obviously, my letter J song started with "Jesus ..." The most obvious person to then pray for would have been Jon. (I'm sure I prayed for him earlier). No, during my walk on the other side of the railway line, I prayed for Jacob, our newborn grandson. A second or two into my prayer, my eyes fell onto a street sign. What a blessing!
Jacob St. Tailem Bend.
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While writing about my son and a blessing, take a look at Our Daily Bread, for September 14th, 2016:
The number 400 takes us to an event, which took place on September 25, 2016. It was day of the world famous, vintage car rally, known as the Bay-to-Birdwood. Motoring enthusiasts from all over Australia, occasionally from overseas, have gathered in Adelaide for the past 36 years, showing off their passion, their beloved veteran, vintage or classic vehicles.
My wife and I took our grandson and our son-in-law for a picnic to Gumeracha. Little Aidan had some fun at the playground, while we watched the colourful concourse of old-timers go by.
Veteran vehicle, outside Birdwood.
Not only the curiosity of these classic vehicles, but also their registration plates provided interesting entertainment. An American Strassenkreuzer (1950s mega limousine) displayed THE KING, a veteran going back pre World War 1 - OLD ONE.
As we strolled through Birdwood, admiring the passing parade of the rich and their toys, two vehicles drove by, one behind the other. The registration plates (173 and 227) meant nothing at first. Only a few minutes later, after we had crossed the road and stood outside the bakery, did I notice them again. They had parked right were we now were standing.
Whilst earlier I had simply added 173 and 227, now I took it to the next level - for u C.
Meanwhile the occupants of both vehicles stood nearby, outside their vehicles, talking and filling in time, as my family and I were doing. From then on, what I observed among the group, pointed to the USA: One driver's sweater - SANTA MONICA, his vehicle a Plymouth, the other a Chevrolet. A child passengers wore EVERLAST.
We had bought a bag of hot chips at the bakery and almost finished eating it, when I noticed a huge American tank exited the National Motor Museum. I caught a glimpse of the letters BL, part of the registration plate. It struck me, because a lady, wearing a work uniform top of the nearby hotel, the BLumberg Hotel, was waving to the occupants.
The original name of Birdwood, settled by Germans, was Blumberg. The name was changed during World War 1, when Germans were the enemy.
(At this point, please excuse me, I am on bus duty at the Army).
(Back to the bike-riding son)
Jon achieved an incredible mileage on his first day riding, 236 kilometers; no doubt assisted by the (Tailem Bend) tail wind. We had not booked any accommodation at all for this trip. Originally, Coonalpyn or Tintinara were to be our first night, but Jon pushed on all the way to Keith. En route, I had been praying that we find a suitable place to stay.
During our Europe experience in 2015 I'd learned that two separate rooms were essential, so my snoring would not rob my son from getting a good night's rest. God provided beautifully. Not only did our hotel room have an en-suite bathroom, but two adjoining rooms, and all for $ 72 in total. (Love how it fits into this chapter).
That evening something special took place, a rare event on television, which had been advertised well in advance. That's why I started my previous chapter with the sentence: "August in Australia is winner time."
On Channel Nine's Millionaire Hotseat, the same TV show that made an appearance in the previous chapter, it had been announced that for the first time the big money, a million Dollars, was going to be won. Strange, how the following details fit so well into this chapter 7:
Elated million Dollar winner, Edwin Daly.
Ed happened to be from Mount Barker, the town Jon and I travelled through earlier that day. He indicated that he will donate a portion of his win to Christian Charities. No doubt, he knows the scripture in the book of Jacob, where it says: "The Lord giveth, and the Lord expects us to give some away." (Just kidding).
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One early morning during September I heard an interesting mistake, no two, as I listened to the radio. A reporter misspoke two words within a very short time span, possibly during the same news item. My sharp ear heard him speak the word just, only to correct himself a nano-second later: "justice". It's not rocket science to decode - ice?
Together with the second mistake my mind created something interesting. The reporter spoke the word Queenland, instead of Queensland? Immediately the letter s from the previous chapter 6 came to mind.
Anyone familiar with our simple code can now see it: I C ES.
(Back on the road to Victoria)
It was slightly wet on the second day of Jon's marathon cycle. But he persevered and made good progress. Around the town of Naracoorte it rained heavily. We headed for the Tourist Information Office, where a volunteer, Jeff, made us feel very welcome. He assured us that there was accommodation available at the next town, Edenhope, across the border in Victoria.
After the rain eased and Jon had dried out a little, he hit the road again. I had time to look around the adjacent Sheep's Back Museum, which used to be Simpson's Flour Mill. Such places are not usually my forte. However, that day I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the numerous historic displays and the stories of the hardships of early settlers.
Jeff explained that their museum houses the only robotic sheep shearing apparatus in the world:
Robotic Shearing Machine, Sheep's Back Museum, Naracoorte.
It is doubtful, actually I'm sure, Jon would not have achieved the same speed on the above machine, as he did on his light-weight 'Specialized'. In two days he had almost covered 400 km, arriving in Edenhope, Victoria in the early evening. We again found a place, the Lake Wallace Hotel, which provided two small, but comfortable rooms for only $ 30 each.
Edenhope was named after early settlers named Hope, who came from the River Eden district in Scotland. A cairn on the shore of Lake Wallace commemorates the first all aboriginal cricket team to tour England in 1868. A sign on a corner indicated that the street is named after the Captain of the team, Charles Lawrence. whilst another, HAYMAN DR is in honor of the instigator of the team.
(I just noted on writing: We left Edenhope, Postcode 3318, on 31.8.201..)
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Following Jon through the back roads of Victoria led to a gem of a place, a little village called Harrow, on the Glenelg River. The town's website, Harrow.org.au calls it Victoria's oldest inland town; the home of the above, history making cricket team. International sports in that era was a rare event.
Harrow, Victoria, Population 100.
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The third day proved to be another marathon ride. Jon would have felt it more so, because the landscape in this part of Victoria was much hillier. After brief stops in Balmoral and Cavendish we arrived in Dunkeld, the southern gateway to the Grampian mountains, around 4 pm.
Suitable accommodation was harder to find than we had expected. After trying for some time, a kind lady at the tourist information office found a place for us; except it was 35 km further on. After a snack and a coffee, without hesitation, Jon got back onto his bike and pedaled away.
We had no trouble finding the turnoff from the main road, the Glenelg Highway (B 160), but where was the entrance to our apartment? It was meant to be attached to the historic Narrapumelap mansion, situated among extensive parklands. When we finally found the place it came as a big surprise:
Narrapumelap, Wickliffe, Victoria
Our apartment at the rear of the property was in stark contrast to the historic front part. It was well equipped with all the modern conveniences tourists expect, except a television. It had been possibly decades since I had reclined on a comfortable lounge, reading in front of an open fire; no screens, no phone and no noise, besides the crackling of the burning timber.
The final day of Jon's ride, I could tell, was the hardest. The earlier tailwinds now blew more from the side. Showers were threatening to dampen things. Whilst earlier in the week I had wished to be in the saddle, it now felt rather comforting to travel inside a car.
That night we afforded ourselves a luxury, two-bedroom unit on Geelong's Esplanade, overlooking Corio Bay. Jon enjoyed not only a bath, but soaked his weary bones and sore muscles in a hot spa. It was well deserved. He had covered almost 750 kilometers in only four days.
Sunrise over Corio Bay, Geelong, 2.9.16.
Jon spent the weekend with friends and former colleagues in Melbourne. He did not need his dad to hang around. After an overnight in Melbourne I started my return journey to Adelaide, planning to stay the night at the YHA (youth hostel) in Port Fairy.
My first stop driving west, by-passing Geelong, was the town of Winchelsea. Despite the threatening rain clouds my body needed some exercise. I took a walk up and down the main street. A large business sign caught my eye, not the least because it had some letters missing. Take a look:
W RATAH - FIR CAUSE IT LASTS.
Next I crossed the road to return to my vehicle. Just beyond the tourist information office, more business signs; this time without missing letters: One sign read: We don't try to be the best we already are the best!
One of Barry MCVILLY's attributes - modesty - since 1975.
(Aha - code minus RR): Why 96 son, why a bee?
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Regular readers of my auto-bio would know that why-questions have been a big part of my journey since its launch. Many are still left unanswered. One of these had popped up in 2009 during a bike ride through Warrnambool. Why was Altmann Street not correctly marked on their tourist map? (Pic. Book 7, Ch. 23). Back then it did not show on their colourful map. Would the authorities seven years later have corrected their error?
My route west on that September Sunday 2016, Fathers Day, was via Warrnambool. Curiosity took me to the Maritime Museum, where I obtained a street map (extract below). While typing these paragraphs I finally solved the mystery, with a little help from Google Streetview:
I could have taken this matter up later that evening with a man of authority. I happened to walk through Port Fairy, my overnight stop, when a gentlemen greeted me in the street. It was none other than former Premier Napthine, who lives in Port Fairy. How refreshing, a VIP saying hello to you. (More on Port Fairy and my previous visit, when I also crossed paths with the gentleman, in Book 11, Chapter 20.)
A more serious why-question still left unanswered points to my findings and doubts about a man, still imprisoned in Mount Gambier. Why did nobody ever agree with me that there is something wrong, when one day a young man says he had never been abused as a child, and seven years later accuses a wealthy, prominent magistrate of serious child abuse?
Why has the media never told the people of South Australia, who those accusers of Peter Liddy were - criminals, at least one with a crime-history eight pages long?
Why is there nobody in the whole of South Australia, no media, clergy, politician, police or an expert in the legal fraternity addressing the controversial case?
And why has God not answered my prayers to reveal the truth and bring justice?
When my mind is tempted to ask God to punish these corrupt elements, to let fire fall from heaven and destroy them all or they drown in a raging flood, God calms my mind with HIS word:
The first chapter in the Book of Romans speaks, in strong language, of God's wrath against godless and wicked people:
People who do evil deeds, deep down, know that they do wrong. But if the truth is ignored long enough, and evil is called good, after a time people are totally blinded to the truth. They think they are doing right and boast how enlightened they are, when they have become fools." (Rom. 1, 22).
Isn't this just what has been happening in Australia, indeed in the world, in the past few years. The human race is trying to solve the world's problems with research, science and inventions, when it's the human heart that needs re-inventing, transforming by God's power:
Above passage in Romans condemns immoral practices, explaining that not love, as claimed by the gay lobby, but lust is what drives those, who insist that two men or two women should have a right to marry and be regarded equally normal to that of a male and female couple.
Some godless, hateful groups of campaigners for gay marriage direct their anger against Christians, who like me believe in the Word of God. Their hateful approach is nothing but rebellion against Almighty God, the very first sin of mankind.
In this age, when everyone insists on their rights, there is one right, granted to each human being on earth: You have every right to choose eternal separation from God. (Hell? Yes.)
Imagine what the world would look like, if all practiced all 'do this' written in the bible? Let's go back to Romans 12 and summarize verses 9 - 16:
Imagine we would teach these life principles from an early age, right through to high school? It would change and heal a hurting world in one generation. Thankfully, a perfect place is being prepared for all who chose to be there! They shall have their eternal reward.
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In church on Sunday 9/11, or September 11th, the theme was ETERNAL REWARD. On the way to church I spotted a road sign, which had fallen over:
Next 700 m [speed limit] 20 km/h.
Whilst I had seen the road sign on the ground on my way to church, I only photographed it on the way home. There was a reason, no three.
The first was a familiar phenomena, the microphone cable hanging over the screen at the front. No picture, sorry, but I recorded into my dairy what I had seen sitting in my seat. It shows the letters involved:
The second reason I photographed the 72 sign was a comment I heard during the sermon. It was about living simply, not chasing material goods. The preacher quoted from a daily reading booklet, (as I recall, she quoted a passage from Day 7, Paragraph 2, or vice versa).
My third and final point, why I am making a fuss about a fallen road sign, the lady preacher later in her sermon told a tragic story. It happened when she and her husband were actually directly involved in the 2009 calamity on February 7th. At the time they lived in Melbourne, working as Salvation Army chaplains.
She related the tragic story of a husband and wife, who barely escaped with their lives after fleeing the flames of the Black Saturday bushfire on 7.2.09. Victims like these appreciate, how little is really necessary for life and that there are far greater things we should be concerned about than material possessions.
A person in prison would likewise realize how little material possessions are necessary for life, after everything is taken away from them. On my way through Mount Gambier, coming back to my above return trip from Melbourne, it was only natural that I was thinking of my imprisoned friend Peter. He had all his earthly wealth taken from him, as well as his dignity.
Since it was a Sunday I made a point of attending a church, one which I thought may have some firsthand information on his health etc. On the grapevine I had heard that he suffers from dementia. I wanted to find out if this was true or if it was just another lie by those corrupt elements I suspected were telling lies 15 years ago. (On September 7th 2016 it had been 15 years since his sentencing).
After the church service at Mount Gambier I found out, unfortunately, that the prison chaplain, who may have been able to supply some information, had just retired. Since prison authorities don't divulge information on inmates and my only other source in Adelaide has not returned my recent phone call, there is no news.
Often I ask, why God remains silent, seeing all this injustice? Then I remind myself of the final chapter in HIS eternal plan, written in the Book of Revelation. Here is part of it, quoting from Chapter 15, starting in Verse 3:
Friends, the war was won when Jesus died on that cross and rose again. It was the best win of all, for all and beyond all time.