Fifty Years..... Now Sixty.
Our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations on 21 June 2003 went
well. Mary and I were very pleased. I thought Mary looked very
beautiful. She was complimented by most of my former shipmates, who
suggested she looked more like my daughter. The dinner was excellent
and our friends and relatives were well turned out and very polite to one
another. The reason for the niceties was the imposing presence of my ex naval
friends and their partners, who did their level best to be as pleasant
as was possible. My good friend, Harry delivered a complimentary
speech. Every one enjoyed the good quality dance music. Mary danced
with all five sons and every other male person at the party. Our sons
were photographed with us displaying happy smiles, although their
shaven heads and dark clothing reminded me of the TV family ‘The
I was quite surprised when Bruce turned up at the club looking quite
fit and healthy. Bruce told me he had met his wife, Shirley at the Lady
Jane Nudist beach in outer Sydney, where he said she had fallen in love
with him at first sight. He said it was a match made in heaven, as Shirley
was young and beautiful, owned a logging business in Tasmania, and
was ‘stinking rich.’ Bruce told me that he and Shirley had been married
nearly eleven years, and had three daughters aged ten, nine and eight.
This had apparently kept him celibate six months out of twelve during
the first three years of marriage; however, visits to the logging sites to
check out the female office staff were always rewarding. He had heard
that they referred to him as ‘Mr Whopper’ or ‘Hoss the Boss.’
Bruce told me that he intended to stay a few days, as he was
interested in learning a few new dance procedures that Miss Twinkletoes
had promised to teach him. If his energy permitted, he would also call on
a few other ladies to whom he had been enamoured in the past.
My beautiful Mary put on a sporty smile and introduced Bruce as Mr
Bruce Kranski from Tasmania, which raised a few eyebrows and a lot of
giggles. After eyeballing our five sons who looked as tough as nails,
Bruce told me he would keep a low profile in their presence. Mary later
told me Bruce had said something quite explicit but complimentary to
240 – Waving Goodbye to a Thousand Flies
her and that his mere presence and past reputation left her weak at the
knees. I have not heard from Bruce since our 50th.
George our son stayed to the end of the celebration but his family
members left early.
At midnight, the house was filled with family members and friends,
but by two o’clock, only relatives remained. This was when Henry and
William had a minor disagreement after they had indulged in a smoko
session. I would like to mention that all of our sons are on good terms
with us, although they are aware I disapprove of some of their goings on.
Christopher, our eldest son, is very philosophical about it all. He is
dedicated to his computer and his music and enjoys the company of fresh
lips rather than long-term involvement with the available ladies.
Although Christopher loves his brothers, he objects to the pot smoking.
George’s brothers have described Brother George as a trifle irritating
at times, particularly when he constantly explains to all and sundry about
the value of his house and land. They say it’s a pity George’s mind
doesn’t have the same values, referring to his silly pornographic jokes.
Despite everything, however, his brothers have told me they love George
as brothers should and would defend him to the end (although Steven,
being gay, is not too sure he should say, “I love you, George.”)
Having been divorced twice, George lived with several women in the
gaps between his marital disasters, one of whom I had heard was ‘bi
lingual!’ George’s current partner, Rachael has stood by him for about
nine years. Although I must admit Rachael has had a steadying influence
on him, I am not privy to their domestic scenario. The lady in question is
now a compulsive non-drinker due to her unsociable tendencies when
overcome by alcohol, but her present responsible attitude to her past
problem is to be admired. However, it seemed at the time, her brief kiss
on the side of my cheek last night was about as welcoming as a bite from
a black widow spider. Rachael who was dressed in a stunningly beautiful
creation, looked very attractive for her thirty-five years; with her new
blonde-by-choice look. Although I would have loved to have told her
how beautiful she looked, I was reluctant to tell her so in case of a
possible rebuke. Rachael is well supported by George, who is certainly
not a slacker and apparently loves his on-site underground sanitary
engineering job with the city council.
George is currently at loggerheads with his younger brother, Steven,
who after seven years of marriage, two children, and a divorce is now
gay. Steven has had several affairs but has settled down to a business-like
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and friendly partnership with Adrian, who I know to be a very pleasant
person from a very nice, supportive family. At first, Mary and I were
unhappy about Steven’s decision, but now we are more tolerant and
Steven’s ex-wife, Marie refused to allow her two children to attend
our 50th bash. Since I have known her, I have never been rude to her and
have made every attempt to be nice to her. Now, Marie still owes me
about $12,000 and still borrows from time to time. Her decision to attend
a barbeque party instead of our 50th could have jeopardised our
‘diplomatic friendliness; however, access to our beautiful grandchildren
might be at risk if we don’t impose the patriotic art of lying to protect our
interests, so I shall continue to be courteous to Marie.
Steven and Adrian sent photographs of themselves dressed up at a
gay party to George’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Coral Rose. George was
concerned that the photos would corrupt his ‘pure’ daughter. (I thought
the photos were harmless and quite modest, as no genital or body parts
were on display.)
Beautiful much loved Coral Rose arrived at the reception with her
Mentor – none other than Rachael, George’s quite attractive live-in lover.
I was permitted to kiss only one cheek so that I wouldn’t ruin her make
up. I said, “Hallo, darling granddaughter. It is nice to see you again. You
look so beautiful.”
Coral Rose replied, “Hallo” and walked off. She had been well
indoctrinated. It would appear Coral Rose has lost the art of intellectual
conversation, in particular being able to say “thank you.”
George, a man of strong family principles as mentioned earlier,
describes his younger brother being gay; as a despot unworthy of his
family’s recognition. Yet, George is aware that his very young daughter
is on the pill and possibly having relations with a male friend.
I am having difficulty deciding whether George is the ‘Kettle or the
Pot’. Then again, George may be trying to stem a flood of new arrivals.
Kimberly, his eldest daughter who we love dearly, is very pregnant with
our great grand daughter, the father of whom I have never met and who
has shot through to the outback far beyond the black stump. It is a pity
one cannot teach wisdom to the young. Nevertheless, I love George and
all my sons equally, as a good father should. George is a good supportive
Mary and I have had two very pleasant visits to George, Rachael and
Kimberly and her baby, beautiful Polly, at their home three months after
242 – Waving Goodbye to a Thousand Flies
the party, where all differences of opinion were shelved and we left on a
happy note; after burying our hatchets six paces north of the hills hoist
clothes post! However, at the party earlier, Steven and George eyeballed
each other. I warned them “One word and out you go.”
It was after midnight when we returned home. Most of our guests had
travelled far and were staying at local motels. Our family members
continued to imbibe.
Having had little sleep overnight, Mary and I arranged for Steven and
his partner Adrian to do the barbeque breakfast, they being employed by
the best firm in the business; ‘ Barbeques Galore’ at Kotara near
Newcastle NSW, and they, knowing only too well; how to make your
sausage sizzle! By one o’clock pm, we were at last on our own to spend
the rest of the day recovering.
We received many cards and beautiful presents from well-wishers,
among them a card from that little baldy bloke who is our nation’s leader
and one from our Federal member, Ken Ticehurst, who is deserving of
our thanks for his good work. Thanks, mate. There was another from our
liberal Senator, Dr John Tierney; a splendid fellow and always busy, and
a card from our temporary stand-in Governor General (who is also the
Governor General of Tasmania), Sir Guy Green, Administrator of the
Commonwealth of Australia, and his lovely wife, Lady Rosslyn. The card
we really treasured, (not to demean the others which were are all very
nice) was the card from The Honourable Sir William Deane and his
lovely wife, Lady Helen Deane, (formerly Gov Gen Sir W. Deane and
Lady Deane) who described us as old and valued friends of theirs.
Thanks, Sir Bill and Helen. There were many occasions that Mary and I
would have morning tea with Helen, during which time we would
discuss family issues and I would tell her son jokes. I firmly believe that
Bill and Helen Deane were the finest people to grace their exalted
positions of Australian representatives of the British Monarchy.
There was no mention from Bob, who held the State’s top job. Maybe
it was because of that nasty letter that I sent him in January when I was
enraged over some stupid political nonsense. It seems his memory
extends further than most political leaders. Bob is really a nice bloke, but
his advisors are constantly getting their sums wrong.
Two years ago when our leader was in the USA, an American
journalist asked one of his minders about his name.
“Mr Hunt, isn’t it?” enquired the journalist.
“No,” said the minder.” But don’t worry, you almost had it right.”
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I must ask the secretary of our association to get back to the Prime
Minister again to raise the issue of the Gold cardwill give us former
Brits a real feeling of acceptance as citizens of Austr