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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:54 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:40 am
Posts: 66
Corio whiskey was found to be suitable for use in engineering & sheetmetal works as soldering flux.
This ensured the product continued to be manufactured for longer than would have otherwise been the case.

Sanity ultimately prevailed when less dangerous fluids were distilled & distributed for easing parched throats, and the Cario brand was relegated to history.

Today there are many, many brands of Australian whisky on the market for those who can afford them, because Jim Murray's whisky bible gave them (undeserved) praise & high marks.
Most Australian brands are thus overpriced - especially when compared to the dozens of Scotch names easily found on the shelves of Dan Murphy's and other purveyors of fine spirits.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 181
DOSS: 01 Jun 1971
Gary has had a large service and rebore ,out of the ICU he has already put nurses on a promise of chocolates and flowers.The pig had only one bad day but was not revived.His family are so relieved and look forward to Christmas.Prior to his operation he posted me a large Manilla envelope with MS.
As he is now back on deck I will let the great Australian novel return West,unless he requests me to fill in the blank spaces where he omitted names.
All the best ,gain strength and endure,no one can stop a happy reunion with Sprog his favourite grandchild this December.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:53 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Have you noticed that fine dining and convivial company is very conducive to the development deep philosophical and meaningful debate on topics of great importance in the affairs of civilization as accepted by today’s moral and intellectual values?
I apologise if I have confused you, dear reader, with my opening remarks. So let me elucidate.
It was seafood night at the Gentlemen’s Club and the jolly good roll up of members had enjoyed the magnificent mouth watering smorgasbord that had been prepared by the kitchen staff. Fresh Abrolhos rock lobster, northern barramundi, coral trout, blue swimmer crabs, Eyre Peninsula oysters and Carpentaria tiger prawns along with mouth watering salads, sauces and side dishes. All of this was washed down with a fine assortment of crisp white wines from the nation’s very best vineyards to make a totally satisfying culinary experience.
It is said that seafood is a first class brain stimulant so it is not surprising that after such a meal, lively discussions on a multitude of topics took place. My only criticism of seafood night is that not nearly as many oysters worked as they used to. In fact it is rare occurrence nowadays that any of them actually work at all. But that is a topic for a more intimate tete a tete.
However on this particular occasion, I found myself ensconced amongst a party of seven or eight sterling chaps of like intellect and persuasion as myself. A decanter of excellent Hunter Valley tawny port circulated to accompany our after dinner coffee and cigars. All in all it was the perfect setting for the stimulation of lively and enriching conversation.
As the mood mellowed and communications broadened it became apparent that we appear to be living in the most interesting of times where international, national and local events provide an absolute treasure trove of conversational topics. On one hand we have a president running a country as if it is a beauty contest and only favoured contestants receive preferred patronage whilst on the other hand, locally, we have an ex prime minister running around like little Henry Chickenhawk whose sole “raison d’etre” is to destroy his replacement and the party that dethroned him.
Added to this we have a plethora of hack journalists and columnists representing the print and electronic media, continually endeavouring to emulate Warwick “the kingmaker” in contributing to the creation and destruction of political careers as fancy sways them.
In fact our times, like those of Charles Dickens, are so boringly reflective of how things have always been that any debate on anything at all is surely pointless.
But all that notwithstanding Harold Thrustbuttock Frogmorton, a man of some standing whose world travels make him an authority on all matters foreign and alien that represent a real and present threat to the cultural heritage of the sea girt homeland of Sir Les Patterson.
“It’s time to draw the line on letting any more of these foreign blighters into the wonderful Land of Oz. We are being overrun by foreigners and drowned in their foreign ways. Culture as we know it will soon cease to exist!”
Now if ever there was a statement to raise eyebrows amongst members of the Gentlemen’s Club; then comment on culture was surely it.
By and large our membership is widely travelled and has experienced foreign cultures, both couth and uncouth.
In my youth I personally absorbed the cultural delights of such locales as Soho, De Wallen District and the Reeperbahn. In Cairo I once experienced the exotic mysteries and pleasures of Fatima the Egyptian belly dancer, although in all honesty I suspect that Fatima was actually Beryl from Paisley; and of course who hasn’t treated a working girl from East 42nd Street to the edifying experience of a moonlit horse drawn open carriage ride through Central Park.
Travel does broaden the mind and memories are such beautiful things.
But back to the subject of foreigners and the acceptability of allowing more of them into our homeland.
I am personally very open minded about foreigners; that is so long as they remain in their foreign climes. After all it is only fair. Our British based civilization has been forcibly expelled from dozens of countries since the cessation of hostilities in 1945 and that being so it is only right that we protect our way of life by sealing our borders.
The outside world is full of foreigners; they start at Calais and end at Darwin; and they should be content to remain amongst their own pursuing their unique idiosyncrasies and lifestyles.
I was about to express my well considered opinion on the matter to the assembly when proceedings were brought to a sudden and abrupt halt by the booming Gaelic foghorn vocals of Bishop Patrick FitzRamsbottom.
Allow me to digress for a moment and I shall introduce the good bishop.
Patrick FitzRamsbottom’s antecedents hail from somewhere in the vicinity of County Cork and he is a fanatical believer of the philosophy of ad extirpanda and deeply regrets that it is a practice no longer enforced by the “Mother Church”. He is totally opposed to the reforms of Vatican 2 and blankly refuses to implement any of those doctrines in his diocese.
Such is the traditional delivery of his fire and brimstone sermons; that even in this modern age of protest and challenge to authority; one glance from him stifles any offense to the olfactory senses caused by voluntary or involuntary borborygmus rumblings or expulsions from members of his congregation during matins or vespers.
On one occasion during a funeral service that he was conducting, after generously partaking of a pre wake libation for the deceased, the genteel sobbing of the grieving widow so annoyed him that he pointed at her with an accusing finger and quoted the old Irish music hall ditty
“Let's not have a sniffle, let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die”
I thought that it was quite a sensitive and comforting expression of condolence at the time.
On another occasion during a recent conversation between the bishop and Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel, a member in good standing, on the topical subject of same sex marriage he, Ebeneezer, happened to mention that whilst he was quite odd he was in no way queer and neither were the young men that he slept with.
Well the bishop’s reaction to this admission was totally out of all proportion to the profoundness of the statement.
The fiery torrent of profanity that issued from his mouth could very well have had its source in the furnaces of Hell itself. He called on all of the Archangels, Angels, semi Gods, demi Gods and the combined host of heaven to join forces to hurl Ebeneezer and all of his kind into the darkest recesses of purgatory and there confine their souls for all eternity.
To my mind that opinion is a tad extreme. I am totally impartial when it comes to another man’s sexual preferences. It takes all sorts to make this great big wonderful world that we live in.
Anyone who has served in the Middle East will be familiar with the old Arab philosophy of “A woman for business, a boy for pleasure and a goat for choice”.
There is a very interesting couple of minutes of U tube film taken from a spy drone recording a couple of Pakistanis gents giving in to their lustful cravings with a nanny goat on the roof of a house that warrants a second look.
However all that notwithstanding; attendances at Bishop FitzRamsbottom’s Good Friday and Christmas Eve midnight mass services always draw enormous crowds. The celebrations following these religious ceremonies almost inevitably degenerate into Romanesque bacchanalian revels that go on for days.
But I digress. The actual topic of general conversation at hand was that of foreigners and the place that they play in contemporary Australian society.
As you can expect, the good bishop holds very strong views on this matter and is never backward in expressing his opinions which he now gave vent to.
In the interests of brevity I will therefore give an abridged version of the Bishop’s speech rather that a full transcript thereto.
In his opinion we should throw open our borders to all with the exception of those who adhere to the tenets of the heretical occupant of Lambeth Palace and who have a well deserved reservation in the darkest pits of purgatory. Others to be excluded from entry would be any descendents from “the other isle” who were the issue of members of the Black and Tans as well as any form of Protestant, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, coloureds.
He then moved on to the ridiculous situation that has become an issue in Canberra regarding the eligibility of people to represent electors because of dual citizenship circumstances.
Even I, simple unlettered fellow that I am, can relate in part to the good bishop’s philosophy. Do you remember up until the early 70’s I think it was that our passports affirmed that we were all British subjects although we were Australian citizens. That did sort of imply dual nationality and citizenship.
In the early 60s arrivals at Heathrow were welcomed by two signs at the immigration entrance. There was one entry gate for British subjects and a second gate for foreign subjects.
I clearly recall on one occasion an aggressive American chap loudly remonstrating that he wasn’t foreign, he was a citizen of the United States. Never the less his protestations fell on the deaf ears of Her Majesty’s immigration official and he was dealt with as a foreigner while the rest of us proceeded through the gate reserved for loyal servants of the crown.
Which brings me back to the subject at hand; what a load of codswallop is this debate over section 44 of the constitution. At the time of writing the constitution there was no such thing as an Australian citizen. Everybody was a British subject therefore the initial federal government was illegal by virtue of dual citizenship and so on and so forth to the present day.
Does this mean that every piece of legislation enacted by the Federal Parliament since Federation is invalid?
This will keep our little group of gentlemen debaters burbling on for months.
But far bit it for me to say any more. The army of lawyers, pollies and bureaucrats all funded by Joe taxpayer are at least keeping out of our faces for the duration, and the media vultures have something to occupy their petty minds.
So! Where do we go from here?
Do you remember when Papua New Guinea became independent and foreigners who wished to apply for PNG citizenship were forced to hand in their foreign passports and renounce the country of their birth?
At the time there was a flurry of expatriate applications for PNG citizenship to protect their investments and business holdings. On the face of it; there was no reverting to original birthrights if the process went pear shaped. However UK citizens kept their citizenship no matter how many foreign allegiances they swore to.
In Australia a very powerful political lobby acted behind the scenes and obtained guarantees that revoked Australian citizenships would be restored for Australians wishing to return to the sea girt land of OZ.
Which all boils down to the fact that the world is much the same as it has always been; a total mess with humanity stumbling from crisis to crisis.

I leave you with a quote attributed to Gaius Petronius a Roman Senator in 210 BC but in actual fact written by Charlton Ogburn and published in Harpers Magazine in 1957.

“We trained hard....but it seemed that every time
we were beginning to form up into teams we
would be reorganised.
I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet
any new situation by re-organising, and a
wonderful method it can be for creating the
Illusion of progress while producing nothing but
confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.....”

So dear reader with those profound words of wisdom I shall have another shot or six of this excellent port and say farewell until we meet again.
God Bless!!

Last edited by Garry Luhrs on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:23 am
Posts: 131
Location: Tumby Bay South Australia
DOSS: 11 Sep 1967
On a more serious note Garry.

I went into my local bottle shop the other day looking for a bottle of cheap Australian port. My intention was to use it for the fruit cake I was going to make for Christmas.

I was duly informed you can no longer buy port unless it comes from Portugal. The Australian stuff is now called 'tawny', or something along those lines.

I can understand the people of Champagne objecting to the use of their name on Australian bubbly but what red-blooded bloke buys it anyway?

I'd suggest that the sneaky renaming of port has all the hallmarks of a constitutional crisis far in excess of anything to do with queer foreigners breeching our borders.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
By God Phil you are right.
I just checked the label on my bottle of 12 year old Galway Pipe and it says Grand Tawny.
Wine naming seems to have gotten quite anal. Burgundy is now Pinot Noir.
What do you suggest. Should we invade?

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:02 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:33 pm
Posts: 651
Location: Cardiff Wales
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
As usual I enjoyed your post Garry.
The quote about reorganisation reminded me of the six months in 1969 I was waiting for immigration clearance to West Australia where I was about to improve education there by generously offering my services as a teacher. I had found temporary employment in the UK’s Department of Social Services as a lowly filing clerk and general odd-bod.
One day I was given two rubber stamps. One was fashioned to blank out the old name of the letter headed official stationery while the other was a pristine tool which was used to print the new name of the department.
Carrying out this intellectual task took a few days and I was amazed to find out that some of the lesser used forms had already had a change of name stamped on them. The most amazing example highlighted by your quote was one that had two name changes in its long unused life. I was stamping its 3rd reorganisation name.
No staff disappeared or arrived in our small office to complete this great leap forward organised from the depths of Whitehall. Sadly my country of birth failed to honour me for my dedication to the vital reorganisation.
Harim tok tasol

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:41 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:50 pm
Posts: 24
DOSS: 13 Mar 1966
One wonders whether Arthur's UK employer should be either complemented on their frugality and sense of conservation or whether they should be condemned for their lack of consideration to the paper making and print industries.
The PNG Government and Australian Government at least have apparently always considered the cause of industry over conservation as the frequent name changes of Government department and requirement for new letterheads attests.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Dear reader, you are probably wondering why I am sitting here at the presidents table in the trophy room with Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel, the Gentlemen’s Club Treasurer, sipping Bollinger instead of quaffing stiff single malts with the regular fellows in hog corner of the smoking room. Let’s face it Bollinger is something you only use if you run out of your regular mouthwash and nothing else is available.

Drinking absolute swill like this, it’s little wonder the Froggies were soundly thrashed at Agincourt and Waterloo.

Ebeneezer is not the sort of chap that one normally wishes to associate with or in fact be seen associating with by one’s peers. Amongst his many quirky habits is that of taking a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches at precisely three thirty every afternoon. This occurs every day come rain or hail or shine. He has an annoying habit of sipping his tea with his pinky cocked just like that and he dries the sides of his mouth with a silk handkerchief that he tucks into his sleeve.
And the drivel that comes out of his mouth is unbelievable. He talks about growing roses and raising aspidistras and keeping them flying. He has never even castrated a tiger snake with his bare teeth. I truly believe that he is an original three dollar note. So there!!
Believe me when I say that it is not by choice that I find myself here in these circumstances “drinking no longer water, but using a little wine for mine stomach's sake and mine often infirmities” as recommended by the good book.

Allow me to elucidate.

About a year ago I awoke around about ten o’clock after a raucous smokey night at the Gentlemen’s Club that had included a couple of scantily clad belly dancers and the consumption of who knows how many single malts and Gurkha Black Dragons. I would have only drunk to excess and no more. At the most I may have looked upon the wine when it was red, when it gaveth its colour in the cup, and moved itself aright and at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stungeth like an adder. After all at my age one has to be a responsible drinker.
But back to my story. I was feeling a little woozy and suffering bouts of dizziness and a little more shortness of breath than normal. As I sat down at the breakfast table waiting for Horace, my gentleman’s gentleman, to serve me my morning cup of tea; white one sugar stirred seven times in an anti clockwise direction; I noticed the war office eying me over the brim of her Earl Grey breakfast tea cup. She had a peculiar look in her eyes. One eye was filled with venom the other appeared to be filled with anticipation.
She didn’t speak; she never speaks; in fact hasn’t spoken to me for over twenty years. In actual fact we haven’t had anything to do with each other in all that time. I normally only become aware of her continued presence by examining my monthly bank statement and noting withdrawals not made by me from the bank account. In all respects an ideal marriage.
Horace, my gentleman’s gentleman spoke.
“Are you feeling alright sir?”
“Just feeling a bit woozy’ I replied “Probably a touch of the old malaria surfacing.”
The world span and I came back to light lying on the flat of my back on a stretcher in an ambulance with an oxygen mask over my face.
Shortly thereafter I found myself in the emergency room of the local hospital being surrounded by doctors, nurses, cleaners and lollypop men. Quick consultations and I was whisked off to the cardiology ward where I was given a zillion tests of different sorts that included eco cardiograms, angiograms, stripper grams, gorilla grams and telegrams just to name a few.
The immediate decision was to implant a pacemaker to keep the old ticker ticking.
Then came the inevitable sit down with the cardiologist who looked me straight in the eye and said,
“We! That is you, have a couple of serious issues that have to be addressed. The first being that the aorta valve is leaking quite seriously and secondly the aorta itself has a severe aneurysm.”
I blinked and I supposed that I looked stupidly at him for he continued.
“Your aorta should have a diameter of 2.2 to 2.5 centimetres. Your aorta has a diameter of 5.7 centimetres which means that at any moment it could pop and you will be dead before you hit the ground.”
“Is that serious or a record?” I queried.
The cardiologist ignored me and continued. “I am referring you to one of our cardiac surgeons for urgent attention.”
And so without further ado I found myself undergoing and re-undergoing every conceivable test and wottigram associated with cardiac matters, eventually winding up in a chair opposite an anaesthetist having the ins and outs of cardiac surgery explained to me.
Firstly he explained his part in the proceedings.
“Apart from putting you to sleep, I am the man who keeps you alive during the operation. You will be connected to a by-pass machine and I will be monitoring all of your vital signs whilst the surgeons remove and replace your aorta and the aorta valve with a Dacron patch. Dacron is a non rejectable material made from bovine sources.”
No piggy or roo valves for me. My patch is cowhide. Sort of more manly isn’t it?
He continued. “After the operation you may suffer some of these side effects.”
He then proceeded to list them and they included cognitive dysfunction – which is the ability to think and speak logically. No problem there I already suffer from that.
Next in all likelihood i would suffer loss of memory, short and long term. That would be comforting as there is much in my life I would like to forget. However unfortunately that would only be a temporary affliction.
On and on he prattled about severe haemorrhaging, stroke, kidney and liver failure and permanent organ damage throughout the body beautiful. It reached a point where I totally lost interest. If all of this was going to happen why bother operating. But apparently one of the surgeons’ wives wanted a new BMW.
All that explained and understood I patiently awaited the time and place for the surgery to be performed to be announced.
A couple of minor hiccups and I presented myself for the procedure. A quick shower and chest shave by a nurse and we were ready to go. I was wheeled in to the theatre and one of the masked and hooded registrars informed me that the procedure would take about four hours. I would then be moved to recovery where I would be woken up and then to ICU until it was deemed fit for me to go to the cardiac ward for basic physio.
“Righto” says I “Let’s get on with it”
And without further ado I was knocked out and entered the deep sleep of the anaesthetised.
At some time during this deep sleep I found myself flapping through the eternal darkness of time and space with a pair of the most ungainly wings protruding from where my scapula should have been.
Do you remember the ungainly flapping that the New Guinea Hornbill made as it flapped from tree perch to tree perch? Well that was what I sounded like as I progressed towards eternity and beyond. Not quite like Buzz Lightyear but you get the message.
In the distance I saw a bright light and so I angled myself towards it, and as I neared I saw the bright white marble of the Pearly Gates.
I aimed for a two legged touch down between the two great pillars but as fortune would have it my navigation was a little astray and I went splot right into the left hand pillar.
As I picked myself up an old fellow who had been raking up leaves or something ambled over and asked me my name and purpose for being there.
“Hang on a moment” he said “I’ll check and see if we are expecting you”
He then opened an enormous tome and ran his ancient claw like finger down the latest column of names. As he was checking his book I looked through the gate and spied a tall figure pacing back and forwards mumbling in a tongue that was totally alien to me.
“Nope, you are not listed for arrival today” he said
Intrigued I asked him his name and who was the other fellow inside the gates.
He replied “My name is Peter, I am the gatekeeper, that is God. He is having a bad day. He thinks that he is a cardiac surgeon”
With that God turned and looked at me with his baleful All Seeing Eye and he blinked once and I found myself flapping back through time and space once and darkness once again enveloped me.
How long I lay in that state of darkness I know not but before you could say put a fiver on Farnarkel running in the Fifth at Flemington on the Fourteenth I found myself flappity flap flapping through time and space once more. Believe it or not it doesn’t take a lot to master the art of avian locomotion once you let it all hang out and go with the flow.
There in the distance were the brightly illuminated pearly gates and I guided my flight path to land right in the middle between the two pillars with a perfect three point landing.
Ah! How often the plans of mice and men. As I made my perfect approach one of my wings clipped a pillar and my three point landing became an undignified slithering belly flop. Were I in a corporeal rather than an ethereal form I should have suffered extensive gravel rash to say the least. But there to assist me to my feet was good old gatekeeper Pete.
“What are you doing back here?” he queried.
“Blowed if I know. I just seem to be flapping to and fro for no apparent reason” I replied.
“I suppose we better do a preliminary questionnaire in case you are going to stay this time”
With that he opened his enormous tome and began to question me regarding possible breaches of the Ten Commandments. I bore false witness all the way through until we reached the one about stealing. I thought that I’d better confess to one or two things there.
“I only stole from the Government; but in my defence the government is of the people by the people for the people so I was only stealing from myself. Therefore that can’t be classed as theft. Don’t you agree?”
Peter looked at me strangely and replied “A moot point. We will get back to that shortly.”
He continued with his questions.
“Have you coveted your neighbour’s ass, his donkey, his camels or his wife?”
This was a tricky one to answer so I called on my kiap legal training to reply. My neighbour was a tall scrawny fellow with a thin boney ass and I certainly didn’t covert that. I wasn’t that way inclined anyhow. I wasn’t aware that he owned a donkey so that was irrelevant. I didn’t covert his camels because I had given up smoking years before. Now the part about his wife, Rosa, was another matter. I decided to fess up and come clean.
Peter raised an eyebrow “Do tell”
“Well it was like this” I said.
“One autumn I was up on a ladder cleaning the gutters before the first rains. As I was working a bit like David on the rooftop a couple of thousand years ago when he gazed about him and observed Bathsheba bathing naked a couple of houses away. I too gazed about me and spied my neighbours wife, Rosa, sun bathing stark bollicky naked alongside their below ground swimming pool. Like David I was overcome with lust and desire to possess that voluptuous creature.
Whereas David disposed of poor old Uriel, Bathsheba’s unfortunate husband, by placing him in the forefront of battle where fighting was the hottest; I had to rely on more subtle means of persuasion if I was to fulfil my desires.
So with speed of a startled wombat I armed myself with a bottle of bubbly,, the effrontery of a lounge room lizard, and leapt the dividing fence where I did liberally apply alcoholic encouragement to the said beauty. As hubby had been absent on a business trip for some time it was not a really challenging chore to gain her agreement to participating in a quick round of the horizontal tango.
We made our way to the boudoir and with all due lack of decorum like Tarquin with desires unruly led I did advance, not on Lucretia’s but, on fair Rosa’s bed.
However before the contract could be filled; the sound of the garage roller door opening and a voice crying with anticipation
“Honey I’m home”
Well just for a moment I stood there in silence, stunned by the foul evil deed I’d nearly done. Then gathering up my clothes, out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran, out where the poolside was tiled. Up and across the boundary fence went I and into the sanctuary of my own humble abode where I settled my nerves with a couple of stiff single malts.”
Peter eyed me sceptically and the unblinking, forbidding All Seeing Eye appeared briefly then Poof.
There I was hurtling back through time and space and found myself flat on my back in a hospital bed with a nurse holding up her hand before me saying
“Wake up. What is your name? How many fingers do you see? Are you in pain? In a measure of one to ten, how severe is the pain?”
Pain, yes there was pain and plenty to spare. Women talk about the pain of childbirth but as any red blooded man knows that the pain of child birth is as nothing compared to that of man flu. Well let me tell you that the pain of having your sternum chopped open with a chain saw and then wired back together with rusty fencing wire is worse even than man flu. It is sheer agony to cough, sneeze, flatulate or even breathe deeply. But I get ahead of myself.
Over my feeble protests, bottles of pills and capsules were forced down my gullet. All for my own good I was assured.
“Don’t move or you will disturb the tubes.” Came an instruction from somewhere. It was then that I became aware that I had more tubes protruding from my torso than an octopus has tentacles. There was no way I was going to move at all. The slightest tremor was agony.
I slept.
Came a morning. I know not which when I was woken by a nurse who had come to change my dressing.
As the wound was uncovered she produced a mirror of sorts and said.
“Look at your scar. It is healing beautifully.”
I gazed at the reflection. The scar showed that I had been slit from gizzard to gullet. It was red raw and disgusting. The sight of all of those tubes protruding from my abdomen gave the impression that I was an Azimov creation. It was a quite disturbing sight.
I dozed off, slept, awoke to find my surgical team standing around the foot of my bed.
The senior registrar spoke
“Well you gave us a bit of a fright. We thought that we had lost you a couple of times.”
I didn’t say anything. I knew the truth. I had been tried and rejected by the highest authority; not once but twice.
The registrar continued.
“We got rid of that troublesome aneurysm and the leaky valve and you now have a spanking new Dacron patch.”
Dear reader I won’t bore you with further details of how my chest was opened twice more over the following fortnight to drain accumulated fluid around the heart apart to say the pain was and still is bloody murder.
Neither will I bore you with an account of the hallucinations and the belief that a little Shitzu dog visited and sat with me every night that I was in hospital. The side effects of open heart surgery are quite weird and can really only be understood by those who have undergone this procedure.
Now I am reduced to sitting here with the likes of Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel sipping one or two flutes of this disgusting Bollinger each day listening to him and his mates waffle on about their totally innocuous and uninspiring lives.
Though as I sit here my mind wanders back through time and space to another occasion that I experienced pain far worse than child birth or man flu although not as severe as open heart surgery.
Let me explain.

I was conducting a census patrol out of Ambunti.
The weather had been pretty inclement and most of the patrol gear was either soaked through or was uncomfortably damp. I was within two days of returning to station when for whatever reason the cap of the kerosene container came loose or was not fastened correctly and the container was topped up with water rendering the fuel useless.
As a result of this I lost the use of my primus stove and more importantly the use of my Petromax pressure lantern.
As always happens when sod’s law kicks in my patrol boxes were scattered haphazardly around the entrance to the haus kiap. After night fell I found that I had occasion to fossick through one of the patrol boxes in search of my toiletries in order that I could take a hot shower. As fate would have it the patrol box that I required was under and behind a couple of other patrol boxes.
With fading torch under my chin I started to move the boxes and lo and behold I tripped on the black palm floor and the box slipped from my grasp and my foot caught on a second or third box and with no further adieu the big toe nail of my left foot caught on the edge of a box and was ripped half out.
I screamed “Murder! Bloody murder!” and the troops came a running.
To cut a long story short; the aid post orderly extracted the toe nail out applied liberal amounts of antiseptic powder and a dry dressing, patted me on the head and left me to my pain and agony.
Two days later after bravely completing the census my patrol made it’s way back to Ambunti by motorised canoe. We made land fall at the landing stage which was at the end of the Ambunti airstrip.
My first order of business, after dispatching my policemen to organise the station’s tractor and trailer to collect the patrol gear and request the didiman come and collect me on his motorbike, was to proceed to the Ambunti Aid Post to have my wound redressed. A twin engine aircraft had just touched down and was being met by a large crowd of locals as well as the entire expat population of the station.
“What is going on?” I enquired of a local who was standing away from the crowd.
“Hetman bilong Moresby I kam” was the reply.
Intrigued, I wandered or rather hobbled closer to have a look. There he was; The Honourable David Osborne Hay, His Honour the Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, himself. Complete with Bombay bloomers long white socks and his Distinguished Service Order suspended from his scrawny neck. All he needed to complete the picture of perfect imperialism at its best was a plumed pith helmet and a swagger stick.
As fortune would have it; the crowd parted and I found myself face to face with HHA.
I felt quite inadequate, unshaven, my khakis rumpled and heavily sweat stained around the armpits and my footwear flip flop thongs because I couldn’t get my feet into my patrol boots.
“Who are you?” demanded HHA.
When I introduced myself he became positively apoplectic.
How dare I come to meet the countries’ highest official, unshaved, dressed in that dishevelled attire. I was a disgrace to the service and when my patrol policeman, dressed in the old lap lap and sulu, appeared by my side just as this was going down the fury intensified. Not only was I a disgrace but how dare I allow a member of the constabulary appear in a uniform that had been discarded four years earlier.
Suitably chastised and belittled, I slunk off to have my toe re-dressed at the aid post and then made my way as a pillion passenger on the back of the didiman’s motor bike to the house on the top of the hill to lick my battered ego.
Shortly thereafter when I had shaved showered and attired myself in clean clothing nursing my now throbbing toe and contemplating, with my didiman friend, whether it was time to declare the bar open when, unannounced, the ADC appeared.
This particular ADC is the one whose name I do not speak unless I am standing inside a pentacle made of Aeroplane Jelly crystals with a clove of garlic around my neck making the sign of the cross to ward off evil.
He spoke
“Well you certainly know how to upset the big boys. The DC wants to see you in the office at 5 pm.”
Without further adieu he stormed out.
At 5 pm I presented myself to the DC who demanded an explanation from me. When I explained the circumstances of my arrival and the reason for my footwear, my ignorance of the VIP visit etc ...; the DC expressed his understanding of my situation and remarked.
“I will tell His Honour that I have dealt with you severely and I suggest that you do not attend the official reception this evening at the ADC’s residence. So off you go”
As in many instances during my lifetime I couldn’t resist one last quip.
“He does look ridiculous in his Bombay bloomers and his imitation Imperial demeanour, doesn’t he?” I remarked.
The DC sort of choked back a half grin half scowl.
“Get out of here before I have you flogged”
Needless to say I got rather rapidly, throbbing nail less toe notwithstanding.
And that dear reader is my story and I am sticking to it.
Oh drats! Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel has ordered another round of Bollinger and it has arrived.

Bottoms up until we meet again

Stay well and God bless.

Post Script.
I would like to express my thanks to those kind persons who sent me their best wishes for a speedy recovery after my recent heart surgery.
My especial thanks go to Harvey Mack who smuggled a Jamaica Blue coffee into me every evening during my stay in Fiona Stanley Hospital. You are a true friend.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:16 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:50 pm
Posts: 24
DOSS: 13 Mar 1966
I have been requested by the Secretary of The Gentleman’s Club to convey the Presidents disquiet regarding an erroneous report posted on this site regarding Gary’s health.

Apparently after the Club received information, based on said post, that he had a rebore, they showed no concern as many of their members had undergone this process and it was acknowledged that, if that was the case, they could expect Gary to attend relatively soon after the operation.
The Club has a manservant whose only duty is to be ready with a chamber pot at the beck and call of any member suffering the all too often aftereffects of said operation and may be either too inebriated or disinclined to make the short trip to the toilet. Incontinence underwear is also available for members to purchase at a small mark up.

Had they been aware of the true nature of his affliction they would naturally been able to prepare for the possible funerary celebrations required had one of those tentative visits to the pearly gates, as related by Gary, been permanent. Housekeeper Olga who apparently has romantic inclinations towards Gary would also have liked to offer her services and nurse him during his convalescence.

Needless to say the Members are glad to have him once again in their ranks although they hope that his health improves more rapidly as the Club has a higher mark up on single malts than Bollinger.

Further, the insinuation that he had passed a manuscript to said poster nearly had Gary expelled as he had faithfully promised not to divulge the contents to any other than the publisher contracted to the Club. Gary has assured the President that he has never passed the manuscript to any other person and that there would never be any requirement to fill in blank names.

President Wodnobble is aware that some members of this forum are also members of the Club and has also requested me to convey a warning to any such members that their membership could be cancelled if false reports about Club members are posted.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:22 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Well it seems that another eventful year has slipped past and it is time to face the highs and lows, the joys and woes of the festive season.

Why just the other day I was sitting in the smoking room of the Gentlemen’s Club, with a group of sterling chaps, we were enjoying an extremely quaffable single malt and puffing on a forbidden Ghurka Black Dragon discussing the forthcoming festive season when the members of the social committee emerged from the committee room.
George Featherstone Mortinberg, secretary of the social committee made the official announcement.

Once again the social committee of the Gentlemen’s Club has proposed and once again has unanimously agreed to another New Years Day turf carnival. No great surprise there; it has been a traditional event for the past one hundred and twenty five years; but the entire membership of the club greets the news every year with surprise and exhilaration.
After the carolling and goodwill towards our fellow men, and others, of yuletide is over it is for getting back to seriously robbing and cheating and otherwise disadvantaging of each other resumes. In the case of the Gentlemen’s Club the aggressive competitive side of human nature comes to the fore in the form of competitive racing.

Dear reader let me explain. Every year, as stated, the Gentlemen’s Club holds a racing carnival.

There are two categories of racing conducted by the Club. There are races for horses and there are races for camels.
The rules of the carnival are quite simple. Members must enter animals that they have acquired during the past twelve months and they must not have been purchased from recognised or unrecognised breeders or owners of registered breeds. In fact the animals must have no pedigree other than they can be recognised, by the appointed stewards, as creatures that fit into either of the accepted classes.

Hence the horses, in effect brumbies, are selected, by various representatives, from the station country of the nation. They range from Walers of the Snowy to the hardy stock animals of the northern cattle stations. The wilder the animal the more advantageous the racing handicap.

Similarly the camels are not those sedate beasts that one sees on picture postcards carrying tourists along Cable Beach at sunset. These are the progeny of the Great Western Desert and the plain country east, west and north of Alice Springs. These are the feral creatures that survive flood, fire, drought and culling from the air by professional shooters. These animals are in every respect true survivors.

It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that these animals are prepared to a standard whereby they can participate in the sport of Kings or sheiks with suitable aplomb and decorum causing as little mayhem and damage as possible.

Some years ago it was customary for only Gentlemen’s Club members to ride in the races but a series of unfortunate incidents, one of which I will outline shortly forced to carnival organisers to restrict riders to those who are under the age of forty five years.

Now these beasts must be ridden by Gentlemen’s Club members, who meet the age requirements of the stewards, or their appointed substitutes to wit: jackaroos, jillaroos or cameleers of desert descent. Riders must wear the livery approved by the social committee’s racing committee and abide by the long established rules of the Gentlemen’s Club equestrian traditions.
That means no stock whips are permitted during racing and incentive riding crops must not be powered by more than two hundred volt low amperage batteries. Loosening or cutting the girth straps and curcingles of opponents’ saddlery is also strictly forbidden.
About twenty miles outside the city is a horse trainer’s property complete with training track and all of the amenities required to hold a social regatta. The owner of this establishment, Rupert Dunnover, is a distant relative of George Featherstone Mortinberg, the secretary of the Gentlemen’s Club social committee.
Every year Rupert transfers all of his thoroughbred bloodstock from this property for the summer months to cooler parts down south and, as the property is uninhabited he permits the Gentlemen’s Club to use the facilities, at a nominal rent, for our annual carnival.
This makes the stables, various stalls and yarding facilities available for the Gentlemen’s Club carnival stock to be accommodated with reasonable comfort and security. Different animals tend to become a little aggressive in strange surroundings with stranger stable mates. Hence kicking, biting and general mayhem can occasionally become the order of the day.
My beast of choice for the New Year’s Day racing carnival is always the ship of the desert. Ever since my varsity days when I first discovered the ditty about one sick camel that we sang to the tune of the Eton Boating Song, I have been fascinated by the beasts. Although to my unlettered mind; camels are a particularly ugly and unloveable breed of creature – very much like the war office who in the cold hard light of morning actually resembles a camel.

But as the words of Tom Lehrer’s song go
“Sharks gotta swim , hawks gotta fly
I gotta love one woman till I die!!”

But I digress. Please forgive the vagaries of old age.

The camel song sung to the tune of The Eton boating song; part of the ditty went something like this.

“The sexual desires of the camel
Are stranger than anyone thinks
For recently a camel tried to bugger the Sphinx
Now the Sphinx’s triangular orifice
Was blocked by the sands of the Nile
Which accounts for the hump on the camel,
And the Sphinx’s inscrutable smile!”

This leads me to the subject of my initial encounter with camels and their peculiarities and how my lifelong interest in them developed.

Some years ago whilst being occupied by various legal activities east of the Pilbara, north of The Alice and west of Cloncurry, I had occasion to utilise the services of an old and experienced aboriginal tracker. I do not recall the exact circumstances for the reason that we were tracking through the uninhabited gibber plains. It was a rather confusing time of my life. Sometimes I was one side of the law and at other times I was on the flip side of the law. The regular visiting SM was driven to distraction because sometimes I was the prosecutor and at other times the prosecuted.
My pretty liberal interpretation of the laws of the land and ownership of cattle etc.. have led me to adopt the same attitude to ownership of cattle as that adopted by the Texas lawyer Colonel Samuel Maverick who claimed title over any unbranded cattle that roamed free across the plains. So if one happens to have temporary possession and use of a roo shooters cooler trailer when wandering the remote station country and one happens across unbranded stock then possession of that unbranded stock becomes nine points of the law. That is how I interpret the law although the police stock squads of the nation’s various jurisdictions interpret this law differently to me.
Thus if one is within eighteen or so hours of travel from an understanding retail butcher then interpretation of the law is purely a matter of scholastic speculation.
But I digress. The aboriginal tracker, we shall call him Gerald, and I came across a small herd of camels making the most of the shade of a small stand of stunted blood gums. One of the camels, a male of indeterminate age, was lying under a gum tree, complaining loudly in camelese, and the others, all females, surrounded this unfortunate creature nuzzling him and kicking him quite savagely in an attempt to make him stand on his feet.
“What’s the go?” I asked Gerald.
“Dems lady camels is dat man camel’s wifes and dey is cravin’ a little hoochie hoo an de ol’ fella’s claimin’ dat e’s got a berry bad ‘ead ache. Not wantin’ any hoochie hoo.”
Gerald continued. “Dem man camels not like us boss. Like drinkin’ water. One hoochie hoo a week or ten days enough for dem. Dem lady camels dey more like you han me, dey like hoochie hoo plenty hundred times every day.”
“Well” I thought “We learn something new every day.”

As we rode off the male camel climbed to his feet and positioned himself between Gerald and me and between our pack horse and Gerald. The harem trailed along behind protesting volubly until we made camp that night.

During the following weeks our male camel, I named him Abdul for no particular reason, stuck close to Gerald and me and when stopped to make camp each day Abdul seemed to claim sanctuary in our company. His harem grunted, coughed, flatulated and generally made their presence known in a most aggressive way as they circled us each night. Now and again Abdul would disappear for a short time probably to engage in occasional casual what Gerald referred to as “hoochie hoo”. Then he would return to the sanctuary of our camp fire and we could all settle in for a good night’s sleep.

I can’t recall when it occurred to me that Abdul might make a splendid entrant for the Gentlemen’s Club annual racing carnival but it was when we were returning to base. We had either, collected, fabricated or manipulated the evidence we had been dispatched to collect so our official duties were complete.

It was true that Abdul was an unbroken animal but when I broached the subject with Gerald, the latter replied.
“No problem boss!! I can training him good for racin’. But wees got to take him’s wifes too. Elsen him’s not gunna racin’ straight”
“Bugger!!” thought I.
It was then that the fickle finger of fate intervened in my life.

As we came onto the main north south road there right before our eyes was a three bogie stock road train parked up on the side of the road. A bang on the cabin window and a bleary eyed driver emerged to admit that he was heading south without a load of cattle.
A quick negotiation and Abdul and his harem were loaded and heading for our “training” facility far from the prying eyes of envious Gentlemen’s Club members. Abdul would be my secret entry in the New Year’s racing carnival. Gerald was engaged to train him and tutor me in the fine art of cameleering.
And so we proceeded with our plan. Abdul became accustomed to his saddle and I became a little confident in staying mounted as we trotted around our practice circuit.
Time went by and nominations were called for. Abdul was accepted and he and his harem were stabled, if that is the correct term, in an enclosure adjacent to the race track.
Finally the great day arrived. The track railings and the mini grandstand were adorned with colourful bunting. Hot dog and hamburger stands were set up and running to feed the starving hordes and more importantly a series of bars serving alcoholic beverages was strategically established to quench the thirst of the milling throng.
The competing horses, camels and riders were regaled in the racing liveries that would have done Flemmington, Randwick or Royal Ascot proud.
The festive mood was infective although the summer temperature quickly arose to about a hundred and twelve in the water bag thus providing members and other patrons the suitable incentive to generously patronise the bars at a reasonably early hour.
As it turned out Abdul and I were entered in the first event of the day. This was because past experience of the race committee led them to the conclusion that feral camels were not at all conducive to the well being and running of the New Year’s Day racing carnival.
That decision sat well with me as it meant that I could sit back and enjoy the remainder of the programme without the pressure of waiting for my turn later in the schedule.
The bookies did their rounds assessing the chances of the dozen or so beasts that were entered in the first race.
Let me digress for a moment to explain the bookie situation. Most, if not all, of these chaps were banned from racetracks around the nation for misdeeds and activities regarded by the legal and racing jurisdictions of the nation as being totally illegal. But for the largesse of organisations such as the Gentlemen’s Club they would have no livelihood at all. That is not to say that the Club didn’t watch their every move like a hawk. The Club employed a number of enforcers, from across “The Ditch” on race day to keep everyone honest.
The stewards issued the order for riders to ready their mounts. Gerald assisted me into my saddle and whispered some last minute instructions and a warning that didn’t make any sense at the time.
There I perched on Abdul’s back looking like Lawrence of Arabia in drag full of vinegar and bad manners giving my competitors the international two fingers salute and receiving a similar response in return.
“Boss! You takin’ it nice ‘n easy. Dere is lady camels in dis race too. You makin’ sure you keepin Abdul clear ob dem. Okay?”
I noticed that Gerald was in possession of a wad of betting slips that were stuffed into his shirt pocket. If he won he would collect a packet. If he lost he would lose a fortune. However unbeknown to me I had underwritten each and every one of his wagers.
Then we were marshalled into order and lined up at the starting line.

Before you could say Reggies running riot at Randwick the high powered crack of the starters gun boomed and we were off and running.

Dear reader you may recall that earlier in this missive I mentioned that these camels were survivors of everything the outback could throw at them. The one thing that we did not take into account with our race preparations was the effect of a gunshot on these beasts. They had been hunted from the air, from shooters vehicles and from horseback.
Well the report of the high powered starter’s gun obviously awakened some deep seated neurosis in Abdul and many of the others in the starting line up. We were off and running and it became apparent within the first few seconds that Abdul and the other camels were not going to get caught in the open of the racetrack if there was a shooter about.
Abdul’s gaze fell on a tree line a half a mile or so away and that was where we and the rest of the field were headed.
As we departed the race track, by crashing through the side rails, other factors began to come into play. Abdul’s wives, having spotted him breach the racing barriers, and pursued by a number of strange female camels themselves got into a female camel tizz. Without so much as a nod of thanks for the bales of hay they in their turn broke out of their enclosure and, bellowing loudly in camelese, set off in hot pursuit of their consort.
By this time I, and I think the other riders in the race, realised that we were all in deep trouble. The herd of semi wild camels were in full flight. In their panic they snapped and kicked out at each other. Riders were thrown from their saddles and clung to mother earth for dear life. I clenched my eyes tight shut and clung on for grim death until without warning Abdul cut across the path of a particularly aggressive male who not unreasonably took offence and lashed out, not at Abdul but at me. I screamed in pain and terror as his teeth sank into my shoulder.

By this time my eyes were bulging with terror, my cheeks bloated as the wind whistled through my exposed chompers, bowels distended with fear and undischarged flatulence and a bladder distended and leaking with adrenalin induced metabalytes screaming for release.

We continued our headlong rush towards the sanctuary of the distant scrub line.
For some bizarre reason the words of the old music hall ditty went through my mind

“Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham
And they're taking me on to Crewe,
Take me back to London,
as quickly as you can,
Oh! Mr Porter, what a silly girl I am.”

It was about this time that Abdul stumbled and I was catapulted from my saddle. I cart wheeled through the air, spinning like a Catherine wheel, and came to earth into the path of the stampeding herd of following camels. I immediately assumed the prenatal position, a whimpering, simpering, quivering bundle of terrified mother love as the stampeding hooves passed over, by and around me.
I don’t know how long I lay there frozen by dread but eventually one of the Gentlemen’s Club appointed stewards, I think it may have been George Bersterd Hoffklanger, prodded me in the ribs and offered me a stiff tot of cheap brandy to steady my nerves. The Club’s medico gave me a cursory examination and promptly despatched me to the local hospital where, due to my obvious mentally unstable condition, I was transferred for observation into the State Home for the mentally confused and insane. Whilst in care I, along with some of the other victims, underwent a number of sessions with a hypnotherapist to allay my nightmares of being trampled to death by wild stampeding animals.
When I was eventually released from hospital, it was to find that my string of camels had been returned to the wild. Gerald had returned with them leaving me with a massive transport bill and a pile of gambling debts that amounted to almost half the national debt.
Well to cut a long and boring story short; as a result of the camel fiasco and the number of geriatric casualties, the social committee imposed an age restriction, and a whole rack of bureaucratic regulations, for participants in future New Years carnivals.
Members eventually stopped sniggering at those of us who were the victims of the unfortunate race and life in the Club returned to normal.

As I sit here endeavouring to bury that nightmare memory of the events of that disastrous day, my thoughts turn to a more pleasant New Year’s Day race that involved water craft on the mighty Sepik River.

Each year, as part of the New Year’s celebrations at Angoram, it was tradition to hold a motorised canoe race that went from the Government dock to the first bend in the river upstream and return. If memory serves me correct a total distance of about a mile and a half. The prize for the winner and place getters was a bundle of trade goodies donated by various trade store owners in the town.
On this occasion it was a clear fine day. The river was high, swollen by wet season rains. The spectators were colourful and boisterous in party mood commencing the annual tradition of imbibing with total indiscretion. The odour of “brus” and stick tobacco lay heavy on the air. The roadside was red with regurgitated betel nut.
Each year the locals would line up with their canoes powered by Archimedes, Mercury, Johnson or Evinrude outboard motors. All good fun and it filled an hour of organising, running and distributing prizes to the winners and runners up and so forth.
The annual celebrations attracted visitors from Wewak, Maprik and other centres from within and without the East Sepik District so it was also the perfect opportunity for the local canoe and motor owners to demonstrate to potential charterers the reliability and capacity of their vessels.
However this particular year two extraordinary entrants appeared.
The first was the entry from the Wewak Timbers Taway sawmill, down river from Angoram, who had recently purchased and taken delivery of a De Havilland aluminium River Truck that was powered by a 50 horse power Mercury outboard motor. The river truck was a seventeen foot flat bottomed punt that could carry about three quarters of a ton of cargo whilst travelling at fifteen to twenty miles an hour.
The second entry was from “Big Jim”, the owner of an Angoram based sawmill, who had recently acquired a second hand runabout powered by a Mercury outboard motor that had a zillion horse power souped up Spitfire engine as a power pack.
The powers that be decided that the canoes should start first then the river truck then Big Jim’s missile.
And so it was.
About two dozen canoes fired up their engines and off they hurtled in search of fame and glory and more importantly the oodles of trade goods that the winners would take home.
After a suitable interval the river truck headed off after the field, floating lightly across the water like a soft lorelei as it closed in on the field ahead of it.
Big Jim finished his brownie, disposed of the dead marine, reached for another brownie, opened it took a swig and continued to survey those vessels that had gone before. Finally he leaned forward in his seat, engaged the ignition bursting the souped up Spitfire engine into life with the gurgling roar of a warhorse chomping at the bit anticipating the blood thrilling charge and threw the gear lever forward to engage.
The speedboat surged forward leaving a billowing wake in its passing and as it sped past the Taway river truck the bow wave swept over the prow of said river track bringing it to a stop. Past the fleet of canoes he swept causing them to pitch and wallow in his wake much to his amusement.
When the bow waves subsided the river truck and the fleet of canoes resumed their course, Jim made a high speed wide sweeping circle of the racing fleet once again causing them to come to a standstill with his bow wave.
And yet again Jim repeated his manoeuvre but in spite of this the fleet eventually reached the bend in the river that marked the halfway mark and they turned for home.
Jim continued his circling manoeuvres twice more and then he sidled up to the Taway river truck and throttled back to gloat. The driver of the river truck shouted across to Jim that as he hadn’t completed the course to the upriver turning point he would be disqualified and his antics would have been for nothing.
Off sped Jim at about a zillion miles an hour to the upstream race mark to rectify this oversight. He turned at the upstream mark in a shower of spray and headed for home.
Dear reader, you will recall Aesop’s immortal classic about the hare and the tortoise; well here it was playing out before the very eyes of hundreds of spectators. The river truck pulled in to the cheers of the crowd followed by the fleet of canoeists. Jim trailed the field a sorry last to the amusement of all.
Big Jim, red faced and embarrassed, in his super duper speed boat just continued downstream to his sawmill and he wasn’t seen for the rest of the day.
Some say justice was served, some say Karma is a bitch and the rest of us say nothing and just order another drink from the drink waiter.
In every race there is one winner and the rest are also rans.

Dear Readers, on behalf of the President and members of the Gentlemen’s Club, until our paths meet again, God willing, I would like to wish you and your families:

A Very Merry and Harmonious Christmas
And a Happy and Prosperous New Year
May you all stay safe and enjoy good health.
“Vaya con Dios”

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
A group of us chaps were sitting in the smoking room of the Gentlemen’s Club, puffing on a Gurhka Black Dragon and sipping an excellent single malt just batting the breeze and generally enjoying convivial company when old Colonel Horace Bottom Wobbler interjected with one of those profound statements that alters the course of events in the lives of mice and men.
“I say chaps. Did you know?” he announced “That officers are afflicted with haemorrhoids whilst other ranks suffer from piles.”
You can well imagine, as the enormity of this disclosure sank in, a lively conversation regarding the inequities of social status that are inflicted on us from the moment of birth ensued. Everybody in the group had something to contribute to the conversation.
Ex Squadron Leader Twiggy Bigglesworth Fogbottom raised the question as to whether or not that rule should apply to RAAF Caribou pilots who were unfortunate enough to suffer from neither condition. A perplexed silence fell over the group. This was a poser of the first order.
At this point Oscar Throgwhistle Montague, the Gentlemen’s Club resident philosopher and de facto intellectual, offered the following point to consider.
“Does the constant pounding on the lower reaches of the body by the action of fast bowling test cricketers contribute to the development of haemorrhoids in later life?”
Silence was the answer to this perplexing question and whilst we pondered the ramifications of this proposition a fresh round of drinks all round was called for.
Rather than pursue this particular line of conversation any further Billy Snodwaffle Brown changed the subject away from haemorrhoids to the sorry plight of the Barmy Army followers of Ashes cricket and the similarity between those unfortunate wretches and followers of the Blues rugby league against the Maroons. Both breeds are so accustomed to perpetual loss and humiliation that it is now a way of life for them. Just as those of us in hearing range of this discussion were coming to terms with these facts Archibald Slingsbury introduced a further subject. This time it was one that was much closer to home. He reminded us that the Gentlemen’s Club first and only eleven had not prevailed over the Combined Services Club in the annual cricket match for the past seventeen consecutive years.
He further went on to declare that this year’s cricket match, to be hosted by our good selves, was due to take place in little over a month. What preparations, if any, had been made by the social committee to prepare a first eleven team for this year’s cricket challenge match?
To be honest I don’t think that any member had seriously considered the annual cricket match let alone discussed it in open debate. To have done so would have admitted that we were in the same league as the Barmy Army, Blues supporters or Fremantle Dockers followers.
Dear reader, at this point let me clarify a point or two.
When I mention an annual cricket match between two long established social clubs many a reader will envision the scenes that are evoked by the words of Henry Newbolt’s poem "Vitaï Lampada", recalling those gentlemanly matches played in the true, albeit romanticised, spirit of British sportsmanship on the grounds of Clifton College Close.

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
Ten to make and the match to win—
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

These sentiments are fine in the concept of Vickies’ Blighty and the supposed traditions of English college sportsmanship but let me dispel any illusions that you may have formed about a contest between The Gentlemen’s Club and The Combined Services Club. There is absolutely nothing gentlemanly or sportsmanlike in the relationship between these two organizations. Our objective is to win at all cost and although we have suffered seventeen consecutive losses our philosophy towards the contest remains the same. If we can’t win then we must inflict as much pain and suffering on the opposition players as possible without breaching the relevant sections of the Criminal Code that deal with malice aforethought in regard to the reasonable use of physical force.

At this juncture I feel that you, the reader, are deserving of an explanation as to the reason behind the animosity between the two organisations.

Well in 1934, the president of Combined Services Club, Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Sternbooper, a prehistoric fossil providing living proof that artificial intelligence actually exists, was the visiting guest of honour at the annual memorial dinner of the Gentlemen’s Club. During the course of the evening he commented that the Gentlemen’s Club plaster bust of the great General, Sir John Monash, standing on a pedestal in the foyer of the club, was a jolly poor representation of the great man and made him look like that upstart who was making such a fuss in Germany at that time.
This comment so enraged the then president of the Gentlemen’s Club, Colonel Sir Anthony Gooliewobbler, formerly of the Australian Light Horse who had commissioned the construction of the bust, that he, Sir Anthony, bopped Sir Frederick right on his bright red veined bulbous hooter. When the ensuing free for all was finally broken up by the domestic staff and the visiting Combined Services Club members were ejected into the street; both parties swore eternal animosity and so started the feud that has continued to this very day.
I throw in an additional word or two of elucidation and enlightenment about the Combined Services Club to put readers in the picture. This establishment is one of those tasteless buildings with garish architectural features that depict heroic fictional events from the classics in a vain effort to establish legitimate credentials in the exclusive society of club land. The fittings are of the kind of vulgarity that can only be provided by the expenditure of excessive quantities of moolah which, in the main, has been sourced from Russel in the ACT.
It’s membership consists mostly of pretentious ex-service sods who sip pink gin and beer not single malt and puff on Sobranies in cigarette holders not Gurkha Black Dragons whilst they prattle on about how the older they get the more noble and meritorious their past achievements. Quite the contrast to the humble modest and unpretentiousness of the Gentlemen’s Club membership. The only reason that I pen articles in another forum for them is to discourage them from applying for membership with the Gentlemen’s Club.
In the bar they serve blended whiskies, bottled ales, cheap cigars and even cigarettes. If a patron wishes to dilute his whisky or other spirit then soda is served from a bottle and not from a hand filled soda siphon.
Contact between the members of the two clubs is strictly limited to the occasional sporting contest, the annual cricket match being the premier occasion for confrontation.
An annual polo game was played for a short period in the past but because of the seriousness of the casualties resulting from these contests they were discontinued by mutual agreement.
Now an annual cricket match is the only sporting event to be contested between the two clubs.
The rules of this annual confrontation are those that embrace the traditional Australian cricketing values.
The rules are quite simple and straightforward.
Each team bowls ten overs. That is one over must be bowled by every member of the fielding side with the exception of the wicket keeper. Each over is a traditional Australian eight ball over not a poofie Marlybone C.C. six ball over.
The front foot “no ball” rule does not apply in our inter club matches. We still drag the back foot past the popping crease for up to three yards before delivery.
Do you remember the great New South Welshman Gordon Rorke who bowled with his famous chucking action from a third of the way down the pitch after dragging his rear foot for about three yards beyond the popping crease? The English batsman Colin Cowdrey once commented that he was afraid when facing Rorke that he would have his feet stepped on.
Also if a bowler has the stamina and endurance he can bowl eight bouncers or beaners, as we refer to them, in his over if he so wishes. The bowling of wide deliveries is still viewed on as unsportsmanlike. If you can’t bowl a batsman out then you make every effort to bowl him over with a well directed beaner; just as it was in the days of Victor Trumper and Keith Miller.
Cries of foul play can be heard when bogus no balls and wides are delivered; especially when the Combined Services team is fielding.
The level of fitness of players can be judged by the fact that fast bowlers are normally so knackered by the time they bowl the third ball that the forth and subsequent balls are bowled so short that they bounce three or four times before eventually reaching the batsman at such a reduced speed that they make easy meat of it.
Red faces, bulging eyes, bright shiny noses, veins in the forehead and throat throbbing with the pressure of middle aged exertion are the norm. Coughing, gasping, dry reaching at the end of each bowling spell are all within the normal parameters of the match.
If there is an occasional case of cardiac arrest or minor stroke, play is paused, but these are not considered serious enough to stop play or interfere with post match celebrations.
The attending staff members of St John’s Ambulance service are such competent sterling chaps and chapettes, or should that be chapesses (I’m certain someone will provide me with the correct answer) that any medical situation that arises is dealt with without any brouhahah. Additionally there is always a plethora of doctors, retired doctors and disbarred doctors and assorted medicos in attendance to handle each and every medical crisis that may arise during the course of the afternoon.
We, or rather our representatives, play the game hard. Our philosophy on cricket remains; if you want to play by girls rules then go and play your cricket in the Sheffield Shield.
The tenor of the match is set by the captains of the two teams meeting for the toss to decide who bats or who bowls first. Both Clubs possess sets of “Bald Teddy” pennies, ex Indian mint, that are used for Anzac Day two up games. Only the Gentlemen’s Club coin is ever used for the toss to determine the order of batting or bowling. I think that I can safely disclose here that our “Bald Teddy” is a double headed coin. It is therefore essential that the senior appointed umpire is either blackmailed or bribed into tossing the two side coin thus ensuring that the Gentlemen’s Club captain always has the option of whether to bat or bowl.
Nowadays Cedric Molestrangler, who had seen the match, at the Adelaide Oval, where an aging Ray Lindwall had clean bowled Trevor Bailey for a duck with the third ball of his first over in the second innings of the fourth test in 1960 to set a new record for test wickets taken by an Australian bowler, opens the bowling for the Gentlemen’s Club
One of Cedric’s boyhood heroes was Ian Meckiff, the great South Australian quickie, who was no balled out of test cricket for chucking. Cedric has developed a bowling action similar to that of the great Ian and occasionally he is able to bean a Combined Services batsman with his first or second ball. However as the unfortunate beaned fellow is often an ex pongo no serious damage is ever done.
Practice for the annual match takes place in the long room of the Gentlemen’s Club. On one occasion during a practice session; a new and vastly different definition of slip, slop, slap was introduced to the vernacular of the Gentlemen’s Club.
On this occasion Freddie Firflinger was engaged in bowling practice in the long room when he slipped on some substance that had been slopped on his run up and he slapped a wall banger delivery into the bust of Ming the Magnificent causing the said plaster cast to crash to the floor where it smashed into a zillion little pieces.
Unfortunately this incident occurred just as Olga, the senior housekeeper, happened to be passing by. Readers may recall that Olga, whose antecedents lie in the steppes of central Asia and whose ancestors defied and defeated the Golden Horde of the great Genghis Khan, possesses a very short temper and an extremely powerful sense of justice. On a clear night, if her weedy little husband is declared guilty of some marital infraction, then her firm slap of justice can be heard from a quarter of a mile away.
The smashing of the bust of Sir Robert Menzies, in Olga’s view, was tantamount to the commission of a capital crime on par with treason. The resulting explosive paroxysm of blind fury was, to innocent bystanders, a joy to behold. To Freddie Firflinger it was as if all the furies of hell had been released to vent vengeance upon him.
At the best of times Olga should only to be approached by a fully trained professional. In times of crisis she should be avoided at all costs. The shattering of the bust of Ming was a matter beyond crisis.
Freddie cringed, a pathetic figure of simpering, whimpering, quivering pile of mother love. Olga seized him with her left hand and then holding him at shoulder height proceeded to administer a right royal central Asian thrashing before casting him through the front entrance of the Gentleman’s Club and depositing the wretched fellow onto the street.
Without saying a further word she swept up the fragments of the bust and deposited them on the desk of Frederick Fotherington Fortescue, the club secretary.
Needless to say a replacement bust of Sir Robert was acquired forthwith and now stands in its pride of place amongst the other busts of celebrated personages in the Club’s Long Hall.
But I digress and beg indulgence from you, dear reader, for the mental meanderings of a cognitively dysfunctional old man.
As I sit here ignoring the conversation going on around me regarding the forthcoming inter club cricket match my memory is reignited with reminiscences of a cricket match that took place at Angoram on the bank of the mighty Sepik during the Christmas break of 1969 or 1970.
The match was one of those catch as can events arising from a discussion late the previous evening in the Angoram club after the consumption of indiscrete amounts of alcohol. Team lists had been drawn up and the Club’s bar boy was dispatched around the village to advise the various inhabitants that they were to participate in the match the following day.
Amazingly everybody who had been contacted turned up at the primary school oval at the appointed time; admittedly bleary eyed, foul of disposition and breath, but nevertheless as ready as could be expected to participate in the affray.
The two appointed captains met and tossed an SP bottle top to determine the order of batting and bowling.
To be as honest I have absolutely no recollection of which team I was appointed to or who my team mates were.
I do remember that we bowled first and that the young brother of a tourist operator from Ambunti opened the bowling for us. The said fellow was a positive demon bowler, capturing two or three wickets in his first over.
After the initial onslaught the game settled down to a traditional Territorian contest of non achievement and I retain only vague memories of the part that I played.
At one point a batsman played a full blooded drive that directed itself straight at my midriff. Amongst the encouraging enthusiastic cries of “catch it” the red missile impacted with the lower reaches of my body beautiful driving the wind from my lungs and the pre game liquid refreshment from my stomach before spilling unsecured to the turf. I followed likewise a second or two later.
The shrill cries from alcohol lubricated vocal chords of; “Boofhead! Dickhead! Bloody Mongrel!” and other terms of endearment from my disappointed team mates still echo afresh in my ears even after all of these years.
If nothing else Territorian cricketers are quite forgiving of unintentional mishaps and finally our captain approached me and extended the olive branch by offering me the ball and the opportunity to redeem myself by cleaning up the opposition’s tail enders.
I measured my nine paces run up and gave the limbs, upper and lower, a bit of a stretch and glared ferociously to intimidate the batsman and charged in to deliver my first ball at express speed. Much to my surprise it landed on the pitch at a good length and in line with the stumps. Unfortunately the batsman had no difficulty in swatting the ball straight back along the wicket where it connected directly with my right kneecap causing me sprawl with total lack of dignity on the turf. But being the super hero that I am I didn’t flinch or demonstrate any discernible sign of pain or physical discomfort.
My second delivery was dispatched to the square leg boundary for four runs. The exertion of making that delivery had started to impact on my being. I was beginning to suffer shortness of breath, slight nausea, dizziness and an unfamiliar blurring of vision.
I steamed in for my third ball which I delivered at a tad less than express speed and which landed approximately half way down the pitch towards the batsman. This ball was driven back whence it ricocheted off my head and onto the stumps thereby running out the non facing batsman who had indiscreetly backed up a fraction too far. My team mates cried “Bravo!” and I felt so proud.
With head thumping with pain and chest heaving from the effects of nicotine and alcohol I ambled in to deliver my fourth ball. A sense of achievement swelled my breast as I bowled a noticeably slower and less than well directed off spinner. From memory this delivery was dispatched to the square leg boundary for six of the best.
By now the effects of this strenuous activity on a the cardio vascular system of a body accustomed to a regular diet of pork chops squeezed from SP greenies and supplemented by the nicotine from forty or fifty Gold Leaf filter tips daily was beginning to take its toll.
With lungs straining to produce sufficient oxygen for the body to continue the contest between leather and willow, I managed to deliver balls five and six which bounced two or three times along the pitch before coming to a stop some three or four yards short of the batsman who was unable to dispatch them to the boundary but still managed to score a couple of double runs.
By the time balls seven and eight were due to be bowled I was so debilitated with shortness of breath, nausea, blurred vision and lack of stamina that I pre-empted the Chappell brothers by more than a decade in delivering the last two balls of my over underhand.
Cries of “Play fair you bastard! Bloody cheat! Wanker!” and other less acceptable forms of endearment from both my team mates and the opposition players were directed at me as I stumbled to my position in the outfield on completion of my over.
Eventually the innings closed and it was our turn to bat. We lost six or seven quick wickets and so it came my turn to wield the willow and face destiny eyeball to eyeball.
I made my way to the centre of the ground with every intention of bravely succumbing to the first ball that was directed at the stumps.
After taking guard I bent over my bat ready to face the first delivery.
Down it thundered and having lost sight of its trajectory, I next became aware of the balls position as it thwacked into my ribcage relocating my sternum an inch or two to the right. The pain was excruciating but I manfully refused to exhibit any sign of stress.
The following three or four deliveries continued to unrelentingly batter my head and upper parts of my body.
Finally I snicked one off the outer edge of my bat and it sped off towards the backward point position. I sprinted down wicket towards the non strikers end with the speed of a handicapped three legged hairy nosed wombat only to find my batting partner, facing away from me and the game, talking to the long off fielder and refusing to run. I turned and slowly made my way back towards the batting crease hoping to be run out. The wicket keeper already had possession of the ball but considered it unsportsmanlike to run me out because of my partner’s refusal to run.
Reluctantly I assumed to pose and awaited the next ball which thundered down and bounced up striking dead centre of my forehead.
I fell to the turf completely pole axed and non compos mentis.
It was with a deep feeling of relief and gratitude that I allowed myself to be assisted from the field of play and escorted to the bar of the Angoram Club where I availed myself to the consumption of vast quantities of anaesthetising alcoholic beverages.
Apparently the team that I was part of was beaten hands down, but then again who cared.
Which brings me back to the smoking room of the Gentlemen’s Club and the discussion regarding the forthcoming inter club challenge which we will no doubt lose for the eighteenth time. Again my position is “who really cares?” Certainly not I.
“Play up! Play up! and play the game” – Rubbish.
Drink up! Drink up! And to hell with all such nonsense I say.
At this time another double single malt whisky would seemingly be in order.
So until we meet again dear reader.
Stay well and God bless.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 276
Location: Frankston Vic.
DOSS: 24 Jun 1968
Dear Gary,
I have followed your meanderings regarding the Gentlemen’s Club from afar, having a passing interest in social club governance, and have wondered if I can amend the rules of incorporation of my various affiliations to accommodate the dispute resolution procedures from the Gentlemen’s Club to our respective needs. Indeed to go further and ask if we can second the veritable Olga to be the Sergeant at Arms whenever we need some discipline to be maintained. Sometimes it can get a bit rowdy in the coin collecting club, particularly when someone brings in a forgery.

However, I digress and to get back to my point of contact with you is to both take umbrage on one point and to make some slight corrections to your use of terminology when it comes to the noble game of cricket.

When based in Port Moresby a group of kiaps got together to form a cricket team in the local competition. We didn’t have enough to form the required three teams, Firsts, Seconds and Thirds, so amalgamated with the Police and Army clubs who were in a similar position. We played under the name “Combined Services” but nothing to do with those bastards your Gentlemen play against.

On return to Australia I joined a local cricket club and played in the lower grades as captain and opening bowler until I did my back in in a car accident. At that point I took up umpiring at the local level until moving to the Melbourne Grade competition. Obviously not to the standard of our late esteemed colleague, Bob Phillipe, who umpired Sheffield Shield, but my highlight was to umpire a match between the Victorian State team, the Bushrangers, and the Combined Australian Country XI with a Test Umpire at the other end. Now retired I’m the greatest armchair umpire in Australia!

On one point you talk about it being fair play to take out opposition players with a delivery known as a “beaner”. In my youth and then in my less than auspicious cricketing career, a fast, head-high delivery was always called a "Beamer” and immediately required to be called “No Ball”. If bowled deliberately with the intention you state, it could also lead to a report of the bowler and Captain to the authorities.

When talking about the fitness of your colleagues for the game’s activities, you use the term “dry reaching” but I’m sure you meant “dry retching”. My recollection is that “dry reaching” is a yachting term when the crew attempt to get their yacht off a sandbar at low tide!

Finally, what an insult! Ian Meckiff a Croweater! He was born and bred in Melbourne, played for South Melbourne before being selected for Victoria in the Shield competition and then Australia. He was born with a slightly deformed left arm that gave his super-quick left arm deliveries a slightly suspicious look that opened him up to criticism from the Poms when he skittled them 6 for 38! Get down on your knees and beg his forgiveness!

Any way Gary, keep the anecdotes flowing and I’ll see if there’s any more governance lessons I can learn for the folk at the Coin Club.

Ex-kiap formerly known as Cockroach

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:50 pm
Posts: 24
DOSS: 13 Mar 1966
Garry’s recollection of an Angoram Club sporting fixture implies that such events were not taken seriously.
On the contrary, I can recall at least 2 occasions when a conscientious team from the Club graced the local playing fields in the spirit of good community relations.
On the first, the Club team managed by a superb effort to narrowly defeat a team of boys from the Angoram Primary School.
However on the second, unfortunately, the Club team was soundly thrashed by the local ladies softball team.

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Hi Ross

Greetings and salutations!

I thank you for your very erudite observations and comments.

Sir Winston Churchill once remarked that the British and American nations were two great peoples who were unfortunately divided by a common language.

We appear to have a similar situation here.

Firstly I stand humiliated and completely humbled regarding my mistaking the ethnicity of the great Ian Meckiff. In my own defence; from where I stand, everyone east of Eucla, Vics, Croweaters etc. all look the same to me. All of them totally lacking in couth and culture. However I apologise from the bottom of my heart for my mistake.

I recall, as a callow youth, listening to that eternally long last over, on the ABC, when Col Egar no balled Meckiff out of cricket. I’m not certain but I believe that the commentators at the microphone at that time were Clive Harburg and Alan McGilvray. They, like the entire population of Australia, were disappointed and deeply saddened at the manner of his demise. Once again I may be wrong on this point also and if so I again apologise.

Now back to the noble game of cricket and a little background information to enlighten you regarding the tradition and rules of the inter club competition.

After 1930 ashes tour of England which Australia won 2/1 and 2 drawn; legend has it that King George V instructed MCC management to devise a strategy to win back the ashes in order to revitalise British civilian morale which was still recovering from the tragic losses of WW1 and further aggravated by the devastating effects of the great depression.

The MCC solution was to appoint Douglas Jardine as the new captain and Pelham Warner as tour manager and give them free rein to devise any strategy that would nullify Bradman’s domination as a batsman.

This brought the response from Rockley Wilson, Jardine’s former coach at Winchester.

"We may well win the Ashes, but we may very well lose a Dominion."

The tenor of the tour was set at the start of the first test in Sydney with the Bill Voce comment to Vic Richardson;

We're not a bad side ... and if we don't beat you, we'll knock your bloody blocks off."

Once the test got under way, the meaning of Voce’s statement became clear and two notable events occurred:

Firstly the English fast bowler Gubby Allen had a falling out with Jardine when he refused to bowl to the leg trap field deeming leg theory as unsportsmanlike and being far too dangerous to opposition batsmen.

Secondly the Nawab of Pataudi in the English team as a batsman refused to field in the leg cordon to bodyline bowling eliciting the following from Jardine.

"I see His Highness is a conscientious objector."

In the second test in Melbourne Bill Bowles after bowling Bradman first ball was heard by all on the field to comment:
"Well I'll be fooked."
It was his only wicket of the series

By the third test in Adelaide relationships between the two teams reached the very nadir of sportsmanship.
When Harold Larwood bowled a bouncer at Bert Oldfield that ricocheted off his bat handle onto his forehead fracturing his skull the latter motioned to the bowler saying:"It wasn't your fault Harold."

However to the spectators it was a deliberate attack on the Australian wicket keeper and Larwood was the undeserving recipient of loud abuse and vilification.
The next casualty was the Australian captain Bill Woodfull who was felled by a Larwood bodyline bouncer that struck him above the heart
When Pelham Warner, the English tour manager, visited the Australian dressing room, at the end of the day’s play, to enquire after Woodfull’s condition as a result of the incident, the Australian Captain made his famous and much reported comment:
“I don't want to see you Mr Warner. There are two teams out there; one is trying to play cricket and the other is not. The matter is in your hands, Mr Warner, and I have nothing further to say to you. Good afternoon."
In spite of what was transpiring, Woodfull refused to retaliate with an Australian bodyline attack of his own because of his belief that to do so would bring the game of cricket into disrepute

The other notable incident that took place during the Adelaide test was the cry from the stands:
"Oi, leave our flies alone, Jardine. They're the only flamin' friends you've got here."
Yelled at Jardine as he tried to swat a particularly persistent fly away.

By this time the cricket authorities of both countries entered the fray in the form of an exchange of telegrams
Australian Board of Control to MCC, January 18, 1933:
Bodyline bowling assumed such proportions as to menace best interests of game, making protection of body by batsmen the main consideration. Causing intensely bitter feeling between players, as well as injury. In our opinion is unsportsmanlike. Unless stopped at once likely to upset friendly relations between Australia and England.

MCC to Australian Board of Control, January 23, 1933:
We, Marylebone Cricket Club, deplore your cable. We deprecate your opinion that there has been unsportsmanlike play. We have fullest confidence in captain, team and managers, and are convinced they would do nothing to infringe either the Laws of Cricket or the spirit of the game. We have no evidence that our confidence is misplaced. Much as we regret accidents to Woodfull and Oldfield, we understand that in neither case was the bowler to blame. If the Australian Board of Control wish to propose a new law or rule it shall receive our careful consideration in due course. We hope the situation is not now as serious as your cable would seem to indicate, but if it is such as to jeopardise the good relations between English and Australian cricketers, and you would consider it desirable to cancel remainder of programme, we would consent with great reluctance.

As a point of interest the English County competitions made an agreement amongst themselves, in the northern summer of 1933, to never use bodyline tactics as leg theory was as unpopular and considered as unsporting amongst the English public as it was in Australia.

During the 1946/47 MCC tour of Australia Bradman loosed Lindwall and Miller on Wally Hammond’s touring team for a couple of overs using leg theory to demonstrate to his opponents how uncomfortable it was to be on the receiving end of bodyline.

Which brings me, in a roundabout sort of way, to 1934 and the incident that occurred at the President’s annual dinner in the Gentlemen’s Club, when Colonel Sir Anthony Gooliewobbler had occasion to bop Admiral Sir Frederick Sternbooper on his bulbous hooter, thus engendering the ensuing feud and animosity between the two organisations that continues, without abatement, to this very day.

As the membership of the Combined Services Club, at that time, consisted of many ex World War 1 British veterans, who had become remittance men, and who, in the main, harboured an imperial disdain for colonials, it followed that an annual game of cricket based on the savagery of bodyline would develop into a tradition.

On the other hand the membership of the Gentlemen’s Club was, in the main, made up of representatives of the established squattocracy and although fiercely loyal subjects of the crown had already developed a one eyed sense of patriotism and a healthy disrespect for the perceived pretentiousness of the middle classes of “The Mother Country”.

This rivalry now extends to all inter club competitions. This includes the pairs, fours and eights sculling races at the annual regatta where sabotage to the opposition craft is considered to be neither unsporting nor cheating.

Likewise the nobbling of opposition nags during the racing carnival is considered to be simply good tactics to level the odds against possible also rans.

As a point of interest, to the style conscious, it should be noted that the two clubs have developed individual dress uniforms that were, and still are to this very day, worn at the social events such as the annual regatta, polo meets, racing carnivals and of course the annual cricket match.

The Combined Services uniform consists of sky blue flannel trousers, red white and blue striped blazer and a boater with a red white and blue hat band.

On the other hand the Gentlemen’s Club sports a very fetching ensemble consisting of flamingo pink flannel trousers, Lincoln green reefer jacket and a straw boater with a pink and green hat band.

Correct attire and etiquette is considered to be a very serious matter in the Gentlemen’s Club.

For instance at the President’s annual dinner admittance is only permitted to those members who present in correct formal attire, black suit and tie is the norm.

Dining rituals are observed to the letter following traditions that have evolved over one hundred years.

A couple of seasons back an incident of note occurred during the passing of the port.

Whilst still holding the decanter Albert Mingstrummer paused for a moment or two to comment to Walter Vickelheim on a matter pertaining to the cost of refurbishing the Club’s stables.

Xavier Yodelplonker who was waiting impatiently for the decanter to reach him, commented quite loudly

“I say Bertie old chap do you know the Bishop of Norwich?”

Dear reader as you can imagine, a deathly silence fell over the entire assembly at this diabolical insult. Conversations paused mid split infinitives, waiters froze mid stride or mid serve. Forks and spoons laden with food froze midway between platter and mouth or returning un-laden between mouth and platter.

Would a highly entertaining pugilistic contest behind the Club’s stables ensue as a result of this venal affront to a fellow Club member’s integrity? The entire population of the dining room drew its’ collective breath and awaited an outcome.

Now Bertie being a quick thinking sophisticated sort of chap broke the tension by quickly topping up his glass and passing the decanter on with

“Dreadfully sorry old chap. Please accept my sincere and humblest apologies. Totally unforgiveable of me”

With a disappointed group sigh equanimity returned to the dining room and normal conversations resumed.

But I digress once again, please forgive me.

Now back to the subject at hand.

I believe that the beamer delivery that you refer to in your item is actually an accidental or misdirected full toss and not a malicious bouncer delivered with malice aforethought intended to disable, maim or cripple the opposing batsman.

During the 1934 cricket match between the two clubs when the Combined Services Club was fielding, Alfred Bloomingwotsit who was fielding on the boundary at deep square leg made an unsavoury remark as to the legitimacy of the lineage of a particularly rowdy and intoxicated Gentlemen’s Club supporter and of the antecedents of the Gentlemen’s Club colonial ancestry in particular.

This resulted in an empty beer bottle being bounced off the back of Bloomingwotsit’s head which drew the comment from Charlton Hamburgusley Donglewanger the Third, a visiting American mining engineer, who was a guest of Elias Jamblurjer.

“Well beaned old buddy” an American baseball term that describes a batter being downed by a beaner ball that strikes him on the head from an aggressive pitcher.

As this coincided with a Larwood like bouncer that struck the Gentlemen’s Club opening batsman, Herman Grobbsnobbler, right between his eyes and felled him like a pole axed steer, the terms, “to bean” and “beaner”, entered the lexicon of the inter club sports jargon and has since become the recognised description of a delivery intended to disable an opposing batsman.

Remember that these contests are played in the true spirit of our British aristocratic heritage that accepts the precept that anything that achieves the required outcome is perfectly acceptable. If the lower classes didn’t wish to be mistreated and exploited then they should not have been born poor.

It should be noted that in a contest between Titans there is no higher reference authority for arbitration.

Your other point of contention was the term “dry retching”.

Dry retching, as you quite correctly point out, is the term usually applied to the bodily function of emptying one’s stomach contents of the previous evenings indiscreet over consumption of alcoholic beverages and partially digested pizza, kebab, meat pie, fish and chips or other late night dietary delicacy by way of regurgitation and repeated involuntary upheavals of the diaphragm and lower digestive tract muscular contractions.

This process usually involves clutching and addressing the bottom of a toilet bowl or a series of backwards stumbling steps, bulging watering eyes, shortness of breath, sweatiness and a brilliant ruddiness of complexion. This action often results in one tripping over backwards and examining the regurgitated stomach contents whilst propping one’s head between one’s knees and vowing to the God Bacchus never to indulge with indiscretion again.

Dry reaching, on the other hand, may have nautical connotations to you but to the more athletic members of the Gentlemen’s Club, the term has an entirely different meaning.

Dry reaching occurs, normally after attempting strenuous physical activity such as endeavouring to bowl a series of beaners after an evening of licentious consumption of overproof spirits followed by a minimal or nil interval of recuperation.

After one has dry retched to the ultimate and one senses that there is a bulbous furry mass at the back of one’s throat then you have reached the very pits and mastered the noble art of regurgitation. This is a sure indication that there are no more internal fluids to be expelled and one should swallow rapidly because you have reached the end of the line.

That bulbous furry sensation is actually one’s haemorrhoidal encrusted fundamental orifice that has reached the back of one’s throat. It is essential that a rapid swallowing action be instigated to avoid turning oneself inside out.

Recovery from this condition is usually achieved by the further consumption of a hair or two of the dog and so forth.

I trust that this has cleared up all misunderstandings that may have arisen from sharing a common language.

Stay well and God Bless!

 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 71
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Don’t you find it annoying how people reading newspapers in public have this overpowering urge to share the contents of their totally irrelevant tabloids with all and sundry, no matter how disinterested the all and sundry may be thus engendering a desire in the said all and sundry to seize those recalcitrant’s by the throat and throttle the life out of them.
Just the other day I was sitting in the reading room of the Gentlemen’s Club puffing away on a Gurkha Black Dragon sipping my single malt, engrossed in the noble art of woolgathering, and enjoying the companionable silence of a couple of like minded members, each of whom was absorbed in his own solitary mental preoccupation when the sudden rustling of tabloid leaves being set aside disturbed the equanimity of the moment.
Gazing across the room I spotted them. Not the three wise monkeys, nor the three magi from the east, but more like the three stooges seated about their table sipping herbal tea and nibbling water cracker biscuits topped with camembert cheese and otherwise pretending to be capable of contributing some form of intellectual stimulation to society as they surreptitiously endeavoured to attract attention to themselves.
There they were; bottom feeders one and all. Mortimer Feldwilkinstein who takes a Daily Mail, Hector Bottomfelder who takes an Observer and Charles Wottentotspur who takes a couple of Times every week.
Too late Feldwilkinstein glanced up and spotted me looking in their direction.
“I say old chap!” he quipped “Did you know that in the State of Kentucky in the United States it is illegal to catch fish with your bare hands?”
“Really” I replied “How interesting.”
Not to be outdone Bottomfelder broke in with “Isn’t it interesting that duelling is legal is Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors?”
Since neither I nor any other member present, have any intention of ever visiting Paraguay or engaging in a duel, I didn’t even acknowledge this latest piece of useless trivia.
Wottentotspur looked up from his particular tabloid with the comment
“I say are you fellows aware of the fact that all polar bears are left-handed?”
“Fascinating” I replied.
Daniel Backpaddock, a fellow not renowned for being one of nature’s deep thinking philosophers, who had been staring blankly at the far wall and ignoring all about him chipped in with a fact of his own.
“Did you know that women who carry extra weight live longer than their husbands who mention the fact?”
By this time, not wanting to be left out of this succession on non sequiturs I threw in one of my own quoting the immortal Bob Mackie, ex sergeant major AIF, ex recruiter extraordinaire, ex film star and personage of legend of Angoram and the middle Sepik.
“Why did she leave him in two parts?”
Then like the renowned Mr Mackie; upon delivering the question I swept out of the reading room leaving my still smouldering Gurkha Black Dragon in the ash tray, my unfinished single malt on the side table and a host of blank stares and mouths agape in my wake.
From the reading room, I made my way to the smoking room where I found Enoch McGraw sitting in a leather armchair, sipping his single malt staring pensively and glassy eyed at the Frederick McCubbin Pioneer series that hang amongst the other Australiana collection of famous prints.

He turned and looked at me as I took my seat and settled in to enjoy a little uninterrupted solitude and as he prepared to address to me and the following thought crossed my mind.
“Damn here it comes, another unsolicited tale of tragedy or misfortune that will be a complete waste of my dwindling attentiveness and intellectual prowess.”

Enoch spoke. “Did you know that the Japanese Military Government printed a complete set of road maps prior to World War 2 in order to facilitate the movement of guerrilla operations throughout the northern areas of continental Australia?”

It was beginning to dawn on my own limited intellect that this day was going to be one of those times when enlightenment on totally irrelevant pieces of meaningless information, from unsolicited sources, was about to clutter my extremely restricted cerebral information storage capacity.

With a sigh of resignation I signalled the waiter to fetch me a double shot from the bar, a Gurkha Black Dragon and a box of lucifers. When they arrived I settled in with an air of persecuted resignation to absorb Enoch’s tale.

Followers of these convoluted burblings, that I periodically regurgitate, may recall that Enoch McGraw is a descendant of the original squattocracy and has made his personal claim to fame by introducing “Mad Cow Disease” to the Gentlemen’s Club membership by providing the club’s larder with contaminated road kill cattle from his northern cattle station.

Generations of degenerative breeding, from ancestors who were too closely related, have gone into the creation of Enoch with his repressed intellect, sloping forehead and receding jaw line so the possibility that he could produce an entertaining and lucid tale went beyond all bounds of belief and quite frankly it was more of an intellectual challenge than I was prepared to absorb. But civilized protocols demand that we pay lip service to civility.
I held up my hand indicating to Enoch that he should suspend his narrative whilst I downed my single malt in a single gulp and obtained a treble shot recharge. This deed having been accomplished I motioned Enoch to proceed with his tale.

Rather than burden you, dear reader, with the sometimes incoherent ramblings and non sequiturs of friend McGraw I will render my interpretation of his surprising saga. However in saying so, I vouch not for the truth, but I merely repeat the story as it was told.

Enoch and a couple of his aboriginal station hand lads were travelling along the Ollawonga to Mellagonga road, which passes as a right of way route through the southern reaches of his pastoral holdings, checking windmills and stock water troughs when they happened upon a motor cyclist and his machine lying supine in the middle of the road.

Also, writhing in severe discomfort, a few yards away was a twenty odd foot long rock python with an apparent fractured spine.

It was obvious from the skid marks that the motor cyclist had been proceeding at a high speed and had applied his brakes violently to avoid the python that had apparently been in the process of crossing the road when the accident and resulting casualties occurred.

With cries of delight the Aboriginal lads leapt upon the writhing python and before you could say “Fandango’s flying fast in the fifth at Flemmington” or “The sixth sick sheikh's sixth sick sheep” (Don’t attempt to say the latter aloud at home unsupervised; your mental health may be placed at risk); the poor old serpent was dissected into a score or so of lengths suitable for a feast of Subway foot longs for distribution amongst the entire station population.

Whilst this was going on Enoch had been attending to the human accident victim. Upon removing the crash helmet Enoch discerned that the unconscious rider was of Asian extraction and that he was male, and had apparently suffered quite severe injuries about his personage.

A cursory search through the motor cyclist’s saddle bags revealed a Japanese passport, a wallet containing oodles of boodle, various documents, a laundry bag containing soiled smalls and a variety of other touristy type apparel.

For a brief moment Enoch was tempted to dispatch the unfortunate rider with a short sharp whack from a tyre lever behind the ear and bury him in a shallow unmarked grave a little way off the roadside but his better nature took hold and he instructed his station hands to load the unfortunate fellow, who was at this time regaining consciousness, and his motor cycle onto the back of the utility.

They then proceeded to return to the station homestead where the accident victim was entrusted to the tender care of Aunty Matilda, the aboriginal housekeeper, cook and charge de domestic affairs.

Dear reader, allow me to divert from my narrative for a brief time to enlighten you on a few of Aunty Matilda’s many attributes.

Aunty Matilda is of aboriginal descent and her people have inhabited the region around the waterhole that lies a half a mile or so from the station homestead for over forty thousand years. She is a large woman with a body mass approximating half of that of Uluru and a temperament that is twice as explosive as that of a crazed water buffalo or Olga, the Gentlemen’s Club chief housekeeper. Strong men and prize stud bulls tremble with fear and trepidation when Aunty Matilda expresses her dissatisfaction with any unsatisfactory state of affairs. She can be as brutal as a slaughterman quite capable of snapping a steer’s neck with her bare hands if her fury is aroused. On the other hand when the mood takes her she can be as gentle as a lamb with any benighted or distressed creature deserving of tender loving care.

When Enoch presented her with his accident victim all of Aunty Matilda’s nurturing maternal instincts, long languishing in the labyrinth of her innermost feelings, burst forth with an overpowering desire to succour and care for the semi comatose creature that had been laid out before her.

She laid him out on a bed, stripped him of his clothes and gently sponged his bruised and battered body from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet checking for broken bones and/or obvious internal injuries. After satisfying herself that her patient was suffering nothing more than slight concussion from his sudden crash she draped him in a linen bed sheet and left him to rest.

Whilst this was going on, Enoch fossicked through the victim’s possessions and discerned from his passport that his name was Magoya Watakara, aged 24 years and touring Australia on a six month tourist visa. Also amongst the possessions were a number of Japanese World War Two pre invasion maps of Northern Australia detailing the then but now, nonexistent northern road network. Also amongst his possessions was one of those hurdy gurdy computer gadgets that translate a zillion languages from one to the other.

Suspecting that there was a story to be told, Enoch enlisted the assistance of his twelve year old granddaughter, who understood these electronic marvels, and who enabled him to establish communications with his unexpected guest.

It transpired that Mr Watakara was an IT boffin who worked for one of the giant Kobe corporations and who had decided to take a six month sabbatical, before entering into a state of matrimonial bliss, in order to achieve a long cherished dream of touring the outback of northern Australia on a high powered motor cycle.

As his betrothed in Japan had forbidden him to purchase such a powerful machine he had secretly paid for and taken delivery of said machine on his arrival in Australia. Another of the objects of his tour was to fulfil his dying grandfather’s dream to observe and photograph a kangaroo in the wild. Apparently Grandpa was part of the proposed World War Two invasion force and he harboured a dream of photographing Australian outback wildlife. When the invasion did not eventuate; Grandpa’s dream died.

With every intention of fulfilling his grandsire’s dream, Mr Watakara armed himself with a set of 1938 pre invasion maps, a top of the range digital camera and then proceeded to set off to travel the outback with his final destination being the northern town of Broome. It was there that he intended to purchase a quantity of cultured pearls to present to his betrothed on his return to Japan.

It was during his odyssey that fate intervened and Mr Watakara had his unfortunate encounter and accident with the rock python.

As Enoch’s skill at mastering the use of Mr Watakara’s electronic interpreter improved and he was able to establish an increasingly intimate dialogue with his guest; mysterious forces began to come into play.

The patient’s health improved and he began to follow Aunty Matilda, where ever she went, like a little puppy dog and he composed what turned out to be traditional haiku verses, in hieroglyphics, or whatever Japanese characters are called. These he left strewn about the homestead in whatever places Aunty Matilda frequented.

When translated by the electronic interpreter the haiku verses turned out to be declarations of amorous sentiment and expressions of lustful carnal desire towards Aunty Matilda. Amongst other things he likened her corporeal being to that of a sexually alluring female hippopotamus, wallowing in an African mud hole, and her buttocks as sensual as those of a northern walrus during mating season.

In all Mr Watakara displayed a quite irregular and abnormal infatuation with Aunty Matilda’s physical being which culminated in flinging himself upon her and burying his head between her enormous breasts. All the while slobbering like a rabid dog with a bone.

Aunty Matilda’s reaction to this uninvited attack on her less than nubile personage was to lift Mr Watakara in her left hand and administer a sound backhand and forehand thrashing to the randy little sod.

As the beating progressed Mr Watakara’s squeals and screams of agony and ecstasy echoed throughout the homestead and it’s adjacent precincts, making it quite obvious that Aunty Matilda had awakened some primitive Neolithic ritualistic mating instincts.

Had there been a bus load of Japanese tourists in attendance the Nikons, Leicas, Minoltas etc would have been furiously popping, flashing and recording this momentous occasion in Vista Vision for posterity and the entertainment of future generations. As it was the entire population of the station assembled to witness this unforgettable event.

Enoch ventured to predict that the spectacle would eventually enter tribal legend and take its place amongst among the stories of the dreamtime.

All that notwithstanding Enoch made the decision that Mr Watakara had outstayed his welcome and that it was time for him to move on.

The motor cycle was given a complete mechanical service, the fuel tank topped and a teary Mr Watakara bowed to everyone on the station and bid a fond sayonara then proceeded on his way towards Broome.

It was obvious that Enoch had completed his narrative and we sat in companionable silence for a moment or two sipping our single malts and puffing contentedly on our Gurkha Black Dragons.

“Did you ever hear from Mr Watakara again?” I asked of Enoch.

“Oh yes he sent me a letter from Japan. He eventually reached Broome, acquired his cultured pearls and arrived home to his arranged wedding. He won’t be making any more motor cycle tours of the outback.”

We sat in silence.

As I reflected on Enoch’s tale my mind meandered back through the time continuum to my Territory days and my experiences of and with motor cycles.

It must have been about 1966 or 1967 when the Administration shifter from buying British to buying Japanese. Land Rovers and BSA motor cycles were phased out and Land Cruisers and Honda 90s were phased in.

For the following ten years or so you could tell what machine a particular person rode by where he wore the scars of exhaust pipe burns. Inside right thigh for a Honda rider and inside left ankle for a Beeza rider. How proudly we wore our scars.

Being a totally inept motor cyclist myself; I not only sported the regulation burn scars on the insides of my legs, but also over various parts of my body where any particular cycle landed on me when I experienced an accident.

But enough of me and my legendary ineptitudes these chronicles are about the foibles of others.

I was stationed at Angoram during this vehicular transition period when Sydney’s former leading male model arrived as a Cadet Patrol Officer.

Now this personable young man was a motor cycle aficionado of the first order. At that time the cult movie “The Wild One” starring a youthful Marlon Brando had been continuously screening in a Sydney theatre for over a dozen years and our hero could quote verbatim every scene in the entire production having seen the movie a dozen or more times himself.

Had “The Wild One” included a scene of a motor cyclist jumping a stream or river the one would have to speculate that our hero would have made a valiant attempt to jump the Sepik on the station BSA. But as the movie did not contain such a scene this thought is merely idle speculation.

Now it happened that one fine Saturday afternoon whilst all civilized male residents of Angoram were ensconced in the Angoram Club imbibing alcohol with indiscretion, as was the wont in those days, our hero decided to conduct a speed trial on the station motor bike along the airstrip.

A couple of trial runs to warm up and get him in the mood and then in an attempt to equalise Donald Campbell’s speed record our hero laid himself flat along the saddle of the cycle and opened the throttle to full revs.

The machine’s engine roared and being a BSA probably reached a meteoric speed of 35 MPH. Unfortunately it was as the Angoram wild one was hurtling along the airstrip that the hotel’s dog also chose to run across the strip and cycle and hound met in a photo finish.

A couple of hours later; leg encased in plaster, various cuts, scratches and medical dressings adorning his body and hobbling with the aid of a walking stick; guess who staggered into the club?

On another occasion, the advisor to the Biwat LGC and I were sitting in the office discussing heavy affairs of state whilst outside the latest addition to staff, a newly arrived CPO, straddled the new Honda 90. He kicked the machine into life and cautiously released pressure in the brake handle on the left handle bar. Nothing happened, the machine did not move. He depressed the brake lever and slowly released it again. Same action, same result. Nothing happened.

The adviser and I sat intrigued by our CPO’s endeavour to get the motor cycle to engage gear and move.

“Do you think we should tell him?” I asked said adviser.

“Nah! Let him learn.” Was the reply.

Eventually someone explained to the CPO that the Honda did not possess a manual clutch and all that was needed was to advance the accelerator and away you went.

On another occasion after our port night a fortnight card game one of the local traders discovered that his motor cycle had no fuel in the tank.

No problem, someone suggested that we pour a bottle of methylated spirits into the fuel tank and that should get him home.

Miracle of miracles; the engine started and off he went. However by the time he had travelled fifty yards the entire bike was glowing red hot. We waited for the explosion that wasn’t forthcoming. He arrived home in one piece and we had another drink.

Well enough of my burblings.

Until next time. Stay well and God bless.

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