THE centenary of Anzac Day has just passed one year, but its spirit is still clearly kept in my heart.
You may ask me, what is the spirit of Anzac? Can you measure it? What does it looks like?
Let me share with you my experiences of it. Last year was the first year l attended the Anzac Day ceremony in my nine years living in Australia as an Australian.
When my husband was alive, he participated in the Anzac Day ceremony by watching it on television or attending the ceremony. After he passed away, l wished to go to an Anzac Day ceremony, but was scared to go by myself in the dark.
I prayed to the Lord that if He could wake me up before 5am, I will go. That morning I woke up right at 5am. When I got out of the car, the corner of Ballarat High School was flooded with people to the Arch of Victory from both sides of the footpath to the middle of the street. Beside me were many babies in strollers, children and older people, but there was no crying or speaking by the crowd. I wondered where was the laughter and the usual chatter of such a crowd?
This year's Anzac Day drove me back to the World War I of my husband, Alfred Fisher's family. Alfred's Uncle Leonard Bolton was a British Royal Air Force mechanic at the front line of battle in France during World War I. While Leonard was trying to retrieve the precious engine of a plane downed in no-man's-land, two buddies by his side were killed instantly when a shell struck and exploded. Another explosion knocked him unconscious. He came to in a field hospital; in pain and without sight. He heard doctors say he had been blinded by mustard gas, but his eyes healed miraculously.
What is the Anzac spirit? Is it the young fighters? Is it the unsleeping babies and children, the seniors, the widows? Is it the unsleeping morning? Is it coming together without any noise? Is it offering yourself without condition because of the call?
You see how a kernel of wheat dies in the ground then produces many seeds; so you can find the solutions of what the Anzac spirit is.
I still feel so moved by what I saw on Anzac Day dawn service last year.
- Ruth Li, Soldiers Hill
FIRST home affordability is an issue politicians should be addressing.
Forty years ago, the average house was five times total yearly average wage. Now it is 13 times.
Then, the basic minimum low wage was 60 per cent of the average. Today, it is 45 per cent.
The cost is blowing out while buying power decreases.
Jobs were fairly secure then, are now fragile, casual or gone.
Plan B: rely on an inheritance. Well, many homes are sold off to put the elderly into care. Once their pension covered dormitory-style accommodation.
The answer is not in wage rises as they cause inflation, and are generally fought for and gained by well organised and powerful negotiators, usually in essential industries; some even lucky enough to receive the average wage.
Pay rises have weakened our global competitiveness and stifled manufacturing.
At budget time, at long last it is very satisfying to at least see our treasurer's political budget - finally repaired - in capable hands; judging by the leaks we have heard.
I will judge the budget at election time. The leaks so far indicate what is coming.
- Colin Holmes, Ballarat
RECENTLY l noticed a story on the news about cruelty to animals that made me feel sick. l think we all need to make sure cruelty to animals does not go unpunished in Australia.
- David Scholes, Wendouree
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