While attending a Memorial for the homeless in St Kilda I was privileged to hear Rose and Yvette Farewell the Gatwick. This is their speech.
This will be the last time that we'll be meeting you as proprietors of the Gatwick, so we though it was only right that tonight, as part of the homeless memorial: we remembered those that passed through the doors of Gatwick.
In the next few weeks the Gatwick will be no-more. It's the end of an era, and we're saddened that it had to end like this, but we're left with a lifetime of memories.
We remember all those souls who came to Gatwick and allowed us the privilege of being part of their lives.
For whatever the reason they ended up at the gatwick, we never judged or asked questions, and we always tried to make it feel like their home.
Unfortunately, not everyone felt that way, or understood how important it was for people to have somewhere they could go. Somewhere that they could feel safe, somewhere that they could be themselves.
Instead, politicians, police and local traders saw it differently and wanted a different outcome for those who had nowhere else to go. The ultimatum we were given made it impossible to continue, and that will be a lifelong disappointment for us.
So, all we have now are the memories. It's all that any of us have.
The memories of those who make St Kilda what it is.
So tonight, we remember.
We remember those who struggled and gave into their demons,
We remember those, whose excesses consumed them,
We remember those, who just couldn't go on any more.
But we remember them as the unique characters that they were.
And who have touched and enriched all our lives by being our friends.
For more than 45 years, Yvette and I have given our all, and we hope they knew it,
and we hope that we helped in some way.
So tonight, too, we remember Gatwick.
There will never be another Gatwick, God bless all who that lived there and Rest in Peace "Gatty".
It has been a pretty sad year for the world, a year in which people and and nations shrunk back from thinking big.If you know enough about the history of Europe over the past 1000years, then like me, you would see the European Union as a wonderful morale. Sure they moved into the single currency too soon. They haven't recovered yet from the GFC, and the mass movements refugees from the Muslim world has put great strain on Europe. Angela Merkel, who is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, has shown great vision; but likely, the German people will throw her out of office next year. You have Viktor Orban pleading that Hungary cannot take a single refugee. You have far-right, almost neo-Nazi, movements even in Catholic Poland, let alone France. the British, or enough of them matter, voted to Brexit. Shame on them. Here in Australia, there is the resurgence of Pauline Hanson.
there is a baser instinct in us that would answer the problem of dope addicts and traffickers with, "Shoot them! Get rid of them." But now President Détente of the Catholic Philippines is doing just that. It's very base, rotten.Colombia has suffered from a civi war for 58 years, the government fighting a Marxist guerrilla outfit called FARC. After 4 years of negotiation, encouraged by Pope Francis, the government and FARC reached a peace agreement. But a referendum of the people rejected the agreement, because, they said, it went too easy on FARC. Where to from here? Anything but large, and open-armed and welcoming. But then, we have a great pope, Francis.
Because the people of the USA have elected Donald Trump, we have to hope that he will do a good job. But honestly! He says China is manipulating its currency. Economists who know say it is not. He is going to slap a 45% tariff other country. Does he even that. Both Brexit and Donald Trump won by telling people lies that people wanted to believe. Sure there is a lot for people to be very unhappy about e.g.Top executives used to be paid 20-30 times what ordinary workers received. Now it is 240 times. President Trump intends to spend a lot on infrastructure - 50% of the bridge in the USA are past their use-by date. It is much needed. It should help reduce unemployment a lot. But he says that he is also going to reduce taxes, and get on top of the US government's huge debt, which began with the spendrift ways of Ronald Reagan and has he only got much worse since. Any reasonably bright Grade 6 kid will tell you that you can't spend a lot on building and at the same time lower taxes, and end up owing less. Perhaps he is going to discover an immense hoard of gold. Fort Knox, watch out.
I send this urgent message to the few connections I have. You may have advice.
My Foundation currently provides material aid, scholarships and community engagement and enhancement for the poor in the neighbourhood. We also provide material aid to the homeless and have been offering them a drop in service where they can have some respite and a friendly person to talk to.
I am looking for support from caring individuals like yourself.
I have a new initiative where individuals and businesses like yours can donate $12.5 thousand dollars.
If four donors in your network of friends and business associates can come together and donate $12.5 thousand each, this will pay for one year of our food van service.
Your support will keep the Foundation providing these essential service.
Ever since I joined the Army as a chaplain, way back in1963, I have been keen to promote my social justice work as an expression of ANZAC survival style.
Once known as "shell shock" the incidence of psychological battle scars on soldiers is well-documented rising psychiatric among US troops returning from Iraq.
An anonymous survey of 6,200 US soldiers by doctors from the Walter Reed Army Institue of Research found 17% of combatants returning from Iraq and 11% returning from Afghanistan were suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
This compares with a mental illness rate 9% among troops pre-deployment.
But how many of those psychologically affected by the horrors of war were genetically predisposed to suffer these conditions?
Now this timeless question of nature versus nurture as the underlying cause of mental illness has resurfaced in a controversial book.
Models of madness: Psychological, Social and Biological approach to Schizophrenia
(Palsgrave Macmillan, $51) compiles research by 23 mental health experts including 3 Australians.
The book's editor, University of Auckland psychologist John Read, claims that how we grow up and what happens to us in life plays a far more significant role in determining our mental health than our genetic make-up.
"Contrary to the views of biologically oriented psychiatrists and drug companies, the most accurate predictors of most mental health problems including depression, suicidiology and psychosis are adverse life events, and circumstances such as poverty, discrimination and abuse," Dr Read said.
"No single event usually by itself causes a mental illness but research show a very high prevalence of childhood sexual and physical abuse among adults with psychosis."
More than 40 international studies reveal an average of 69% of male adult psychiatric inpatients experienced some form of childhood abuse he said.
Look at Dr Read's predictors for mental illness. they apply to all my friends receiving fair, firm and friendly support through my 3 agencies - Open Family, Emerald Hill Mission and The Fr. Bob Maguire Foundation.
When I arrived at Sts Peter & Paul, South Melbourne, fresh from 4 years in the Australian Army Character Training Team, I quickly launched a social justice / social welfare intervention campign in favour of local young people, "Australia's best natural resource".
Discovering the depth of youth alienation, their minds and hearts were elsewhere, I developed a 'street-wise' unit Open Family Inc. Open Family evolved from the STREET of South and Port Melbourne and Garden City, where generational poverty and crime were endemic.
One notable aspect of our origins as a social justice / social welfare player was massive support (moral) provided by government ministers and senior bureaucrats BUT, an equally massive, lack of support from lower grade public units.
I refer you back to Doctor John Read's predictors of mental illness.
So many of the neighbourhood under '20's were chasing drugs available in the '70's and '80's mainly in adjacent areas St Kilda and Footscray. I now know that hectic chase as a frantic attempt at group self-medication, just like soldiers under pressure using adrenaline to show heroism while involved in the dirty business of battle.
Everyone, even the winning side, is diminished by violence. Our local young people of the '70's and '80's were under the same kind of inhuman pressure as soldiers under fire.
I suppose I meant Open Family and its locally focussed sibling, "Emerald Hill Mission", to imitate the Aussie digger who has the reputation of never leaving a mate stranded when wounded. I meant both Open Family and Emerald Hill Mission to be like ANZAC Aussies.
I am more convinced than ever, since 9/11 and the ensuing global wrangle over the causes of terrorism, that the best way to tackle "evil" is for a few local good men and women to provide urgent and non judgmental support, even friendship, for their wounded fellow human beings.
To this end, my latest project, The Fr Bob Maguire Foundation honours the promise made 25 years ago, that any local person who left the "dark side" of society would never be deserted by us. ANZAC means "a fair go"!
The Fr. Bob Maguire Foundation 'associates' ( not clients as is the term used in the welfare industry!) are survivors of the last 30 years of neighbourhood social chaos.
I regret deeply that we lost 40 of our associates, all in the 1980's and all under 20 years of age.
This, in fact, is my triple bottom line, drawn in the sand, from which I launch all my projects.
I'm now in touch with about 20 survivors of that sad, bad and mad era of institutional stress and exploitation.
My original intention was to gather them into a group called VOISE ( victims of institutional stress and exploitation).
I settled, instead, for a personalised service delivery, The Fr. Bob Maguire Foundation, to these survivors.
This Australia Day I say sorry to 40 locals who died in the '80's - We patched you up - that's all we could manage. Forgive us. We won't forget. You could have been like ANZAC survivors, to fight another day.
FatherBob @FatherBob 5h5 hours ago Looks like "de radicalising" programmes needed reform and refreshment of ALL liberal democratic institutions...I CAN abuse so I WILL abuse.