Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hobart's ANZAC Day Parade

Uncle Ian (behind RH shoulder of marshall in orange jacket) marches down Macquarie Street with his comrades. Larger view here.

Ian with a comrade in New Guinea, April 1944.

It was bucketing with rain on ANZAC Day morning. I'm sure the Dawn Service musty have been pretty hard going. But, come 10am, an hour before the main parade kicks off, the rain decided to abate.

I headed down to the city, camera in hand ready to watch, and to get a couple of photos of my Uncle, Ian Tynan who served in the RAAF in New Guinea in WWII.

I got a perfect spot, right outside The Mercury building, and directly opposite the Town Hall, where the Governor takes the salute.

First off down Macquarie Street were five infrantry on their horses. Then came those no longer able to walk the parade route, ferried in buses, taxis and WWII Jeeps.

After that, came the various units and battalions, starting with the Boer War, then to WWI (our grandfather, Algy Tynan fought in the 1/12th). It's quite poignant and emotional to see the signs for the units being borne by schoolchildren, with no actual servicemen left. Pop died in 1974, and I think Tasmania's last WWI Veteran died about three or four years ago. I have quite vivid memories of going to the marches with Mum, Dad and Brent when we were kids.

Pop's Battalion, the 1/12th.

A War memorial Portrait of Pop, 1914.

The crew of the HMAS Darwin, in town for ANZAC Day duty were impressive as they marched past with "eyes righted" to the plinth.

As it got to the WWII units, I was keeping my eyes peeled for Ian and his crew. I don't know what happened, but I bloody well missed him as he marched straight past my vantage point. Luckily, I got a picture of the RAAF unit just as it left Franklin Square, and can make Ian out in the shot. Still, quite dissapointing that I missed him.

It's funny how my attitude has changed over the years, from a kid not really understanding what it was all about, to young adult, not wanting anything to do with the march, apart from the opportunity for another holiday, to now, where I'm thinking about what these people must have gone through, and how they're still here today. While I'm by no means a proponent of war as a means of resolving anything, I do thank those who marched, and those who didn't or couldn't for all they've done and been through for the greater good. And Ian, I'll get a much better picture next year!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Morgan Mark & Scott do Tassie

Reece Dam spillway.

Morgan kindly decided to cross the ditch and come over to Tasmania over Easter. Of course, Mark and I sumised, this was cause for a roadtrip.

We picked the intrepid Dr Read up from Hobart International on Good Friday morning, and immediately set about heading west. Initial pub stops were at the Gretna Green and Derwent Bridge pubs. I decided to grace the public bar of one of the pubs in beautiful Queenstown while the lads did battle with the local greasy takeaway. Queenstown really is a unique place!

After Queenstown, we scooted up to Zeehan and in to Trial Harbour, a beautiful windswept bay dead on the West Coast proper. After a brisk stroll along the beach and a visit to the history rooms, we departed Trial and headed for our accomodation at the Heemskirk Motor Inn. I suspected we may have been up for a ropey meal when I asked if the seafood basket was local. "Nuh" came the swift reply. Rightio, steak and veg it was then. Kinda hard to bugger that one up I reckon. Ordered rare, it came out medium-rare. Perfecto (oops, it was Good friday! Sorry, pope!).

Post dinner saw us demolish a few coldies and start on the Glenmorangie back in the motel room.

Saturday we departed beautiful Zeehan by 9.30, and pointed Mark's Henry in the general direction of Cradle Mountain. We ended up going over the Pieman River Road, and across the Reece Dam. Think we went almost two hours without seeing another vehicle. No matter your thoughts re: the mighty Hydro, they did build some bloody amazing infrastructure in their time. after a reasonable lunch and (finally) some caffeine at the Cradle Mountain Chateau (of course, owned by Federal and funded by Pokie revenue) we entered the National Park and did a three point five hour walk to Marion's Lookout, just below the summit of Cradle Mountain. Spectacular views all round, for sure.

On the Overland Track

Saturday night we stayed at the Gowrie Park Backpacker accomodation, at $15 for individual two-bunk unit things, the place was pretty basic, but after a hearty meal at the Sheffield Pub and much home brew and whisky in the common room, we all slept like dead men.
Sunday morning we departed via brekky at a cafe in Sheffield for a pretty straightforward belt back to Hobart.

You've gotta love a roadtrip!

There's a full Album of pictures here, by the way.

Mark surveys all at his feet.
At Marion's Lookout. Cradle Mountain in background.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Today on Sullivans Cove

There's a ship (The Bryggen from Bergen) tied up on Macquarie Wharf. They've flooded the front holds so as they can work on the propellor or something similar.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Video reveals G20 police assault on Man who died

Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian shows Ian Tomlinson, who died during G20 protests in London, was attacked from behind by baton–wielding police officer

Dramatic footage obtained by the Guardian shows that the man who died at last week's G20 protests in London was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground by a baton–wielding police officer in riot gear.

Moments after the assault on Ian Tomlinson was captured on video, he suffered a heart attack and died.

The Guardian is preparing to hand a dossier of evidence to the police complaints watchdog.

It sheds new light on the events surrounding the death of the 47-year-old newspaper seller, who had been on his way home from work when he was confronted by lines of riot police near the Bank of England.

The submission to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) includes a collection of testimonies from witnesses, along with the video footage, shot at around 7.20pm, which shows Tomlinson at Royal Exchange Passage.

The film reveals that as he walks, with his hands in his pockets, he does not speak to the police or offer any resistance.

A phalanx of officers, some with dogs and some in riot gear, are close behind him and try to urge him forward.

A Metropolitan police officer appears to strike him with a baton, hitting him from behind on his upper thigh.

Moments later, the same policeman rushes forward and, using both hands, pushes Tomlinson in the back and sends him flying to the ground, where he remonstrates with police who stand back, leaving bystanders to help him to his feet.

The man who shot the footage, a fund manager from New York who was in London on business, said: "The primary reason for me coming forward is that it was clear the family were not getting any answers."

The Guardian's dossier also includes a sequence of photographs, taken by three different people, showing the aftermath of the attack, as well as witness statements from people in the area at the time.

A number of witnesses provided time and date-stamped photographs that substantiate their accounts.

Some said they saw police officers attack Tomlinson.

Witnesses said that, prior to the moment captured on video, he had already been hit with batons and thrown to the floor by police who blocked his route home.

One witness, Anna Branthwaite, a photographer, described how, in the minutes before the video was shot, she saw Tomlinson walking towards Cornhill Street.

"A riot police officer had already grabbed him and was pushing him," she said.

"It wasn't just pushing him – he'd rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable.

"It was the force of the impact. He bounced on the floor. It was a very forceful knocking down from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton when he was lying on the floor.

"So it wasn't just that the officer had pushed him – it became an assault.

"And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him.

"He was running and stumbling. He didn't turn and confront the officer or anything like that."

The witness accounts contradict the official version of events given by police.

In an official statement on the night of Tomlinson's death, the Metropolitan police made no reference to any contact with officers and simply described attempts by police medics and an ambulance crew to save his life after he collapsed – efforts they said were marred by protesters throwing missiles as first aid was administered .

The force said officers had created a cordon around Tomlinson to give him CPR.

"The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles - believed to be bottles - were being thrown at them," it said.

Yesterday, the IPCC began managing an investigation by City of London police into the circumstances of Tomlinson's death after the Guardian published photographs of him on the ground and witness statements indicated he had been assaulted by police officers.

The IPCC commissioner for London, Deborah Glass, said: "Initially, we had accounts from independent witnesses who were on Cornhill, who told us that there had been no contact between the police and Mr Tomlinson when he collapsed."

"However, other witnesses who saw him in the Royal Exchange area have since told us that Mr Tomlinson did have contact with police officers.

"This would have been a few minutes before he collapsed. It is important that we are able to establish as far as possible whether that contact had anything to do with his death."

The IPCC added that Tomlinson was captured on CCTV walking onto Royal Exchange Passage.

"This is the aspect of the incident that the IPCC is now investigating," it said.

It was here the video was shot. A post mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist last Friday revealed Tomlinson died of a heart attack.

Prior to seeing the dossier of evidence, Tomlinson's family said in a statement: "There were so many people around where Ian died, and so many people with cameras, that somebody must have seen what happened in the Royal Exchange passageway.

"We need to know what happened there and whether it had anything to do with Ian's death.

"We know that some people who were at the protest may not feel comfortable talking to the police.

"People are putting pictures on the internet, writing on blogs and talking to journalists. But we really need them to talk to the people who are investigating what happened."

Full investigation in tomorrow's Guardian © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Penny for your thoughts, Phil?

Coca Cola tells lies. It does rot your teeth

Coca Cola busted for big fat rotten lies

Coca-Cola has been ordered to publish corrective advertisements over its controversial "Motherhood & Myth-Busting" advertising campaign featuring actor Kerry Armstrong, which came under widespread attack last year.

Using the wholesome motherly image of Armstrong to convince parents the soft drink was "kiddy-safe", the advertisements claimed Coca-Cola did not make children fat, did not rot their teeth and was not packed with large amounts of caffeine.

Such claims were myths, Armstrong vowed in full-page print advertisements which ran nationally throughout October last year.

"Now that I've found out what's myth and what isn't, it's good to know that our family can continue to enjoy one of our favourite drinks," Armstrong gushed.

"My boys now call me Mum, the Myth Buster!"

The actor's young children may have been convinced by the performance, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was not.

"Coke's messages were totally unacceptable, creating an impression which is likely to mislead that Coca-Cola cannot contribute to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay," said the ACCC's chairman, Graeme Samuel.

"[The ads] also had the potential to mislead parents about the potential consequences of consuming Coca-Cola."

Today, Coca-Cola South Pacific gave the ACCC court-enforceable undertakings to publish corrective advertisements in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The Courier Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser, The West Australian, and the Hobart Mercury, as well as on the company's own website.

The correct levels of caffeine for Coca-Cola, Diet Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero must be included in the corrective advertisements, the ACCC ruled, because of the false claims in the original campaign that the soft drink contained the same amount of caffeine as tea brewed from leaves or bags.

Kelly Burke is the Herald's Consumer Affairs Reporter.