Saturday, 19 February 2011

Remembering the past.

Today the 19th of February is the 69th anniversary for the Bombing of Darwin. For many years the rest of Australia did not even know that people had been killed and Darwin had been bombed repeatedly.

Damage to defence buildings following a Japanese bombing raid of Darwin in 1942.
(Australian War Memorial : 012699 )

It was not until 1992 did it get into the main stream press down south (Eastern sea board of Australia) even though each year there is a remembrance service on the anniversary which was always covered by the local office of the national broadcasting service the ABC. My grandmother and father sheltered in a gutter in the main street during the first air raid as the bombs and planes strafed the street.  An uncle luckily escaped death in the Post Office since the post master had sent him out to get his hair cut as it was on his collar.

I remember getting in trouble when we did the Australian home front in History in high school because I corrected Mr Wright about the Japanese bombings and incursions in Northern Australia. When you personally know a Methodist missionary whose first husband was decapitated by the Japanese you know about it, it did happen. At the time our history school texts only had the midget subs in Sydney Harbour. I also got into trouble for mentioning that Changi Prison in Singapore also held women and children not just not military prisoners.

I don't know what type of memorial will be happening this year as again Darwin is battling. Tropical Cyclone Carlos hit earlier this week and there has been further major flooding. It really looks like that La Nina has continued to wreak her vengeance on Northern Australia this Summer.