Letters 24.11.18

Look back to the future
THE answer to WA Tourism’s dilemma – history.
Are you commemorating the 56th anniversary of Perth hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1962?
Preceding these were the inaugural Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held at the Claremont Showgrounds. As one commentator remarked, “the attendance was the best he had seen at any paraplegic sports event in the world”.
Senator Shane Paltridge, representing the federal government said, “This is one fine example of leadership taken by this state in the work to lift the paraplegic from a life of resignation to one of self respect and purpose in the community”.
In addition, the Australian International Grand Prix was held at Caversham, attracting such drivers as Bruce McLaren, the winner, and Jack Brabham.
There were also other sporting events such as a surf lifesaving carnival.
Perth had a population of less than 500,000 people, was the most isolated city in the world, devoid of sporting facilities.
In 1956, Perth’s lord mayor Harry Howard and town clerk McInnes Green made an aggressive bid for the 1962 games.
Their efforts culminated in building the best sporting facilities in the world, Perry Lakes Stadium, Beatty Park Swimming Centre, the Lake Monger Velodrome, as well as a residential village for the athletes.
The latter, named Empire Village was another first, but sadly, has disappeared
Around 55,000 people attended the Opening Ceremony. The Duke of Edinburgh officiated and was present for the duration of the Games. These Games were cited as the most successful to date.
In addition, major infrastructure projects, like converting Perth Airport into an international one, and doubling the size of the Fremantle Passenger Terminal, were undertaken.
Yes, we can do it again, and put Perth back on the world map. Bid for the Olympics, a bigger, brighter world event.
We did the Commonwealth Games, now it is the time for the main event.
We have the new Optus Stadium, the Beatty Park Swim Centre, and a promised new airport. Save the Velodrome, save Caversham.
It took a man with vision and courage, Harry Howard, and another man with the knowledge and expertise, McInnes Green, to make 1962 happen.
They inspired a whole state to strive and achieve what others thought was impossible.
Where are such people to be found today?
Hope Alexander
West Perth            

Kicking goals
ON Monday November 12 my family was invited to a Coolbinia Football Club meeting, where my son and an equally-awesome boy of the same age were presented with very generous cheques.
My son was diagnosed with brain cancer in June and Thomas with bone cancer in January.
Its been an absolute roller coaster ride, but we are happy to say both boys are cancer free today.
For Angus and Thomas the football club and their love of sport has helped get them through.
I’d like to thank the club and community for the love and support we all have felt going through this journey.
You guys are amazing.
We feel blessed to live in such a community…Go Bombers!
Stacey Rout
Name and address supplied

Save the whale
MAGNIFICENT humpback whales are currently off our shores on their long ocean journey back to their feeding grounds in the Antarctic.
To be lucky enough to spot one breaching is an awe-inspiring moment.
They are the fifth biggest of the great whales, growing to 18m and weighing up to 45 tonnes.
It’s estimated that each year 35,000 pass along our coast to spend the winter breeding in the warm waters off the Kimberley coast.
Then from September through to Christmas we see them off Freo as they make their way back to their icy home in time for summer, many of them females with newborn calves.
All up it’s a huge round trip of around 13,500km.
By all accounts, whale numbers are increasing and this year there’s even been a reported spike in southern right whales spotted off our southern coast.
It’s news welcomed by the World Wildlife Fund, which has just released a new report Whales of the Antarctic Peninsula, in conjunction with the University of California Santa Cruz.
The report highlights how satellite tracking is revealing crucial Antarctic feeding zones for these whales.
It is unlocking the mystery of exactly where they feed on krill and it highlights the urgent need for increased protection of the Western Antarctic Peninsula — a feeding hotspot.
The report is calling for international support for special marine protected areas to be established.
Hunting was banned in 1963, however this has not stopped more modern commercial fishing and tourism threatining whales’ survival.
A map based on the tracking reveals humpbacks rely heavily on the peninsula for resting and feeding.|
WWF Antarctic program senior manager, Chris Johnson, says their work shows that the Antarctic Peninsula and its amazing wildlife are under increasing pressure from climate change, krill fishing and a growing tourism industry.
“We’re in a race against time to protect these waters before it’s too late. The creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas along the peninsula is crucial to help safeguard Antarctic wildlife for years to come,” he said.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long, as there’s really no time to waste.
Jolly Read
South Fremantle

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