Letters 22.2.20

Retreat, regroup … charge
SOME 104 years ago on a hot Sunday in February 1916, 200 men came together to construct a little brick-and-tile cottage in Mt Hawthorn.
Its purpose was two-fold: as a memorial to those involved in the Gallipoli landing and as a home for a returned wounded soldier.
As these men, fortified by refreshments from the Ladies Patriotic Guild, toiled in the hot sun to build ANZAC Cottage, they also built another legacy – community spirit.
The Friends of ANZAC Cottage, over its 14 years of service, has always honoured and nurtured this sense of community spirit while remembering the horrific circumstances that lead to its construction.
In recent weeks the Friends has chosen, with heavy hearts, to leave their beloved “home”, ANZAC Cottage, because of ongoing tensions with the current lessor, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (WA).
We believe these tensions were hindering the group’s core role of promoting the Cottage and telling its fascinating story, including the personal insight into private John Porter and his surviving descendants, daughter Marjorie Williams, who was born in the front room of ANZAC Cottage 99 years ago, and granddaughter Anne Chapple, who has been a devoted Friends member.
Since this news became public, there has been the outpouring of sadness and disappointment from a range of community stakeholders who have appreciated the Friends’ work and activities.
This strong community encouragement has prompted the Friends to consider continuing their work, albeit with some change to the mode of delivery.
The Friends would like to take this opportunity to thank all of their loyal supporters, friends, members, neighbours and volunteers who have brought the Cottage alive, enriched its story and ensured that its history and its heritage will endure.
Peter Ramsay BEM(Mil)
1st Battalion Royal New Zealand
Infantry Regiment 6RAR/NZ
ANZAC Battalion – Vietnam
1969-1970
President, Friends of ANZAC Cottage

The grass was definitely greener
CITY of Stirling staff had been asked to identify the best location for a clubroom in Hamer Park for the Junior AFL and Senior Cricket Clubs.
In May 2019 they recommended building the clubroom directly across Woodsome Street from Mt Lawley Senior High School.
The building was to be 20m from the road and required a 12-bay car park in Hamer Park.
This location is the best because the school could use the clubhouse building and extra parking during school hours.
The clubs, which only operate outside school hours, would use all the parking and drop-off facilities built for the school.
The clubhouse would face away from the sun, have shady mature trees nearby and be 200m from the nearest residence.
At Stirling council on Tuesday, the elected members voted to build the clubhouse on the other side of Hamer Park.
This location is an intrusive 75m into Hamer Park and requires a 59-bay car park to be built in Hamer Park 10m from residences.
It will be built on the root system of one of the two large lemon-scented gum trees.
The building will face the sun and there are few shady trees nearby.
I think the staff at the city of Stirling got it right in the first place and then our elected representatives got it wrong.
Myles Harmer
Mount Lawley

Waste of energy
JUST read your article about the complaining strata neighbour whose opinion was enough to force someone to remove their solar panels (“Solar flare-up”, Voice, February 15, 2020).
In this day where the vast majority of Australians want more action on the climate emergency, where this situation is thrown in stark relief against a backdrop of many losing their homes altogether in devastating bush fires, the neighbour ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Glad the government has realised this is an issue, and is putting rules in place to prevent someone’s misguided ‘opinion’ about other’s business being able to force other’s time and energy having to go into deconstructing steps towards a greener future.
Rachael Hughes
Perth

Thar she blows
IT was appalling to see on the TV news recently the CEO of the WA Museum waxing lyrical about the humungous whale skeleton now suspended in the heritage-listed Hackett Hall in Northbridge.
One only has to read the Heritage Act (2018) WA to see that this act of vandalism contradicts many clauses of the Act and the both the WA minister for the arts and the heritage council should be ashamed of their decision to approve this desecration of Hackett Hall, a unique item of library heritage in Perth’s CBD.
A more appropriate home would have been the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle where they already exhibit a whaling harpoon and a whaleboat – an area where the whale skeleton should have been positioned, in keeping with the theme of that part of the WAMM.
Roy Stall
Rochdale Rd, Mt Claremont

Flamin’ heck!
SPOTTED by chance on commercial TV.
“Authorised by the State Government, Perth: ‘Fire has a plan….’”
Really? Yet who am I to question the State?
As always, best regards,
Winsley Hurst
St Georges Terrace, Perth

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