Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, October 4, 2017

PEOPLE'S PARK: The opening of the gates at Gregson Park, Hamilton, in 1912. There are calls to revive the old bowling club as a community centre for the suburb's people.
PEOPLE'S PARK: The opening of the gates at Gregson Park, Hamilton, in 1912. There are calls to revive the old bowling club as a community centre for the suburb's people.

GREGSON Park is indisputably the jewel of Hamilton. The fact that I can walk daily through such a park is a recurring pleasure.

It’s a shame then that we have a derelict building, the old bowling club, taking up a half acre of land, wearing it’s lack of utility on its proverbial sleeve and on its literal boarded-up windows. 

This site has the potential to be reclaimed as a community centre, boasting childcare services and a vegetable garden. This can be headed by the council or gifted to and operated by the Hamilton community; a community caring and passionate about their neighbourhood. The need for accessible community centres and social spaces is obvious all over the city, and indeed the country. We have grown accustomed to the isolation and alienation of neo-liberalism and let it strain our social connections.

I'm not aware of any existing groups that are interested in this issue, but have heard from individuals and members of groups all over Newcastle that the bowling club site is an eyesore, a visual reminder of the neglect that the inner suburbs have experienced from those in power. I'd like to extend an offer to anyone interested in forming a working group to contact me through the Newcastle Herald so that we may make use of this site once again, for the benefit of all.

A gifting of the Gregson Park site to the community would be a leap in the right direction for the citizens of Hamilton, as we can continue growing our social fabric alongside a few tomatoes.

Thomas Levick, Hamilton

Preparing people for work

I REFER to Steve Barnett (Short Takes, 3/10): I understand how most people draw the conclusion about people who are unemployed and seem to make no effort to find work, let alone present or prepare themselves for job searching.

But simply criticising these unemployable people is no solution. In fact criticism is counter productive to the cause of getting our brothers and sisters employed. I wonder if each of these long term unemployed people (yes people, just like the rest of us) were to be examined regarding their background, would we discover more than meets the presentation-analysing eye.

Many are in a cycle that is generational. Many have had negative experiences that are life affecting. I would also advise that many have not had their fair share of life skills coaching and self motivational insight.

A person is a product of their environment, the guidance they have received and the government who cares for them. It is often said that an appropriate and fair paying job is every Australian’s basic right. True. 

As such, government also have a responsibility to educate and coach people into a position of being job ready and developing a positive, healthy outlook for their future.

Call it personal development, call it training, and call it simple fair equity.

The obligation to solve the issue is in the hands of government.

Cr John Gilbert, Swansea Heads

Politics no place at footy

THANKS Todd Greenberg for putting the final nail in the NRL coffin.

Politics has no place at my footy barbecue with mates and family. You have stuffed up a weekend that hard working people use to escape the pressure of work and political self interest groups ramming their propaganda down our throats 24/7.

Mr Greenberg, you and your so-called inclusive board should be more concerned with crowd numbers which are embarrassing. AFL and soccer are a lot more appealing as a family sport than your shrinking game. So no footy at my house Sunday, we said a big “no” because of your administration.

Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay

Much-loved ‘Moinee’

I READ in the Herald of the death of Moira Kennedy, the last member of the Kennedy siblings, herself, Ruth, Norma and Bill. Moira, an intensely modest and quietly-spoken woman, was cremated privately. I am sure that there are others in our community who may have stories of the contributions she made in their lives.

I believe that the Kennedy family came from the ‘country’ to Newcastle for work. Nine months after the birth of my son and having to return to work, a friend advised me the only person I should consider was Sister Kennedy, a capable and gracious woman renowned for her love and understanding of the children in her charge. Moinee, as my infant son called her, became a calm and guiding force in my son’s life and a valued member of our family. Moira’s sister Ruth, keeper of The Hill tennis courts and champion player, was like ‘Moinee’, modest to a fault, considerate, hardworking and kind. 

Moinee also had artistic interests including photography, painting and drawing and liked to visit Von Bertouch Gallery. I went to at least one exhibition of her work. She was also a keen member of the Croquet club and helped establish the beautiful garden opposite the West End Centre.

Farewell Moinee. We will miss you.

Anne Morris, Cooks Hill

No reason in voices

WE are poised on the brink of a war in the Korean peninsula; a war which could escalate to other parts of the world with devastating consequences and that could include Australia because of the US military bases on our soil. Where in Australia’s political leadership are the voices of reason calling for negotiation not escalation and urging a peaceful solution?

Instead we have Turnbull, “joined at the hip” with Trump agreeing with his provocative war of words with North Korea. Do we hear any words of caution urging restraint from the Opposition Leader Shorten? No!

North Korea was devastated by the US in the early 1950s; a war that has never finished; only a ceasefire was signed. Thirty per cent of their population died in that war and every city and town was flattened. They lived underground in tunnels or fled to the mountains. Today, the US has dozens of military bases facing them, flies nuclear capable bombers over their peninsula, has positioned THAAD missile systems in South Korea aimed at North Korea. That North Korea feels threatened and forced to develop weapons to defend themselves against another feared US invasion is understandable.

Where are the voices in Australia’s political leadership urging the US to remove their threatening THAAD missile system from South Korea (which South Koreans are demanding too) and to step back and engage in talks with North Korea to seek a peace treaty ?

Bevan Ramsden, Lambton