Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Saturday, May 12, 2018

HAPPY Mother’s Day, Joan Hall. I have known my mother for 65 years so I know my mother extremely well. I have seen all sides of my mother as one does when one knows a person for over 65 years but I have definitely seen the kind, caring, compassionate mother who, like a lioness is fiercely loyal to her children and her mate, Mervyn Hall.

Merv was the principal of Newcastle East Public School in the 1960s, an enthusiastic and most-loved man who led a brilliant team of staff and intelligent, talented children. He loved his time there and thought the world of his staff.

I witnessed my mother’s absolutely unfailing care of my “darling dad”, who passed away last August. For the last years of his life he needed a lot of care. She was determined he should never go into a home, which is also what he wanted. She gave him unconditional love, kindness, care and devotion. My mother never complained.

As he lay dying she held his hand and told him repeatedly, “I love you my darling angel”. She loyally loved him until his last breath and still misses him every single day. I was so frightened watching the man I love so much shutting down. It was more than I could bear. When I asked my mother how she could be so strong and not be frightened of “death”. She answered, “He was my mate”.

We can learn a lot from our mothers.  

I wish my mother a wonderful Mother’s Day and it will be the first without our “darling dad”. She has inspired me, as my father did, and I wish all mothers happiness and love on their special day.

Enjoy life with your loved ones. Happy Mother’s Day lovely ladies.

Suellen Hall, Wallsend

Pub crawl, to bed

AFTER a delightful evening with Barry Humphries at the Civic Theatre last Saturday, May 5, my wife and I decided to check out the vibrant Newcastle night life on our walk back to our apartment in Newcastle East. First stop was Foghorn Brewhouse. After sitting down with our drinks we noticed a man standing at the bar who was unable to join his friends at their table. The reason being he had ordered a spirit drink which could only be consumed at the bar. It's alright for everyone else to drink a beer with 7.6 per cent alcohol.

Embarrassed, I apologised to these visitors from Sydney who were obviously perplexed at this ridiculous licence restriction. Next stop Crown & Anchor Hotel, keep walking, no live music just a DJ.

Off to Queens Wharf Hotel where we were sure to catch the last bracket of the band. Where is the band we asked on arrival? Turns out the police have been in and ordered the band to pack up and go home.

Disillusioned we made our way home wondering what on earth is happening to this wonderful city’s night life.

Maybe we should have just caught the plane back to Melbourne with Barry, where there definitely is a night time culture.

Michael Hughes, Newcastle East

The dream of home care

AS a member of the group in our society that claims the unenviable title of having the highest suicide rate in Australia, the over 85-year-old men, I watched Treasurer Morrison read his fairy story on Tuesday night in the hope that there would be some reason for me to get rid of my supply of sleeping tablets that I keep in readiness to join so many of my fellow over 85-year-old men. 

As one of the 100,000-plus aged persons waiting for a home care package, Mr Morrison made great play of the fact this generous Coalition government was making some 14,000 packages over three years. On this basis the government obviously believes that a good number of us old bastards will die before our number comes up in the list for care at home. This cruel proposal follows recent government policy to increase the value the bonds to get into aged care hostels and hospitals, and increase the amount they require aged pensioners to pay for care on a daily basis. 

It is a good indication of the Coalition’s priorities that they propose to give to the banks and multinational companies some $80 billion in tax cuts but tell me and thousands like me that my best future plan is to wait till someday I am found by a neighbour down with a broken hip or in my bed lying in my piss and shit because I cannot get up without care that is not available. 

I have spent a lifetime serving my community, and honoured by the Queen for my contributions, but to this heartless Coalition government I am just someone in the way of them giving bigger tax breaks to the wealthy.

Mr Morrison, don’t let it worry you as we know that you have to get elected at all costs and we are scheduled to die soon anyway and on your salary you will never have to make these decisions.

  • For crisis support contact Lifeline: 13 11 14.

Frank Ward OAM, Shoal Bay

Visitor’s travel trauma

WHILST I'm sure Newy residents are over the current dissection of your lovely city by the alleged 'improvements', as a visitor for a business meeting for which I was late as a result of the incompetence of the public transport system, I thought I would offer some observations: First, failure of shuttle bus to stop at King Street before Darby Street bus stop at 15.20 on May 9 en-route to Newcastle Interchange.

Then: No signage at bus stops to indicate that shuttle buses do not stop there or where the nearest stop might be. Also: Opal cards, rather conveniently for NSW Transport, do not work on shuttle buses as they do in other NSW cities, meaning that whilst one has commenced journey during off-peak period, by the time the bus has reached the interchange one has to pay the peak rate, a difference of $3.15 in this instance. The bus from Newcastle terminus departing at 15.46 took until 16.03 to travel to the interchange on what used to be a six-minute trip. How does this sit with the claims by NSW Transport prior to removal of the last three rail stops on the Newcastle line as being an improvement? Finally, this alleged shuttle bus service most definitely isn’t. Shuttles worldwide run continuously, not idling at one stop for 10 minutes after all passengers had boarded.

I am looking forward to a refund of the $3.15 which NSW Transport through its incompetence has overcharged me for this journey and trust that they will constructively address all of the above issues for the passengers on the Newcastle shuttle bus link, although I am not holding my breath. 

Douglas Williamson, Wamberal

Letter of the Week

The Herald pen goes to Chris Gavenlock.

INSPIRING: As we prepare to honour the unconditional love, kindness, care and devotion of mothers, Suellen Hall has a message of thanks for her own Mum Joan Hall.

INSPIRING: As we prepare to honour the unconditional love, kindness, care and devotion of mothers, Suellen Hall has a message of thanks for her own Mum Joan Hall.