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“Here in the Western world, in Great Britain, America, and Australia, even Sydney, we have those who are shamelessly teaching in our universities the same shameless philosophies, that there is no God.  Such lecturers are decrying the institution of marriage, urging our students to pre-marital sexual experience, and advocating free love and the right of self expression.”  Thus spake the Primate of Australia, and Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr H R Gough on July 6th. 

He was speaking at the 12th biennial legal convention of the Law Council of Australia, so he could hardly hope to have his comments slip through unnoticed.

Dr V Kinsella, a Macquarie Street specialist, a close colleague of Dr Gough, and the source of Gough’s above statement, went on to decry “the menace of the teaching of Sydney Uni’s so-called philosophy professors,  Anderson and Stout.  An entire civilisation can be undermined if men like these are permitted to go unchecked. They are not philosophers. They are sceptics.” 

One half the population of the nation was appalled. Here we had a learned churchman and a learned medical man talking about advocates of free love teaching immorality at one of the nation’s leading tertiary institutions.  Shock and horror.  What will the world come to?  Surely, we’ll all be doomed.

What about the other half of the population?  Well, they too were appalled.  But their shock and horror came from the realisation that half the population took any notice of such claims.  What is the world coming to?  Surely, if we believe this rubbish, we all deserve to be doomed.

So, a violent controversy started.  Professor Stout jumped to his own defence. “I have never, in the whole of the 20 years I have lectured at Sydney Uni, even discussed, let alone advocated, the questions of free-love, extra-marital relations, or trial marriage.  I am quite certain that not one of the thousands of students who have attended my lectures would ever say that I had.  This applies not only to my formal university lectures but also to my talks to student bodies and my informal discussions everywhere.”  Professor Anderson replied in similar certain terms.... 


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 ABOUT THIS SERIES   …  But after that, I realized that I really knew very little about these parents  of mine They had been born about the start of the Twentieth Century, and they died in 1970 and 1980. For their last 50 years, I was old enough to speak with a bit of sense.  I could have talked to them a lot about their lives. I could have found out about the times they lived in.  But I did not.  I know almost nothing about them really. Their courtship? Working in the pits? The Lock-out in the Depression? Losing their second child? Being dusted as a miner? The shootings at Rothbury? My uncles killed in the War? Love on the dole? There were hundreds, thousands of questions that I would now like to ask them.  But, alas, I can’t. It’s too late.


Thus, prompted by my guilt, I resolved to write these books. They describe happenings that affected people, real people.  The whole series is, to coin a modern phrase, designed to push the reader’s buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things  forgotten. The books might just let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten. 

Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.