History is over-looked a bit these days with such comments as “What is it good for?”; “That was then and this is now!” and “What is the point of learning old stuff?”. Our present is, and will always be built upon our past and the only way to progress forward is not to repeat what has been.
Neither are moments in history always created by great men participating in great moments. The truly fascinating past is created by ordinary people performing their jobs under sometimes extraordinary conditions. I have been following this blog as it describes wonderfully that second style of historic person, the ordinary person doing their job.
We may not all aspire to become great moments in history but it is comforting to know that history records as great moments the ordinary person doing ordinary work under extraordinary conditions. It illustrates the importance of education and commitment to doing a job well.
6 February 1956.
It’s time to salute to a lone voice. The Australian media were mean spirited about Antarctica. They pushed the line that at some stage there had better be clear financial returns to justify the expense of maintaining a permanent base in such a godforsaken land.
When the Kista left Melbourne, the Right Honourable Richard Casey (the perceptibly tired and emotional Australian Minister for External Affairs) was amongst the crowd of well-wishers gathered to see them on their way. He gave a stirring farewell speech in which he stressed the scientific importance of our Antarctic project. It was essential for Australia to honour our commitment to the International Geophysical Year, he explained.
Harold Campbell, editor of Melbourne’s broadsheet The Age, covered the Minister’s statesman-like speech like this: “Results Please Mr Casey: Australia Steps Up Antarctic Development”.
So you see what I mean. For the press, Antarctica…
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