We have all read the stories about how bad the public health system in W.A. is, with ambulance queues, shortage of beds, nurses, doctors and money. What a positive surprise it was then to be put on a waiting list for eye surgery and get a date within 80 days for it to be performed.
The experience I had at the Osborne Park hospital last week was one of total professionalism, with everything working like clockwork, from my first interview at the reception, through to the very friendly and highly efficient medical staff. They made a day I had started with trepidation into a quite relaxed one.
Fremantle ophthalmologist Dr Edward Mele performed splendid surgery on my left eye for only 15 minutes, to make the day a real success story for all involved. This at no costs to me. Thank you so much.
I can see. I can see! 9>) Well, I haven’t fallen into a manhole yet.
An eye operation prevented me from posting some impressions of the Australia Day celebrations and citizenship ceremony on the Fremantle Esplanade. It was a great idea to do the ceremony on the Esplanade for the first time and made for a very good and relaxed afternoon. These are only a few of the photos I shot for the City of Fremantle.
PHOTOS COPYRIGHT ROEL LOOPERS. PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHY
It is quite unbelievable how PR people manage to use, misuse and abuse language. The spin doctors of the Public Transport Authority tell us they are “upgrading existing railway crossings” along South Beach and the Esplanade, while in fact they want to close 4 of them. What kind of upgrade is that?
I doubt if there are even ten trains a day using that track, and as long as I have been in Fremantle I have never heard of any accidents or near accidents involving pedestrians.
It seems to me that the only reason the PTA want to close the crossings is that upgrading them costs money.
Cottesloe Beach celebrated Australia Day in style today by setting the record for the great Australian Thong Challenge of having the most people on inflatable thongs in the ocean. They beat Bondi Beach who held the record up to today. It was very Aussie and a lot of fun.
PHOTOS COPYRIGHT ROEL LOOPERS. PROFILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Some good news in today’s Fremantle Herald. It is fantastic that Cantonment Hill will now be in Fremantle’s hands. It is a great viewing platform up there to see the ships in the port. The proposed cafe, Aboriginal interpretive centre and barbeques would make the hill an asset to the city.
Endearing news as well that our new mayor Brad Pettitt does not need his car park space and that it will be auctioned for charity. Nice to have a leader of the city with both feet firmly on the ground (or should that be pedals). Good on ya Brad!
I think the judges are still out though if the dredging in the harbour is creating environmental problems. I am hearing many opposing views and don’t know if we are getting one sided information from people who push their own agendas.
There is no doubt for me that the Fremantle port needs to be accessible to larger vessels and that everything possible is done to minimise damage, but is it good enough? I certainly hope so.
Australia Day and Cracker Night should be fun with a large citizenship ceremony on the Esplanade from 4 pm with entertainment and stalls, etc. Fireworks are from 7.45 till 8.
Watch out for the ABC van. Susan Maushart is recording stories from locals!
P.S. I have been a preferred supplier of photographic services to Fremantle Ports for many years.
Dredging vessel Cornelis Zanen in port
Aussie flags are out en mass, as Australia Day (or Invasion Day as the Aboriginese prefer to call it) is approaching. I feel uncomfortable about the nationalistic aspect of the day and want to put some balance to all this national pride, parochialism, and believing in the urban myths we have created.
Let’s start with what should be obvious and state that Australia is not the greatest country on earth. No nation is. There are many countries that have beautiful scenery and stunning historic cities and towns. Many are democracies where people enjoy freedom of speech and choice, and many have more culture than our country. A lot of them have better food, better service and at better prices than we get here at home.
There are many great authors, artists, scientists, musicians, chefs and sports people in other countries as well. Outdoor cooking is not an Australian invention and neither are blond girls in bikinis, sunshine, or beaches.
I love living here and because I do I want to see change and improvement. As long as we are convinced however that this is the best place on earth, progress will only happen ever so slowly. After all, how can one improve perfection, and who would dare to try?
I do realise that some might find it un-Australian (whatever that means) to criticise our country. That is one of the weak points in Australia. Many people are walking around with their heads in the clouds, believing the myth of greatness, while embracing mediocrity.
The media will talk up the Australian spirit and bravery whenever people stand up in emergencies. All over the world volunteers and professionals will assist people in danger and need. It is not something exclusive to Australia. It is in our human nature to help others.
Our soldiers are not braver than other soldiers either. Look at the history of my native Holland, or France, England, etc. and the stories of sacrifice during the wars. And let us not forget the selfless and brave people all over the world, like in New York during 9/11, or the heroic acts of people affected by bushfires, tsunamis and earthquakes.
History shows that excessive nationalism can be dangerous, and often leads to wars. We need to be aware of that. Australia is a very good country, but far from perfect. I appreciate what we’ve got, but would like to improve what is not good enough. Flying the flag should simply mean that.