Phillip Hughes funeral: when we are at our best

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Phillip Hughes
Moment in Time in Liverpool

I just finished watching the Phillip Hughes funeral on TV, along with most of Australia I imagine.

And while saying a final farewell to someone who hadn’t even turned 26 is very sad and very tough, everyone involved did a wonderful job to make it an unforgettable celebration of Phillip Hughes’s life.

And indeed it was, but more than that it reminded all of us that each and every human being is allocated by fate a limited time on this Earth.

It’s cruel and horrible, but undeniable that human beings can die any minute after being born.

They can die before turning five or 10, and they can die before their twenty first birthday.

They can die before 30 years of age, 40 or 50 or 60.

We know all this is scientific fact and yet it is so tough to come to grips when it happens to someone close to us.

What brought tears to my eyes watching the funeral at Macksville was when the cricketer’s father, Greg, helped lift the coffin, and started crying himself.

This is when it gets really tough, a father burying a son not yet 30, having to carry his body on his shoulders to the final resting place.

We humans can be awful to each other but funerals are times when we are at our best.


FROM the sublime to the ridiculous: Today (Wednesday, Dember 3) is also the International Day for People with Disability.

“International Day for People with Disability is a chance for our community to celebrate and recognize the achievements, contributions and abilities of people with disability,” said a press release I received from a local member.

Which is well and good to have morning teas and an art exhibitions and other celebrations for those fellow human beings who happen to have some sort of disability, either mental or physical.

And I have nothing against days like this, but it worries me that there’s not much else being done to really cut through and help people with disabilities in a meaningful way.

This morning I heard someone say on TV that they could find a cure for dementia but would need $20 billion in funding across the world every year to achieve this breakthrough in the next 10 years.

And how much do you get now,’’ he was asked on ABC TV.

“We get $1 billion,’’ he answered.

I know we are putting stacks of our financial resources into cancer, but there are so many other areas that deserve support but are in fact blatantly ignored.

I mentioned dementia, but what about autism?

There’s just two groups of people, who with some more programs and a little extra support could not only have better lives but contribute so much more to making the lives of the rest of us much better.

Unfortunately the politicians just don’t get it, and as much as I hate saying it, it is true that they’re all the same.

Same in that they will promise us the world when they want our vote to get them elected, but the minute they get elected they become just like the mob we just threw out: arrogant, out of touch and so much of the time outrageous liars. Certainly they’re the thoughts in my mind whenever I watched the Prime Minister try to explain another broken promise or another budget measure they never told me about before I voted for them.

I know there are exceptions, but they only prove the rule I’m afraid.

Remember that next time you go to vote and be very afraid.


FINALLY, this week’s Moment in Time in Liverpool: For many years the background to the Governor Lachlan Macquarie statue on the corner of Scott Street and Macquarie Street in Liverpool was the old Westpac building. But that has now gone to make way for the School of Arts development, and for the first time ever there is a clean background to the statue. I know it won’t be there for ever, but check it out if you’re in the vicinity, it is a really much better piece of sculpture than it looked like before. Enjoy while you can.

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