Letters to the editor

Show some respect

It was with a sense of severe disappointment that I read John Hunwick’s latest writing, ‘The real importance of Australia Day’ (Port Lincoln Times, January 30).

He speaks of “the day we started trashing this beautiful country”.

What an insult to our pioneers’ hard work and years of sacrifice to develop this country and achieve the high standard of living that we enjoy today.

My own father spent his whole life developing a raw scrub block into a productive farm; hard physical labour such as hand picking limestone on freshly ploughed paddocks. Would Mr Hunwick glibly write this off as “trashing”?

I share Mr Hunwick’s concern with our local water supplies and realise there has to be a balance between development and conservation.

Mr Hunwick has totally missed the importance of Australia Day.

As well as reflecting on the beauty of this country it is a day to pay tribute to those who have gone before us, did the hard yards to make this country what it is today.

How about showing them some respect?



Vale Andy

I was saddened by the recent passing of Andro ( Andy) Sevelj. Andy was amongst other things a tuna boat skipper and owner, president of the Croatian Club and keen social observer.

He spoke in types of delightful riddles. His commentary being hilarious and side-splittingly accurate.

When I became the skipper of the tuna vessel ‘Almonta’ at age 20, Andy began keeping a weather eye on me.

He had spent many years on ‘Almonta’ with owner Mike Buberis and had been the skipper also, but had moved on to his own boat, the ‘Ocean Raider’.

During the 1982 tuna season Andy and I had sought shelter from a savage south easterly. We were anchored in the beautiful calm waters of Masillon Island in the Nuyts Archipelago off Ceduna. Andy always referring to the anchorage as ‘Pearl Harbour’.

I rowed the dinghy over to visit Andy on the ‘Ocean Raider’ and we were discussing life, Archimedes’ principals of floatation and bluefin tuna fishing in the Southern Ocean.

Andy slid on some reading glasses. ”I didn’t know you wore glasses Andy,” I said. He then related in great detail how one day, upon leaving the Proper Bay slipway he had spied said glasses on the road at the intersection! “I pick up, put on, perfect Johnny perfect!”. No optometry required.

As we examined an old chart, Andy in his “perfect’ glasses”, the smell of toast wafted up into the wheel house (possibly from one of Andy’s two sons who did their tuna fishing apprenticeships with “The Old Man”). 

His reaction to the toast vapours was vigorous and expressive. “Toast eating bastards,” he shouted manically.

“One o’clock day, one o’clock night, two o’clock, four o’clock, toast eating bastards wake me up!”

The essential fast-food snack of a tuna deckhand after a long day poling bluefin tuna was the bane of Andy’s attempts to sleep at sea.

By far the most hilarious but somehow most appropriate of Andy’s quips occurred one evening on Brennans Jetty as the tuna boat crews gathered before heading out “baiting”; catching the live pilchards to be used for catching the tuna.

Andy had double parked the ‘Ocean Raider’ outside the ‘Almonta’.  “When are you leaving Andy?” I asked him as I wanted to leave to get an early start on a bait shot. “Oh no Johnny. I not going, will be fresh northerly,” he sagely replied.

A northerly was the worst wind for Brennans Jetty as it raked savagely down each side of the wharf snapping tie-up lines and damaging the vessels.

“Are you sure about that weather?” I asked. “ Oh yes. My wife have headache and sinus. My wife is like barometer. Will be northerly for sure.” The following day came the savage northerly wind, Andy’s “barometer” worked perfectly.

Only in later years did I come to realise the depth of friendship and amount of valuable life information Andy gave freely, delightfully and without reservation.

Rest in peace Andro in a calm anchorage with a good barometer.



Help beat blood cancer

In March, the iconic Australian fundraising campaign World’s Greatest Shave will be celebrating its 20th birthday and to commemorate this milestone, the Leukaemia Foundation is calling on record numbers of Australians to register.

Over the past two decades, more than 1.9 million Australians have supported the campaign to help the Leukaemia Foundation continue its vision to cure and mission to care.

Thanks to those extraordinary Aussies, blood cancer patients and their families continue to receive free emotional and practical support, educational resources and transport to and from vital medical appointments from the Leukaemia Foundation.

Your support also means regional families continue to be provided with free home-away- from-home accommodation near their treating centres.

Our commitment to fund research projects continues to help more Australians with blood cancer survive and live a better quality of life.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite the Eyre Peninsula community to join us and register for World’s Greatest Shave in 2018 to help beat blood cancer. Register at www.worldsgreatestshave.com.


Leukaemia Foundation chief executive officer