simonc ugh.
simonc I had a very cool experience tonight which I might node
simonc I was having dinner at a neighbourhood restarurant, when a boyhood hero of mine came in...
break don't tell me more! node it! now! :)
simonc The Right Honourable Al Grassby, AM, Minister for Immigration in the Great Gough Whitlam's cabinet of 1972.
simonc EGW's cabinet was the most progressive in the history of Australian politics.
simonc And Minister Grassby was the most socially progressive of all the cabinet ministers.
simonc His portfolio was immigration.
simonc Being of Italian stock, he was one of the first non-Anglo ministers in the country's history, and definitely the most high profile.
simonc He legitimised being "ethnic" for a million Australians.
break cool
simonc Heh, yes.
simonc Anyway, I was trying to make the dogs (which we had tied up at the front door of the restaurant) quiet. They were barking at the great Al Grassby.
simonc Al came up to the door and I couldn't help myself.
simonc "HELLO Mr Grassby!"
simonc He warmly shook my hand, resplendent in his floppy suit and trademark ugly purple tie.
simonc He thought I owned the restaurant. hehe
simonc I indicated that this was not the case, but he pointed out that he had given a speech earlier this afternoon... you get the idea... (hic!)
simonc He and his wife, Diana, came inside the tiny neighbourhood restaurant ("Blue Citrus")
simonc and sat next to us.
simonc Now Gemma, my partner, is also a great admirer of leftist politics in Australia
simonc and also recognised the great Al Grassby, now maybe 70-something.
simonc And we chatted. And chatted. A lot. For a couple of hours! hehe..
simonc Anyway, would you believe that Al and Diana live one street away from us here in Canberra, and we're invited to drop around any time at all, and yes, Al and his wife would love to come around for a barbeque some weekend soon.
simonc I was so honoured to meet and talk with this fellow. His opinions are still right on the money, and he opposes this terrible wave of racism that Australia is gripped in, with our conservative government.
break seems like a worthy boyhood hero to me
simonc mm, a very good man. and what a great story, that he's retired for 20 years now, but still living here in Canberra and is remembered by almost everyone.
break in a positive way, I bet
simonc Well, it depends on politics!
break ah, of course
simonc But I like to pretend that I live in a world that does remember great men in the history of anti-racism in this country.