|THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL|
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
a fire shall devour before Him." (Psalm 50, 3)
"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." ( Psalm 50:15)
7. A poppy tale hero
Was is a threat? Was it a death threat?
It had been a while since I perceived what I saw, read or heard to be a kind of a threat against me. I recall the carcass of a bird, which years ago had landed dead near my Mitsubishi motor car, right outside our residence. (Photo Book 4, Ch. 24). Another dead bird had chosen a family member's doorstep as a place of rest.
On the morning of starting this chapter (3.10) I received a phone call on my mobile telephone. I answered with my full name, as I usually do. The male voice at the other end, which I did not recognize, asked calmly:
"Is R.... W..... there?" (I shall not disclose the name, because there would be dozens of people in Australia by that name.)
I answered: "No, you must have the wrong number".
It got me thinking. By the sound of my voice, shouldn't the caller have already known that it was the wrong number? And why did he not show any degree of surprise at having phoned the wrong number? The phone intruder certainly did not appear to be apologetic.
The first name this caller had asked for was R ..., a name very closely connected to a person I had traced during my Peter Liddy investigations. I had checked this person's details online. Only once I spoke to him on the telephone, but only for a very brief fifteen seconds. I also had written him a letter, some years ago, asking him to come clean and tell the truth. (How naive had I been!)
On another occasion I took a photo outside his residence, which happened to be 228 R ... Street (same name, as the R.... name above).
But more so, the second part of the name this person had asked for (W.....) mildly alarmed my mind into thinking: This caller had called my number on purpose. Something sinister is happening.
My creative, suspicious, and perhaps still mildly paranoid mind, took this name to another level: Will kill, or even - Will kill N.
I recently met a big-time whistleblower, an ex-policeman, who had plenty of death threats. I wrote about him briefly in my Book 5, Chapter 6. Simon Illingworth joined the police force as an enthusiastic, somewhat naive, law enforcer. He was in for a shock. Early in his career he witnessed police committing crime, unashamedly. Not only did the corrupt element assume Simon would keep quiet about what he saw, they assumed, he would naturally join in. (Simon tells his amazing story in his book Filthy Rats, ABC Books first published 2006 - Warning - strong language).
On August 21, 2011 I had the privilege of meeting Simon. He came to Adelaide and spoke at the Enfield Baptist Church. He no longer is in the police force. I took my copy of Filthy Rats along to have it signed by the author. Unfortunately there was little time to talk one on one. He'd be on the list of people I would love to sit next to at a dinner party! (I'd fix his language, no worry).
Simon had displayed a trait that whistleblowers often have, a naive outlook and a passion for truth. Aha, as a child he spent too much time playing a game called: Simple Simon .... In his book Simon says he hates the word whistleblower. I do too. I recently emailed him my suggestion, which explains us lot: lover of truth or LOT.)
As I had done, in his naivety Simon went to police. One would think that a lover of telling the truth should feel safe taking a matter to the police? Sadly, this was not so. Perhaps police should have as its motto: No suspicious circumstances are to be suspected under any circumstances.
Thanks mostly to this brave man's determination, Victorian authorities woke up and established an ICAC, an Independent Commission against Corruption. Sadly, in South Australia the call for such a body has long died down. Leading up to the last election calling for a fight against crime and corruption was fashionable. It was a convenient subject for political point-scoring. It didn't make a difference.
The focus now shifted to a 700 Million Dollar upgrade of a football stadium. (As if this would help our two Adelaide football teams, who ended their season at the wrong end of the ladder). If this makes you feel sick, don't worry, a new hospital is under way. It will only cost 2.7 Billion Dollars or so! (After plans for this new supa-dupa hospital-resort had been announced, I couldn't resist, tongue-in-cheek, congratulating the authorities and wishing them - many sick people!)
In the meantime the death of people like Rhonda Firla (see Chapter 2) is simply filed under 'no suspicious circumstances' .... and all died happily ever after. Bulldust! It makes you wonder what other crimes are left un-reported and un-investigated?
Hearing Simon talk that night at Enfield I could identify with many of his experiences - nobody wants to believe you, you lose friends, or what you thought were good friends. Doors close for no reason. Authorities don't want to know you etc. etc.
Coming back to Simon's whistle-blowing - the senior police officer, who Simon first had to take to court for committing theft on the job, had just been promoted from the Armed Robbery Squad. I learned it researching this chapter on the ABC's website here:
Reading my (almost nine year-old) Book 1, Chapter 5 now makes me wonder, why I took so long to report the incident about the old money. In hindsight, police corruption may explain, why the police had never ever contacted me, regarding the information I had supplied. It would have been simple courtesy to at least acknowledge my vigilance. A simple thank you, even if I had been wrong, would still have been appreciated.
It would not surprise me, if way back then, there was a criminal link between Victoria and South Australia. Does not Adelaide have a reputation for marijuana production?
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Advertiser Newspaper 27.9.11 - Page 11
A carport and car were destroyed by fire in Parkside yesterday...
Exactly a week after the Illingworth meeting the Enfield Baptist men's group had arranged a tour of our Parliament House on North Terrace. The host was to be South Australia's Treasurer and former Speaker The Hon. Jack Snelling. The group consisted of 22 men. How could I not have noticed the number? This was on Wednesday, September 28, the day after I had published my latest chapter in my never-ending story. We met at 11 am in the church car park and took a public bus into the city.
Had it not rained heavily that morning I certainly would have made the trip on my bicycle. Looking back, I was meant to go with the group on the bus. But only in the morning. The afternoon was to bring much brighter skies and an interesting walk. (Read on).
Another peculiarity came as soon as we arrived in the city cafe, where the group was to have lunch. A young lady waitress (she looked about 22 years-old) was busy rearranging tables and chairs. As she did I could not help taking note of her name tab - Steph. (This name and the number 22 had featured in the previous chapter. Read on for the answer to the mystery surrounding Steph's car and the number 217).
I had been to Parliament House many times, both in the public gallery and for special events; even as guest of a Minister once, enjoying a silver-service dinner with nine ladies. This time it was only men, sitting on the padded, wooden seats in the chamber, admiring the huge chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling, wondering who the dignitaries were, whose giant portraits covered the walls.
A lady staffer of Jack Snelling was our hostess. She explained everything very thoroughly, as she took us around the corridors and chambers of Parliament House. Many aspects of this building, she explained, as well as the whole of Australia's political system, is based on the Westminster system, the British Monarchy.
I noticed the large book in front of the Speaker's seat. I knew this, but still asked our guide, if this was a copy of the Bible. I continued: "If the Westminster system is based on this Bible, should not the laws, passed by this Parliament reflect the laws laid down in this ancient book?"
I did not receive, or expected to receive, an answer to my question. The fact that the Book of Books on the small table in front of the Speakers Chair was closed, may hold the answer? Anyone arguing that church and state should be kept separate should take a look at that bible, the sheer size of it, and ask: Why is this book sitting right here?
Both did a wonderful job, at each end of the project!
But worse was to come. During a further question / answer session over afternoon tea, I learned that each sitting of Parliament is still opened with The Lord's Prayer. How I wished it was not just repetitious words, but that laws were passed, which reflect God's authority over all - THY will be done! (If unsure what HIS will is, OPEN THE BOOK !).
With a hint of pride, perhaps to impress the seniors from the Enfield Baptist Church, our guide pointed out that in the parliamentary dining room it is still tradition to not serve meat on any Friday! WOW! What deep respect for the Day when our Lord died for the sins of the world! A big halo to the person, who insisted that this tradition be kept!
What hypocrites! Upholding useless traditions, but advocating to 'move forward' when it comes to standing firm on established, moral values and common sense traditions! (The phrase 'move forward' seems to be our Prime Minister's and the present US President's favourite phrase).
My email, less than an hour before this writing, consisted simply of a link to the lyrics of a song. Here are two verses that tell it all:
Oh yes, friends, on TV many people look beautiful. But God looks at the heart of a person, not at what a good make-up artist was able to rescue.
A few minutes after I watched these women spit in the face of all that is good, a scripture came to mind. It describes today's society perfectly. Our society is being torn apart! Death and darkness all around us. On the outside a religious facade; on the inside poison. Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy:
But please - No meat on Fridays! Hypocrites!
Look again at the lyrics of the song above: For you are beautiful, and I have loved you dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell. How true, and yet so sad:
The God who created mankind looks at us and says: You are so beautiful. I love you dearly, more than I can express in words. How sad to see you going the wrong way! Please come back - all is forgiven! (And I don't give one ihop how many hamburgers you gobble down on Fridays!"
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Earlier in the year I had occasion to write to a clergyman, one who stands up for what is right; in this case traditional marriage. (As if God emphasized HIS Word, what I wrote in the PPS is just as it happened.)
Here is what Leviticus 18, 22 says: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." Which part of this - DON'T DO IT - is so hard to understand?
One last question: What is it the gay/lesbian community expects of us fellow citizens? What is it, specifically, which they don't already do, or a right they don't already have, and the rest of us has to just look on?
If they want a church minister, who believes in the Holy Scriptures, to give his blessing, he could not do so with a clear conscience. You can only serve one master.
And where would we go to, if we were to move forward after Verse 22? Progress to Verse 23? Please NO! It gets worse: "Nor shall you mate with any beast." I have read a comment online, where this argument was raised: If I loved my pet or farm animal enough, should I not be allowed to marry it?
Friends, some thinkers in the gay/lesbian community realize it themselves: Simply a change in the terminology, to be called a married couple, what difference does it really make to their life and lifestyle? Such a union will never produce children!
May I make it very clear here. What two people do in their private lives, by and large, is none of another person's business. But when it comes to parading the streets half naked, or wanting to change the laws of the land we live in, it becomes everyone's business! What is a right to one, is an insult to another! Had I not given a simple theory many books ago: Give up your rights, give them to God?
That's why as a responsible citizen I speak out on moral issues. Rubber-stamping a lifestyle by a government raises the issue to a totally different level of perspective for the next generation! No, no and no again, for the sake of our children!
There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Moving forward may not always be the best option. When you have lost your way, it may be best to stop and think, take stock and consider going back.
Look at nature. Let her teach us!
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(Back to Parliament House, Adelaide)
As the men's group from Enfield Baptist Church left Parliament House to catch the bus back to the church the sun was shining. My legs and lungs were yearning for some exercise. It would only take me an hour's walk back to church, I guessed. One of the group offered to carry my red/white striped umbrella and leave it on my car, which was parked in the church carpark. I was off, in big strides, down King William Street for an hour of power walking.
Just before St.Paul's Cathedral I crossed the road. This took me past the Women's and Children's Hospital near to the park of the floral clock. There weren't many flowers on display. I didn't check the time. To my right was Brougham Place Uniting Church. This triggered an aha moment. Of course, I could check up, if my mind hadn't played tricks on me two days earlier.
Steph's car had parked a few metres from letterbox number 217. I wanted to be sure my mind had not imagined number 2 I 7 because I was about to finish and publish the chapter where 2 / 7 are part of the title. The numbers indeed progress in single steps - 215, 216, 217 ...
On the northern skies dark clouds were gathering. I decided to walk along Main North Road. If rain would fall the businesses along Main North Road would provide shelter. The first suburb beyond Robe Terrace is called Medindie, where there are numerous car dealerships.
This is were I suddenly saw a single, bright red flower, wedged between a low brick wall and the footpath. It grew all on its own, no other weed, grass or plant anywhere nearby. I had to take a closer look at this plant, which looked like a poppy. It was a poppy. Aren't these plants illegal? Don't they use the seeds to produce opium - a drug?
I made a point of walking up to two sales men in the car yard, asking jokingly: "Do you know you're growing drugs on these premises?" They didn't share my kind of humour. One grunted something like: "Yeah, I have noticed it there".
Walking on, besotted about the little, lonely flower, something struck me as strange: the name of the motor vehicle dealer - Solitaire. The word solitaire means one, on its own, just like the surprise flower was, all on its own. A few days later I made a point of taking a photo. There was another reason for it, another poppy, (read on).
Poppies - (Californian?)
Walking on, thinking about the solitaire poppy, it came to me. During his talk, exactly a week earlier, Simon Illingworth had mentioned poppies. As a policeman, he had inadvertently grown these pretty flowers in the front yard of his house. Somebody had thrown seeds into his garden; the pretty flowers just popped up. Simon didn't know what they were. (He tells the poppy story in his book on page 151).
But there was more. The dark clouds had come closer. I thought about my umbrella, exposed on my car's bonnet at the church car park. If it rained my umbrella would get wet! It took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes of brisk walking to reach my vehicle.
Not far from Enfield Baptist church was the rehabilitation hospital, where my mother-in-law was recuperating, after her accidental fall five weeks earlier. It was on my way home, so I visited her. On previous visits I had often stopped and admired the wonderful works of art, spectacular photographs, displayed on the wall of the hospital's passageway.
That day, less than an hour after spotting the lonely poppy outside Solitaire, here was another one. It hung on the wall of the hospital's passageway, where all the pictures had been changed. The new artwork showed just that - one single poppy, the one shown above (right).
Not only that, but the way the new pictures had been arranged to hang on that wall intrigued me. It was something like this:
There were 7 pictures. The artistic photo of the poppy was in 2nd position. (I enquired - $ 120 for a photographic piece of art ... ?!)
It got more interesting the next day. I visited mother-in-law again. As I did, and man was working on the wall of paintings, installing one to fill the gap. The added painting was one of a jetty and a beach. I recalled writing about such a painting many chapters ago (in Book 3, Chapter 33).
Here is a description, how I wrote about this painting from that chapter: RW’s painting, the one I voted for as first prize, was of a jetty viewed from underneath, looking through to a distant beach.
The new picture on the wall of the rehabilitation hospital, I only caught a glance of it, looked just like that.
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At this point in this chapter the day's writing ended. Just as well, since I had no idea, how to make sense of it all; how to finish this chapter.
Until the next morning, on final editing, it came. The circle was closing. Look at the initials of the person, who had painted the Jetty picture, mentioned above (RW.) They are the same initials written about at the beginning of this chapter, whose name I perceived may be a veiled threat of some kind.
Unintentionally, over ten years ago, I had walked into the world of criminals and drugs (poppies). I had walked into the world of a magistrate, who gave harsh sentences to drug dealers. They managed to put him behind bars for what allegedly happened, on the beach and at the clubhouse at the end of the jetty.