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A book for all Baby Boomers
I recommend the following book ...
The Rest of Your Life
How to Make it as Good as You Want
... to all Baby Boomers. It will be a real asset for all those who are planning responsibly for the future. Compiled by Paul McKeon for people in their 40s, 50s & 60s who want to really enjoy the second half of their lives.
Please access the link below to order your E-book copy.
Our favourite group of all times and their music will be played in centuries to come- THE BEATLES
Paul McCartney’s new release Kisses On The Bottom is available. Also now you can watch the official EPK for the album in its entirety at the link below. The interview features Paul and Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma chat about the process of recording KOTB.
Please share the new full Kisses On The Bottom EPK with your readers at Bonza.
Kisses On The Bottom Full EPK Link: http://youtu.be/J2j_Aw2SJBQ
Stream KOTB on AOL Music: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/1
Stream KOTB on MSN Music: http://music.msn.com/music/listeningbooth/
Buy Kisses On The Bottom: http://www.amazon.com/Kisses-Bottom-Paul-McCartney/dp/B006OAB3ME/?tag=concordreco0c-20
Buy Kisses On The Bottom (Deluxe): http://www.amazon.com/Kisses-Bottom-Paul-McCartney/dp/B006RVDX00/?tag=concordreco0c-20
‘Kisses On The Bottom’ assets: http://www.42west.biz/PMCARTNEY/assets.zip
Official website: http://www.paulmccartney.com
I recently published my second book called “Once I was a Teenager”. It’s about how life was in the 50s and 60s in Australia.
It’s a nostalgic book about how life was then. Such as our mother’s pithy sayings...”no nice man will marry you if (you eat with your mouth open)”, or “wait ‘til your father get’s home”, or “wear a clean pair of knickers when you go out. What if you are in a car accident!”
We are offspring of parents of WW2, and we have their values which puzzle our offspring.
This is a really funny book with a foreword by Little Pattie (who remembers that Aussie 60s teen singing sensation, who is still performing today?)
Often our children don’t ask how life was for us. Well, you will chuckle and reminisce with this book. Guaranteed. Little Pattie loves it. I give proceeds to an orphan charity, but would love to be in contact with you guys.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New health book just for over 50s
Research shows that Health and Finances are two of the biggest issues for people who are planning or experiencing retirement.
While there are hundreds of books about health on the market, there are very few that focus on the health issues that affect the lives of older people.
A new book titled “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement” is designed to correct this omission.
It’s written by 15 leading health experts and it covers all the major physical and mental issues that people over 50 need to manage
Here’s a list of the subjects covered
11. Living beyond expectations ( Petrea King. Quest For Life Foundation )
12. Relationships and Sex (Sandra Kimball . Relationship Counsellor & author)
13. Keeping your immune system healthy (Prof. Fabienne Mackay Monash University)
14. How to reduce your risk of getting dementia (Dr. Simone Reppermund -UNSW Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing)
15. Dental health (Prof Peter Barnard.)
16. Your attitude keeps you young (or makes you old) (Paul McKeon)
This is not a book about sickness. The overriding message is that it’s possible to delay the ageing process and enjoy a better quality of life in our later years. It’s full of positive suggestions about how we can be happier and healthier if we follow the expert advice offered in the book.
The book is only available on line. You can find out more or buy a copy by clicking on this link
For comment or more information, please contact the Editor Paul McKeon on 02 6652 7581
Award winning author Diana Todd-Banks has a program for those interested in self employment. Please go to the Notice Board page to read her full email and ideas.
"Just a thought: on your BONZA site would it be feasible to create a section for those who are wanting to work (with their skills)? Then promote that section to the outside world. If any of that interests you and you need help let me know, I'll help you.
Cheers and keep up the great work."
Award Winning Best Selling Author
Life Change Coach * Web TV Host * Speaker
cell: (61) 407 187 008
Media Release- 17/6/2014
Is the 70 retirement really about Boomers?
The labor government decided that retirement would be 67 in 2023 because of the numbers of Boomers that would require government assistance by then in the key areas of health, aged care and pensions. I had no argument with that decision at the time as only a small percentage of Boomers will have enough superannuation to be able to be self-sustainable so working them for longer will add some personal wealth to their financial portfolio and offset some government costs.
As a student of the Intergenerational reports of 2002, 2007 and 2010 I understand the intent behind that decision. Then came the LNP version this year of retirement at 70 by 2035 and once again I thought I understood why but on further examination I am no so sure now.
All the current Boomers will be over 70 by 2035 as the youngest of them are 50 this year (and the older ones 68) so this decision is more for the X generationers ( 35 to 49) and even the Y ‘s ( 20 to 34) so do we really need to do it? I think not. If the Boomers are already retired then the 70 limit will only penalise the younger generations who will already have good superannuation to live on by that year (if the industry stays true) so they wont be the burden we will be on government coffers.
Surely a better route to take would be to increase employer and employee contributions to achieve the 17-18% superannuation contribution level recommended by economists (only 9% now) that will be needed for us to sustain our old age by that time and therefore leave retirement at 67.
The government could also legislate to stop any creative accounting by the younger generations so that they were still eligible for pension at 67 even with their generous accumulated superannuation so that the pension is a safety net only at that stage for those who have little or no wealth due to circumstances beyond their control- illness, accident or disability.
Finally, readers of my web site www.bonza.com.au are adamant they want a referendum for euthanasia soon as possible so we can have more control over our future and not linger on bed ridden in our old age.
That would also reduce costs for government substantially as my doctor tells me that more is spent on us in our final year of life than on all the previous years of our lifetime health care.
Superannuation- Alarm Bells are Ringing
I have some real concerns about the future of superannuation for Boomers on hearing this story.
Did some work for a lady and she filled me in on the hassles of superannuation. She is 72 and her partner died last year and left her his superannuation in his will.
The company REST (hospitality superannuation) will not pay her anything as per Trustee decision and wont say why. She is leaving to live in Portugal.
Seems such a shame but I was blown away when she said her partner's will was not enough to get the money paid. If not claimed the money goes to the government in three years. She reckons it is another revenue grab from them.
I have asked some experts to comment.
Brian Murphy August 2014
Noel Whittaker is a financial expert and adviser. Here is his answer to the problem-
As the baby boomers retire there is a growing awareness of the importance of having a will. That’s a great start, but the sad reality is that family situations can change, and challenges to wills have become common place.
Unfortunately, the outcome of any litigation is always uncertain. This is why it is often appropriate to hold assets in such a way that they fall outside the scope of the will and are thus generally secure from litigation.
These include assets such as property and shares held as joint tenants, and retirement income stream products like allocated pensions and annuities when there is a reversionary beneficiary. Insurance bonds are also excluded from the will as the proceeds vest in the nominated beneficiary on the death of the bond owner.
Superannuation is another asset that does not necessarily flow in terms of the will. The trustee of the fund has the final say as to who gets the proceeds, unless there is a current binding nomination requiring the trustee to pay the proceeds in the manner specified in the nomination document.
The situation where assets are held as joint tenants is the most common, but in this context the term "tenants" doesn't have a thing to do with landlord and tenant, - it refers to ownership of assets such as property and shares.
If you buy a house in partnership with another, usually your spouse, you normally have the ownership registered as "joint tenants". This means that, if either party dies, the co-owner, irrespective of the terms of the will, then owns the entire property.
However, if the property is held as "tenants in common" the share of the deceased is transferred in terms of the will of the deceased.
Which one do you choose? It depends on who you want to receive the asset if you die first. Usually couples buy the family home as joint tenants to give each other the security of knowing that it can't be bequeathed to a third party if there are family arguments and the will is challenged.
There are three situations that occur regularly where it is probably best to hold an asset as "tenants in common". The first is where you are buying a property in partnership with one or more friends. In most cases you would both expect your share to go to your family if you died, not the friend.
The second is when you, and other family members, are left property through your parent's will. This is similar to buying property with a friend. Almost certainly you would want your share of the estate to go to your own estate if you died, not to your siblings.
Last is when re-marriage occurs. Both parties may have children from a previous marriage, and usually prefer to keep their assets separate so they can be willed to their children from that previous marriage. If the house was held as joint tenants it would go straight to the co-owner and the children may miss out.
Some wills give the spouse a life interest, which leaves the family home to the children but allows the spouse to live in the family home for life. The purpose is prevent the children of the deceased being disinherited if the spouse remarries, and ensures that the spouse can never be forced to vacate the property. This strategy should not used without a full understanding of the ramifications involved as there can be social security and capital gains tax issues.
Sadly, life interests tend to produce undesirable outcomes. They condemn the spouse to living out their declining years in a home that usually becomes unsuitable as they grow older and it prevents them from selling the property and moving to another.
There can be arguments between the spouse and the children about who should pay the maintenance and problems finding money to pay medical expenses. In an extreme case the spouse could move to a nursing home and find themselves destitute as an unhelpful family now own what was the matrimonial home.
Noel Whittaker AM
Ed Note: Bottom line- check out superannuation nomination on Google and you may need to fill one in for your company
If You Lose Your Job, Remember This
The best memory I have of my dad from when I was growing up happened when I was about 7 years old. At the time he was looking for work in Washington state, and he, my mom, my little brother, and I were all living in a tent.
My dad knew I likedAirwolf, a 1980’s TV show about a hi-tech helicopter used to fight criminals. For my birthday he made me a replica Airwolf carved of wood from a tree near our tent.
This is also one of the only memories I have of my dad when I was a kid.
The High Point
When I was 10 my dad got a job working for a conveyor belt manufacturer as a welder and maintenance man. He worked hard and made the most of his opportunity, and rose through the company pretty rapidly. By the time I was a teenager he was traveling throughout the world, and had his picture taken on a camel in front of the Great Pyramids. He spent extended periods of time working in Chile and Germany, and had friends on almost every continent.
Those years were the high point of my Dad’s life, to him. I don’t blame him—feeling important is a powerful drug. During these years the name "Dave McKissen" meant something to people who were not in our family. However, these were not good years for our relationship, and I barely saw him.
But they were the best years for our family, financially.
Then he lost his job during my senior year of high school, right before I turned 18.
The Low Point
My dad hasn’t had regular, consistent employment for the past 15 years. It’s not because of any larger economic issues, and it’s not because of a lack of talent. My dad’s hands and brain are connected in a way that mine aren’t. Though he lacks a degree, he is the most talented engineer I’ve ever seen. A treehouse that is born in his mind ends up in my yard in the time it would take me to find a hammer.
I see the same talent in my son, and I am literally in awe of the two of them.
My dad is also good at more than just building things—he is a good guy, with a good heart, and people love him. I love him. He is a great Grandpa.
But when he lost his job, he lost part of himself.
When you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself the search to find that missing piece can take you to some very dark places. It did for my dad, and much of the last 15 years have been hard on him, and the people that care about him.
Remember That You're Still Here
After a recent article I received a few emails from people who had lost their job, and a couple of emails from people who are facing an impending job loss.
I don’t have good advice on what to do about a stint of unemployment on a resume.
What I can say is that if you lose your job, don’t lose yourself.
You’re still here, even if your job isn't.
The best parts of you, the parts that will be remembered, usually have nothing to do with your job. You should give your job your best, but don’t make the best part of you your job.
You also may have to realize that you may never reach your prior peak. It’s hard to imagine the circumstances that placed my dad on a camel in front of the Great Pyramids occurring again.
But just because that time has come and gone doesn't mean you have come and gone.
As for my dad, things are finally getting better. We work at filling in the missing memories by going to a bar near my house and having a beer, or by playing horseshoes in our neighbour's yard. Last year we took a road trip together to Philadelphia, Mississippi in my Smart Car.
He has a standing gig to serve as the local Catholic school’s jack-of-all-trades and handyman when they have the funds in their budget. It’s a job that’s just a few blocks from our house, and last year he painted the auditorium.
The walls in that auditorium won’t last as long as the Great Pyramids, but they will be there for a few years, and his grandkids know that "Dave McKissen" painted them.
Dustin McKissen is the Vice President of First Resource, an association management, economic development, and consulting firm with roots in the manufacturing sector. He is also a proud member of LinkedIn's Publishers and Bloggers Group. You can find him on Twitter @DMcKissen.
According to the AARP, Boomers and older Americans are giving retirement a major makeover, which has led to the emergence of a new life stage – an encore career. This period can involve paid, part-time work, or revolve around an entirely new business idea. I'm with Annuity.org, where our goal is to provide relevant financial information on a multitude of topics. Recently, we have developed a comprehensive guide to investing in a business during an encore career.
I've at attached a couple of resources for you to check out:
I would be thrilled if you were to include us on your page, alongside your other helpful sites, at http://www.bonza.com.au/links.html. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!
Have Some Fun- Using Your Brain
Brain Study: If you can read this OUT LOUD you have a strong mind. And better than that: Alzheimer's is a long, long, ways down the road before it ever gets anywhere near you.
Only very good minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!
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1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F U C4N R34D 7H15.
If you can read this, you have a strange mind, too. Only 55 people out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
This is a TEST ----------------Good Luck!!!
We can all use some brain exercise!!
How old are your eyes?
The Eye Test
Can you find the B's
(there are 2 B's) DON'T skip
Once you've found the B's
Find the 1
Once you found the 1............…;.
Find the 6
Once you've found the 6…;
Find the N (it's hard!!)
Once you've found the N…;
Find the Q..
What is BONZA?
BONZA is an information site or lifestyle magazine for Baby Boomers.
We want all Boomers to plan for their future and support each other.
More than 20 000 thousand Australian Boomers retire each month now (around 240 000 per year) so welcome to Ageing Australia.
What can we do for ourselves if we are a Boomer to prepare for life after work?
This site will give you the information you need to change your life.
" Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”- Theodore Roosevelt 1910
BONZA View - February 2016
New Political Party for Boomers
I am rather excited at the moment because I have joined a political party set up to be the voice of over 50s. It is called the Mature Australian Party - MAP and is national.
Why does that excite me? My web site BONZA has advocated for Boomers for 15 years and it has reached that stage where a new direction is needed.
I have felt many issues championed by BONZA in the key areas of social and economic participation, health and fitness and ageism from employers and, indeed society in general, have slowly strangled my passion for life.
I attended the inaugural meeting of the Gold Coast branch of the Mature Australia party on the 21 of November 2015 and I have been re-enthused.
A bunch of over 50s with years of experience in the political game have teamed up with a few ex-army patriots, and ordinary everyday over 50s, who are just fed up with mature age being ignored by the major parties.
There were no Clive Palmers or Pauline Hanson’s there spouting about their visions, just a few key speakers from the original formation of the party and an invitation to those who attended to have their say to the group. Mature age voicing their concerns.... it was very refreshing indeed.
BONZA has always been apolitical up to now but our efforts have caused little change.
We have around 8 million mature age in this country who are all voters and it will be interesting to see our issues debated at local level and presented to the public at election time as policies will attract a few million to believe we can make a difference as one voice.
I encourage you to check out the web site www.themap.org.au and join the party.
Mature age need and want a voice so it is time to put this party on the MAP.
Australia should be a world leader in the field of employment for Over 60's considering our acceptance of research and planning for an Ageing Australia.
We have a government that subscribes to an Intergenerational Report that has us planning decades ahead and suggests our workers should still be at it when 70.
We have a superannuation system that must be the envy of the world in its ability to make retirement sustainable.
Tried to raise some money to have a go at setting up Boomerang Centres nationally to represent 5 million Boomers but we are not an org or company so no one wants to assist.
Anyone out there that wants to fund it then please contact Keith Blake or myself.
We need some cutting edge thinking if we are to see such a plan materialize.
BONZA has sent a submission to the Human Rights inquiry on this issue. We will continue to advocate for all Baby Boomers.
More information about the inquiry and this process is available on our website: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/disability-rights/projects/willing-work-national-inquiry-employment-discrimination-against.
BONZA SUGGESTIONS FOR 2016 ARE:
The BONZA Report- A Report on the Future of Australian Babyboomers
After 17 years of listening to Boomers, talking to employers, government and community BONZA takes pride in presenting the first BONZA Report.
It is a collective view and you may or may not agree with it all but it is the thoughts and ideas of "my generation".
We hope it makes a difference to our lives by sowing some seeds of change.
It has been sent to all Federal Government Departments and political parties for their perusal and use in planning for the future for my generation.
LINK (Download the report here)
The BONZA Report- 2014
Who are Baby Boomers?
Founded in 2001 BONZA is all about Baby Boomers who are aged 50 to 68 (born between 1946 - 1964) with over 5 million in Australia (ABS) and 1 million in New Zealand. (Between 1998-2001 I had the pleasure of working all over NZ and assisted hundreds of KIWI Boomers find employment through my company Grey Skills)
We have always been aware of our generation and our uniqueness in that we are a constant worry for our governments due to our numbers and the predicted cost of our ageing process to them. I don't want to be a burden- do you? Let's prepare ourselves so that does not happen if we can prevent it.
In 2011, the first of the Boomers became eligible for aged pensions and the numbers doubled from the previous year. In the next couple of decades aged care becomes the focus.
Families and individuals will be encouraged to have ageing Boomers stay in their own homes and be cared for as they age because we cant build enough aged care homes to cope with the high numbers.
Increased health problems will also dominate the annual budgets every year for the next 40 years and the security of single aged females will be another challenge to solve.
We are living longer so governments are encouraging us to work longer, stay healthier and invest our money wisely by planning for our futures.
I was asked by a Boomer why we are different than say Y generationers as they will have heavy numbers.
The answer is purely lack of superannuation to look after ourselves in retirement. We need about $30 000 a year for 20 odd years of retirement and the pension is only $18 000 and we have an average of $60 000 now.
The Y generation will have hundreds of thousands of dollars on retirement if they work all their lives. Hope that makes sense.
Boomer Health Flick
Saw a great film; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Worth a view if you are overweight and/or unhealthy.
Also a good overview:
Why not turn clubs that are struggling into neighbourhood hubs for Boomers.
My mate Keith Blake did it at Ithacca Bowls Club next door to the Brisbane Broncos in Fulcher Rd Red Hill Brisbane and they have lots of activities for mature age.
We think they should be called Boomerang Centres and hopefully with small government grants to help establish them they can then become self sufficient and run Boomer activities that are planned by a local Boomer committee.
Please contact him if you would like to start a Boomerang Centre on 0439 838 671.
Boomerang Centres is just one idea but it is working.
There are many pieces to the Boomer jigsaw puzzle and BONZA's 'Moving' Forward PowerPoint explains why we have to put those pieces together to see the big picture and encourage Boomers to focus on planning a new career rather than retirement.
In 2023 the age pension age goes up to 67 so it is better we stop thinking retirement and thinking long-term income. A 'mind switch' to the way we are thinking now is needed urgently.
My advice to Boomers in 2015 is simple. You have to work as long as possible because the superannuation market is so unpredictable and you need money for what could be a 20+ year retirement.
Why not do work that you choose so maybe do some study as it is never too late to start a new life.
If not study then there is work to match your skills in the aged industry, child care, community services or doing your own thing in starting or purchasing a business.
I believe we should be planning our future in three stages so that we get the most out of our different phases of life.
Stage 1- Over 50 and still actively working and saving through superannuation.
Stage 2- Over 60 and still working full time if possible (even as a volunteer) but at least part time to preserve health, superannuation and savings.
Stage 3- Over 70 and retired for most (a few will continue no doubt) and downsizing so money lasts as long as you can.
Working keeps you healthier and you will live more comfortably in old age rather than waiting anxiously for death.
Many of us will be working or volunteering until our seventies so start thinking 'what can I do' and not 'who would want me at this age'.
Speaking of health, please read my story on dental treatment in Thailand in the Health section above because it could be a cheaper option for you in having your teeth fixed. Bad teeth will ruin your health.
Two centuries ago we were dying on average in our 40s. We are lucky enough to have twice that time on this earth so make the most of it.
It is no ones fault we have to work just our time on this earth is different from our ancestors.
Make the most of it and don't be negative. Enjoy your family as they will be there when your time ends and you will feel complete because they are.
We need to work together to make sure that we have a BONZA life as we age, enjoy each others company and leave a positive image of our time on this earth.
Over 60s Employment
I recently took on a job as a cleaner because of the few job opportunities over 60s have. I had tried Uber driving but did not like the way y generationers treated my car (although you can deliver parcels for Uber now using your car) so when an offer came to be a cleaner with company of a close friend I grabbed it.
There will never be more than a few jobs for us. The alternative is government organised compulsory volunteering for welfare payments.
Look forward to new over 60s ambassador Susan Ryan researching future jobs for us though. We can’t be all cleaners or Uber drivers.
Feedback from surveys:
Superannuation - 58% have 10-100000; 17% have 100-600000 and 25% have over $600000 so lack of super for Boomers is a real issue in Ageing Australia.
Voluntary Euthanasia Referendum; 80% VOTED YES for one. I have these old survey results but have put the survey question on the front page in the new format above as it is an important and urgent issue and the same result is happening there.
It runs at over 70% for yes as well so why not add it to the coming referendum for the Indigenous.
Most Boomers I speak to on the matter already have a plan for euthanasia and some have the means already so why not make it legal.
Interesting to listen to debate on the Tasmanian Euthanasia Bill this year which was defeated by two votes. It makes you think when one chap said, "I don't want people I love to find me after suicide."
Let's decide as a nation to give some dignity to the terminally ill who want to end their lives.
Marshall Perron was so concerned over the issue that he has written an open letter to all state and territory coroners about the need for voluntary euthanasia now. Please go to the noticeboard page above to view his letter. It is compelling reading.
Saw the movie last Cab to Darwin on the topic of euthanasia. It was a masterpiece..well acted and compelling. I believe that the title will become an Australian Boomer favourite with us announcing to friends and family that we are on the last cab to Darwin when our time comes.
Also former Qld Labor Premier Peter Beattie this week (March 2014) in the Australian wrote an article under the heading......
In the end, one's thinking turns to euthanasia
As premier I fought it, but ageing has forced me to
re-examine my views on this thorny moral issue
Further, I spoke with my doctor at a recent visit and he told me how difficult it is to get the over 80s to sign the authority to turn off the machines that keep them alive even though, "We are spending more money in the last year of life to keep people alive now than we did for the rest of their life," he said.
Another good reason for voluntary euthanasia would be the trillions we would save the country if you can take the emotion out of the debate.
In The Australian on 16/1/16 Nikki Gremmell wrote about her experience with her mother. Good reason for a referdendum I say. Would you want to go through this experience ?
" It feels like such a modern story for modern times.
My mother euthanised herself — it’s difficult to say “committed suicide” — late last year. No one really throws around that bald and loaded S word amid all the talk of “dying with dignity”. I don’t know if she fully considered the emotional depth charges her actions set off within so many lives. The fact is, my elderly mother euthanised herself, by herself, in front of the telly. Some builders — who had been taking their time renovating her bathroom, leaving her without it for weeks — found her the following morning. Everything was thought through very carefully.
My mother was in chronic pain. She’d had a foot operation 10 months earlier. I’d like to talk to the surgeon who took my mother’s carefully saved money and assured her he could “fix” her; I cannot bear to. He left her with a spine thrown out of kilter by the drastic surgery; left her too angry and despairing to talk about a further fix; left her twisted around a walking stick in her final weeks like a withered crone from a fairytale.".......
....... Independence. Empowerment. A say in her own circumstances.
So. In the end, she did it her way. She took care not to implicate any of her children — when the police officers informed me of her death they also pulled out a pad and took notes. Now I know why. I could have been the subject of a police investigation if I’d had anything to do with the situation.
My mother was careful; she’d done her research. But in the fraught world of euthanasia in Australia, I just say this: if the family cannot by law be involved in the wishes of a person wanting to be euthanised, then you are condemning that person to a monstrously bleak and lonely death. One that I, as the daughter, will never recover from.
I didn’t listen enough to her; didn’t grant her the dignity of a proper audience when she spoke of her Dying with Dignity books and forums; I’d get too emotional. Perhaps, in the end, she thought it easier to go it alone without the clutter of familial complication, to take matters into her own hands secretly and with great determination.
Nothing has ever been as dramatic in my life as my mother’s leaving of it. Were her final moments an act of empowerment, or despair? A gesture of motherly love, or selfishness? A friend in her 80s gripped my fist at the funeral, tighter than it’s ever been held. “You’re now a part of the SWS,” she whispered fiercely. “What’s that?” “The Strong Women’s Society.” She spoke as if it were a highly secret organisation to which I’d suddenly been granted honorary membership. Mum was a member of that too. I have to hold on to that. To make sense of it all."
Brothers in Arms Memorial Ypres Belgium
I returned to the Western Front in May 2014 and would like to share this story with you. It is an amazing place for Australians with tens of thousands of our lads never found.
Here died thousands of Young Australians who would never return to their families in OZ and are now part of all our families as they lie buried in this cemetery and the many others in this area that is now part of Australia forever.
The French recognize our significant contribution with a Franco- Australian museum in that village of Villiers- Bretonneux which is attached to a school rebuilt with Australian donations and all over the school yard and in their classrooms are Australian flags and messages such as 'Do not forget Australia.
This should be our spiritual home of World War One as our soldiers are revered here. You must go as it will humble you and also fill you with tremendous paradox of pride and sorrow.
Take time to see all the Australian sites in this area of France and Belgium- you will not be sorry and these brave young men should never be left alone.
This is the story of one of them John Hunter from Nanango and his brother Jim.
My brother Rod, my son Beau and I recently returned from a trip to the Western Front. My brother is a retired Major who spent time with the 49th Battalion and he was very interested in the graves of thousands from his battalion who lost their lives fighting on the Western Front in WW1.
On a day tour near Ypres in Belgium we were asked by the guide, as we were running out of time, if we wanted to see trenches or a film that a local publican had about Aussie diggers in Belgium.
After the film (by Australian by the name of Hurley who was in this area at the time) we were told a story by the publican Johan Vandewalle about how he was involved in the finding and exhumation of 5 Aussie soldiers whose remains were accidentally dug up in 2006 during road widening.
One of the soldiers turned out to be John (Jack) Hunter from Nanango who was wrapped and buried by his brother Jim during the battle of Polygon Woods but he was unable to find him on returning after fighting ceased and he remained there undetected for those 89 years.
Johan was severely affected by his find because he had to unwrap the body and as he did so the sun reflected off the retina of Jack's eye which had been persevered by his coat for all those years.
He has been raising funds for a memorial called 'brothers in arms’ since then to honour the brothers and their comrades. He is driven by the cause and we feel he needs assistance to achieve his target as most help at this stage is coming from local bikers in Europe.
I really think it was fate that Rod met this chap and we are keen to assist him raise the funds needed to build his ‘Brothers In Arms’ memorial.
I feel it is a remarkable story and we will approach Campbell Newman the Premier of Queensland and indeed all Australians to see if they can assist with donations.
Is it possible for any of you out there to raise awareness locally so that when the battle has its 100 year celebration in 2017 there is a memorial to commemorate this boy and this intriguing story of brotherly love.
All donations can be made directly to the memorial site on that web site.'
Hope you agree that it is a worthy cause and a great way to commemorate their sacrifice.
Please join us in sharing those good times, innovative ideas and suggestions to make the rest of our lives a BONZA one.
We advocate for:
I have never read an article that describes the Boomers as well as Jo Chandler from The Age newspaper has written.
Do yourself a favour and read it......
And this one on retirement......
Lots to do folks,so let’s get on with it in 2014 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)