Archive for the ‘Gerard Oosterman’ Category

The excitement of life, including porridge.

February 3, 2023

Yes, with the years passing, robust health for the aged goes out of all proportions. I had a scare when playing croquet a few days ago and had to be helped off the greens. Fellow players reckoned it was due to dehydration. The elderly simply don’t drink enough water and the dehydration made me almost faint. Having low blood pressure as well, I discovered that eating bananas are not good because of the b p lowering potassium. I did not know that fact. A banana was the first thing that I would greet and eat each morning.
I am now having acute banana withdrawal symptoms which I was advised to counter with morning porridge. I try and remain excited about life.

My first porridge.

Memories of porridge go back decades and I can still see my mother making the porridge each morning in a large heavy enameled saucepan, green in colour and with two handles. At one stage this saucepan sprung a leak but, in those day a man on a bicycle would go around fixing leaking enameled saucepans of any size or colour. I think a little metal plate would be hammered into the leak and it worked!

Our milk was delivered daily, and the milkman had a one litre scoop which he would dip into a large container and deposit it into our enameled bucket. Again, from memory, we ordered roughly 4 litres daily or perhaps it was once every two days. Anyway, enameled kitchenware was to last decades and became part of our furniture, living equipment and my memory.

But going back to the porridge, my first effort in cooking it was yesterday but it failed and even though I ate some of it, it needed improving, I asked my kind neighbour for advice, and she gave me the proportion of rolled oats in relation to liquid. This morning I reheated yesterday’s failed mixture but added some water to make it at a bit more viscous. Even my dog Bentley walked away!

The reader must realize how porridge had been embedded in my life in those early years. They are somber being tainted with war and dreadful hunger. Porridge in mornings cooked by mother on a kerosine cooker in winter’s darkness with dad assisting in giving light. Bombed Rotterdam had no power nor running gas, but dad did have a bicycle with a dynamo fixed to the back wheel which would give light from the front wheel when pedaled on its stand. The porridge was fantastic and often our only meal of the day. And now some eighty years onwards I have to really not be fussy and eat my daily porridge irrespective of its viscosity or lumpiness.

I owe it to my memory.

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

January 18, 2023

 A Heartbreaking And Hilarious Existential Masterpiece

This is a masterpiece of film making but it is no Oklahoma or Hunchback of Notre dame. It is uncompromising and doesn’t cater nor care for the audience. I was recommended to see it and given warnings. It is a movie made on a small Irish island, stunningly beautiful and that beauty makes up for the black comedy that is advertised as being the main body of this film. The audience did laugh hesitantly sometimes and so did I although I looked around to see if I was being watched. My chocolate coated ice-cream cone was smarting in my mouth to its core.

And here I quote.;

” One of the most prominent characteristics of writer/director Martin McDonagh’s filmography is his penchant for melding mordant, off-kilter humor with striking moments of pitch black severity. It’s a trait that has shaped his entire body of work, but the alchemy arguably worked best in his brilliant feature debut, 2008’s In Bruges. Joined by actors Colin Farrell and Brendan GleesonMcDonagh successfully spun an ostensible fish-out-of-water comedy about two hitmen hiding out in the eponymous Belgian city into a darker, more sophisticated mediation on sin and death.

That kind of balancing act can be increasingly difficult to pull off, and for his latest film, The Banshees of InisherinMcDonagh has re-teamed with Farrell and Gleeson for an even trickier subject: the precipitous dissolution of a close friendship and all the grim consequences that follow. McDonagh’s film is packed with moments of emotional devastation, to the point where it could potentially be a borderline unbearable sit…were it not also absolutely hysterical, handily emerging as one of the funniest films of 2022. It’s a considerable achievement that McDonagh accomplishes with aplomb, cementing The Banshees of Inisherin as one of the year’s greatest films. It truly is a sublime motion picture.” Unquote

I admit I left the cinema reeling. Two days later and I am still mulling over it.

A masterpiece indeed.

The tale of an obstinate jar of German Liverwurst.

December 26, 2022

Each year I try and make the best of the Christmas festivities with fine foods which often include Dutch Herrings, my beloved butter milk and if available German liverwurst. To my delight, and well beyond my wildest dreams, just before Christmas, Aldi had the German liverwurst up for sale. I could not believe how fortuitous my life of late has become. Without lingering I bought the Liverwurst together with butter milk and a packet of Brussel Sprouts. I like to sauté the Sprouts in butter milk before blanching them to eat semi raw. This dish I often serve up on Boxing Day to an unsuspecting guest as a special treat after usually a big dinner or lunch on the previous Christmas day where most of us overeat and overjoy. (The pavlova did not disappoint nor the chicken curry beforehand. Remnants are now in the fridge.)

Sadly, when it came to the German Liverwurst, I could not open it. I tried everything, even a hammer and plyers. I held the glass jar in water, an old trick that Helvi taught me. Nothing would budge this jar to release the glass lid held in its steel ring and rubber seal. See the photo above! Fortunately, the shops reopen on Boxing Day so I quickly went back to Aldi to get my refund or given a jar of The German Liverwurst that would give up its contents for normal eating. This is not too much to ask, is it?

On arrival, I gave the jar back to the cashier together with a bottle of wine, some cheese and a leek that I wanted to buy. The girl asked me if I still had the receipt of the German liverwurst. I said I don’t keep receipts of German Liverwurst or any other items. She looked as if she was fronted with a difficult decision. So, in order to avoid any time wasting I said I would gladly keep the German Liverwurst if the jar could be opened. This struck the right chord. I mean, would I try and get this item by subterfuge or stealing? Do I look like a Liverwurst thief and do that on Boxing Day? An elderly gentleman wearing a cap?

Try as she might she could not open the jar, so she called in for reinforcement. A burly Aldi man turned up who looked as if he could open the jar by just looking at it. But try as he might the lid would not budge. I could see his pride in front of the female cashier was at stake. Again, I came to the rescue to resolve the matter and said that perhaps another jar would be more compliant and open up. He quickly agreed to get another jar of German Liverwurst so off he went. It took a while, but he came back a bit red in the face but had a jar that he showed could be opened. I was very happy with that and returned home.

The jar of German Liverwurst is now resting in the fridge. I will have some tonight and light a candle.

Such a nice Christmas.

Christmas is nigh. Stay alert.

December 18, 2022

Helvi 1965

The best way to experience the closeness of Christmas is around the large shopping centers. A nervousness that without fail is palpable each year. I had to go to my local shopping center to stock up on some Brussel sprouts and buttermilk for Christmas. The shopping center itself sits on a very large underground carpark and today it was full of cars beeping horns with huge trolleys being emptied into yawning bonnets and boots. After having gone around a few times I managed to find an empty park lot that had a disabled sign depicted by a wheelchair. For some months now I proudly sport a disabled sign in my car. It is amazing how many now have those signs stuck on the front windows of their cars. I don’t particularly suffer major disability except a kind of anxiety when away from a nearby toilet. It is strange how age seems to announce itself with an angst when away from this convenience.

My first task when going about unfamiliar places is to sass out the local public toilet situation. Once that is done, I get about fulfilling the purpose of my visit with confidence and even some swagger. It is odd though that no sooner do I get home near the front door and this call of nature is calling frantically and urgently. I try and think of being with the Royal family or having to give a speech with the aim to ward off this strange urgency to use the toilet. It is the same when I wash up and turn on a tap. What is that about? Luckily those disabled parking places are often strategically placed near public conveniences. It must be fairly normal for the elderly to be in some kind of bladder urgency, or worse with intestinal hurry.

Anyway, I am straying off subject here and with Christmas just seven days away, shoppers are in full flight. I noticed a queue at the large smoked ham section. One customer was lifting a huge plastic wrapped large ham sniffing it, turning it around, holding it up to light as if a fine Shiraz. She was obviously a ham connoisseur. I don’t know what ham and Christmas have to do with each other. We did not have that tradition in The Netherlands, nor the minced pie festivity. At first, I thought they were mini meat pies but oh no, they are sweet and very sticky. My friends know I am a herring and buttermilk man and not at all into sweets. Still, Christmas is for everyone, and I have finished buying the presents that I will spread around my family and friends. The shopping frenzy will get worse and the predictions that spending will be less than last year hasn’t been borne out. In fact, it is a little higher than last year already. Shopkeepers are rubbing their hands together (in glee).

With this cheerful note, may I wish you a nice Christmas and all the best for the New Year?

All things Greek. Especially when by Theodorakis.

December 3, 2022

Over the last few evenings, I have been listening to Greek music, Specifically the music composed by Mikis Theodorakis. Of course, many will remember him as the composer of the memorable tune in the movie Zorba the Greek with Athony Quinn.

Here some details copied from Wiki.

“Mikis was a legendary composer and was active in the Greek resistance (1941–44) during World War II and the resistance against the Greek military junta (1967-74). Theodorakis’s works were censored for his political views and activities. He was jailed, tortured, and forced into exile”.

Uncopy;

Of course, Mikis Theodorakis survived all that turmoil and passed away just last year in 2021 at 96 years of age, after having composed hundreds of pieces of music. The history of Greece is well worth reading up about. The years of the military junta were horrific. In their fanatic anti-communism, fueled by the US, they held Greece in the folds of terror by horrific executions and torture. In my mind the music by Mikis seems to reflect those times of horror, terror with great sadness but ultimately a great survival. What a bonus to have all that music now.

The above photo was taken in Greece in 1966. It shows my Helvi a year before the overthrow of the legitimate Greek government by the Junta. I think it might be the Acropolis or the temple of Zeus. Our boat stopped at Athens, and we went on a tour. How lovely she looks in her Marimekko top that she so proudly wore.

If you type in this little poem; ‘strose to stroma sou’ (You made your bed, sleep in it) in your computer, you most likely get to the music of Theodorakis.)

It gives me hours of memories and beautiful sounds. I listen to it by using Blue Tooth on my hearing aids and the music that comes through my iPhone is in absolute magnificent stereo sound.

A first date.

November 10, 2022

First dates and concrete bras

Gerard Oosterman
Gerard Oosterman

I don’t know about you, but first dates have a habit on infringing on memories as nothing else will. The catastrophes of life certainly include my attempts at romance many years ago as a just arrived migrant family’s son, looking even nerdier then now, although slightly younger. On top of having a strong guttural accent and no car, the hopelessness of my situation can well be imagined by some of you.

I soon found out that my chances of dating a sheila would improve greatly if I had a car. This is where my 1949 Ford Single Spinner came into being. It was light blue and had leather seats back and front and used oil almost as much as petrol.

I had already found out through bitter experience that just to get a girl to dance was fraught with difficulties. There were so many men and so few girls willing to dance with nerds and reffos.( refugee) The Ford V8 had to achieve what Dutch panache could not. The trick was to let it be known that you had car. The fifties and sixties dance places in Sydney were the Trocadero in George Street, which is now a gaudy cinema complex, and Vic’s Cabaret at Strathfield. Both had different bands and ambiences. It was also the period of TV serials Bonanza and 77 Sunset Strip. In one of those there was a character called Little Joey or was it Cookie, who was forever combing his hair while posing at a rakish angle to the movie camera. There were thousands of pretend Joeys, Cookies and James Dean lookalikes and the competition was fierce.

My trump-card was the Ford V8 and, I tried with copious Brylcreme bouffant coiffure, to emulate a mixture of all three of the TV stars. As I was already 6ft I could not be ‘little Joey’ but with a little practise, might just convey a hint of mysterious masculinity and excitement.

The Pride of Erin was the only dance ensuring blokes of at least getting one dance in. The multi mirrored ball hanging from the ceiling was throwing fascinating effects all around, and as was the norm then, sheilas with bee-nest hairstyles and hooped skirts with steel ironed petty coats holding them out, budding breasts safely encased in conical shaped concrete bras shackled at the back with rustproof buckles (pressed against a lucky hand when dancing), would be coyly seated on one side, and shiny eyed, horny and well brilliantined blokes on the opposite. No matter how the girls twirled and swirled while dancing, no body parts would ever bounce up and down or move, perhaps, just in case male desires would get aroused unnecessarily or even involuntary. Bras and other attire would resist the pesky hand even of a Houdini.

This Pride of Erin was a dance whereby partners would change at every swirl or so, hence refusals by girls were kept at a minimum. You would have to be legless if you did not get a dance in.

My Waterloo had arrived.

The band struck up a cheery “What’s the Matter with Kids today?” Everyone rushed forward and I got a ‘yes, please’ at the request for a dance. After changing with different girls I got one with a friendly smile and kind look. I only had seconds, so, suppressing my accent as much as possible, and flicking my hair back with practised Cookie nonchalance, asked for a date the following Saturday. Unbelievably she agreed.

That Saturday I turned up with a brand new Van Heusen shirt and polished Ford V8 and after a thorough inspection by a very large father we drove off for a drive to Gosford, taking in culture and the home place of William Dobell at Wangi Wangi, also inspected Woy Woy, a fascinating place then. The previous week there had been a Willy Willy (alate tornado) at Woy Woy and for an unfathomable reason I included the devastation and mayhem there on our itinerary. She was very quiet but kept saying, ‘oh, how nice’, interspersed with ‘thank you’, which at least was something. It was a difficult day, and I took good care, going up any steep hill, to take it easy on the V8 not wishing the burning of oil and blue smoke to spoil things.

At the end of the day and drive, I took her back to her formidable dad and she thanked me generously again. There was not an encore, ever.

Years later having outgrown the Trocadero, Vic’s cabaret, Brylcreme and the Ford V8 I decided to go to Europe and get a proper job. I went to work in a bank but escaped about four months later and went to Austria where I met my late partner Helvi from Finland on the ski slopes at Lienz, in Ost Tyrol, Austria.

A lucky and very fortuitous break.

1945 After the liberation,

October 24, 2022

Those first few weeks, after Holland was liberated, were filled with joy and pride, with dancing on the streets and kids waving little orange flags. Swaggering Anglo soldiers with keen girls on arms. Loudspeakers, urging us in English, to come out of hiding and that the war was over.

One of the worst problems of the war which caused my dad untold misery and almost brought my mother’s ingenuity to breaking point, was the tobacco problem, or rather, the lack of it. My father was hopelessly addicted to tobacco smoking. The chance of having tobacco during the occupation was not unlike and perhaps even on par with the chance of becoming obese. The shortage of tobacco was worse than shortage of food, at least for my dad. It must have been at its worst just shortly after liberation.

My mother urged me to walk the streets and follow those smoking Canadian and English soldiers who were our liberators.  ‘Put the cigarette butts in this little box’, she urged me. What a wonderful wife my dad had. What a magnificent woman. The problem was that there was stiff competition from bigger and stronger kids who were sent on the same mission. I was faster though and managed to get many cigarette butts and came home feeling a bit like a soldier myself.

Dad soon unpicked the butts and rolled his ciggies, lighting up the secondhand Camel and Lucky Strike like a king, tomorrow would never come. it was the first time that awareness seeped in my psyche that taking action could have rewards and a world of possibilities had opened up.

I was almost 6 years old.

Law and Order

October 12, 2022

LAW AND ORDER.

Has anyone ever been called up for jury duty and ended up being a juror?  During the last fifty years I have been called many, many times but never chosen.  How do they know that I am so suspicious of the whole jury system?  Are those defense or prosecution people gifted in clairvoyance?  The courts that I was mainly called to in order to be chosen as a bright and promising juror were in Balmain, Goulburn NSW and City of Sydney Courts.

 I suspect that most Court Houses conform to my experiences in being old, cold, and dusty, riddled by rats and guilt.

Both Balmain and Goulburn Court Houses have those round roofed domes and solid columns and have some sort of pretence to architecture of glorious colonial days.

This is the Balmain Experience.

 We step inside through a formal entrance and this is the area where the last of the cigarette butts are often forsaken in sandy bins.

 The formal part of the jury selection kicks off by an Orderly or other Court attendant who has a list of names. The names are being called out, this is done by the rocking backwards and forwards on heels to add some form of importance and dignity, I suppose.

The whole lot of us then walks into the court room whereby we sit down on the most uncomfortable seating that seems to have been specifically designed for immediate repentance.

We sit on long narrow wooden benches with seats twenty or so centimetres wide, but the wooden backrests actually lean forward, the angle being around 80 degrees to the seat.  This makes all those that are seated feeling that they have done something terribly wrong, or that they should spend the time there on knees instead of sitting, or are in church at a funeral of a bishop. Mixed messages for potential jurors here?

This is nothing compared with the acoustics. The only sound absorbing material in those dank court rooms could be those silly wigs, kept in Arnott’s biscuit tins, or those blue duffel bags that lawyers are so fond of slinging over their shoulders, perhaps even the shriveled judges, if they turned up. Not a word can be understood by anyone, but perhaps that is part of this curious juror choosing spectacle. The point might well be to impose solemnity on the whole court system… How can anyone not be found guilty under those terrible conditions? My own guilt immediately went into automatic.

A special video is shown to the jurors to be chosen which is mainly brown in colour and content.

We were then told that ‘deliberations’ had to be performed and this would take until after lunch. Now, I expected to at least be given a sandwich and coffee, but no, nothing, not as much as a Nescafe, not even a warm room to retire to. No, just hanging around the entrance with the bins of butts and other outcasts.

After lunch we are asked to enter the Court Room again and this time we are seated on the side in slightly more comfortable arrangements. Now the selection starts.  An assortment of the most devious looking characters is looking us over now, and this is also the moment where I invariably get not chosen. I am a legal reject, time and time again, this is perplexing. Why am I always kicked out? What do they look for in a juror?

 In any case, they are right. I don’t like a set up as anachronistic as the way all this is done. It is a hangover from colonial times. Why are those Court Buildings (apart from some City Courts) so dingy and Charles Dickensian? Why, are the acoustics so atrocious and where are modern conveniences with buildings that are suitable for to- day’s use of justice? Is justice being served best when it seems almost deliberate to make one feel so uncomfortable and intimidated by a process so cumbersome, time wasting and lacking in logic. It must also be enormously costly. Why not do away with jurors all together if conditions for jurors are so bad? Is there not a bias formed in jurors suffering those discomforts?

Of course, the whole issue of whether justice is served best under a jury system is also debatable. Has anyone done any statistics on numbers of guilty or not guilty amongst gloomy courts and more people friendly courts with comforts such as canteen availability with refreshments, good sound absorbing materials and amplification systems that are clear so everyone gets to hear what is being said?

Here at the NSW Goulburn Court House (the Mecca for crime and punishment) the court has a friendly reminder and map pointing where the last prisoner was hanged in the garden just in front. Most of the time spent between and during the jury selection process was outside on the veranda in temperatures of about 6c above zero.

The overwhelming feeling one is left with is; that a juror is only slightly better than the accused. Why is that so, and should the jury system dispensed with altogether?

Why not abolish it, if it has also proven to be so often flawed?

(This was first published many years ago)

A Grave issue (first published August 2013)

September 28, 2022

A grave issue.

Some time ago I decided, together with grandchildren, to have a closer look at the local cemetery here at Brayton, NSW. My grandkids at that time were dealing with death and dying and the prospect of Opa carking it as well, sooner or later. Thomas, who was 6 at the time and a bit of a thinker, pondered about Oma’s statement that, at some stage you arrive at a ‘spot’ in life when one would die. He thought deeply about this; when I get at that spot, I will jump over it, he said brilliantly. Oma answered by laughing; and what a clever boy you are. He slept like an angel that night.

The graveyard at Brayton is one of those lovely forgotten and forlorn bush places where in the past, swags could easily have been rolled out with bushies camped in between the contented and silent stones. It is surrounded by an old fence that leans higgledy piggledy now, but even so, were then hand hewn with posts and rails that survived fires and hungry ants, rammed in hand dug holes decades ago by men now buried there. It keeps out the curious cows but not the incorrigible wombats. Argyle eucalypts with leaves so silvery and fragrant keep guard and give shade to all those dearly departed country souls. The view from this burial place is so beautiful and to die for. The surrounding paddocks carry the black stumps of bushfires which wiped out the settlement many times over, including Post Office, Church and local single class school. The graveyard is all that Brayton now is. Someone carried the brick steps of the burned out church to this burial place as well. A small and modest reminder of big rural lives then.

Of course, the grandkids were overawed by this chance of seeing places where bodies of dead people were kept. One stone of simple concrete had moved ajar through erosion, unhurried time and drought, allowing the boys to squat down and peek inside. They looked, but darkness inside prevented any remnant of Joh.D with d o b 1912, passed 1986, to be shown.

Things became serious when I asked if they would prefer Opa to be burned (cremated) or buried and if buried what spot would be suitable? I mentioned this because a few weeks earlier their dad’s mum passed away. The funeral included the grand kids who viewed their daddy’s mum’s body in its resting casket for all to view before a big funeral with lots of kissing, singing and crying. After, the body was flown back to Croatia for another large burial. Some of the kids went for that funeral as well. A few years earlier when another old relative had passed away, little four year old Jack asked; who shot him? They grow so much faster now a days, don’t they?

Someone said; a country’s culture is defined by how they look after their dead. If true, then Argentina with Buenos Aires’ La Recoleta cemetery would have to be at the top, perhaps closely followed by Russia. The Argentine cemetery is amazing with vaults many stories high and a favourite for week-end visits by relatives and tourists alike. Thousands are crowding complete streets of Mausoleums and graves not unlike Mc Mansions here except much better build with marble surely outlasting brick veneer and hollow columns. Flowers on graves are real too with regular replacements and so are the urns and vases. No fading or windswept plastic petunias there. Some burial palaces are so large it would almost take a whole day just to take it all in. Of course, it depends on personal fondness of visiting grave yards in the first place.

Russians are also big on burials and cemeteries, with many making it a week-end family picnic.  Again, some of the graves are magnificent and often surrounded by ornate cast iron fences. My better half used to insist that in Finland the graves are the best and the dead also most revered.

My query is how do we deal with our temporary stay here? How are our young prepared for death? Or do we pretend it all goes on forever?  Rookwood cemetery in Sydney is vast but the abundance of all those dreadful plastic pretend flowers seems insulting to the dead. Then again, most people happily have those while alive, so……. C’est la vie or c’est la mort.

Bucket Rex Jackson

September 22, 2022

The Illustrious career of Rex (bucket) Jackson

12TuesdayMar 2013 A re-run of a post.

Posted by gerard oosterman in Uncategorized

[Edit]

The illustrious career of Rex (bucket)Jackson

March 12, 2013

The illustrious career of Rex (Bucket) Jackson.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I8QiBsnhSk

With the latest finger pointing at Obeid and his antics in front of Icac I wonder if some of you still remember Rex Jackson. There is a world of difference between the two!

Rex (bucket) Jackson was really the epitome of a charming effervescent man. He was also  minister for Youth and Community services, of Corrective services and a little later minister for Transport in the NSW Labor Government during the mid seventies and early eighties after which he suffered his spectacular fall from grace.

His love of dogs is what is supposed to have led him to his downfall.  He was a regular fixture at Dapto dogs and Wentworth Park.  It must have been unfairly tempting when he started to make nice little earnings from allowing prisoners out before their time was up for a bit of handy cash. He wasn’t minister for Corrective services for nothing!  One of the things he fought hard for was rehabilitation for prisoners. What could be more re-habilitating than giving prisoners a chance to start afresh, letting them out of prison before the sentence was fully served? Of course, a bit of cash in return would be appreciated. There were monthly waves of prisoners being led out on parole which gave rise to suspicion all wasn’t on the level!

Who can forget the video footage of Rex in a car casually accepting a bundle of notes which later on included him having a boot-full of cash at the back of his car?

He was born at Wagga Wagga, the son of a railway fettler. He knew poverty but despite or because of this he grew up an irascible optimist and larrikin with more than a streak of compassion and strong sense of reform for the needy and the underdog when running the tough portfolio of Youth and Community services.  In other words, he was a good bloke, a decent man with strong words for those opposing him. That’s how he got the tag “Bucket Jackson.” He lost both his parents when in his teens and was then separated from his siblings. He was taken up by a family and soon he started work at week-ends at their shop selling lollies and ice cream.

His career included having won 16 out of 17 boxing matches as a professional light welterweight with one fight ending in a draw. At twenty six he won the seat of Bulli against 14 other candidates. When minister he fought to improve condition in jails and was successful in raising the budget for his department from 44 million to 78 million dollars within two years. He was acutely aware of the plight of deserted wives and fought hard to improve their lot and felt that child support was of a ‘Dickensian. ‘age

It was his dogs gambling addiction and hopeless debts that got him in the end. It was the sentencing judge who ‘looked at the quality of the man’ and sentenced him seven and a half years, showing some compassion. This was appealed against by the Crown and Rex was given an increased sentence of ten years with non parole of five years. He felt condition at jail were atrocious! Good behaviour got him out after serving three years and three months.

While incarcerated he was sharing time and space with some of those sent to jail when he was still minister of Corrective services. It would not have escaped Rex Jackson the irony of life and its unpredictable crooked path that sometimes ends up being followed. No more racing of dogs inside.

Rex Jackson

But, and this really summed up the humility and innate quality of the man. After doing his time in jail, he reared up and started a take away hamburger kiosk at the top of Stanwell Park, a popular spot for hang-gliding.

There can be no doubt that his dog gambling days were not his best but when looked at all the good things he achieved, the balance of the ledger would have to be very strong in his favour. You could never talk of Jackson and Obeid in the same breath. Could you?

Rex Jackson died on New Year’s Eve 2011.