Would you ever, if you never

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August 1942 (3)

Their lives were cut short that we might enjoy ours for longer. They may have feared but they did not falter

Pacific Paratrooper

USMC-III-I

While I chose to keep the activities in the Solomon Islands area in August intact, action was going on around the rest of Asia and the Pacific as well ____

12 August – Japanese forces in Shantung Province, China took advantage of hostilities between the Communist and Nationalist Forces.  The Japanese launched a huge new offensive against the Nationalist troops.

Nautilus, Argonaut & Narwhal Nautilus, Argonaut & Narwhal

17-25 August – US submarines Nautilus and Argonaut delivered the USMC 2nd Raider Battalion to Makin Island [now known as Butaritari], in the Gilberts.  Their mission was to attack enemy installations, gail intelligence and divert attention away from Guadalcanal.  They went ashore on 2 beaches in high surf and headed inland.  The Japanese garrison was wiped out, but the retrieval of all of the Marines went awry due to high seas, seaplane strafing.  As a result, 11 Marines were captured. Koso Abe was later tried and…

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South Australia wins third place in national croquet Tournament – the Eire Cup 2015

My local Mount Barker Croquet club in the Adelaide Hills was proud to have one current member (Pauline Walcom), and two former members (Greg Rowberry and Dwayne McCormick)  selected in the South Australian Team.

This address  a year ago tells the full story of the origin of the Eire Cup,.
Waiting for one's turn

Waiting for one’s turn

Eire Cup 2
An early start was essential each day as matches commenced promptly at 8.00am and any practice on the lawns before this time. Our first match was at Mosman against the very strong Victorian team. We left Chatswood at 7.15 in a 10 seater taxi and marvelled at the traffic in Sydney. We won quite a few games on this day and this was a big improvement on previous competitions.

The lawns and the venues were magnificent, as was the hospitality of the Mosman Croquet Club. The next day we competed at Chatswood and Killara (each venue only had two lawns) against Queensland and were victorious. This was a great result as SA had finished last the previous year. Friday saw us at Mosman again competing against WA. Another good win to SA.

Saturday however was a different result with SA going down to NSW. It was not a “whitewash” however and the players were pleased to win several games against this very strong team. Back at Mosman on the last day of competition saw the team defeat Tasmania and finish third in the Cup behind NSW and Victoria.

The last night we travelled to Darling Harbour for the presentation dinner and this was quite a thrill to travel by train across the bridge and see all of the lights of Sydney. The harbour was spectacular at night and we really enjoyed the other players and the great meal. The event was a really great experience and the team combined well both socially and during competition. Each night the team went out for a meal and relaxing time together and this helped with the cohesion of the team.

Monday morning saw us packing up and a very tired team returning to Adelaide. A great experience and some new friends made.

The meanings of Easter!

Apologies for venturing into the controversial realm of religious thought and belief. Alternative viewpoints are welcome!

 The Bible based Christian perspective

Gift in death

Easter is the most significant event in the Christian calendar, commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ at the time of the Jewish Passover. For two thousand years these two events have inspired the devotion and artistic creativity of believers.

John 3:16 (King James Version)

For God So loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Old Rugged Cross

George Bennard, 1913

  1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
    And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain.

    • Refrain:
      So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
      Till my trophies at last I lay down;
      I will cling to the old rugged cross,
      And exchange it someday for a crown.
  2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    Has a wondrous attraction for me;
    For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
    To bear it to dark Calvary.
  3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    A wondrous beauty I see,
    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    To pardon and sanctify me.
  4. To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
    Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
    Where His glory forever I’ll share.Tragedy at Easter

The Secular Perspective

 

Bunnies and eggs

Bunnies and eggs

 

 

 

 

 

The Dawkins Slant

 

Why Indeed?

Why Indeed?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins

Clinton Richard Dawkins /ˈdɔːkɨnz/, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941) is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist,[2] and writer. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford,[3] and was the University of Oxford‘s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.[4]

He has written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion—”a fixed false belief”.[7]:5 As of January 2010, the English-language version had sold more than two million copies and had been translated into 31 languages.[8] Dawkins founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to promote the teaching of evolution and to counteract those who advocate classroom programs against evolution.

 

The Christian view of the meaning of Easter, a source of inspiration for Christians, is unreasonable to atheist Richard Dawkins. Why would God allow His Son to suffer the pain and indignity of a death on the cross when man’s sins might just have been forgiven? He does not appreciate that God might have sent His Son into the world to show mankind a better way to live, and how to live in harmony with others.

Dawkins belittles Christians for accepting Biblical  stories that he considers just myths. Miracles he dismisses  as trickery and slight of hand. Where is the evidence for Christian belief? Religious experience is a dimension of the human mind  and influenced by our biases and prejudices. It is subjective, but this does not mean that it is unimportant to our well-being, and irrelevant in providing important insights into the nature and meaning of life.

Science on the other hand, is objective, based on the scientific method of observation, and measurement, from which theories can be postulated. But they do need to be verified, and other theories excluded before being accepted as fact. It is a tool of discovery. But is the Cosmos not too vast to yield all its secrets?

Easter symbolizes that life on earth is a continuing cycle of birth, growth, maturity, decline and death.

 

  • There is a cycle of life and death which preserves the species but not the individual. Illness, decay and death are essential for the long-term sustainability of life on Earth. This suggests that the concept of God manipulating history from moment to moment and responsible for all that transpires on Earth is false.   The Sun shines on everyone. There is no favoritism. Dawkins generalizes that the Christian God is a vengeful tyrant, but this is not the belief of Christians. Mankind is free to set for themselves their own ethical standards, but the happiness and welfare of us all is conditional upon the love and respect we have for each other. Beyond this it is not our prerogative, but God’s, to right life’s wrongs. Faith accepts that He will.

 

  • There is an exquisite relationship between form and function in the Universe, providing niche environments for a great diversity of forms of life.  Is the Biblical assertion that God created the earth less credible than the scientific belief that the cosmos with all all its complexities resulted by chance starting with a big bang billions of years ago? Whatever happened at the beginning of time, in space, is simply unknowable.

 

  • Dawkins’ would have it that since God created the world, He is responsible for the ills as much as for the good on Earth.  But when things go wrong, it is not God’s fault, nor is it evidence that there is no God, or Intelligence within the Universe that should be looking after the righteous. Rather it is our own fault.  Most of us have a natural radar to differentiate between right and wrong. We can care for our environments,  look after ourselves and others. The advances of medical science have shown how we can overcome  many of the hazards of our existence.  On the other hand we can wage war, steal what is not ours, and kill those who might oppose us.

Our mind is our crowning attribute. If knowledge is solely the fruit of Science, can we place no value on our what we each experience through our minds? With it we know love and empathy, beauty and joy. We have the capacity to learn, to  communicate and to teach.  We can observe, share knowledge, reason, and shape our own destinies.

I would not wish to denigrate Richard Dawkins but I do not share his views denigrating religious faith, despite lacking objective evidence to prove him wrong.

Richard Dawkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Association Croquet – a game of skill and strategy.

Croquet has long been regarded as just a genteel social game mostly played by privileged families in England on  grassed areas around their homes. It was played more for fun than to win, and it entertained guests in the summer months.

Since originating (I believe) in France in the 18th century, it has evolved into a more serious sport. Most Australians would be unaware that the famous South London tennis venue Wimbledon, founded in 1868  was originally a private croquet club known as ‘The All England Croquet Club’. The name was later changed to the “All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club”

There are two forms of the game.

The traditional game is known as Association Croquet. Its intricacies may be difficult for spectators to follow but it requires great skill, intense concentration, and smart planning to excel. It is now played in many countries, and is growing in popularity among younger people here in Australia. It does not yet enjoy a high profile but many  find it to be a challenging and rewarding recreational activity and one which importantly for older players also provides a welcome social outlet.

A shorter and simplified, but still skilful, form of croquet known as Golf Croquet has overtaken Association Croquet in popularity. Indeed  some clubs depend heavily on it for their membership.

How is it played?

The information below is a brief introduction to the mysteries of croquet for novices from the website of the Croquet Club of Oxford.

 

HOW TO ADDRESS THE BALL

HOW TO ADDRESS THE BALL

Modern croquet equipment

Modern croquet equipment.

croquet-path

 

Association Croquet – Basic rules

http://www.oxfordcroquet.com/coach/simplified/

 

  • Introduction This document is intended to go part way in filling the gap between the simple synopsis and the Full Laws. In any case of dispute the Full Laws always apply.

  • Equipment The court is a flat grassed area of measuring 35 by 28 yards laid out according to the following diagram. Smaller courts can be used.

    lawn dimensions and hoop layout

    Diagram 1. The Standard Court. The corners are depicted by roman numerals. The yard-line and baulk-lines are not marked on the court and lie 1 yard in from the boundary. All distances are in yards.

    The peg is 18″ tall above ground and 1½” in diameter with a smaller dowel extension about ½” in diameter and 6″ long plugged in the top. The extension may be temporarily removed if it impedes the striker. The peg is in the centre of the lawn.

    Championship hoops are made of 5/8″ diameter metal forming a 12″ high hoop with a straight top. The gape of the hoop is approximately 3-3/4″ between the jaws (1/8″ wider than the balls). Hoops are bare metal or painted white with the first hoop having a blue top and the last hoop (rover) having a red top.

    Championship balls are 3-5/8″ diameter, coloured Blue, Black, Red and Yellow and weigh 16oz (454g).

    Clips coloured to match the balls indicate which hoop which colour ball is next for. Clips are placed on the top of the hoop if the ball is for hoops 1 to 6, or on the hoop upright for the second circuit. They can be temporarily removed if they impede the striker.

    Mallets must have parallel and identical end-faces made of wood or any other material giving similar properties.

  • The Basic Game

    1. The Object of the Game
      The game is a race around the circuit of hoops in the order and directions shown in the diagram above. The Blue and Black balls play against the Red and Yellow balls. The first side to get both of their balls through the 12 hoops in order and hit the peg is the winner. Once a ball has completed the circuit and hit the peg (is pegged out) it is removed from the game.
    2. The Turn
      The players play alternate turns. Once all four balls have been played on to the court, a player can start their turn by striking either of their balls but must thereafter strike only that ball (the striker’s ball) during that turn. A turn consists of a single stroke, after which the turn ends, unless in that stroke

      1. the striker’s ball scores its next hoop in which case it earns a continuation stroke, or
      2. hits another ball (makes a roquet) whereupon it gains a croquet stroke then a continuation stroke.

      When the striker’s ball has been through the last hoop it is known as a rover.  It can then score a peg point by striking the peg (pegging out) and be removed from the game. It may also cause another rover to be pegged out.

    3. Scoring Points
      The striker’s ball scores a hoop point for itself by entering a hoop from the correct direction and passing sufficiently through the hoop so that no part of the ball protrudes from the side of the hoop it entered by (runs a hoop). This may occur in one or more turns. On running the hoop the striker gets an extra stroke – a continuation stroke.If the striker’s ball causes another ball to run that ball’s hoop, that other ball is said to be peeled through the hoop and it gains a point. You do not gain a continuation stroke for peeling a ball. The owner of the ball which is peeled gets the hoop point.The score is the sum of the number of hoops and peg points each side has obtained.
    4. The Roquet
      If the striker’s ball hits another ball the striker gets two extra strokes. The first extra stroke is the croquet stroke and is played by picking up the striker’s ball and placing it in contact with the ball it has struck, the roqueted ball. The striker takes croquet (see below) from the roqueted ball which then becomes known as the croqueted ball. Following the croquet stroke the striker has a continuation stroke on their own ball.Summary: Roquet => Croquet => Continuation.At the start of each turn the striker’s ball may roquet each of the other three balls once. However, every time the striker’s ball scores its next hoop point it may roquet each of the other three balls again. The striker can roquet balls, run its next hoop and roquet the balls again, etc., in one turn so making a break.A ball can roquet another ball directly or after being scattered off a hoop, peg or other ball which it has already roqueted. If at the start of a turn the striker’s ball is in contact with another ball and the player chooses to play with that ball, a roquet is taken to have been made and you must take croquet immediately. Should the striker’s ball dislodge a ball it has already roqueted, the balls remain where they come to rest unless the striker’s ball subsequently hits a ball it may roquet.If a player completely runs their hoop and roquets a ball lying completely outside the jaws of the hoop then this is taken to be hoop run then roquet. Croquet must then be taken. A ball which has made a roquet is still in the game and can cause other balls to be moved and potentially peeled. Once it has made a roquet the striker’s ball may not score hoop points for itself in the same stroke, but may move other balls.
    5. The Croquet Stroke
      In the croquet stroke the striker strikes their own ball when it is in contact with the roqueted ball.  The roqueted ball must move or shake in the stroke. If it does not move it is a fault and the turn ends. After a fault the balls are either replaced as for the croquet stroke, or left where they ended up at the opponent’s option. The turn also ends if either ball in the croquet stroke leaves the lawn.If the croqueted ball is sent off the court after it is pegged out or if the striker’s ball roquets another ball, or runs its hoop before leaving the court, then the turn continues without penalty.
    6. The Continuation Stroke
      This is an ordinary stroke following the croquet stroke or hoop run in which, for example, a further roquet may be made or a point may be scored. Continuation strokes cannot be accumulated; for example if you run your hoop and make a roquet in the same stroke you must take croquet immediately.
    7. The Start of a Game
      The game starts with the toss of a coin. The winner of the toss decides whether they will take the choice of lead, i.e. which side plays first or second, or which pair of balls (Blue & Black or Red & Yellow) they will play with. If they take the choice of balls the adversary has the choice of who plays first and vice versa.At the start of a game, the side entitled to play first plays either of its balls into the court from any point on eitherbaulk-line (see diagram). At the end of that turn their adversary does likewise. In the third and fourth turns the remaining two balls are similarly played into the game.As soon as a ballis played on to the court it can immediately score points and makeroquets. Once all four ballshave been played on to the court the striker can start anysubsequent turn with either of their balls.At the end of each stroke any ball in the yard-line area other than the striker’s ball, which is played from where it lies, is brought back onto the yard-line nearest to its position. If at the end of a turn the striker’s ball lies within the yard-line it is brought back onto the yard-line. Any ball which has left the lawn is brought back onto the yard-line unless it is the striker’s ball due to take croquet.A ball goes off the court as soon as any part of it crosses a straight edge raised vertically from the inside of the boundary. If a ball cannot be exactly replaced on the yard-line because of the presence of other yard-line balls, it is replaced on the yard-line in contact with those balls.