Tag Archives: Australia

Don’t Forget Where You Come From -Archie Roach

photo by Australian Human Rights Commission

I knew he would not be around forever.

No one ever is.

But Archie Roach endured so much.

He seemed indestructible.

Part of the Stolen Generations.

An orphanage.

Two foster care placements.

Fourteen years on the street after the death of his mother.


The death of Ruby Hunter, his wife and musical partner when she was 54.

A stroke.

Lung cancer.


Activism on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Through it all, Archie Roach made his way with a song.

He entered my life through the radio. Driving in the Richmond area, many years ago, NPR broadcast a story about him which featured clips from his songs.

I was hooked and began collecting his music.

His songs spoke with power and passion of this life, his pain, his joy, his family, and his people. Brutal and tender, universal and personal, his songs spoke to me.

He did not forget where he came from but he used his experiences to lament what had been and dream what might be.

Today, I learned that Archie Roach died on July 30 of this year.

I grieve today. Listen to his music. And add some more, almost completing my collection.

Archie Roach will dominate my playlists for a couple days. I will take to heart some lyrics from “One Song,” a song released in February 2022.

Thank you for sharing your gift, your wounds, and your heart, Archie.

Remember well what we have told you
And don’t forget where you come from
Mother Earth will always hold you
And you are born of just one song

I will remember.

Archie Roach. Presente!


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Filed under Antiracism, Music

28 April 2020

Pacing. The Shire. (This was the April 25 playlist. I am a bit behind.)
Waltzing Matilda – Seona McDowell
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues
The Diggers’ Legacy – Eric Bogle
Anzac Day – Glen Moffatt
Anzac Parade – Ann-Maree Keefe
I Was Only 19 – Redgum
Anzac Dawn – Katy Soljak
In the Silence – Glyn Lehmann
Mothers Daughters Wives – Judy Small
On Every Anzac Day – John Schumann
Island Home – Christine Anu
Spirit of the Anzacs – Lee Kernaghan
Advance Australia Fair – The Aussie Bush Band
God Defend New Zealand – The Royal New Zealand Band
The Last Post – Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand
A-Tisket A-Tasket – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Drop Me off in Harlem – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Duke Ellington
Take the “A” Train – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Duke Ellington
Mood Indigo – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Oscar Peterson
Heart – Damn Yankees (Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge – thanks Sean)

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Filed under Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

25 April 2019

Walking. Morningside Gardens.
On Every Anzac Day – The Vagabond Crew
Spirit of the Anzacs – Lee Kernaghan
Çanakkale Türküsü – artist not named, pulled on YouTube
New Zealand Soldier Song – artist not named, pulled on YouTube
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues
The Green Fields of France – Dropkick Murphys
As if He Knows – Eric Bogle
I Was Only 19 – Redgum
My Island Home – Warumpi Band
Diggers of the ANZAC – John Williamson
ANZAC Day – Glen Moffatt
ANZAC Dawn – Katy Soljak
ANZAC Parade – Ann-Maree Keefe
The Last ANZAC (Alec Campbell) – written by Michael Travers, artist not named, pulled on YouTube
The Last Post – from a remembrance service at Whakatane, New Zealand, pulled on You Tube

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Filed under Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

Oh the places I want to go

On the way to Korea, our plane kissed the edge of Hudson Bay from some 30,000 feet. I have long wanted to visit Hudson Bay. This is as close as I have come.

The flyover got me thinking. If I had unlimited resources, what places would I most like to visit?

I would like to return to a number of places, including the Republic of Korea now. But for this list, I focused on places I have never seen – places I would some day like to go.

I made the list as the places occurred to me. I reduced the list to ten and then I put them in a priority order, although I think that order might change on any given day.

Some places are quite specific. Some are very broad. My list. My rules.

The list:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Australia
  3. Glacier National Park
  4. Hudson Bay, Montreal, Quebec City
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Victoria Falls
  7. The Great Wall of China
  8. Machu Picchu
  9. Shiloh National Battlefield
  10. A Norwegian fjord

That’s my list. This time. What is yours?

Limiting the list to ten proved more of a challenge than I had expected. Many other places occurred to me but simply did not make the final cut. This time.

Some of these places I will never visit. Too old. Too out-of-shape. Not enough money. Others I may. I may go to some of the places that did not make the list of ten. I may get to places I did not name that prove more interesting than anything on the list. That is the beauty of the Trail. When we set out upon it, we do not know where it will lead.


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Filed under National Park, Travel

Go with God, my dear friend

I knew the day would come. I had checked on it again and again. I did not want to miss the opportunity to say what I wanted to say. But I learned tonight, that I almost did that.

I met Kevin Dance several years ago when I attended a seminar at the Presbyterian United Nations Office (its name at the time). Kevin serves as the representative at the UN for Passionists International. A group from National Capital Presbytery came for a seminar on addressing racism around the world. Kevin spoke to the group because of his work with indigenous peoples. I liked him instantly.

When I arrived in New York in October 2010 to serve with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (its current name), Kevin, along with many others, greeted me warmly. We worked together on a several issues including indigenous persons and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

A gentle, caring man, Kevin mixed a brilliant sense of humor with a profound passion for justice. He played a key role in bringing indigenous voices into the conversation at the UN. When that happened, he continued to work to ensure that the powerful heard our indigenous sisters and brothers.

Earlier this year, the faith-based NGO community learned that the time had come for Kevin to return to his home. We made a special effort to learn about his work with indigenous peoples. We did not want to lose his memories and insights We set a time to hear from him when he gladly provided “not a lecture but more of a meander. An insightful, helpful, challenging meander.

Through the first part of the year, I made a point of asking every time I saw him, when he would leave. I did not want to miss the opportunity to tell him what his friendship and witness means to me.

Of course things got busy in my life and in Kevin’s life. For the last month or so I have neither seen him nor checked his schedule.

Tonight, as I prepare to travel in the morning to a meeting that will keep me away for the rest of the week, I learned that Kevin leaves town on Monday. That last cuppa will not happen. But, with fumbling fingers, I did send him an email thanking him for his friendship and collegiality.

I am grateful I could do that much. Two other thoughts provide comfort as I bid Kevin farewell.

My friend Emily McGinley recently wrote a blog post “Love is Sticky” in which she reflects on the Korean concept of term jeong. Emily notes that:

Jeong is rooted in relationality and it has this disturbing quality of dissolving those barriers between oneself and another. … Jeong is “sticky” because it reminds us that: “we are, whether we want to admit it or not, always connected to one another.”

In theological terms, we are “people of one body, bound together by ultimate love.” Remembering that, I know that even as we go our separate ways, Kevin and I remind bound together.

Secondly, Kevin lives in Australia. I figure since I did not get a chance to say the good-bye I wanted to say in New York, I have to go to Australia to do so. Pretty good deal.

Kevin – thank you for your faith, your witness, and your friendship. Go with God, my dear friend.

See you along the Trail.


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Filed under Friends, New York, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

If the women around the world were paid for their work . . .

My life revolves around the Commission on the Status of Women for the next two weeks. The Commission meets to recommend policies that seek to increase equality between women and men and enhance women’s rights. Nongovernmental organizations come to the meeting of the Commission to advocate for positions and ideas from their particular perspective. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations hosts the Presbyterian participants – more than 40 people this year! We work in partnership with Ecumenical Women. Yesterday, Ecumenical Women held an orientation for about 180 women and men from the various member organizations.

I caught a few quotes worth sharing:

It’s some times easier to stay at home than to enter the struggle. Easier, but not better.

  • Ana Chã, Brazil

You know what, I am that statistic. When we talk about statistics, we are talking about people.

  • Michelle Deshong, Australia

I wish I could find that teacher who told me I would never amount to anything and tell him where I am speaking.

  • Michelle Deshong, Australia

If women around the world were paid for the work they do, they would be millionaires

  • I didn’t catch the name of the person

Grace Bickers, a Columbia University student who volunteers with us, took the picture at the orientation.

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Filed under Human Rights, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations