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VP Day

The national capital was noisier than usual due to VP Day celebrations.


The faces of the VP Day. Betty Williams, Lois Anne Martin and Carmel O'Connor. Miss Martin knitted the red, white and blue vest for VP Day. She never wore it again. Today, it is in the War Memorial.

There were various aircraft from WWII like the Kittyhawk, Mustang and Spitfire and many more current day ones including Blackhawk,Chinook and the controversial Seasprite helicopters and F-18 Hornet jet fighters flying extra low over the lake. Hence more noise than the city has heard since President G. W. Bush's visit last year.

The day itself requires some explanation. Originally, it was called VP Day in Australia to match VE Day in Europe. But other countries, particularly Britain, didn't like that name because most of their fighting in the war against Japan was outside the Pacific, in India and Burma. Hence, the name VJ Day came into vogue. However, in more recent times the Japanese have been miffed that the name singles them out whereas Germany was not singled out in the same manner. If I were them, I wouldn't be inviting comparisons with Nazi Germany but in any case, the decision was taken to revert to the old form. It's also celebrated on 15 August in Australia because of the time zone.


While driving in to work the other day, I was listening to ABC 666 interviewing rebel nats Senator Barnaby Joyce. Apparently, Wilson Tuckey called Joyce a "dopey so-and-so" and they were asking for a reaction. He said that he had never met old Iron Bar.

Strange but true: I have. It was in Istanbul in 1995. Yes way! I was with a group from the War Memorial and was having breakfast with some Aussies who had won free trips to Gallipoli. He was very nice, introduced himself and completely ignored the "well, duh" looks from around the table. He asked me if I was from Western Australia and was disappointed that I was not. Indeed, there were no sand gropers around the table at all, although every other state and the ACT were represented.

Tuckey’s iconic name of "iron bar" of which he is immensely proud, by the way, comes from his beating a drunken aboriginal man with a rubber truncheon in his Carnarvon hotel.

Later on the same trip, at Çanakale, I met Harry Quick from Tasmania. He gave me his card but it didn't say what party he belonged to to. He seemed a bit defensive and asked if it mattered. "Not here it doesn't" was my response.