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Capital Times with ROBERT MACKLIN

13/04/2001 6:52:15 AM
For the record

RETIRED Canberra diplomat Neil Manton is engaged in a quest to help the National Archive of Cambodia get back on its feet. "When I went back there in 1991," he said, "there was virtually nothing left; they were starting from scratch."

He is seeking records of

Cambodian life before Pol Pot. The National Archives of Australia, the National Library and the ANU Library have already pledged assistance.

But now he's looking for material from former Foreign Affairs and Defence personnel - and Canberra visitors to Cambodia - who might have interesting records.

If you can help please call him on 6254 2689.

Streets ahead

WEDNESDAY'S item on Canberra's beautiful autumnal streets brought a strong reaction from the northside where Ainslie residents offered Paterson Street as one of the finest examples while Neil Maxwell said, "Doring Street, Dickson, with its English oaks is the most beautiful street in Canberra this time of year."

Residents of top contender, Grant Crescent, were delighted to be recognised. However, it is in Griffith, not Forrest, as we reported.

Teaser win

CONGRATULATIONS to Brett Smith, of Erindale, and the students of 6F Queanbeyan South, winners of Wednesday's teaser (answer 18).

And in the delightful competition to change foreign phrases by a single letter, special book prizes to Ann Darbyshire (hers de combat - Democrats leadership contest); Glenice Taylor (faux pat - a form of sexual harassment) and Gordon Todd (fax Romana - message from Julius Caesar).

Fire fright

URGENT bulletin from the RSPCA - check your chimney for possums before lighting the first fire of autumn.

"During the summer," it said, "possums have been having a great time in chimneys."

Have they, the beggars. Good luck to them; some of us might imagine that any Aussie possum worthy of the name would start to pack up and move out at the first smell of smoke.

Watch back

JYOTI SHAMDASANI, of Yarralumla, took her kids to the Big Splash at Macquarie recently and while taking her daughter to the change room found she had lost her valuable HMT watch.

After searching for more than an hour she checked at the front counter. "There it was lying on a heap of papers next to the reception girl," she said. "I was so delighted. I would like to say my thanks to the person who picked it up and returned it to the front counter.

"It was a special wedding gift from my parents and has always been with me since the last 10 yrs. Even though I have bought and been gifted with many watches after this, this one is special."

No heart

SPOTTED on a SAAB 95 yesterday, a new motto to the ACT number plate - 'Canberra - Symbol of Federation.'

Factual enough, but not quite the chutzpah of 'Heart of the Nation'.

Family fun

LOTS of family reunions in Canberra this weekend - but none more enthusiastic than the Carmodys whose ancestor James arrived from County Clare aged 20 in 1851.

Among his descendents was Sir Alan Carmody, pictured, famous Secretary of Customs, rising to the head of Prime Minister & Cabinet from 1976 to his death in 1978.

Julie Carmody, who has become the family historian, said, "They're coming from the coast, Sydney and Victoria. They're all great storytellers with a terrific sense of humour.

"After 150 years there's lots to talk about.'

Incidentally, Taxation Commissioner Michael Carmody says he's not related. Julie says, "I did enquire but his response was that none of his family are into family genealogy.

"But I haven't let that put me off in finding out for sure!"

On toast

KEIR DICKSON wrote a letter to the Editor yesterday about the Victorian and Queensland premiers "getting silly over Good Friday, trying to stop movie screenings and Kiss concerts".

While he was on the computer he checked out some relevant sites and discovered this story in the Washington Post: ". . . in Tel Aviv, where the overwhelming majority of residents are non-observant Jews, many restaurants continue serving the forbidden leavened bread. They used to get away with it. Now they're facing the bread police.

"At Cafe Alexander, a popular Tel Aviv watering hole, black-suited inspectors entered the restaurant, checked for bread on diners' plates, confiscated incriminating evidence - a roll - and fined owner Alex Dardik 100 shekels, about $25.

"Dardik told army radio that he would not pay the fine 'as a matter of principle'. Others laughed off the fine."

Keir said, "I just hope the two state leaders don't see it and get any more ideas."

Cycle manners

ALAN LOND, of Dickson, is fed up with the bad manners of Canberra's cyclists who travel up to five abreast on our major roads and who fail to announce their presence to pedestrians on cycle paths.

"I go for a walk each morning on the path to Barry Drive," he said. "Today I was passed by 24 cyclists and only one let me know he was coming.

"Only a quarter of them were wearing safety hats."

Alan said he had passed a group of cyclists on Drakeford Drive last week. "They were travelling five wide," he said.

"What gets me is that they are always whinging about their rights yet they won't do the right thing themselves."

Bradmanians?

MANY thanks to John Milne who has his finger on the pulse of Tasmania. "There are reports of a groundswell in Hobart," he says, "to have the island State named, not after an itinerant Dutchman, but a real Australian - making Hobart the capital of Bradmania."

Disarming

THEN there was Kevin the rich lawyer of Weston Heights who parked his brand-new Lexus in front of his office to show it off to his colleagues.

As he got out, a truck passed too close and tore off the driver's side door.

Kevin grabbed his mobile, dialed 000 and within minutes a policeman pulled up.

Before the officer had a chance to ask any questions, Kevin started screaming hysterically. His Lexus was completely ruined and would never be the same, no matter what the panel beaters did . . .

The policeman shook his head in disbelief. "I cannot believe how materialistic you lawyers are," he said. "You are so focused on your possessions you don't notice anything else.

"Don't you know that your left arm is missing from the elbow down?

"It must have been torn off when the truck hit you."

"Oh no," cried Kevin, "Where's my Rolex?"

robert.macklin@canberratimes.com.au

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