March 30, 2021

Flag of Victoria, Australia (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

Dear Editor,

Penned some 20 years ago:

The contempt I feel for the likes of former Aussie  PM Paul Keating, left-wing journo Peter “Castro-red Bandana Kid” FitzSimons, and university academics knocking the Anzacs and/or their involvement in WWI cannot be decently expressed here!

And how the ancient battle cry of “OORAH” from the Celts (and US Marines) reverberates ferociously in my mind whenever I recall an article written by a journalist for the Melbourne Age in 1999 saying that cricket should be “over and out.”

Around the same time, The Age also published a Letter to the Editor, “So, speaking for the masses, cricket should be ‘over and out.’ We should send cricket back to the UK, where it came from!”

When recalling this, how I await the approach of Anzac Day or Australia Day!  As an Aussie whose Anglo/Celtic origins can be traced back to a “reluctant immigrant,” I am fed up to the back teeth with the gradual denial and denigration of our heritage since the early 1970s.

Cricket is a traditional Aussie game!  Our blokes have played it under the noses of the enemy in every war we have ever fought!  It is part of our heritage!!

Other sports were mentioned played by those other than Anglo/Celtics, thus unconsciously sending a message of inclusion and unity.  Well, I’ll tell you where all this inclusion originated!  I remember the ex-diggers – blokes in the 1950s with their missing limbs, steel plates in their heads and otherwise maimed – inviting former enemies of the “Axis” powers over to have a beer and a smoke.  Sure, they (as did I) called them “Dagoes, Spags, Krauts and Square Heads,” but this didn’t last for that long.  I hope to heaven we never lose our unique Aussie “Affectionate Irreverence!”  We weren’t like the Russians, turning hordes of barbarians loose to pillage and rape former enemies (darlings of the Left please note).

 Weren’t the 1956 Olympics called the “friendly games?”  Wasn’t Australia predominantly Anglo/Celtic at that stage?  Not bad for the “remnants” of those who, in the main, pioneered, developed, built and defended Australia from 1788 to the 1950s – and continue to contribute!

Don’t knock cricket – it reflects life!  You have to toil all day in the sun, fielding, yet remain alert for the slightest chance.  You have to persevere at the crease even though you may have already hit a ton.  You must know when to bowl a bouncer, when to duck or stand your ground facing a Glenn McGrath or a Darren Gough!  You must use guile to spin the ball, to beat the bat or bat to beat the spin of the ball.

Each Anzac Day just look at the names on all our memorials in every country town and capital city shrines!  They are predominantly Anglo/Celtic!  Just who the heck do you think most Australians of non-English-speaking backgrounds owe their modern-day Australian existence to?  Do we send their Victoria Crosses and Military Crosses back to the UK with cricket?  Just look at all the names that make up the SES, CFA, St John’s Ambulance and all other voluntary emergency services.  They are also mostly Anglo/Celtic.

Who do you think suffered the many grim years of deprivation during the Great Depression in building this country, then defended our “Aussie Eden” for all who followed?  Who fought desperate battles in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe to liberate from Fascism, and later Communism, those countries from whence our future migrants or their forebears came?  Who fought and died making Australia a safe destination for migrants from every other part of the world?

Is this the railings and ravings of a “WASP”?  No!  This is the anger of an Aussie whose closest family friends are non-Anglo/Celtic, whose business partner of 25 years is an Aussie of Greek parentage, whose son-in-law is an Aussie of Italian parentage.  My company of 20-odd (so’s the boss) people employs Aussies from 12 different backgrounds, including a Muslim lady in traditional garb we employed for over 10 years.  My wife comforted this lady and her daughter after vile abuse during the Gulf War – predominantly from Aussies from non-Anglo/Celtic backgrounds!

I also feel very near to my Chinese-born sister-in-law, niece and nephews and Eurasian nephews – all Aussies!

Oh!  There’s one thing I’ve forgotten!  The Aborigines were mentioned.  For sure we owe them!  There are some dark blots on our history and there are some things that we are all sorry for.  But just ask yourself one question!  What land rights would the Japanese have granted our Aboriginal Australians between 1937 and 1946?  The same land rights that the Japs granted to the Chinese during the rape of Nanking?!  Thank God for Captain Cook!

It’s been said that many women don’t like cricket. Wrong!  Many of our WRANS, WRAAFS and army girls urged the boys on during the war, themselves fighting courageously many times!  What about our valiant nurses? Who stitched our blokes up and enjoyed watching them play cricket – shells whistling overhead?  Not to mention those same valiant nurses captured and imprisoned, themselves playing cricket in the prisoner-of-war camps!  These people are our most “Gallant Generation” and still enjoy cricket today, and no one should deny them nor their descendants – their heritage.  Whilst recognising the fabulous contribution of all Australians from all backgrounds with our post-war immigration, we Aussies of Anglo/Celtic origins will not have the heritage of our forebears’ sacrifices and achievements denied us!

So on your bikes and bugger off! In answer to your shout of “How’s That?”, rest assured cricket’s not out, and if you don’t like our Aussie ways, you can head off to other parts of the world and, the last thing you’ll hear is my gleeful shout of OORAH!!

Howard Hutchins
Victoria, Australia

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