Tasmanian Church Closures

The closure of old historic churches and sell offs has been a concern for a long time. My first book “Churches of Van Diemen’s Land” – a history was published in1975. I wrote the history of forty two churches and of the Jewish Synagogue. Many of those churches, which were operating in the 1970s, have now closed.

Some remain derelict; others are now private homes, restaurants, retail outlets and craft shops. To a degree one can say, well at least they are preserved as a building. The other concern, however, are the numerous plaques, tablets, glass stained windows and memorials contained in these churches heralding those past ministers, congrationalists, pioneers and those who are honoured for their war time effort usually from WWI. Perhaps it is time for these to be recorded including photographically. For instance, the old Congregational church at Pontville (now a restaurant) has a wall tablet honouring Harry Hodgman, possibly the first Australian who was killed at Gallipoli

The continuing Congregational Church at Richmond, a fine sandstone building, has just recently closed. It is now a retail outlet.

I often wonder what the early pioneers, so dedicated to their faith who built these churches, would think of how we now treat them. I believe they would be aghast.

I can fully understand why some churches have to be closed…..low attendance and with modern transport people can now travel a distance to a church in the next town. In colonial days of course, when a town developed first (or vice versa) came the church then the tavern/hotel. One to sin in and the other to repent in.

Close communities geographically had their own churches, such as Ross and Campbell Town, Carrick and Westbury, Colebrook and Campania, Moonah and Glenorchy, to provide some examples.

Some of these old churches are architectural gems and I have been involved in endeavouring to preserve some of them from out right destruction, such as St Mary’s Anglican, Bridgewater. This church had some marvellous wooden carvings and I am not too sure what has happened to them. And what happens to the pews? The old and very historical Primitive Methodist chapel, with windows only on one side, at Tunbridge is now just a shell.

Churches that have closed and to be closed primarily belong to the Anglican faith, the Catholic and the Uniting, which previously was the old Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist.

Anglican churches that have also closed are St Lukes Judbury, St Peters Blackmans Bay and to be closed, St John the Baptist in Branxholm

The very historical church with its remarkable stain-glass window is St John the Baptist Buckland. There is the belief that the stain-glass window is many hundreds of years old. The window was preserved from destruction from Oliver Cromwell’s puritan troops by hiding and storing it. Later it was sent to St Johns and mounted. Whether the story is true or not, what will happen to this window?

Numerous churches throughout the State have ceased to exist and we see them as we drive around. One is St Johns, Ross and both Anglican and Congrational churches at Broadmarsh are now just a memory. The Uniting church at Old Beach and the chapel at Dysart have joined the ranks as has the oldest Congrational church in Australia, Hestercombe at Granton. By memory I believe the church at Kempton is closed and there had been threats to close St Johns at New Town, St George’s at Battery Point and St Mary’s at Moonah. Fortunately these still remain open. Attention has been centered on the Cathedral St David’s to ensure its viable future. Driving through Campbell Town recently I noticed another old church had been sold, either the Anglican or what was the Presbyterian, a wonderful structure. A blue stone chapel in main street of that town is now a private dwelling. And I am not too sure about St Michaels and All Angles at Bothwell.

A number of these churches have cemeteries attached such as in St Johns Franklin (to be sold) and the old Congregational at Bagdad which is now a private home. One wonders what happens to these. After all, the old cemeteries gave a social history of the local town, with the tombstone inscription often telling the deceased’s life story.

Sadly, the very historical Bobby Knopwood church at Rokeby has now closed as has the equally historical church which served the First Fleeters in its day, the Back River Chapel near New Norfolk. The greatest sadness was when the second cathedral in Hobart, Trinity closed much to the chagrin of its parishioners. Fortunately the Greek Orthodox people have now taken over, but it is still in need of repair.

St Margaret’s church was under threat, an old wooden structure at Risdon, which I helped to be preserve with the assistance of the media by drawing attention to its historic value. I can’t help but think that some of these building are deliberately let go, so that the consensus is, it is now too dangerous and too expensive to keep open; this also equates to old houses, such as Chigwell House, which again with the help of the media was eventually repaired and saved.

So when a church closes down what happens to the records? Hopefully they are given to either to the archives at St David’s or to the State Archives. What happens to the traditions? Memories of church fairs, bazaars, social evenings, Sunday school presentations, after church picnic luncheons, christenings, weddings, fade. What happens to the elderly congrationalists who attend? Where do they go now and how do they get there?

Many of the smaller more remote churches are a memory. Gone are the hymns sung, the sermons preached and the well known and often colourful characters who attended. True, things have changed dramatically in society. Christianity was important to our pioneers, but we have become rapidly a secular society. The passing of churches must amount to dozens and dozens in Tasmania with many more under threat. Once these goes, much of the local history goes. Does it matter? In a worldly sense perhaps no….but in a spiritual, historic and social sense, very much so.

On April 24th 2018 the Anglican Church announced that 120 church properties in Tasmania will be sold to pay compensation to sex abuse claimants. The selling of this number of assets really puts paid to the Anglican Church in Tasmania being the dominant denomination. From hereon it is just one of the many denominations within the State.

Heritage Site vandalized twenty three years ago.

Vandalism and desecration of heritage monuments, memorials and statues appears to the latest fashion of the screaming Left. The whole concept however is not original; it’s just been adopted from the United States and advocates are simply jumping on the bandwagon. Commentators like Stan Grant aren’t very original in their thoughts. Simply put, he could see public mileage running with the issue, so away he went. What he and his like-minded comrades espouse is just a copy-cat action of their colleagues in the USA.

Sadly in Tasmania heritage monument vandalism began twenty three years ago since 1995. The Tasmanian Government either Liberal or Labor appear unwilling or simply are not interested in tackling the situation. They are, in my opinion, either politically attuned to what has gone on or are – as in the words of a headmaster of mine many years ago – “spineless jellyfish”.

To highlight my point we have to go back in history to fully understand what is meant.

In September 1803 a twenty three old man, Lieutenant John Bowen Royal Navy with 48 other souls, made up of administrators, military personnel, free settlers and convicts landed at a spot called Risdon Cove on the River Derwent four miles north of modern Hobart city. Bowen and his settlers laid the foundations of Tasmania, it being the first British settlement in the State. For many years until 1995 it was an historic park where all could visit and enjoy themselves perhaps with a barbecue.

The settlement at Risdon Cove was not a success for various reasons. Bowen, however, was not at fault. He settled at the spot on the orders of Governor Gidley Philip King who was in turn advised by George Bass who was impressed by the description given by another explorer, Captain John Hayes.

As a consequent, with further orders from Governor King, Lt-Colonel David Collins Royal Marines arrived with more settlers in February 1804 and abandoned the Risdon Cove settlement in favour of Sullivans Cove, now the site of Hobart city. Bowen returned to Sydney and subsequently to England.

The original historic site at Risdon was farmed for a hundred years and in February 1904 it was made into a public area being called Bowen Park for the next 90 odd years. A wonderful monument was unveiled by the Governor and Premier in memory of Bowen and the early settlers. The park – although not all times very successfully – was owned by the Tasmanian State Government and managed by what was then known as the National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Then in December 1995 all that changed. The Liberal Government under Premier Ray Groom gave this most significant historic site in Tasmania and certainly one of the most significant in Australia, over to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council (TALC) headed by radical aboriginal activist, Michael Mansell. It was one of 12 sites handed to the TALC with very favourable conditions. For instance the TALC does not pay any land rates to the local Clarence Council, unlike house holders and other land owners.

On the very date of hand over, the Bowen Monument was vandalised because it was a symbol of ‘”invasion”. The most shameful aspect of it all was that all Tasmanian Parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament were there at the time celebrating the hand over. All must have seen the desecration of the monument, but NOT ONE made a complaint. It was only when a nearby resident alerted me that it publicly became aware. No-one, however, was held responsible; there was no inquiry nor were there any concern expressed by our community and heritage leaders.

The once public park is now owned by the TALC and no one goes there, except members of the very well publicly funded TALC and the TAC (Tasmanian Aboriginal Council). The whole historic settlement has been neglected and is now in complete disrepair, this the most historic site in Tasmania. Fortunately we do have a record of the archaeological digs at Risdon Cove Historic site which was undertaken in 1978-1980 published in a rather large report, which is now as rare as hen’s teeth.

In 2003 at the 200th anniversary of Bowen’s landing the Tasmanian Government, under ex BLF Union man, Labor Premier Jim Bacon ignored completely that the historic event as though it never happened. . Even the sailing of a replica of one of the first vessels at Risdon Cove, “The Lady Nelson” was ordered not to sail near the area as it might ‘offend’ members of the TAC. Except for a private function, which I arranged, there was no heralding the first settlement nor any recognition of the 1803 settlement, which now is termed the site of the “European invasion” This is being rigorously and vigorously taught in Tasmanian schools including private under the anti British and racist curriculum called Gumnuts. This programme is where aboriginal activists are brought in from outside the education system lampoon our culture. All this under the eye of Liberal Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff.

Over the years the Bowen monument has been repeatedly vandalised and this most important historic memorial is now in a dreadful state. Despite calls for its repair the Tasmanian Government and the Tasmanian Heritage Commission does nothing. After all, we must not offend the tiny minority.

The whole situation deteriorated when the then Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Parks and Heritage Mr Scott Gadd ordered his man, Mr Vin Gerasimenok to declare (and to quote from the letter held in my files) “Risdon Cove is no longer an Historic Site”. This is madness. All road signs indicating where the Bowen Memorial was located were removed.

Unfortunately the vandalism towards our historic site continues. It began twenty two years ago in Tasmania with the seemingly consent of the Tasmanian Government, be they Liberal or Labor.

The demise of the leadership of men

With the revelation that after the 2018 Tasmanian election results more women than men make up the majority of parliamentarians, poses a question. Where is the leadership of men? Or is it now just a case of the continuing demise of men’s leadership?

It is just not in politics women now dominate, but major roles in sport administration (even men’s football), entertainment, business, public service, police, transport, defence, emergency services, banking, education, etc., etc., women taking over from men. This may seem marvellous, but where do men go? Clearly they are taking secondary roles with females now graduating more than males from universities and colleges particularly in such courses as medical and legal. So are they proving to be more talented and of greater i.q.? The feminists would have us think so, but let’s look at the real reasons.

The women’s movement has a political agenda and over the past number of decades have not only had laws promoted in their favour, but have had quota systems applied, affirmative action, massive promotion in the media and the entertainment industry, preferential emphasis in educational curriculum, and massive and massive of public money spent in their favour. Whole Government departments, both state and federal have been constructed for the promotion on the ‘status of women’ where only women are allowed to apply.

The result is enviable; men are taking second best, pushed out by a political correct agenda with many conservative women taking advantage of its unfair bias, probably not being really aware of this globalist’s agenda.

Boys in schools are suffering from female teaching bias and are being treated as oppressive of the female and potential wife beaters. If boys endeavour to be ‘boys’ then immediately (usually be a female administrative staff) there is intervention. Boys do not know how to be boys…there is confusion. Men are unsure of their roles. The effect upon the family is enormous.

Men are natural to leadership roles. How often women are portrayed even in dangerous and war-like environment as leaders, leading the men on a mission or out of trouble? All this is of course is utter rubbish, but to the growing mind of the juvenile it looks as though it is reality. Even in the scouting movement and boy’s early sport, the role of coaching is now taken over in many incidences by female leadership. In advertising of course, the man is portrayed as a fool with the woman, as the superior wise one making the sensible decisions.

Men not fulfilling their roles of leadership, of protector and of family provider are producing males of a snowflake generation who are prepared to sit back and take second best resorting to drinking and sport.

What can be done about it? Well certainly we cannot expect our spineless jelly fish parliamentarians to do anything about it; after all they are a product of mass political party thinking and survive in their roles by not thinking for themselves.

It comes back to the people. Parents must respect and the honour the roles nature has deemed the male to follow and allow their male family member to not only fulfil his role but to promote and honour it. A strong father figure must influence this and direct the young mind on to the right course, but the mature male figure within the family must first of all assume his responsibility as the head of the family.

The problem is of course; while our society is being feminised most of the real world is not. The growing continent of Asia is still masculine and does look upon the West and rightly so, as decadent and rotting. We will be taken advantage of. The Muslim religion is a masculine religion thereby attracting males, while the Christian religion is looked upon as feminine with males leaving the traditional religion in droves while most of those who remain are over whelmingly female. Now many pastors, priests and even bishops are female usually espousing liberation, socialist theology.

The call of “equality” is the latest mantra. Equal before the law yes, but we are not equal as individuals…we are incredibly different to each other. There is no such thing as a level playing field. And so it is with the sexes….we are different and what is wrong with that? We complement each other. We have different roles to play.

We are in crisis mode and we are seeing society escalating with a myriad of social problems, yet we have no solution, only to promote the same insane policies. Men not welcomed here! It is all quite unnatural.

Australia Day…Why January 26th?

I would like to answer the question why January 26th?

Many people may think that January 26th was the exact day the British arrived in New South Wales for the first time. Well, actually the British arrived at Botany Bay on the 18th January, after the eleven vessels sailed from England, 13th May 1787. We can only imagine the difficulties and challenges which faced all on that eight month voyage and admire the fortitude and endurance of our early settlers.

Upon arrival at Botany Bay, Governor Arthur Phillip was disappointed in what he saw. He had been instructed to go there on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society, when he had accompanied Captain James Cook to the area. Convinced that Botany Bay was unsuitable, after the rest of the fleet arrived, Phillip set off to explore together with David Collins, who was to play a major role in Tasmania’s history and John Hunter, later to take over from Phillip as Governor, a spot just north of Botany Bay. There he discovered Port Jackson which he described: “the finest harbour in the world in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security.”

Well satisfied with the choice he immediately returned to Botany Bay and transferred all to the new site. At sundown on January 26th, 1788 a simple ceremony took place at Sydney Cove. The English flag was raised, toasts were drunk and volleys were fired. The other ships came in soon afterwards and next morning the transfer began of men and tents, equipment and stores.

Thus was the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia. From this settlement of New South Wales, came firstly the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (1803) then all the others. As time progressed they became fully separated colonies from New South Wales, Tasmania in 1825, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1850, and Queensland in 1859. The colony of Western Australia – independent from New South Wales – was formed in 1829. From the 1880s there was a concerted effort to bring all the colonies into one new nation and on the 1st January 1901, the colonies became States of the new nation of Australia.

So why not the 1st January 1901 for Australia Day? It is not unusual for a State or nation to celebrate its birthday on the date of settlement, so January 26th is apt indeed and from those very humble and harsh beginnings came Australia!

So how long has January 26th been celebrated as our birthday?

By 1808, January 26 was being celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day” with drinking and merriment. Thirty years after the arrival of the First Fleet, in 1818, the Governor of Australia, Lachlan Macquarie, ordered a 30-gun salute, hosted a dinner ball at Government House and gave government employees a holiday. In the following years, employees of banks and other organizations were also given holidays. In the following decades, horse racing and regattas were popular activities on January 26.

In 1838, Foundation Day was Australia’s first public holiday. It was also the occasion of the first public celebrations of the founding of Australia. The shores of Sydney Harbour were crowded and there was a firework display. By 1888, January 26 had become known as ‘Anniversary Day’ and was celebrated in all colonies except Adelaide. In 1888, the centenary of the arrival of the First Fleet was celebrated with ceremonies, exhibitions, banquets, regattas, fireworks and the unveiling of a statue of Queen Victoria.

By 1935, January 26 was known as Australia Day in all states except New South Wales, where it was still called Anniversary Day. In 1938, large scale celebrations were held. These included a re-enactment of the landing of the First Fleet.

From 1946, January 26 was known as Australia Day in all states. However, the public holiday was moved to the Monday nearest to January 26 to create a long weekend. Since 1994, the Australia Day public holiday has been on January 26 in all states and territories.

We should be proud of the accomplishments of our people and of the nation. This why we celebrate our nation’s birthday on January 26th….

Prince Charles – the man and his achievements

Simon Weston joined the Welsh Guard while a young man. Leaving his home and family in Wales, he underwent his training and almost immediately was despatched to Berlin, West Germany. He was a well adjusted man, who loved and played rugby and was to marry when only 19 years of age. “Berlin was a wonderful and rich city,” he said, “But it could be very claustrophobic in those days, encircled entirely by Russians”. While in Berlin he did Spandau guard duty and actually saw Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy who was incarcerated in the prison after the war. Weston left Berlin in 1979 and was posted to the war torn country of Northern Ireland. There he did dangerous patrol work and it where he met Sue whom he married. He then was sent to Kenya for further training, and back to Northern Ireland.

In early April 1982 Argentinian troops successfully invaded the Falklands Islands. He was sent to the war zone and after arriving was placed aboard the vessel Sir Galahad to await disembarkation. Aboard was the Prince of Wales Company. While on the vessel, Weston stated later they were never briefed in air-raid drill. The Sir Galahad was attacked by Argentinian planes and someone shouted “Get down! Get Down!” One of the bombs a 2,000 pounder landed where Weston was taking shelter. A fireball erupted, forcing shrapnel and ricochets whizzing past his head. It was a horrific scene, one from hell. In the short of it all, the twenty three year old Simon Weston, who wanted to enjoy life to the full, was horrifically burnt. Eventually he was sent back to Great Britain where the long hard painful road of constant treatment began. I need not tell you the ordeal that this young man had to go through, which coincided with great bouts of depression, he not wanting to leave him home, but with help from his mates, family and the army he became active with the Guards Association and eventually came to Australia. From Australia in 1986 he flew back to Britain, where he received an invitation to go to New Zealand to join Operation Raleigh, a young people’s international adventure and aid organisation.

He was to write, “Later on in the venture I discovered that I was on the same plane as Colonel John Blashford-Snell, the creator of Operation Raleigh.

“I never did find out who nominated me,” he said to the Colonel.

“You didn’t?” replied the Colonel. “Well, I shouldn’t really tell you this, but I’ll give you a clue.  It is someone very closely associated with your part of the world, who has followed your progress with a lot of interest and concern.”

“My mam?” He asked.  “My gran?”

“No.  As a matter of fact it was the Prince of Wales.”

I highlight this true story to convey all the work behind the scenes that Charles, the Prince of Wales, does.  He had met Simon Weston at the London Victory Parade after the Falklands War and as the Colonel said, “followed your progress with a lot of interest and concern,” so much so he personally nominated this badly injured man and by nominating it means, he paid for his involvement.  There was no publicity about this nor did the Prince seek it nor should he. There is a verse in the Holy Bible which states, “But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “(Matt 6:3) In other words, “don’t make a big show of it”.  One always sees a number of celebrities being photographed, say in Africa with children.  Most of it is for publicity purposes.  They fly in, have a photo shoot and fly out again. They do it, arranged by their publicity agents, for the entire world to see.  Truly they have received their reward. Prince Charles does not do that;  all the good work he does, he does so, silently, behind the scenes, secretly, most of which, if not all, has not received public attention or acknowledgement.  This, however, is the way he wants it; that is how he operates.

Prince Charles, the future King of Australia gets bad press. Very little of the true work he does, the true character of the man gets through. Rather, the concerted attacks against him portray him as a man out of touch, strange and immoral. After all, he talks to trees doesn’t he? Well, I use to talk to my dog all the time, so perhaps that makes me strange too. If so, I am in good company. True there were those terrible days during the 90s for the Queen as well, where there were those scandals, the burning of the Queen’s residence, the death of Diana and one thought would all this not end? The republicans and sensationalists had a field day and the Monarchy took a beating; there is no doubt. The Queen was criticised for lacking compassion after the death of Diana, but you know – the Monarchy survived and Constitutional Monarchy is even stronger than ever before. Charles has married Camilla and of course she has come under huge personal attacks by self-righteous individuals who have nothing to be self righteous about. Even recently ex Prime Minister Paul Keating at the release of his book with sarcasms and rudeness attacked the Royal Family and our system of government, as did ex Liberal Senator Amanda Vanderstone. But who are they to moralise?,

Let’s move on to something much more positive. His father, the Duke of Edinburgh, as a serving officer in the Navy, had seen something of Australia and been attracted by its people. It was arranged in 1965 that there would be exchange of students. Prince Charles would attend Mount Timbertop School at Geelong, while an Australian boy would attend Charles’s school, Gordonstound, which turned out to be a son of a farmer. This came under criticism; if Charles was coming to Australia why not have him attend an ordinary State high school. The school was chosen by the then Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. Menzies did not want the young prince to be at school in the middle of a crowded city in Australia, where people would be gazing constantly at him. He wanted the young prince to mix happily with ordinary Australian boys. By this time he was a senior boy and thus his position was to maintain liaison between masters and junior boys. It was a Spartan school, where students came in direct confrontation with nature; they had to provide with their own welfare, in other words be self-reliant. The Prince surmounted the same hurdles as the other boys without claiming privilege. From Timbertop he visited missionary stations in Papua and New Guinea. That was his first visit to Australia.

But let’s get back to modern times. Much of course could be said of his early life. He is now a mature man, very well qualified, educated and experienced. He is intelligent and compassionate. He is a great believer, as I am, in natural therapy and the benefits of herbs. For more than 28 years, HRH has put his organic principles into practice in his ground-breaking garden at his property called Highgrove in the UK. He states that “the garden is an expression of what I hold dear – an essential harmony and connection with Nature, which is so important for the world today and for our descendants. We are planting to the future, so that those who come after us can reap the benefit of what has been planted before.” So what’s wrong with that? Is that the ravings of a mad man? He goes on to say, “The single most important factor in the success of an organic garden is the health of the soil.” Again, seems quite correct to me…”my advice to anyone who is thinking of gardening organically,” he states, “would be to make a start, be patient and take the rough with the smooth. If you encourage wildlife into your garden, you will find pests and diseases become less of an issue. Surprisingly, you will discover that you tend to have more success than failure with benefits to the environment and to your own well being.” Prince Charles has become the Patron of Plant Heritage, which conserves the diversity of our plants. He is very interested in the health of children. He is quoted as saying, “There are many imaginative campaigns designed to teach children to eat well and be healthy, such as the Food for Life Partnership led by the Soil Association, as well as groups, such as Garden Organic, which encourage children to plant seed, nurture plants and have their own produce. Local gardening groups need to encourage the same sort of thing.” The public can actually visit Highgrove, to experience what he describes as “harmony with Nature; that it warms the heart and feed the soul of those who visit and maybe for those who have never gardened, provides inspiration to show what can be done in a mere few decades.” Here, the Prince is setting an example to us all.

He has behind the Dumfries Housing Estate project in Scotland restoring a 18th century home and grounds for the benefit of the local and wider community. The historic estate will be preserved for the future, providing work for many young people who have had their lives turned around because of the opportunities presented to them.

He is a military man having spent time in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, commanding a mine hunter and flying aircraft. He is a great musician and watercolour artist of some talent.Lithograph copies of water colours by the prince are sought after all over the world and the rarest currently fetch up to 15 thousands pounds a piece at the London Gallery. His works are also available at his country estate Highgrove in Gloucestershire where the originals hang. Proceeds from sales of the copies, signed in pencil by the prince, have gone to his Charitable Foundation.

Of his paintings, Charles stated, “It transports me to another dimension which refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can’t reach.”

The Prince is known to attend services at several different Anglican churches near his home at Highgrove and in the year 2000 he was appointed as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He travels each year to Mount Athos to spend time in the Orthodox monasteries, demonstrating his interest in Orthodox Christianity. We must not forget that his father, the Duke was raised Greek Orthodox, before being converted when he married the future Queen Elizabeth II.

He has demonstrated a great interest in alternative medicine, a cause of which I am personally interested. Because of this he has been a subject of controversy and criticism. On one occasion he advocated that medical practiconers should offer herbal and other alternative treatments. One pious critic said, that many of the alternatives are “downright dangerous”, not to state of course prescribed drugs can be “downright dangerous”.

While his late wife Diana received great publicity regarding her charity work, little is known of Charles’s. He has founded the Prince’s Trust, establishing fifteen charitable organisations and serves as President of all of those. An alliance of charities is called The Prince’s Charities raises over 110 millions pounds annually. He is patron of 350 other charities and organisations and carries out duties related to these throughout the Commonwealth. He draws attention to youth, the disable, the environment, the arts, medicine the elderly, heritage conservation and education. A ex private secretary described the Prince as “a dissident who works against majority political opinions.” Isn’t that the type of person who we want to become King? A man in his own right.

He has frequently criticised modern architecture, (again) of which I totally agree. Most modern architecture, in my opinion, is simply ugly. He cares in his own words, “deeply about issues such as the environment, architecture, inner-city renewal and the quality of life.” And with courage, when only a young man in 1984 attacked the British architectural community in a speech given to the Royal Institute of British Architects. He wrote a book called “A Vision of Britain” in which he criticises modern architecture. And modern architecture needs criticising and may I say, in Hobart as well – one just has to look at our waterfront. The Prince, despite attacks has continued to put forward his views, together advocating the restoration of historic buildings.

There is so much we can say on Prince Charles, the Man and His Achievements, so much. His involvement with modern architecture has been described as “an abuse of power” especially when he criticised the developers of the Chelsea Barracks, suggesting that the design was “unsuitable” with the development being done by a royal Arab family. Those in the architectural community has described his “behind the scenes lobbying” as counteracting the “open and democratic planning process” which is a lot of rubbish really. If they believed in what I just quoted they would welcome his comments. Lately the Prince has been accused of using his charities to lobby ministers over politically sensitive issues such as VAT (or our GST) to promote his beliefs on topics including social development and the environment and has called directly on the Government to change policies. But as one correspondence to the Daily Mail (UK) pointed out, “As senior patron and head of these charities this is what is EXPECTED of him, by those charities”. Well said. And interestingly enough the amount collected in the UK by the VAT is the equivalent to the payments paid to the European Union, so one could say the VAT tax does not benefit the British people at all.

It is well worth adding that during the year 2015 at the age of 66 he had 380 engagements, which included 147 abroad. His sister, Princess Royal carried out a total of 544 engagements and Prince Edward 354. How many of us could be as dedicated as that?

Prince Charles one day will no doubt become King. He will be a good King. He is aware of his responsibilities and he is a humane man willing to speak his mind when he sees it is beneficial to his people and country, rather than to self centred arrogant governments and ambitious politicians. What more could we ask of our monarch? The true success of anyone I have observed is within their family. Prince Charles has reared two wonderful sons. It has been a dreadful time for them all with the loss of their mother in terrible circumstances, surrounded by controversy which still exists today. The pressure upon the family has been enormous, a weight which the majority of us I surmise would not be able to handle. But handle it they have and I can only admire their fortitude and “guts” to see it through.

Things have settled down a great deal over the years; the popularity of the Queen is outstanding and the appreciation of the system of government provided is high, including Australia with many republicans stating that for the time being it is a lost cause. They are hopeful that when Prince Charles becomes King, it will promote the republican cause, but I doubt it. As said, he will become a good King and will pass the mantle on in time to his son, William and Kate. I have entitled this article, Prince Charles the Man and His Achievements. His greatest achievement will be to be a King in every sense of the word. That challenge for him is yet to come. In this day and age it is probably more difficult than ever before to accept the burdens of being Monarch. Time will tell us what King he will be.

I just like to name some of the Prince’s charities – some of them…The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust; The Prince’s Drawing School; The Prince’s School of traditional Arts; the Prince’s teaching Institute; The Prince’s Regeneration Trust; The Prince’s Countryside Fund; Business in the Community; Scottish Business in the Community; and The Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

Her Majesty made Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on the 7th anniversary of her marriage to Charles, a Dame of the Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order. This shows the Queen’s approval of the role of her daughter-in-law and is her personal gift.