Lost and Found in Australia

THE young volunteer killed when his truck was was flipped by a fire tornado while he and others were fighting the Green Valley blaze in Jingellic was farewelled today in Holbrook. Samuel McPaul, 28, has been described by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “the best of us.” His pregnant widow, Megan, was given his bravery medal by RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. The couple’s baby is due in May. Thank you, Sam.


ON a suddenly flooded million acre station in the Pilbara, three year-old Matilda went a-waltzing and spent the night on the muddy banks of a billabong. Her steadfast Jack Russell remained by her side throughout. The duo was spotted by the pilot of one of three helicopters searching the area. Matilda’s Aunt Chooky says “Wolfy” the terrier is “the goodest boy a little girl could wish for.” Two miles and 24 hours from the homestead when found, a lesser creature might have returned to his tucker-box. But not Wolfy.

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23 Responses to Lost and Found in Australia

  1. Muddy

    Firstly: Politicians have no place at funerals for strangers (or publicly commenting on the same – F#ck off, this is not about you, parasites).

    Secondly: Catallaxy is a random news aggregator now?

  2. C.L.

    Obviously, Morrison was invited. He didn’t claim the funeral was about him. That the Prime Minister and the Premier were at the funeral will mean a lot to the couple’s child one day. The idea that Morrison shouldn’t even publicly comment on the young man’s death is pretty stupid.

    ?

    Secondly: Catallaxy is a random news aggregator now?

    I’m not sure what this means. There have been dozens of posts about the fires and the vicissitudes of Australia’s weather; I thought it was important to remember the name of somebody who actually gave his life in the fight. The Matilda story is simply a lovely contrast – like one strand of Dorothea Mackellar’s description of the place.

  3. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Posted, on the open thread that the S.E.S volunteers arrived at their headquarters, to begin the search for Matilda, to find their headquarters had been burgled, and anything worth stealing had been stolen.

    Cite you the example of the bushfire brigade, here in the Wild West, who returned to their fire shed after extinguishing a bushfire, to find the shed had been broken into, and any wallets, mobile phones and anything worth stealing from their cars parked outside had been stolen..

  4. jupes

    Two miles and 24 hours from the homestead when found, a lesser creature might have returned to his tucker-box. But not Wolfy.

    What a great story. We will never know for sure, but I imagine both would have been a comfort to the other when they rested that night.

  5. Nob

    At least Wolfy knew he wouldn’t starve.

  6. Porter

    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
    #3295571, posted on January 17, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    That vermin should shot on sight as hostis humani generis.

  7. Cui Bono

    Inspirational stories of bravery and kindness willl be followed by sickening tales of greed and theft. But on balance most of us are ok.

  8. Pingback: Plasma Wild Fires | Louis Hissink's Crazy World

  9. calli

    Thanks for putting the stories together, C.L.

    Loss and reprieve. Sorrow and joy. Service and steadfastness. The world turns on such tales.

  10. calli

    Just read Louis’ Pingback. It reminded me of this.

    Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics. – Albert Einstein

  11. Fair shake of the sauce

    Wolfy nominated for Australian of the Year ( terrier category)

  12. areff

    But on balance most of us are ok.

    Don’t believe it for a minute.

  13. Muddy

    That the Prime Minister and the Premier were at the funeral will mean a lot to the couple’s child one day. The idea that Morrison shouldn’t even publicly comment on the young man’s death is pretty stupid.

    I’m too distracted at the moment to think of an effective response, but I stand by my initial comment. Send a private message if you wish to (offer the assistance of your staff or others for practical matters), but stay out of the grief and mourning of strangers. By appropriating personal traumas for public performance or state/national identity, you thieve from those who are already struggling. If we now believe that the only way such a tragedy can have any meaning, is for a public persona to grant our lost loved one/s a new identity and hand over their memory to the broader society who may not have even noticed their existence previously … humanity is well and truly fekt in the head. Vigiltainment anyone?

    As cute as the second story is, the open thread would be a more appropriate location for it.

  14. C.L.

    … stay out of the grief and mourning of strangers.

    Right. Unless you’re invited as Scott Morrison was.

    As cute as the second story is, the open thread would be a more appropriate location for it.

    Why? Is Donald Trump’s latest Tweet more relevant to readers than Matilda and Wolfy?

  15. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Sorting out old papers this morning and came across my old high school magazines from my 1st to 3rd year, when I left. 1954 to 1956. Reading through the pieces of prose and poetry the most striking thing, apart from the generally high standard of literacy and expression, is the strong expression of duty, striving, comradeship, patriotism, sympathy, community, loyalty, hope and humour that these pieces show kids had in those days. A world we have lost, we may sometimes think, until CL generously reminds us it still exists if we care to look for it.

  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    This was in State High School with a high post-war aspirational migrant component on top of its traditional rural worker and service town base. This school had very limited resources, class sizes of 43 students, streaming by discerned capability (many poorer children in the A and B streams). There was a mix of clever and dedicated teachers and a lesser number of hopeless time servers. We knew how to tell the difference and took the good teachers as our role models, in spite of the many other things in our lives at home that were there to hold us back and pull us down if we let them matter. Most left after 3rd year, very few going on to the Leaving Certificate, but many of those who left early have made good. School had given the early leavers a valuable start in the three R’s at least and in the sense of a moral community. I know because I was one of those who because of circumstances left early but forged on, as many of my generation did, moving out from under the shadow of the Second World War that still lingered on in many homes. We embraced the optimism of our era, the 1950’s.

  17. WGD

    #3295904, posted on January 18, 2020 at 12:06 pm
    #3295918, posted on January 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Well said, Lizzie.

    I was a few years before you. I cannot recall one hopeless time server of a teacher. Can’t speak for female teachers; I had all males from grade 3 (primary school) onwards. In 1946 my grade 3 teacher introduced the class to Pheidippedes, the plain of Marathon, Jason and the Golden Fleece, and the siren calls of Scylla and Charybdis. My grade 6 teacher introduced the class to Tudor, Stuart and Hanoverian kings and queens of England. In grade 7 the teacher had me demonstrating modest skill in mental arithmetic before the class and the avuncular headmaster of the school. Those things are utterly alien to today’s curricula.

    As to a moral community, I still recall the grade 7 teacher 60 years ago reprimanding in front of the class the son of a school councillor for being a little too (but I think not entirely) familiar somewhere in the school grounds with a very well developed 12 y-o student from the class of grade 7 girls. Pour discourager les autres.

  18. C.L.

    Thanks for recollections, Lizzie!

  19. W Hogg

    2 miles? Skippy would have got Sonny, and the chopper would have been led to the site within 15 minutes. Fucking Wolfy just sits there- basically meaning well and having a rough idea what the problems are, but doing very little other than occasional growls. He’s the Tony A666ott of dogs.

  20. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I cannot recall one hopeless time server of a teacher.

    My High School history teacher had been a rifleman, in the United States Marine Corps, in the Pacific, during Wobbly Wobbly Two. You did not ever, but ever, muck about in history class!

  21. Firstly: Politicians have no place at funerals for strangers..

    Agree. They risk being the star of the show (as has happened in the recent past) & they also make a rod for their back as to the threshold for attending funerals (i.e. attending the funeral of, say, a couple of dead heroes is one thing, another thing when in the near future some catastrophe has a couple of hundred dead heroes – are they any less deserving of personal Prime Ministerial attendance at their funeral?)

    Secondly: Catallaxy is a random news aggregator now?

    Free speech would seem to mean different things to different people.

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