Pinjarra Murray Times - - OPINION -

I SPEAK on be­half of my de­scen­dants and the pi­o­neers of the Swan River Colony who are un­able to speak for them­selves.

I re­fer to an ar­ti­cle by Rachel Fen­ner and the opin­ion of Carmel Hodges (Mandurah Coastal Times, Novem­ber 1).

There were many other skir­mishes around the dis­tricts be­tween York and Perth and the Can­ning River, not just Pin­jarra, all the time pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion for the colonists as they de­vel­oped a new coun­try.

While some Abo­rig­i­nals lost their lives, so did many whites who were speared to death and per­ished.

Yes in­deed, Thomas Peel was not the en­tre­pre­neur of real es­tate as the likes of the Nigel Sat­ter­leys of to­day, but he was not ac­corded his right of de­mand of the land he was sup­posed to be pro­vided. Even­tu­ally he was in re­ceipt of a smaller grant nearer to Mandurah.

It is cor­rect that many peo­ple of the Swan River Colony, and not just that of the Peel colony, were suf­fer­ing from mal­nu­tri­tion, caused by the lack of pro­vi­sions, some of it caused by theft of th­ese same pro­vi­sions by the Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

This re­quired Gov­er­nor Stir­ling to send sail­ing ships to Java and Batavia for the sole pur­pose of pur­chas­ing sup­plies for the colony.

This was not caused by Thomas Peel and the set­tlers sur­round­ing the re­gion now known as Mandurah, but the fail­ure of crops and theft of pro­vi­sions.

Thomas Peel had noth­ing to do with the Pin­jarra skir­mish, as this was a di­rect reprisal of the sack­ing of Shen­ton’s Mill in South Perth.

Gov­er­nor Stir­ling sent his troops to Pin­jarra to pro­tect the set­tlers and ex­er­cise pun­ish­ment for the at­tack against the set­tlers of the colony by the Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

Even­tu­ally a group of Abo­rig­ines were caught at Pin­jarra, where a small bat­tle or 'skir­mish' en­sured, re­sult­ing in the death of Capt El­lis of the 21st Reg­i­ment, who was speared to death by Abo­rig­ines. Another trooper was wounded.

Fol­low­ing this con­flict, Gov­er­nor Stir­ling re­ported about 15 deaths of Abo­rig­ines, although later re­ports and in­nu­endo have about 30 and more Abo­rig­ines ei­ther killed or wounded, as is cur­rently de­picted in to­day's manic of me­dia and in­cor­rect­ness of po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

I am a de­scen­dant of the th­ese pi­o­neer­ing set­tlers of the Swan River Colony and would ex­pect that our voice be heard over that of other cries of mis­in­for­ma­tion.

The his­tor­i­cal fig­ures of our an­ces­try such as Gov­er­nor Stir­ling rep­re­sent the strength and for­ti­tude of a colony of peo­ple strug­gling to sur­vive in a harsh land with­out help.

For with­out our pi­o­neer­ing fam­i­lies and their strug­gle to grow, Perth, WA, would not be where we are to­day.

We must pro­vide the thanks of our his­tor­i­cal past for their guts and de­ter­mi­na­tion to build a coun­try that we should be proud of, not de­stroyed for po­lit­i­cal gain. TER­RANCE WE­STON JP Se­cret Har­bour vir­tu­ally out-of-con­trol bi­cy­cles, some pow­ered by petrol en­gines, some by bat­ter­ies and reg­u­lar bi­cy­cles be­ing rid­den two abreast (on a foot­path).

Some bi­cy­cles have bells but their ring is lost if the cy­clist is more than about 10 me­tres away, while the pur­pose of ring­ing is lost if they are closer.

When this leg­is­la­tion was in­tro­duced there was no ac­com­pa­ny­ing guid­ance in the me­dia as to re­spec­tive re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

For in­stance, who is re­spon­si­ble for avoid­ing a col­li­sion?

Is it the cy­clist or the pedes­trian who must leave the foot­path?

In the ab­sence of guid­ance, both might move in the same di­rec­tion.

Pre­sum­ably a cy­clist ap­proach­ing a pedes­trian from the rear is re­spon­si­ble for avoid­ing a crash, but who knows.

The log­i­cal so­lu­tion is to bring in a law re­quir­ing cy­clists to leave a dis­tance of one me­tre be­tween their bike and any pedes­trian.

Who could ar­gue with that? JOHN RAN­DALL Halls Head

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