Smiles, not snarls at parade
There are few places in the world where thousands of people would line the streets to watch a procession of mainly mining vehicles trundle down the city’s main thoroughfare.
Of course, for a city that was founded on gold, and still exists 125 years later because the gold is still there, in Kalgoorlie-Boulder such a scenario is a little more probable.
Last weekend’s was my first St Barbara’s Parade and it was quite a spectacle.
It was a bragging exhibition of wealth and size and opportunity.
Where I come from, the only time there would be such a vehicular procession of such magnitude was when the old despot Robert Mugabe was being taken to the airport so he could be treated by overseas doctors because all the medical professionals had left the country.
The difference was his motorcade travelled a little faster and he would be sitting in one of 12 identical blacked-out bulletproof Mercs so anyone who decided to take a pop at him would not know which car he was in.
If someone was stupid enough to wave or smile at the presidential motorcade, they ran the risk of being peppered in a hail of bullets fired by the glaring entourage of military personnel.
A few people were killed over the years because they committed the heinous crime of not pulling off to the side of the road in time.
How lovely it was, then, to see a motorcade of a different ilk.
Instead of being glared at by soldiers and peppered by bullets, bystanders were peppered with a never-ending supply of toffee and candy canes and mints.
For me, it was a little reminder of just how lucky we are to be living in Australia.
There is something gratifying about my young son returning home with a bag full of lollies and a wide smile, rather than a near-death experience.
And all of those big trucks rumbling down the street are a fairly good sign he will grow up in a country where opportunity abounds.
And as a parent, there is little more one could wish for. A 1954 letter written by Albert Einstein and known as the “God letter” because he discussed his thoughts about God and religion has fetched close to $2.9 million at an auction in New York.
The letter, which was sold at Christie’s on Tuesday, was written the year before the Nobel prize-winning physicist’s death. It was addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind, who had written a book about Jewish spirituality and the pursuit of science. In the letter, Einstein declared, “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable but still primitive legends.”
Einstein was constantly questioned about his religious beliefs during his lifetime.
The 2018 St Barbara’s Parade.