Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

COURAGEOUS: Letter-writer Michael McKenzie says multiple limb amputee Lou Richardson, whose story featured in The Addy this week, is an inspiration to all.

COURAGEOUS: Letter-writer Michael McKenzie says multiple limb amputee Lou Richardson, whose story featured in The Addy this week, is an inspiration to all.

A tale of true courage

An article with Lou Richardson sharing her story (“Moving beyond limitations”, Bendigo Advertiser, October 11) to socialise and support for Amputee Awareness Week was a great lesson in human endeavour.

I distinctly remember visiting Lou some 16 years ago at Anne Caudle soon after the amputation of both of her legs below the knee, and her left arm below the elbow. The memory deeply etched into my psyche was the courage and strength of this person.

Not a hint of self pity or why me; she radiated such a positive attitude even with her physical afflictions. Her cheerfulness bucked up the spirits of all other patients, and staff were amazed at her strength of character.

Doctors telling her “You’ll never walk and you’ll never drive” might have applied to most people, but not to Lou with her indomitable spirit.

I lost touch with her when she left Anne Caudle but am so thrilled to learn she is leading a normal life and starting a social group for fellow amputees.

Congratulations Lou on your magnificent achievements against all odds and trust you continue to enjoy life; an inspiration to us all.

Michael McKenzie, Bendigo

Bullies behind Vaxxed axe

Life of Brian was supposedly “so funny they banned it in Norway”. Will Vaxxed be “so serious they ban it in Australia”?

The first I heard of Monty Python's epic was when my school wrote to 1000 parents urging them not to let us watch it. A generation later, it is a landmark in 20th century film, and probably the best loved and most well-remembered of all the Python movies. Brian quotes are still dropped into conversations everywhere to highlight nonsense everyday situations.

The nonsense situation I am thinking of now is Vaxxed. It would have had its Australian premiere last weekend, but it was pulled from CLIFF amid official condemnation and actual threats to festival staff.

But the subject of Vaxxed is much more grave than Brian. It alleges that US government agencies fudged science to protect policy, and that in doing so they have knowingly placed the health of a generation at risk.

And so it smacks of Python's Romans, when ministers and public health officials chime in to condemn the film as they have, and discourage people from watching it. Are they afraid it is spreading deception, or spreading truth? Either way this response is inadequate: if Vaxxed really is a pack of lies, the public interest demands legal action, and if not then it demands a public inquiry. Either way, officials should unequivocally condemn the bully-boy tactics that have so far kept it off the screen.

Significantly, those nannyists who thought Life of Brian would poison our delicate teenage minds had not themselves seen it. What they achieved was to make themselves look very foolish and give Brian the best possible publicity. With Vaxxed, silencing debate does nothing for the credibility of public policy and those who make it.

The fact is there are many intelligent and scientifically literate people who want to see Vaxxed and appraise it for themselves. And one way or another they will of course see it. It is extremely naive to think that decree of Caesar, intimidation, or ill-informed Wakefield-bashing will make this go away.

Kuno van der Post, Bendigo

Great time had by all

We have had a wonderful weekend of dancing and would sincerely like to thank you for your support in promoting our dances.

The Sunday dance was an extra special occasion for us, with the music supplied by "Tony Gilbert Sound", a band from the Gold Coast. 

All the fantastic photos in the Bendigo Advertiser on Tuesday are much appreciated. Thank you again for your ongoing support in advertising our regular dances.

Joy Kentish, Spring Gully Hall Committee

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