OPINION: Letters to the editor of the Western Advocate

NOT FORGOTTEN: Should Bathurst do more to remember local boy Charles Bean, an Australian war correspondent during World War One.

NOT FORGOTTEN: Should Bathurst do more to remember local boy Charles Bean, an Australian war correspondent during World War One.

Not enough to do? Have a good look at the evidence

I CAREFULLY read last Friday’s Western Advocate front page “Game plan”, which outlined an idea for a solution to solve perceived problems among sections of Bathurst’s apparent idle youth: to involve several public agencies including Housing, DOCS and the police.

Nowhere did I see any mention of the current role/responsibility of the parents of the youth that the Kelso Community Centre (KCC) serves, nor their contribution to the leadership, management and finance of the centre.

These are vital ingredients for any successful association, in the same way as the numerous clubs and associations which abound in this city, all of whom manage their own affairs, raise their own funds, and administer wayward members.

None of these outfits rely on public agencies, either for funds or internal discipline.

They all rely on parents, who are the volunteers to do the work, along with the participating members who also supply leaders to mentor others.

The claim that there is not enough for young people to do is not supported by the evidence.

For a start, one has only to look at the Advocate’s daily what’s on column.

Then there are the numerous regional clubs and associations which provide for all manner of activities for all ages.

Thus, if someone was fully engaged, and under parental control, it would barely leave sufficient time for homework. And there would certainly be no time or need to engage in hooliganism of any kind.

One should also ask the question: is it really the responsibility of police, DOCS and landlords to undertake the work of parents and their community leaders?

I can imagine the looks of uncontrolled joy on the faces of the staff of these agencies when it is suggested that they be rostered to perform the tasks of what are, essentially, the role of parents.

As for requiring more public money to finance the KCC, I am sure that many of the current clubs and associations would like to get their hands on the public money that is already provided for the centre.

This would certainly save a lot of time for the volunteers.

In summary, I suggest that the managers of the KCC have more involvement with the parents and their youth leaders. Under these conditions, parents and youth would reap the benefit.

Meantime, leave the police, DOCS and the landlords to do their work.

L E Sisley, Bathurst

Let’s start with Bean as we shift our city’s focus

BY Anzac Day, Orange Council hopes to unveil a statue of local soldier John Hamilton VC outside the former Orange town hall. The statue has been funded by the council and Orange Ex-Services Club.

This is an excellent gesture and recognition of a local soldier who thoroughly deserved a VC.

It would be encouraging if Bathurst council could do the same in recognition of Charles Bean, a Bathurst boy who was an Australian war correspondent during World War One. He is an eminent historian, having published the Official History of Australia in the War 1914-1918. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. His father was the headmaster of All Saints’ College.

As we approach the next Bathurst council election in September, it would be wonderful to see candidates who were keen to advocate for projects such as this and projects to save our historic buildings.

I do believe we are very well-equipped with Mount Panorama, a new trotting track, a BMX track and several well-watered sporting ovals.

It is now time to focus on Bathurst and its cultural heritage instead of having such a strong emphasis on sporting facilities.

Robyn Lewis, Raglan

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