The following are excerpts from the planned issue 198. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the print edition could not be completed, so a shortened online version has been created, named Issue 198A covering Aug-Sep. Some content will be produced in the print edition, Issue 198 for Oct-Nov 2023, modified where necessary to reflect the new dates. Events that have passed or news that is out of date have not been included here but can be viewed on the respective websites or Facebook pages of Byron Writers Festival, Lismore Theatre Company, Lismore Regional Gallery, Boat Harbour Land Care, Richmond Land Care, Naidoc Week, Janelle Saffin and Kevin Hogan
Book Reviews – Kid’s Literature
Words by Helen thepru1@twitter
Evan’s Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood
In Evan’s Gallipoli the ANZAC tradition continues to be acknowledged, in this Historical Teen Fiction novel by Australian author Kerry Greenwood. Written as a diary of a 14 year old, the entries chronicle the experience of the Gallipoli evacuation of 1916 and life on the run through Turkey and Greece. Like most first-hand diary records of war, it reports both literally and tenderly of the resilience and humour that tend the human spirit as so many die in its presence. The reader is granted a surprise at the conclusion that is only hinted on once in the story, no spoiler alerts.
If you found reading this left you with a your sense of empathy and understanding beyond your own life, here are a few other similar teen novels : Once series by Morris Gleitzman, Daughter of the Regiment by Jackie French , Soraya by Rosanne Hawke or a picture book, The Bantam and the Soldier by Jennifer Beck.
Fairy Realm by Emily Rodda
May is the month of mushrooms and fairies getting ready for the winter. It is comforting on these chilly nights looking back at some treasured children’s classics. Emily Rodda’s The Charm Bracelet still reads in that old fashioned way irrespective of time and place because it is about the Fairy Realm. With elves, magic hedges and doors, cloak of invisibility and lots of kindness amidst mischievous antics. In an atmosphere of secret gardens, mermaids and fairy wings, the main character finds plenty to solve with the aid of a miniature white horse before grandma’s birthday! A classic for some very young at heart. The book Seven Horses Seven Colours may interest some with illustrations that evoke Ancient Persian literature. Noise a wordless book depicts a teen’s daily walk by using strong, detailed black and white illustrations. Noise attempts to capture the physical feeling of sound through illustration.
Full of magic mirth and mischief but definitely a Teen Read the Manga comics Faeries’ Landing vol 1-8 by you hyun provide an older and differnet version of what fairies might do come June. But watch out for the Gruffolo!
My Deadly Boots by Carl Merrison Hakea Hustler and Samantha Campbell 2022
Carl Merrison is a notable author and turning the pages of success for indigenous literacy and children’s love of stories through this delightful book My Deadly Boots. Through words and illustrations it highlights kid’s lives, their family connections, passions, developing confidence to make things happen and sharing feelings about their life in the world that makes it.
All ages will enjoy this stunning picture book with colours that jump out of each page from a pallet carefully chosen by illustrator Samantha Campbell.
If you want to find out more about the authors Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler view their online video review at Hook into Books https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBcHVCrloPs
The theme of being young connects us all into this rhythmic bright and language rich story for readers who for many reasons love books, love listening to stories, love reading books and or love someone reading stories to them because reading opens a world we find out more about and connect to.
Book Review by Lyn Armanasco
The Boy and the Dog by Seishu Hase
This book starts in Kamaishi, north of Fukushima, 6 months after the triple cataclysm of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. In January 1985 I backpacked through Japan after completing a year of Japanese History at Uni the previous year. I still have a photo I took of Fukushima city on my fridge. Nothing in that photo exists now. This book is the story of the 5 year journey down south to Kumamoto by a dog named Tamon who was seperated from the boy he loved by the disaster.
The name Tamon is short for Tamonten one of the 4 guardians of Buddha’s realm. On his long journey Tamon meets people he becames a guardian to. The first is Kazumasa Nakagaki who meets Tamon in the corner of a convenience store parking lot. The dog is staring at Kazumasa and looks skinny but alert. Kazumasa buys him some chicken jerky and he examines the dog’s collar and discovers the dog’s name is Tamon but there is no owner’s name or address on the tag. Because of the disasters Kazumasa had lost his job as the company had gone broke. He now worked as a delivery driver and was on work time when he stopped at the convenience store. He had to get going but he knew if he left the dog the boy in the store would call the pound and there would be no future for this dog. He calls Tamon who jumps in his car and settles down as if he had always been there. For the next 50 pages we read the story of The Man and the Dog. How Kazumasa agrees to be the getaway driver for serious thieves to earn extra money to care for his mother, who has dementia, and his sister who looks after her. This has a sad end for Kazumasa as we have our first meeting with the angel of death.
We move on to the next chapter, The Thief and the Dog. Miguel is one of the thieves that Kazumasa was driving for and he had taken a great fancy to Tamon and had offered to buy him for a large sum of money which had been rejected. But now he has taken the dog from the smashed van but he has the yakuza after him. He has to get out of the country and head for home. To take Tamon with him he would have to go by boat so he is heading for Niigata after retrieving his car from the parking lot he’d left it in the day before. As they drive Miguel notices that Tamon always had his nose pointed south and wonders if that’s where his home was. On the trip to Niigata we learn that Miguel was raised in a rubbish dump with his sister and we can understand how he became a thief. He becomes very close to Tamon and knows he must release him so he can keep heading south to where he wants to go. And this he does.
From here it is a long journey south that takes Tamon nearly 5 years. On the way he meets Taiki who is jogging up a lonely mountain trail. Tamon is skinny, starving and has blood on his jaw. He has also lost his dog tag. He barks a warning to Taiki about a bear not far away and as a ‘ thank you ‘ Taiki takes him home to meet his wife Sae. This is the story of The Couple and the Dog who live near Toyama City. Taiki is not a bad person but is a thoughtless one. Sae is the real worker and grows organic veg that she sells on line. She gets up early to pick the produce, then she packs and ships it. Taiki jogs up the local mountains in summer and skies in winter and neglects his Hobby Store that opens at noon and is closed at 6. Not long working hours compared to his wife. His mountain jogging takes a bad turn and, once again, Tamon is on the move.
We move on in time and distance south and meet Miwa in the chapter named The Prostitute and the Dog. And here I will suggest that children not read this book. Not simply because Miwa is a prostitute but because she gives colourful descriptions of her work. Miwa finds Tamon lying on the road in a forest. His flanks covered in blood. He had a bad cut on his thigh. Miwa gets him to a vet who thinks he has been injured by a boar. He also finds that Tamon is microchipped and has the owners name who he will try to contact. But there is no response so Miwa decides to keep Tamon. She has a boyfriend named Haruya who is addicted to gambling. He has disappeared owing money to another man. Miwa longs to be pure again and in her growing love for Tamon she finds the strength to admit to a wrong she has done and will face the consequences. She frees her beloved dog to continue his journey.
Next we meet Yaichi in The Old Man and the Dog. He lives in Shimane, not far from the island of Kyushu. He had been a professional hunter, but age and illness had seen him retire. He hears a noise outside his house one evening and finds Tamon thin and filthy. He gives him food and water and Tamon has a new home again. Yaichi had left the Hunting Club years before because a town councilor, Teppi Nakamura, had become it’s head and had made it his own fiefdom. Yaichi despises the man. As his illness worsens Yaichi tells Tamon he can leave and continue his journey but Tamon doesn’t go as he knows he still has a job to do. The job he has done for the people in the previous chapters. A bear is on the rampage in a local village and Yaichi finally agrees to assist the hunting club to dispose of this bear. But there is a bad outcome for this old man and Tamon is on his way again after Yaichi tells him to go and find his owner.
And now we come to the final chapter, The Boy and the Dog. Tamon has finally reached Kumamoto on Kyushu and is found on a road by Toru Uchimura who takes him to a vet as he is skin and bone. The vet finds out that Tamon is from Kamaishi from his microchip and Toru phones his wife, Sachiko, to tell her. It is a strange coincidence as they are from there as well but left soon after the tsunami. Their son, Hikaru, has not said a word or even smiled since that dreadful event. But he smiles when Toru brings Tamon home from the vet. A grin that splits his face from ear to ear. It is because they have found each other again after 5 years. It is from here that we learn of Tamon’s life from the beginning. How he became the guardian and helper of the people we meet in each chapter. There is sadness in this book but also lots and lots of love. A beautiful story.
Church and Community
ST DYMPNA’S JUNE-JULY 2023.
It’s been a busy time at St Dympna’s. Easter celebrations, birthdays, baptisms and sad departures.
Easter was a joyous occasion with the church beautifully decorated and the Mass celebrated by Fr Alex.
Mary Moss celebrated her 91st birthday with a cake at morning tea.
Jennifer and Ian’s newest grandson, Atticus, was baptized and another cake and celebration followed.
St Dympna’s hosted World Day of Prayer this year with a good turnout.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Brian, who has found it necessary to move in with family in Brisbane.
At his final Mass, which was, of course, celebrated with morning tea afterwards, he made his Reconciliation and received Holy Communion for the first time in many years. We thank him for his faithful friendship and wish him blessings in his new life.
Happenings July 2023
What is happening at the Anglican Church of St.Matthew’s
We are going through a time of change within our church. Our Rector (i.e. the Rector for the whole Parish of Lismore) has relocated to Gosforth and we are currently without a full time incumbent. We had a very good locum for a while but then he became sick and had to leave. We have had various ministers who have stepped in so that we do not miss out on our regular Saturday afternoon service. On Saturday 15th July, the Bishop of Grafton – The Rev. Murray Harvey came to do the service. We felt very honoured and it was a great service. This is the first time a Bishop has done a service in our church since 2011 – our 100th birthday!
Messy Church has been suspended for a while and we missed the interaction of the congregation from a fellowship point of view. A few of our congregation have decided to have afternoon tea in the church at 4.30 pm before the 5:00 pm service. Everyone is enjoying the interaction. Why not come along and enjoy afternoon tea followed by our normal church service on a Saturday afternoon.
A forthcoming event, which will probably take place one Sunday in October, is going to be a ‘Blessing of the Pets’, when we encourage anyone and everyone to bring their pets along to church for a blessing. This has been a very successful event in our church over the last few years and we hope to continue it into the future. So why not come along and, if nothing else, enjoy afternoon tea. Look out for posters around the village to get the correct time and date.
Remember normal service is 5:00 pm Saturday afternoon. We would love to see some new faces in the congregation occasionally.
‘Gina Murray (Anglican Women’s Guild of St. Matthew’s, Dunoon)