Saturday, May 10, 2003

Whiskey of the Week: Robert Dunford's Last Dram

Okay, the Australian won't let me look at an obituary that is two freaking days old. So I'll just crib it:

One of Australia's last remaining World War I veterans, 104-year-old Robert Dunford, has died.

Mr Dunford, a gunner with the 1st Division Ammunition Column, died at a nursing home in Sydney last night.

With the passing of Mr Dunford, only eight Australian World War I veterans remain alive.

Mr Dunford was enjoying an early evening whisky when he died.

Mr Dunford arrived in France as the armistice was being signed, but stayed a year on the Western Front, cleaning up the battlefields of France and Belgium.

The 19-year old enlisted in April 1918 and arrived in England for training in August of that year before heading to France.

On his return to Australia in October 1919, Mr Dunford worked as a dairy farmer before studying accountancy. Later in life he and his wife Thelma ran newsagencies in [New South Wales].

In 2000, Mr Dunford was presented with the 80th anniversary remembrance medal.

He is survived by two children, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. His funeral will be on [Monday, May 12].

-- The Australian, May 9, 2003

What a tremendous life. And, at his advanced age, short of being shot by a jealous husband, I can't think of a better way to go.

Rest in Peace, Mr Dunford. You've more than earned it.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Australia Day 20: Homeward Bound

Sitting here in the Cairns International Airport waiting for our flight to board -- first Sydney, then via Qantas 107 to Los Angeles -- and I'm just reflecting on how genuinely a great time I've had down here. Australia -- and Australians -- are both just tremendous. Tim Blair's hospitality cannot be overstated as well as Tony the Teacher's and the other bloggers I met at the Bourbon and Beefsteak seemingly weeks (okay, it was two weeks) ago.

Pictures will be up shortly, by Sunday afternoon (Pacific Time) I hope. And it will be good to be back in the United States.

In more important news, however, herald the arrival of my friend Kim and Paul's new baby, Sawyer who, mercifully, takes after her mother in the looks department. And this, my friends, is the best news to come from home during our three week absence.

N.B: Lots of these blog entries need some polish -- and I have a few more beer mat blogs to type up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Australia Day...err... whatever: Queensland

Okay, lots of lounging around and scuba diving and walkin through the rainforest. Too much fun... and much too important to blog about. Off to Cape Tribulation this morning. Seeya.