FOR those of us interested in local history it was heartening the read the article about the redevelopment of the former Hamilton RSL site (‘Old and new at heart of RSL revival’, Herald 13/8).
Anzac House, which occupies part of the site, was the former Mechanics Institute which opened in 1888 and was designed by Frederick Menkins.
Congratulations to Bernadette and Dan Connolly for their vision and willingness to invest and transform this landmark building.
Too often historic buildings have been left to deteriorate in Newcastle, examples being the Newcastle Post Office and Wickham School of Arts. The commitment of the Connollys is to be commended.
They are showing what can be done by people who acknowledge that cultural heritage enriches our lives and needs to be preserved.
Julie Keating, North Lambton
Stop your whinging
I AM a frequent reader of the Newcastle Herald and other publications plus social media and I am appalled at the change of attitude, generally, of the Australian public.
If whinging was included in the Olympic Games, Australia would win the gold medal every time. The negativity, knock 'em down attitude, currently on display is just painting a very bleak picture of what was once a very proud and happy nation.
Come on all Aussies, get a life, adopt a positive, in lieu of a negative, attitude towards life and you will all feel so much happier at the end of the day.
Neil Fletcher, West Wallsend
War crime truths
POLITICIANS should stop headlining the Battle of Long Tan as the greatest victory of the Vietnam War as this is disrespectful to other soldiers who died in many battles they won. There were 26 brave young Australians killed in action at the Battle of Coral/Balmoral and they won that battle, yet it’s not spoken about. I was there.
The leaders’ decision-making poisoned millions of military and civilian citizens with toxic dioxin agent orange chemicals in Vietnam. This bankrupted thousands of Vietnam veterans. This is the biggest war crime battle of the Vietnam War.
Clarence Ormsby, Mannering Park
Rail corridor weakened
ALAN Squire, a train going straight through, without an enforced change, will always easily beat a tram, (Letters, 13/8). The amount of $500 million would have allowed all the needed crossing of the corridor and all the CBD construction and truly effective transport measures for all, to boot. Plenty left over for other uses.
Now the nation's leading distance metropolitan rail corridor is permanently weakened. Note the permanent road congestion now at Hamilton, as mentioned by Craig Budden (Short Takes, 13/8).
Efficiency? Going backwards like a bat out of hell, when so much healthy and wealthy livability was once ours for the taking.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
No moral compass
TO Alton Bowen (Short Takes, 13/8): Seeing as though you raised the subject of Moses and his laws protecting the rights of the wife, I would like to remind you that, according to the Bible, Moses also ordered the slaughter of men and women, but asked that the lives of the young girls who had not yet known a man (yes, in the biblical sense) be spared for the benefit of his men. I may have been slightly wrong with my previous letter, but I stand by the fact that the so called "good book" should never be thought of as a moral compass by anyone.
Adam Carter, Adamstown Heights
Taking a tram to past
A TRAM to activate Hunter Street. The NSW government is sweeping Newcastle back to the 1940s. The retro tram is to be our future, extended light rail a fading dream.
A possible wall of retro buildings on the corridor between Worth Place and Newcastle station might add gravitas to the government’s decision to divert the tram to Hunter Street. A city hurtling back to the past would be a tourist attraction but Newcastle is a heritage city doing its best to remain that way as it renews. The seductive music of Urban Growth and the Property Council led us to believe we were moving on. They have denied us the reality of the rail corridor that fits light rail as a hand fits a tailored glove.
The musicians have lost the score and are playing with a tin ear. We no longer have music. All we have is noise – and it is the cacophony of cash registers.
Rosemary Bunker, Newcastle
Praise for Olympians
MUCH has been written and discussed in various media about the perceived lack of success of Australia’s Olympic Team. In particular the swim team.
Have the pundits considered just how much it takes to just get to the Olympics, never mind making it to a final? Are they not overlooking a single inescapable fact: Australian athletes have competitors from other nations trying just as hard as they do.
They have ‘sacrificed’ as much, worked as hard, had the ongoing dedicated support of families and local communities. What happened to rejoicing in human endeavour?
Give them a break.
They’ve done Australia proud.
Tony Pelosi, Fennell Bay
Over to you, Scot
I CAN’T wait to hear our Uralla-domiciled parliamentary secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald’s advocacy for a container port for Newcastle and his criticism of the NSW government’s agreement with Port Botany (‘Put politics aside to end port paralysis’, Herald, 16/8). Over to you, Scot.
Why was there no comment from him about the Baird government’s approval of the Hunter/Scott street tram route that even the business chamber oppose (‘Final tick on light rail’, Herald 9/8)? His silence is deafening. Aren’t you supposed to be on the side of Newcastle and the Hunter?
Keith Parsons, Newcastle
The Herald reported on Monday that there had never been testing for PFOS in the groundwater between the northern boundary of the Williamtown RAAF base and Campvale Pumping Station.
However, tests on a Hunter Water pumping station between the base and Campvale in May 2012 returned a non-detect for PFOS. A second bore between the north west corner of the base and Grahamstown Dam returned a non-detect for PFOS last year.