Holly The Holstein and 11/11.

Despite disappointment earlier in the week I have had a win with a gorgeous rhyming book perfect for the likes of Harry Kilometres and other Little People.

Holly The Holstein is Russell Smith’s first children’s picture book with its roots going back to his childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Millaa Millaa in Far North Queensland. After completing an Arts degree Smith went on to graduate as an officer in the Australian Army, eventually retiring as a Colonel.  ( It’s a tenuous connection to the military but still should score brownie points with the son-in-law).

Holly is a dairy cow and when this book was published earlier in the year many dairy farmers were really struggling with floods and deregulation of the industry. In Far North Queensland where there were once over 200 dairy farms there are now only 38. Smith is therefore donating all profits from Holly The Holstein to assist dairy farmers doing it tough and has already raised in excess of $10k. 

Country kiddies have been dressing up as Holly The Holstein for this years Book Week which is good change from wretched Elsa and Bluey.

In other news, the Cleveland Cenotaph had a good crowd for the 11th of the 11th which was wonderful following the last two years of major restrictions.  It was heartwarming to see kindy kids taking in the proceedings; touch wood this will ensure these ceremonies will be commemorated for years to come.

Remembrance Day 2020

Rupert McCall said “I wrote this poem at the request of a Dad who lost his boy in Afghanistan… The honour of his request had me compelled to mention every Australian son, brother, husband, father & mate who didn’t make it home from that war… or who did… but couldn’t escape from it on home soil. Look at their faces. Please don’t ever forget them…”


Rupert McCall is an Australian poet of international renown. His tributes to special events and occasions have become highly sought-after and treasured for the indelible mark they’ve left on audiences everywhere.

In many sectors, Rupert McCall has become the poet of our generation. In 2005 he was awarded the honour of opening the Prelude to the Dawn Service in Gallipoli with his acclaimed and moving tribute NINETY YEARS AGO and in 2011, he recited his poem A FIREFIGHTER’S DREAM at Ground Zero for the New York Fire Dept on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.

In 2013 as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Rupert received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for services to the community, particularly as a poet.

Ode Courtesy of You Tube

Spirit Of The ANZACS

Country singer, Lee Kernaghan, along with other Australian singer/songwriters Garth Porter and Colin Buchanan, were given access to the diaries, letters and stories of Australian and New Zealand diggers held by the Australian War Memorial as a project for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. These letters covered 100 years of ANZAC history from the First World War right through to Afghanistan, resulting in the CD Spirit Of The ANZACS. Many of the lines in the songs on this CD have been directly lifted from letters written on the battlefield.

The booklet which accompanies the CD includes pictorial evidence of the individuals, a brief history, and what it was about their letters home which inspired their adaptation to music.

To The Top Of The Hill has its origins in a letter by Roy Denning ( No 1 Field Company, Australian Engineers) who wrote of his first day of the Gallipoli Campaign on 25 April, 1915 – the dawn, the landing, and the charge “to the top of the hill”. Oh Passchendale is based on a 40 page letter written to his parents and sister by Private Leonard Hart, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, NZEF, describing the horrific events of 12 October 1917 in Belgium, near Passchendale. Inspired by a letter from Private Allen May, forward scout with D Company, 6th Battalion, 6RAR, in Vietnam Tell Carmelita derives from a missive home about a battle he had survived the week before – at Long Tan.

Surprisingly these songs aren’t depressing but rather a celebration of the human spirit. It’s music that can be enjoyed at any time, not just on military anniversaries. 

With Remembrance Day next week I’m sharing I Will Always Be With You.

courtesy of youtube

Commando Private Benjamin Chuck signed the last letter to his wife :

I Will Always Be With You, Ben.