The get-together was in the afternoon, supposedly for anti Vietnam war anti conscription activists to tell their stories – but instead only a high profile draft dodger, Michael Matherson talked (plus another whose emotional account I could barely follow).
This wasn’t helped by the fact that Jeff had put the featured speakers on the floor of the hall – while the microphones where only on the stage.
He had made out earlier that I could also join in, given I’d written some major anti-war poems at the time one long one that was published in the Wayside Chapels DELOS magazine in about 1970 (which I likely read out publically there). I was also showing the “organisers” an article in the Sydney Telegraph newspaper in 1971 – about how I’d made a film about the Sydney anti-war Moratorium.
Putting a knife in my front, Jeff dismissed my participation in the poorly attended (less than 20) get-together – with his Two Cents remark at the end, to the audience. Next there was the memorial Columns to launch at the entrance – after Jeff admitted he’d let the Agent Orange guy ramble on too long. The later Concert afterall, was advertised to be a fund-raiser for the victims of that deadly defoliant used in Nam to get rid of the trees so the “gooks” would be more easily killed. Some connected to the Agent Orange issue were clearly actually in favour of the Vietnam War - just against being poisoned for generation as Oz soldiers there, by Agent Orange.
I later asked Jeff if I could just read my shorter poem at the Concert – which his sub-organiser wanted to happen, but Jeff just groaned (very loudly and quite publicly). That powerful poem if mine, questioning religion was most likely read out at Wayside Chapel question time - nearly 50 years ago.
However, earlier he was suddenly interested in how I videoed the talk by Michael from my tripod in the audience – sadly without mic amplification being supplied, so it won’t be usable without volume increase in post-prod. I also videoed Aquarius organiser Mathew Dunstan, who had a great loud voice – with both of them approving my videoing afterwards (offering them a video copy). Mathew said some very interesting things about the then counterculture movement - that helped stop conscription.
Jeff had quickly approached me, offering to pay “expenses” for my video coverage – given I was the only person videoing those two key speakers. However later, after his big Groan against me asking to just read my short great anti Vietnam war poem at the Concert (that he didn’t bother to even look at) I just pissed off before the concert. Jeff had been publically nasty at me at a Politics in Pub years before, so I really couldn't believe his “expenses” offer for making videos - and getting copyright permission to cover songs at the Concert would be just too hard.
AtTAPGalleryevent days before the Concert – Jeff was hugely late and hadn’t replied to my email weeks before about how I had my Morayorium based film to play. A woman had already complained to me there that Jeff had been very rude to her recently to which I replied that he spread it around. Given that he seemed only to have USA film DVDs to play when he did arrive, I took off before he could recognise me (I hoped) - and orobably give me a hard time again.
At the Addisson St event days later, he kept introducing me to people as the guy who USED to produce (ie edit for UPE) Dole News plus other completely wrong claims, again ignoring the UPE – (that I was forced to keep correcting). Not much fun for me, but the female Co-ordinator of the Addison St complex just loves him it seems, as he “gets things going”.
What he really got going that will remain, perhaps, was her memorial Columns at the centre’s entrance – which was launched (before the Agent Orange Concert) with a full smoking-ceremony. However she had a mic and little amp to let the speakers compete with the passing traffic – so I videod some of that. The smoking ceremony Aboriginal guy told some women not to video him (just photograph).
There are mostly nonmilitary plaques, though the place is full of old Nissan huts – as it was originally an army base for receiving 1960’s conscripts. Luckily I got out of that long enough for Whitlam to just stop it. I'm not sure anti war activists will be featured much on tiny $70 plaques on the memorial Columns - since those who "served" are priority. Yet another War Memorial it seems