DESMOND KELLY

“TAKE YOUR MEDICINE” – By Des Kelly

 

I do remember my parents telling me this quite often, as I was rather frail during my younger years & was frequently averse to taking medicines dished out to me.

My paternal grandfather Jack Kelly however, did tell me about some of the medications listed here, doing so, with something of a twinkle in his blue eyes, and reading this interesting list of medicines, I now understand why. Those were in fact, the good old days.

Desmond Kelly

 Desmond Kelly
(Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.




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  “AUSTRALIAN STORY” – BY Des Kelly

 A really great story, especially for all Lankan/Aussies, came in today from our mate (pronounced “mite”) in this huge brown Land we now call home. The Mite I am referring to, is none other than Maxie Gerreyn, Ceylonese cartoonist extraordinaire, now resident in Perth.  Australian stories such as these, make for very interesting reading, so thank you, Max. I look forward to stories such as this, and feel sure that many thousands of eLanka readers would agree with me on this one. 

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in- Chief)  eLanka.




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CARDINAL PELL TELLS” – By Des Kelly & MY TIME IN PRISON – by George Cardinal Pell

 

“CARDINAL PELL TELLS” – By Des Kelly

 Cardinal George Pell wrote this letter which certainly bears reading, whether or not one thinks he was guilty of the crime he was jailed for. There is no doubt however, that Pell writes well. Readers of eLanka, decide for yourselves.

 

          Desmond Kelly.

         (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka. 

 

MY TIME IN PRISON – by George Cardinal Pell

MY TIME IN PRISON - by George Cardinal Pell

Photo Source: Catholic Weekly

Source: First Things 

There is a lot of goodness in prisons. At times, I am sure, prisons may be hell on earth. I was fortunate to be kept safe and treated well. I was impressed by the professionalism of the warders, the faith of the prisoners, and the existence of a moral sense even in the darkest places.

I was in solitary confinement for thirteen months, ten at the Melbourne Assessment Prison and three at Barwon Prison. In Melbourne the prison uniform was a green tracksuit, but in Barwon I was issued the bright red colors of a cardinal. I had been convicted in December 2018 of historical sexual offenses against children, despite my innocence, and despite the incoherence of the Crown Prosecutor’s case against me. Eventually (in April of this year) the High Court of Australia was to quash my convictions in a unanimous ruling. In the meantime, I began to serve my sentence of six years.

In Melbourne, I lived in Cell 11, Unit 8, on the fifth floor. My cell was seven or eight meters long and about two meters wide, just enough for my bed, which had a firm base, a not-too-thick mattress, and two blankets. On the left as you entered were low shelves with a kettle, television, and eating space. Across the narrow aisle was a basin with hot and cold water and a shower recess with good hot water. Unlike in many posh hotels, an efficient reading lamp was in the wall above the bed. Since both my knees had been replaced a couple of months before entering prison, I used a walking stick initially and was given a higher hospital chair, which was a blessing. Health regulations require each prisoner to have an hour outside each day, and so I was allowed to take two half-hours in Melbourne. Nowhere in Unit 8 was there clear glass, so I could recognize day from night, but not much more, from my cell. I never saw the eleven other prisoners.

I certainly heard them. Unit 8 had twelve small cells along one external wall, with the “noisy” prisoners at one end. I celled in the “Toorak” end, named for a rich Melbourne suburb, exactly the same as the noisy end but generally without bangers and shouters, without the anguished and angry, who were often destroyed by drugs, especially crystal meth. I used to marvel at how long they could bang their fists, but a warder explained that they kicked with their feet like horses. Some flooded their cells or fouled them. Once in a while the dog squad was called, or someone had to be gassed. On my first night I thought I heard a woman crying; another prisoner was calling for his mother.




I was in isolation for my own protection, as those convicted of the sexual abuse of children, especially clergy, are vulnerable to physical attacks and abuse in prison. I was threatened in this manner only once, when I was in one of two adjacent exercise areas separated by a high wall, with an opening at head height. As I walked around the perimeter, someone spat at me through the fly wire of the open aperture and began condemning me. It was a total surprise, so I returned furious to the window to confront my assailant and rebuke him. He bolted from the front line out of my sight but continued to condemn me, as a “black spider” and other less-than-complimentary terms. After my initial rebuke, I remained silent, though I complained afterward that I would not go out to exercise if this fellow was to be next door. A day or so later, the unit supervisor told me that the young offender had been shifted, because he had done “something worse” to another prisoner.

On a few other occasions during the long lockdown from 4:30 in the evening to 7:15 in the morning, I was denounced and abused by other prisoners in Unit 8. One evening, I overheard a fierce argument over my guilt. A defender announced he was prepared to back the man who had been publicly supported by two prime ministers. Opinion as to my innocence or guilt was divided among the prisoners, as in most sectors of Australian society, although the media with some splendid exceptions was bitterly hostile. One correspondent who had spent decades in prison wrote that I was the first convicted priest he had heard of who had any support among the prisoners. And I received only kindness and friendship from my three fellow prisoners in Unit 3 at Barwon. Most of the warders in both prisons recognized I was innocent.

The antipathy among prisoners toward the perpetrators of juvenile sexual abuse is universal in the English-speaking world—an interesting example of the natural law emerging through darkness. All of us are tempted to despise those we define as worse than ourselves. Even murderers share in the disdain toward those who violate the young. However ironic, this disdain is not all bad, as it expresses a belief in the existence of right and wrong, good and evil, which often surfaces in jails in surprising ways.

On many mornings in Unit 8, I could hear the Muslim prayer chants. On other mornings, the Muslims were a little slack and did not chant, though perhaps they prayed silently. Language in prison was coarse and repetitive, but I seldom heard cursing or blaspheming. The prisoner I consulted thought this fact was a sign of belief, rather than a token of God’s absence. I suspect the Muslim prisoners, for their part, do not tolerate blasphemy.




Prisoners from many jails wrote to me, some of them regularly. One was the man who had set up the altar when I celebrated the final Christmas Mass at Pentridge Prison in 1996, before it closed. Another announced simply that he was lost and in the dark. Could I suggest a book? I recommended that he read Luke’s Gospel and start with John’s First Epistle. Another was a man of deep faith and a devotee of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. He had a dream that I would be released. It proved to be premature. Another told me that it was the consensus among the career criminals that I was innocent and had been “stitched up”—adding that it was odd that criminals could recognize the truth, but not judges.

Like that of most priests, my work had brought me into contact with a wide variety of people, so I was not too surprised by the prisoners. The warders were a surprise and a pleasant one. Some were friendly, one or two inclined to be hostile, but all were professional. If they had been resolutely silent, as the guards were for months when Cardinal Thun was in solitary confinement in Vietnam, life would have been much harder. Sister Mary O’Shannassy, the senior Catholic chaplain in Melbourne with twenty-five years of experience, who does a fine job—one man convicted of murder told me he was a bit scared of her!—acknowledged that Unit 8 is well-staffed and well-run. After I lost my appeal to the Victorian Supreme Court, I considered not appealing to the Australian High Court, reasoning that if the judges were simply going to close ranks, I need not cooperate in an expensive charade. The boss of the prison in Melbourne, a bigger man than I and a straight shooter, urged me to persevere. I was encouraged and remain grateful to him.




On the morning of April 7, national television relayed the announcement of my verdict from the High Court. I watched in my cell on Channel 7 as a surprised young reporter informed Australia of my acquittal and became still more perplexed by the unanimity of the seven justices. The three other prisoners in my unit congratulated me, and soon I was released into a world locked down for the coronavirus. My journey was bizarre. Two press helicopters followed me from Barwon to the Carmelite Convent in Melbourne, and the next day, two press cars accompanied me all 880 kilometers to Sydney.

For many, time in prison is an opportunity to ponder and confront basic truths. Prison life removed any excuse that I was too busy to pray, and my regular schedule of prayer sustained me. >From the first night, I always had a breviary (even if it was out of season), and I received Holy Communion each week. On five occasions I attended Mass, though I was unable to celebrate it, a fact I particularly lamented at Christmas and Easter.

My Catholic faith sustained me, especially the understanding that my suffering need not be pointless but could be united with Christ Our Lord’s. I never felt abandoned, knowing that the Lord was with me—even as I didn’t understand what he was doing for most of the thirteen months. For many years, I had told the suffering and disturbed that the Son of God, too, had trials on this earth, and now I myself was consoled by this fact. So, I prayed for friends and foes, for my supporters and my family, for the victims of sexual abuse, and for my fellow prisoners and the warders.

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 “GOD’S CREATIONS, ALL” – By Des Kelly

          I’ve heard it said, take a tiny seed, barely visible to the eye, toss it into your garden and watch it grow. Need I say more ?.  God’s Creations all, every living thing, beautiful in HIS eyes, wonderful to visualize, and anyone who cannot enjoy the following would need his/her eyes tested, or be 6 feet under, as another saying goes. Please enjoy.

 Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in Chief)  eLanka.



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                      “THE PEARL OF THE EAST”  CEYLON – By Des Kelly

 

  If ever there was a Encyclopaedia on Ceylon, written by a former Prime Minister who was reputed to be the best ever, to have run this little Island, then THIS IS IT.

Because it is so very comprehensive, and I would dearly love to have it read by as many Sri Lankans who now reside in practically every corner of the globe, I am hopeful that this fascinating account about Ceylon and it’s various Charismatic Characters who adorned the Land that was once compared with the original Garden of Aden, could be suitably divided and featured on the best website of the modern era, namely eLanka.




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This is HOW a newscaster SHOULD operate – By Des Kelly

 

  A Scottish Lady Newscaster, telling it like it is.

It has never been easy to understand the Scottish dialect, but no worries with this one. The text below the video says it all. As my friend Max says, she should be P.M. of the Country. When she is off the microphone, she is a LADY right down to her bloody fingertips.



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Paraprosdokians – By Des Kelly

 

 Now, anyone and everyone who reads eLanka newsletters, and hopefully these good folk now number around 23.000, will know exactly what the word Paraprosdokians means. I didn’t have a bloody clue, and had to google it, to find out. Anyway, as I always say, English is a strange language, but an interesting one, at the same time. All these sentences, phrases, quotes, etcetera etcetera, words that sound exactly the same when spoken, yet spelt quite differently, like our “Opposition” Government Party who are called LABOR because, for some reason or the other, the Americans dislike the letter “U” and we, in Australia try to play ” Follow the leader” with the U.S.A. always leading. Anyway, that’s enough for the moment, Des,

lets get down to some interesting Paraprosdokians now. 

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“FORBIDDEN FACTS” – By Des Kelly

 

 So many of us would never realize that there are certain places on Earth where public entry is strictly forbidden, but of course, we should be given the reason as to why this is so. This is another very special video that my readers will find quite unusual, but then eLanka has always tried to bring you good people “subjects” that are interesting, even though, sometimes they may be forbidden facts. Without any further ado, here are some of these fir you.

 

Desmond Kelly
(Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.

 




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“SBS SAYS” – By Des Kelly

The truth is not only stranger than fiction, but also quite often, much more depressing than fiction could ever hope to be. It will be proven on this SBS television programme, scheduled to start on the 1st of July, 2020.

I will make it a point of watching these true stories on the T.V.Channel that I think is the best in Victoria.  




          In the meanwhile, below is an e’mail forwarded to a past President of the Sri Lanka Cultural Society, Mr.Anu Liyanage, from the SBS, on this particular subject. It makes for some very interesting reading, and as such, I have decided that all eLanka readers should be informed about it. 

Desmond Kelly

   Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.

From longtime past President of the Sri Lanka Cultural Society of WA – Anu Liyanage

SBS

SBS reveals the emotional stories of Who Gets To Stay in Australia?

Dear Anuruddha Liyanage

Every three minutes someone gains permanent residency in Australia, but every year more than 40,000 are rejected. For the first time, a documentary series captures the life changing moments when men, women and families are told whether they can call Australia home, or whether they will be asked to leave.




As a key member in the Sinhala speaking community we would like to share with you one of our upcoming series. Premiering at 8.30pm on Wednesday 1 July, Who Gets to Stay in Australia?  follows the lives of 13 migrants and their families who want to settle in Australia. They’ve come here for love, family, work or for safety. The road to permanent residency is long, complex and challenging. This series follows people whose applications have previously been rejected and are in their final appeal to stay in the country.

In Who Gets to Stay in Australia? we meet Australian woman Stephanie who is fighting to keep her French husband Fares in Australia after he overstayed his original visa by 10 years. Australian man Harry and his Indonesian wife Viona face being split up and their children forced to leave due to a paperwork error. Peruvian man Luciano might be made to move back to Peru, without his partner Drew or the HIV medication he depends on, and the Irish Hyde Family may all have to leave as their son has cystic fibrosis. Applicants who might cost the health system more than $49,000 over 10 years are rejected.

Who Gets To Stay in Australia? airs over four weeks from 8.30pm Wednesday 1 July on SBS.

 

  The stories in Who Gets to Stay in Australia? touch on many parts of the immigration journey and the challenges experienced by people applying for a visa in Australia. These topics are covered in the SBS Settlement Guide.

The SBS Settlement Guide is a content series which explores and provides essential information about issues and matters to support people while they are settling into life in Australia. The Settlement Guide is translated into more than 36 languages.

The SBS Settlement Guide is available at www.sbs.com.au/settlementguide  and you can find it in your language here

Below are a few stories from the Settlement Guide.

the Settlement Guide

Life on the bridging visa

COVID-19 is dramatically disrupting lives of close to 97,000 bridging visa holders in Australia who are unable to access the federal government’s COVID-19 support schemes.

Women on temporary visas

Women on temporary visas experiencing family violence

Learning to speak and write English is a key skill for migrants to Australia. Many English learning programs are available for free, through hundreds of locations across the country.

sbs




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“THE SLOW BOAT TO CHINA” – By Des Kelly

 

The Country that has been the focus of the World, from time immemorial. A major trading partner with most of the major countries on our planet, China has recently fallen out of popularity with both the U.S.of A, and Australia,

but still “keeps going” with the inscrutable looks on their faces, telling us in pure Chinese, that they are better at everything they do, and will continue in the same vein, forevermore. We, in Australia don’t necessarily agree, but giving credit where credit is due, is the moral of this story.

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