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Ray Carroll’s ‘From the Boundary’: April 23, 2024

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The Anzacs

They left the cities, towns and villages in their many thousands to fight for freedom on far distant fields. Australia’s population in the early 1900’s was just short of five million but almost five hundred thousand volunteered their services. More than six thousand were killed, nearly three times that number were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. The terrible toll impacted every locality across the nation. Australia owes a huge debt to all who sacrificed their lives in the two great wars also, In Vietnam and conflicts In the middle east.


A young soldier wrote this poem. A week later he was killed.

In Flanders Field

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In Flanders fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago.

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us we die

We shall not sleep,

Through poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

In Australia today there is a noisy minority of self-styled leftist “elites” who want ANZAC Day and Australia Day cancelled. They appear to hate the country that gives them freedom and in many cases, lavish lifestyles. They want our youth taught a distorted view of our history – and they seek to cancel anyone who disagrees with their often sinister motives. Don’t count on any of them volunteering their services if the predicted conflict comes to South East Asia – our region.

Captain Long ago

Before I became senior football and cricket coach in the late sixties at ACK I was in charge of junior teams.

My very first captain was Bill Sammon from a farm at Bungeet in Northern Victoria. Bill was a brilliant young all-round sports star and later he was to become a legendary player and coach in the Ovens and Murray League.

He was featured very recently in a double page feature in the Sunday Herald Sun. A person of deep and abiding faith he has for years been a successful farmer in the area where he grew up. Four generations of his family have attended Assumption.

Mark, a son was tragically killed only a few six-hits from the home farm not long after he was married. Mark’s daughter Millie was a boarder at ACK a few years ago. Bill and wife Glynis are fine people, highly regarded in the area.

Among their longtime friends is Broadford’s Paul Fleming. When Bill was only twelve he played cricket for the Bungeet XI (now extinct along with more than 800 bush cricket and footy clubs). Bills parents, wonderfully hospitable people, invited me to visit for a few days one distant January. I went to watch young Bill play on a scorching 42 degrees day (It must have been global warming back them!!).

Bills sister Lorraine had just been born and I still have a photo of myself nursing her. A truly beautiful person, married to James Cummins, a Burramine farmer, – their son Marcus contributed much to the life and times of the college. The name Cummins is a name strongly resonating down the generations at Assumption.



Geoff Kirby, who recently passed from this life was indeed worthy of the title “nature’s gentleman”. The longtime Broadford resident will be much missed by his wife Beryl, daughters Linda and Diane and their families, and fondly remembered by his many friends and all who knew him. He was a legend of Broadford Football Club and one of its greatest ever players and Hall Of Fame inductee.

As friends Des and Sandra O’Connor wrote in their tribute “Geoff was a champion on and off the field”. Prayers and thoughts of many will be with Beryl and the family.


A trio of Riverina lads who were at ACK in the eighties have a real interest in harness racing. Ashley Haynes, Jamie Stevenson and Darren Kane are joint owners of some pacers whom are named after friends and acquaintances.

One, doing quite well, and currently in New Zealand is named after this writer – their old teacher and coach. It is called R.C Phoenix. Ashley Haynes is part of a generational butcher family, highly regarded in Finley and beyond. Darren Kane, from Deniliquin and Jamie Stevenson from Yarrawonga are also good guys. Jamie led the 1983 college 1st XVIII and later played for North Melbourne.


Martin Cossettini attended ACK in the late eighties. From the mountain country near Khancoban, he is the son of great parents. His dad came, with many Italians to work on the Snowy Mountain Scheme. Martin loved being part of college cricket and footy premiership teams. These days he works in finance in NSW. At the 2007 cricket world cup in the Caribbean, he met a Jamaican girl. They later married and have two beautiful young daughters, one of them Vienna is a budding poet and she sent me this poem which has been published.

There’s something I need to remember

Though it’s not what I firmly believe.

‘Cause I’ve lived all my life with the motto

That’s its better to give than receive.

Its principle that doesn’t fail me –

Choosing “giving” will never be wrong –

But I’m sometimes at risk of forgetting

I can’t run on near-empty for long.

By evening there’s so little time left

To put into feeling restored –

So why wait till after the work’s done?

Receiving’s not just a reward!

So tomorrow, if I need some “me-time”,

Be it book, meditation or rest,

I shall start the day off by receiving –

And begin it by feeling my best!

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