Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lionel Certainly Rose


I've never followed boxing; I think it's a brutal sport,
And I've never given boxers even a passing thought.
But the death of Lionel Rose this week, made me meditate
On what are the aspects of a life that make a person great.
The lives of Aborigines are often stressful lives
So it is quite remarkable when one of them arrives
At being a World Champion, from the humblest of beginnings,
And goes on to become a household name, with many, many winnings.
And it's sad to think that, at the time that he became of note,
In some parts of Australia his race didn't have the vote!
But Lionel is best remembered for fighting apartheid's curse,
When he was in need of money and could have just thought of the 'purse'.
Because of his black brothers he refused an invitation
To stage a fight in South Africa, because of the situation.
This was in 1970, and his action opened eyes
To the horrors of inequality, in whatever national guise. 
He's having a State Funeral, and that seems only right.
He was a great Australian. (And just think..... he wasn't White!) 

A recent shot taken on holiday


On a recent visit to Cape Town
We went to the beach.
The sea there
Is icy cold all year,
Whatever the weather.
It is not until the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean
That it becomes benign
We left Africa
Nearly forty years ago.
At that time,
The Africans were not allowed on
White Beaches!
Since then,
Times have changed.
These pools have been built
For all.
I reflected
On the pleasant sight
Of young brown bodies
Enjoying the water.
Not all change is for the worse!

Signs outside toilets in Apartheid years.


Dave King said...

Thanks for the Lionel Rose bit.

Kathe W. said...

excellent post!