© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY

Intercity memories and the lure of the railway

I recently received, as a reward for services to ageing, my coveted Gold Seniors Opal card. Armed with this precious token it may be that soon I will be riding the rails - on the cheap - to the four corners of NSW. In anticipation of this delightful possibility I've taken a ride down memory lane and present also some musical tributes to the fabled Newcastle to Sydney rail service. I was 18 or 19, and studying in Canberra. Many weekends I would make my way back to Newcastle, usually driving my old Hillman Minx. This…

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Tribute to John Pilger, journalistic giant

The death of John Pilger, as the calendar flicked over from the ugly year 2023 to its apprehensively awaited successor, is a blow that lovers of the truth will keenly feel. A powerful voice for humanity, reason, kindness, truth and decency has gone into the silence. There are others left behind, but none quite like Pilger. Incorruptible, fearless, eloquent and tireless: a perfect journalistic combination of ruthless tenacity and deep, eloquent compassion. Thank goodness for his towering legacy. I hope his family, or somebody else, maintains his website – mirrored and protected – for the benefit…

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Read more about the article The debt genie: good servant, bad master
Bankcard logo, and a bank branch in the 1960s.

The debt genie: good servant, bad master

EASY credit is a two-edged sword. For most people in mainstream Australia it's easy to borrow money, but for a great many it's a lot harder to repay. I remember the solemnity that accompanied the arrival of my parents' first credit card. It was the 1970s and "Bankcard" was new to Australia. My vague memories of dinner table conversations are that this was an American idea, convenient but dangerous. Firm rules had to be established to make sure this powerful new genie remained a servant and never became a master. Bankcard purchases had to be closely…

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