Saturday, October 14, 2017

Melbourne Ports to Monash?

Kate Ashmor, lawyer and chair of the Committee for Monash, argues, in an Australian opinion piece, as follows:

"When a list of the greatest Australians is compiled, names such as Bradman, Freeman, Laver, Buttrose, Mabo and Menzies frequently appear. But one name surpasses them all. It is a name synonymous with inspiring leadership, patriotism and excellence, a name that deserves a permanent place in our commonwealth's democratic institutions. That name is General Sir John Monash [...] After World War I broke out, Monash led the nation in battle, landing at Gallipoli on April 26, 1915. It was his deliberate decision-making that crafted the Anzac identity; he personally led annual commemorations of Anzac Day until his death. [...] His contribution cannot be over-estimated: Monash all but won the war for the Allies, despite the best efforts of prominent public figures at the time to deny him recognition at the highest levels, arguably because of anti-Semitism and his lack of professional military service." (Let's salute Monash, our great leader & patriot, 12/10/17)

Apparently, the Committee for Monash, described in her piece as "an informal grouping," wants this claimed lack of recognition remedied by having the electorate of Melbourne Ports (currently held by Labor's Michael Danby) renamed Monash. Well and good, Ashmor may indeed have a valid case to make here. But questions remain:

Who else makes up the Committee for Monash? Why doesn't Ashmor disclose her chairwomanship of the Liberal Party's Melbourne Ports Electorate Conference? And, most pertinently, why doesn't she tell her readers that Monash was head of the Zionist Federation of Australia and New Zealand from 1927 until his death in 1931?

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