From a Roman Wall #99

romangif3“Salve, Good morning.” Literatus the Librarian yawned his way into the Forum Cafeterium.

Nellus the Barristerius smiled sympathetically. “Long night on the scrolls?” she asked.

Literatus took the beaker of steaming hot caffeinus gratefully. “Yes. I was trying to make sense of some of those Greek Mathematicians. They have created a lot of problems.”

“I’ll probably fall asleep while I sit here.” he explained to his friends. “Too much study by candle-light. My eyes are falling out of my head.”

“I have often stayed awake at night and worried about my family. It is always hard the next day.” Secundus added his un-sleepy experiences.

Man about Rome, Libertinus threw his two Denarius worth into the conversation. “I never have problems getting to sleep. Wine from Gaul, Mead from the Ægean and a friendly youn – – -” He was interrupted by a very loud cough from Nellus. “Anyway, they help me sleep well every night.” he ended with a bit of embarrassment.

“I once had insomnia,” Verbo Ipsum commented. “It was so bad I was awake until it dawned on me.”

roman graffiti

It Tickled Granny’s Fancy

oldjoke24a oldjoke24b oldjoke24c oldjoke24d

Australian Women’s Weekly 25/08/1945

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Two Years of tony abbott’s Life.

This is an excerpt from “Where there is Smoke” 

The references in square brackets are from that post.






Before we begin this section, here is a portion of the rules and regulations governing the granting of the Rhodes Scholarship. This is from the 2016 edition which is probably the same as the 1980 edition.

1. Application for  Australian Rhodes Scholarships is available to individuals who:
1.1. Are Australian citizens and who have been resident in Australia for at least five of the last ten years;” [44]

Note that this is a requirement for APPLYING for the scholarship.

Abbott was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1980. There has always been a little disbelief that he gained this most prestigious award when he was a mid-range student and a mid-range sportsman.

abbottrhodes1The ABC has thrown a little light onto this conundrum discovering some of the selection committee. [13]

Although there were seven members including three previous scholars, only three people are named on the list.

Sir Roden Cutler, the Governor of NSW and the businessman Richard John Lee (Rhodes Scholar 1971) were joined by the now Chief Justice J. Dyson Heydon (Rhodes Scholar 1974)

The Canberra Times added to the published information. “According to the list, the 1980 panel included Michael Birt, a former vice-chancellor of the University of NSW, war veteran Harold “Jack” Dickinson, who was appointed chair of the NSW Public Service Board in 1971. Academic Alice Erh-Soon Tay was also a member.” [41]

abbottrhodes2The three applicants whose names have been redacted were all honours students. It would be interesting to know just how the mediocre Abbott was able to get the nod from the committee.

Abbott wrote in Battlelines, “As much, I’m sure, through my role in student politics as through academic or sporting prowess, I was chosen as a NSW Rhodes Scholar at the end of 1980.” [42]

In his 2012 essay Political Animal, journalist David Marr, recounts how Mr Abbott “impressed a panel of worthies chaired by the governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler”. “For Anglophiles and rugby players, the Rho­des was died-and-gone-to-heaven time. Winners must be scholars fond of sport who display “moral force of character and instincts to lead”. The award to Abbott came as a surprise, particularly to those who had seen him up close on the SRC. One jibe at the time was, ‘second-grade footballer, third-rate academic and fourth-class politician.’,



This was the year abbott spent three months backpacking through India. John Menadue wrote, “He spent six weeks at the Australian Jesuit mission in Bihar state. He was fascinated by the country’s many contrasts, from its bullock carts to its nuclear power stations.” [10] Samantha Maiden reported in the Daily Telegraph of 1st Feb, 2015 that “TONY Abbott likes to tell the story that he accidentally downed a marijuana-laced lassi in India as a young man and spent 12 hours “off with the fairies’’.” [11]


In 1981, the Fraser government refused permission for the aircraft carrying the Springboks to a tour of New Zealand to refuel on Australian territory. Abbott, however, accepted a rugby scholarship to tour South Africa in what former Federal Labor Minister Barry Cohen described as a “universally acknowledged… promotional tour of Apartheid”. [9]


Anthony John Abbott was born to an English father and a first-generation Australian mother at a general lying-in hospital in York Road, Lambeth, London, on 4 November 1957, his parents did not register him as an Australian infant born overseas or immediately apply for Australian citizenship on his behalf.

Click to embiggen

Click to embiggen

It was not until over twenty years after the family had arrived in Australia as subsidised assisted migrants that Tony Abbott’s parents applied to register his birth with the Dept. of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and apply for his citizenship, in a document/s dated 19 June 1981. This application appears to have been treated as urgent by departmental staff. His parents were subsequently informed in a letter dated 1 July 1981 that Anthony John Abbott was now deemed to be an Australian citizen under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 which allowed citizenship by descent. At this time Tony Abbott was 23 years and 7 months of age and, had either applied for a Rhodes Scholarship or was intending to apply for this scholarship to study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. [12]

Read the Full article here – North Coast Voices


approx October 1980 – abbott is granted a Rhodes Scholarship

Sometime in 1981 – possibly before July, abbott toured India and went to South Africa to play rugby.

19th June 1981 he applied for Australia citizenship

1st July 1981 he was granted Australian Citizenship.


There is something unexplained here – WHY was the application treated urgently? How come the son of a dentist began receiving preferential treatment at the age of 23? And why has the record now been put “off the record”?


Found on Facebook, a pictorial question about the timelines of the “Rhodes Scholarship” and the “Citizenship” sections of this tale. [43]



Should we keep this rather explosive information on Social Media, or should it be brought to the attention of our politicians. Remember, if tony goes, he will be replaced by someone more competent!