Today’s cartoon in The Australian is cute, but a little misdirected. I don’t think it is the Lutherans of Woodside that are making all the noise against the proposed assylum seeker processing centre (Woodside was not one of the 19th Century SA German settlements, although of course, there are lots of descendants living there). Although the historical reminder is worth taking note of. I tell my children that some of our ancestors came to Australia as religious “assylum seekers”. George Fife Angas, a Baptist who sponsored their settlement in South Australia, saw their plight as not unlike that of the dissenters of Great Britain. The South Australian colony at the time welcomed the newcomers as they were a good source of labour and were productive farmers providing much needed food for the new settlement. In the 19th Century, South Australia was one of the most multi-cultural colonies in Australia. Bill Leak’s humour, though misdirected, should at least be a reminder to South Australians that “we’ve done this before” and benefited from it.
Peccator apud peccatores, et insanus apud insanos
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