2 Official Anzac Centenary Entry No 50 Aug 2010

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Billjim | Script | Tour | Tin Mug | Song

1 OCTOBER 1918

Exploits of the Billjim – 1916 to 1918
(24iii, 15m 33s, 98.9Mb)

Share: http://youtu.be/Ny2AXVIrdSs


Anzac Centenary letter 17 Dec 2012

See details of the Commission’s oversight regarding the Billjim, and how we forced them to add the key date “1 October 1918” – the Australians beating Lawrence of Arabia to Damascus – the first ever mention of this epochal fact by an Australian Government body (p. 84 of their Report to the Government) here:

Our Submission

We have been pushing the Billjim as being perfectly suited for the Anzac Centenary Celebrations for sometime now.

Interestingly, after our early 2010 push to get government support, they suddenly created the Anzac Centenary project (who got a promotion for stealing our initiative!). Anyway, we sent (20 August 2010) it all again to Canberra as an official submission as per their new website instructions at http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au/

Note: in March 2011, the Commission submitted their Report to the Federal Government, our Submission, “No. 50 Aug 2010 Tara and Peter Hogan (Australians of Arabia)” appears on p. 56.

The Australians standing in judgement over whether or not the Billjim will finally get their long overdue recognition will be:

• Bob Hawke – former Prime Minister
• Malcolm Fraser – former Prime Minister
• Ken Doolan – RSL National President
• Matina Jewell – former ADF member
• Kylie Russell – veterans’ advocate
• Warren Brown – journalist

Actually, it’s going to look pretty subjective, can’t we also have an Australian People’s Award – the public, importantly, including children (who seem to be forgotten in all this, force-fed by adult diehard Gallipoli Retreat Tragics, at best) go to the official Anzac Centenary website and vote on their favourite Project.

Anyway, some of the key points of our Anzac Centenary submission include:

Theme Criteria
The project is fundamentally about the “Education, public awareness and community access” theme, because quite simply Australian children know nothing about the epochal achievements of the Australian Light Horse in liberating the Middle East from 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire. They are instead educated to believe the Lawrence of Arabia myth. Indeed, at sunrise, 1st October, 1918 Major Olden and his troops beat Lawrence to Damascus – Australia’s only ever epochal military victory. Absolutely no Australian now knows what a Billjim is. Ironically, in 1918 it was the reverse, the public only recognized Billjim, and had never heard of Anzac or Diggers – see the true history on our  Billjim page.
 Proposed Activities
The Billjim Song
Is now the spearheading force of our project as it is the most lucrative for eventual self funding.
By adapting a forgotten 1918 era ditty, Billjim, by Edward Dyson (1865-1931) we are developing the natural fair dinkum Theme Song for the Anzac Centenary – a model for greater Mateship in the modern Australian school and workplace. Full details here
• Documentary & Book
Ideally from a kids point of view, as the older generation has been indoctrinated with the Gallipoli defeat.

Theme Park / Museum
We would follow that up with an Theme Park and/or Museum located in a lucky Council, which would help Tourism and create jobs – re “Infrastucture relations and cooperations” theme.

• The Tour:

Main Event:  2017 Beersheba – Jerusalem – 2018 Damascus .

AOA Anzac Centenary Tour T-Shirt 15i

On the Community Engagement” theme there could be a special Anzac Centenary Tour (we would partner with an Australian Holiday Tour company that specializes in tours to the Middle East) starting in 2014 around the country, conjuring the WWI recruitment marches, including Town Hall-style Forums on the Billjim (ideally shows put on at local RSLs) encouraging contributions from Locals about their ancestors’ involvement in the War;  then on to a ship to Cairo, following in the footsteps of the Light Horse, side-tracked to Gallipoli, then back to Egypt, re-united with their beloved Walers (bred in NSW). Then it all starts, with particular “Commemoration Services” at Beersheba 31 October 2017 (not to mention the Balfour Declaration 2 days later), culminating in the finale on 1 October 2018 at Damascus with a re-enactment of Major Olden troops taking the city, and beating TE Lawrence, who arrived later by Rolls Royce, not camel, in contrast to the re-writing of history and David Lean’s film.

And then later returning to Australia with a focus on de-mobbing and adjusting and starting anew. Ideally with a commemoration at El Arish, NQld – the only Australian town given an Arabic name – that our ancestor Jack Hogan (originally the Hogans were pioneers of Byron Bay) founded on his return, with its streets named after prominent Lighthorsmen, Chauvel, Ryrie, et al.

Google Maps – El Arish NQld



It would be great to develop it into a TV series. The ultimate goal would be to raise funding through a National Lottery (the UK Film Council has had one for years) to make The Movie to rival David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, which doesn’t even mention the uncouth Australians – uniquely it would be partly from the Waler’s (horse’s) POV, with the shattering climax where the Billjim are ordered to shoot their own horses, indeed really they were mates, after all they had been through together. Particularly as the 50th Anniversary is coming up in 2012 for Lean’s film, as descendants of these victorious Australians, how long can we let this lack of public awareness continue.

Billjim Tin Mug
Money could come back to the Government not just from the sale of the our Book, possible Tour and TV ventures, but is also perfect for merchandising / souvenirs. The Anzac Centenary will obviously have some emblems that are sold to the public, but you can’t beat an engraved classic tin mug. Something people could actually enjoy using everyday.

 Billjim Centenary Tin Mug Plugging For

• Billjim Anzac Centenary Video Game
And for the younger generation we could commission Australian software geeks to come with an Billjim Anzac Centenary Video Game (to rival Super Mario!).

Self-Funding and Creates Jobs
Unlike most of the other projects that will receive funding, with all these multi-marketing attributes our project is more likely to return a profit to the Government.
And it will be fueled by free publicity because of the natural Australian inclination to give Lawrence of Arabia a shake up – that ineluctable rivalry will be ignited early, with the 50th anniversary of Lean’s film in 2012.

And the Billjim Merchandisng would be manufactured locally, perhaps a new factory in Country Australia (not China) thus creating jobs for Australians.

Some Other Points

• The Billjim achieved Australia’s only major victory in WWI, indeed, it was the last, and greatest cavalry victory in modern history. In contrast, Gallipoli is about a humiliating retreat.

• Considering the significant amount of taxpayer money to be spent on Australia’s WWI Centenary Celebrations, at least some of the resulting productions should show the world that Australia was a significant force in the Great War. And in a way that is clear and unequivocal. Internationally, Gallipoli means nothing. In contrast, showing our children, and the world, that the Australians were the first to Damascus, as the spearheading force of this epochal achievement, and its permanently reverberating after-effects, means a heck of a lot more.

• Over the years many prominent Australians have recognized the importance of our Project, including:

– Dame Elisabeth Murdoch https://australiansofarabia.wordpress.com/dame-elisabeth-murdoch-support-letters/

• Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

• We’ve been working on the project since 1997 – Kim Beazley as Opposition Leader acknowledged our importance, noting in his reply that his grandfather was in the Australian Light Horse!

• Former RSL National President, Major Gen. Peter Phillips


– NSW RSL President, Don Rowe

See also links on the right =>

• It would have been fitting for Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (1909 – 2012, and even her son Rupert Murdoch, 82) to see that finally the Billjim are going to get some fair dinkum support, and Australian children would find out about the letter that we unearthed from Prime Minister Asquith to Major Dawnay, that proves her husband Keith Murdoch was the prime catalyst in getting our boys out of Gallipoli, see https://australiansofarabia.wordpress.com/keith-murdoch-really-did/

It is important to note that a while ago, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch kindly agreed to an interview about her husband’s pivotal role. Embarrassingly for the country and history, so far we have not been able to come up with the funding. Coutts-Trotter the NSW Director of Education thought it was a stupid idea, that we should just send her a video or something. Anyway, if we finally have a change of luck here, we really need to ‘capture’ the interview with Dame Elisabeth immediately, before it becomes too late – at least before her 102nd birthday.

• The ultimate recognition came when The National Library of Australia requested twice to archive our work – PANDORA ref. 44031 :

From: “Helen Halfpenny” hhalfpen@sl.nsw.gov.au
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004
Subject: Peter Hogan Website – 2nd request for permission to archive website
 Dear Mr Hogan,

On 7/9/2004 I sent the attached email message seeking permission to include Peter Hogan website in the PANDORA Archive, the Australian national collection of online publications…

The State Library of NSW is committed to preserving selected electronic publications and websites of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community. Only a relatively small number of online publications are assessed as being significant enough for PANDORA and we would be grateful if you would allow us to include yours…

…There are some benefits to you as a publisher in having your publication archived by the Library. If you grant us a copyright licence, the necessary preservation action will be undertaken to keep your publication accessible as hardware and software changes over time. The Library will catalogue your publication and add the record to the National Bibliographic Database (a database of catalogue records shared by over 1,100 Australian libraries), as well as to our own online catalogue. This will increase awareness of your publication among researchers using libraries…

Yours sincerely

Helen Halfpenny,
Senior Library Technician,
Collection Services
– – –
Consequently Peter Hogan’s work is now archived at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.
Pandora original ref. 44031
Peter & Tara Hogan
PO Box 1
Potts Point NSW 1335

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