The launch was a terrific event. We had about 40 folk in the room, and a diverse gathering it was – an AWAS from the base that day, Kath Weale, two young members of the crowd that lined the streets for the funeral, Evelyn Patterson and Dick Bostock, members of Wagga’s RSL Sub-branch and Historical Society, a member of the team that constructed the memorial, Damian Strauss, two of Jack Nixon’s nieces, locals, my wife, artists, historians and friends.
I was also able to publicly and personally thank Zita (DDD) and Maris (Textiles Anyone) for their efforts in bringing the book to print.
Instead of having a single speaker to speak about the book or the event, many of the people mentioned by name above chipped in from their experiences. The intention was to show that the book and the memorial have been communal efforts, and it seemed to work well.
I am proud to be able to say that this is a Wagga book and I am proud of the book. I consider myself a Wagga ex-pat, and the publisher, designer of the layout, and the printer are all Wagga people and businesses.
I liken the process of writing a book to parenting. The completion of the first draft is like the birth; the rewriting etc is like childhood and adolescence; the launch is akin to the old-fashioned debut into society. Like parenting, it never ends, even when the child is out and under their own steam.
God be with you this day.