Petition to put Communist on five dollar note backed by high-profile Australians
Fred Hollows was a member of the Communist party for many years and seems to have retained such beliefs even after his membership lapsed. And we all know where Communism leads -- to mass murder. And Fred must have known that too. It is true that Fred was one of the very few far-Leftists to put his money where his mouth was, but giving any encouragement to beliefs such as his would be most unwise
I have put a fair bit of my personal history online and I have known Leftists to delve into that so I wonder if someone might accuse me of hypocrisy for mentioning Fred's Communist loyalties. I was myself a member of two Communist-front organizations in my well-spent youth: The Australia/Soviet Friendship Society and the Realist Writers' Group: The latter was headed by a man of genuine literary distinction, John Manifold.
For perspective, however, I should perhaps mention that in the same era I was an anarcho-caitalist, a member of the British Conservative party, a member of the Queensland Liberal party, had a lot to do with DLP types and would occasionally look in on Nazi meetups and meetups of a student anti-Vietnam (pacifist) group.
All of which mainly goes to show, I think, that I had a good sense of humour. I still do.
A petition has been launched today aimed at continuing the legacy of ground-breaking eye surgeon Fred Hollows, with a push to have his face featured on the $5 note.Dr Hollows helped treat eye diseases in Indigenous communities in Australia as well as poor countries around the world.
Despite his death 23 years ago, the Fred Hollows Foundation has helped restore eyesight to more than 2 million people.
The petition, called Put Fred on a Fiver, is being backed by high-profile Australians including former prime minister Bob Hawke and Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman and former chairman of the foundation, Ray Martin, who were at the launch in Sydney this morning.
Brian Doolan, the chief executive of the Fred Hollows Foundation, said it was about paying respect to one of the greatest Australians who ever lived. "The images on notes at the moment are all of great Australians most of whom did wonderful things in Australia, some of whom had an international career," Mr Doolan said. "But Fred Hollows has actually touched the lives of millions of people around the world."
"We'd be suggesting that we put Fred on the side that currently has a picture of the Old Parliament House and the new Parliament House," Mr Doolan said."We think it's an entirely appropriate time to take the one banknote on which there is not the image of a prominent Australian and to put Fred's image on the $5 note."
He also said it would be a fitting tribute for one of Dr Hollows' most successful fundraising campaigns. "Years ago they used to run a campaign 'give Fred a fiver' so that he could do the wonderful work he did both here and overseas, well this year instead of 'give Fred a fiver' we're saying 'put Fred on the fiver'," he said.
Journalist Ray Martin said putting Dr Hollows on the $5 note was a "no-brainer"."I was with Fred, about this time of the year, going to a radio station in a cab," Martin said."A Greek-Australian cab driver alongside reached out and said 'are you that Hollows fellow?'"I won't give you Fred's language, but Fred said: 'So bloody what?' and he said: 'Oh nothing, I just want to give you a fiver!' and Fred said: 'thanks mate' and he took the fiver and away the two cabs went - that's how much he was associated with a fiver.
"If you look today, the legacy of the power of one, there are 5 million people plus in the world who can see, who were cataract blind, as a result of this inspirational idea that he had