SWINGS and roundabouts can be brutal.
On one hand so much that has been so good has taken place of late, most recently seeing nothing but No Vacancy signs the length and breadth of the twin towns because the Winter Blues Festival was on.
Just crossing Hare St to the car park on Sunday night a passing group of out-of-towners (the rinky little hats and strange pants gave them away) were agreeing quite loudly not only was this year’s festival the best, it topped several they had been to in the past 12 months.
So far; so good.
Mixed in with that was the small army of locals who headed to the city at the weekend to take part in Run Melbourne, having fun, being fit and raising more than $67,000 for the vital Opening Doors project.
I am delighted to be able to write here the Riverine Herald sponsored one of its team – writer Sophie Baldwin – to take part this year.
She did the full 21.1km and may even be out of her wheelchair by this time next week.
Yet an event in nearby Kyabram has taken so much gloss from all this good fun and goodness.
Because there a 96-year-old widow had her house broken into while she slept and the callous bastards who perpetrated this appalling invasion of privacy took everything they could lay their hands on.
But the only thing this now traumatised lady wants back are the World War II medals and log books that were earned – the hard way – by her late husband Thomas.
These are the most tangible and precious memories she has of him and they have been stolen.
Now these despicable individuals probably realise what they have done, they would have to be living under the rock from which they emerged in the dark of the weekend to not have read, seen or heard about the staggering impact of their attack.
Too lazy, too useless or just so utterly disdainful of people’s rights, they have trampled on a lifetime of someone else’s hard work.
Easier to steal than go and earn some money.
Easier, like leeches, to try and bleed some unsuspecting individual of whatever they have managed to acquire through their own efforts.
At 96 any Australian, any person, would think they have earned the right to be treated with some respect and consideration.
They have done the hard yards, been through good times and bad, through war, raised a family and paid their dues.
And this is the thanks all that giving has received.
Obviously it is always the tainted minority behind these acts of social vandalism, but today, right now, someone other than the person, or persons, behind this travesty, knows what happened.
Unless they are as damned as the perpetrators they must step forward and provide the police the information they need to recover, at the very least, Mrs Richards’ medals and log books.
It is highly unlikely, however, that her sense of peace and security will ever be recovered.
And for that we are all the poorer.