Posts Tagged ‘australia


His Life Was A Story Of Doing The Right Thing From Start To Finish



Thank you all for your beautiful, kind and loving words, you’re the very best of friends.

I had the privilege of visiting my uncle in Australia a few years back, it was the best trip of my life. What a stunning country.

I remember sitting drinking coffee with him on the Melbourne shoreline and he pointed to a pier where, he told me, he had arrived from Ireland 40-something years before. I thought I was heroic just flying to Australia, but his journey, by ship, was interminable and grim. A young Irish man who’d never left home before, suddenly landed in this far-off land, he and his family assuming they’d never see each other again.

He was a priest, so I gave him a terrible time :-) But he was a liberal, and did his own thing – and stood up to the most vile pedophile-defending conservative Catholics in his part of the world. And he paid for it – but happily so.

I am so, so happy he lived to see Pope Francis, my last conversation with him … it was like he was almost content to let go, now that his Church was led by a man like that. He adored him, he made his heart sing. He laughed out loud when I said I was tempted to put a poster of the new Pope on my wall.

“Life’s funny, isn’t it girl?”

“It is, Uncle J.”

He lived an amazing life and did so much good. I didn’t know that until I visited his world, as I rambled around his parish I was flooded with stories of the wonderful impact he had on people’s lives, and how he fought for those crushed by authority. Their love for him was immense.

When I arrived in Melbourne we met up that evening. He had a meeting the next morning about dealing with a priest against whom sexual abuse allegations had been made. “Just do the right thing,” I said to him. “I will,” he promised. And he did. He stood strong, and he lost friends because of it. But he did the right thing.

His life was a story of doing the right thing from start to finish.

He was also a brilliant sportsman in his younger days. He won an All-Ireland medal, kind of the equivalent of the Super Bowl!

He gave his medal to my mother.

Tonight, she stroked it lovingly. I can’t begin to understand her sense of loss.

“Ma, he had a wonderful life.”

“He did,” she said, and then she stroked that medal again.

All I could do was hug her and love her.

May he rest in peace, my family will miss him so much.




The President in Australia: Day Two



Live streaming from the G20 here and here


Today (all times US Eastern)

5:45 PM: The President holds a trilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center

7:0 PM: Participates in a G20 plenary session

8:15 PM: Participates in a G20 plenary session

9:30 PM: Participates in a G20 working lunch

Sunday (all times US Eastern)

12:30 AM: Holds a Press Conference

2:05 AM: Departs Brisbane, Australia en route Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii


11:10 AM: Arrives Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Air Force One refuels

1:10 PM: Departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam en route Washington, DC


9:50 PM: Arrives Joint Base Andrews

10:05 PM: Arrives the White House


Occasional live streaming from Australia here:


Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Obama, Obama, Obama!

World Leaders Gather For G20 Summit In Brisbane

President Barack Obama holds a koala before the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane

















Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President Barack Obama each hold a koala before the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane


Welcome To Brisbane, President Obama!


President Barack Obama smiles broadly as he takes the stage to speak at the University of Queensland in Brisbane University





President Obama At The APEC Summit



President Barack Obama is welcomed by US Ambassador to China Max Baucus upon his arrival at Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing, China. President Obama is in China to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2014 Summit



President Barack Obama meets with the leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries in Beijing



President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo


President Barack Obama meets with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott


President Barack Obama speaks at the APEC CEO Summit at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC) in Beijing




Delegates use their smartphones to take pictures of President Barack Obama






President Barack Obama walks to the stage with Dow Chemical Co. President, Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, at the APEC CEO Summit at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC)



President Barack Obama with China’s President Xi Jinping and Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan during the APEC Welcome Banquet at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, in Beijing


President Barack Obama is greeted by China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, as he arrives at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, for the APEC Welcome Banquet


Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (L-R), Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan and U.S. President Barack Obama arrive for a dinner hosted by the Chinese President



President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye talk as they depart the APEC Summit family photo



Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) nations’ leaders and spouses pose for a family photo at Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, in Beijing, November 10, 2014. (Front row L to R) Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang, Angelica Rivera and husband Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana Widodo, U.S. President Barack Obama, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha and his wife Naraporn; (Back row L to R) Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Bronagh Key and her husband New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, Akie and her husband Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Laureen Harper and her husband Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his wife Lynda May Babao, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching, Taiwanese envoy to APEC summit Vincent Siew and his wife Susan Chu







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