ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A group of local Baby Boomers is pushing for inclusion in all future ANZAC Day marches in Betoota, as they paid 17.50% interest on their mortgages for a brief period 33 years ago.

Touted as a possible solution for shrinking numbers in local marches, the North Betoota Rotary Club suggested to the RSL sub-branch that anyone who suffered the indignity of paying record-high interest rates in 1990 deserves the right to march alongside those who’ve served the nation both here and abroad.

“In a way, that was our service to the nation. We laid the foundation for the state the country is in now, which is great,” said club president Walt Carmichael.

“It took a lot of hard work for us to get through that period of time. A lot of young people today like to gloss over that, but we are a humble and quiet generation. We don’t make a fuss, we just make do.”

“That is why I think people who were paying a mortgage in 1990 deserve to walk alongside the nation’s heroes. Because we are heroes. If we didn’t answer the call, this country would be broke, and the people who paid those mortgages wouldn’t be enjoying the fruits of their labor right now. To have the spiritual panache and belief in yourself to get a massive $140,000 mortgage in 1990 is something, to pay it off is akin to hearing that whistle blow at ANZAC Cove and climbing over the top. A brass band playing Elgar’s Nimrod in your head, rifle in hand. Running towards danger. That’s what it was like paying your mortgage in 1990, and only the people there will understand.”

The Advocate reached out to the North Betoota RSL sub-branch for comment and was issued a short statement.

“That won’t be happening; the rules will be the same as last year,” they said.

“Thank you.”

More to come.


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