Saturday, 12 January 2013

Unwanted Words

I recently wrote an article on Weekend Notes about Eastwood Lodge, the former Nurse's Home in Glenside Hospital.

The building has some interesting features, and when the government proposed to demolish it, there were protests from a number of groups including the National Trust of SA. The building was nominated for inclusion on the State Heritage Register

I won't repeat what I wrote in the article - it is worth reading in its own right.

Suffice it to say that towards the end I crititcised the SA Department of Health for getting themselves into a financial mess.

Other criticism was directed (again) at the SA Minister for Conservation Paul Caica. He used his powers under the state Heritage Places Act to remove Eastwood Lodge from the Heritage Register in the public interest. The State Heritage Council had added it temporarily while investigating the building's merits.

In my view the Minister was totally wrong to blithely claim that it is in the public interest to prevent an independent assessment of the building's importance.

While the article received praise from some readers, two readers wrote comments complaining that I had introduced politics into an entertaining site about what's on in Adelaide.

While it was OK for me to write about a building at risk, it seems it's not OK to comment about the reasons why.

To me that would be a little like writing about the Twin Towers without mentioning Al Quaida or Osama Bin Laden.

One of my drivers for writing is to bring things to people's notice. Good things. Scary things. Funny things. Wrong things.

It certainly is not the first time that a comment about government or politicians has slipped into one of my articles. And I expect it won't be the last, if such comment is called for.

What do you think? Should an author be able to express their own opinion in an article on Weekend Notes?

Opinions are presumably expected for film or restaurant reviews, or an article about an activity such as a course, or a tour.

Why not comment about the reasons for demolition of an iconic building?


  1. I did read your very interesting article about Eastwood Lodge and I'm glad you spoke up and criticised the SA Dept of Health and Paul Caica for blithely removing ANY building from the State Heritage Register without public consultation. How dare they! Who do they think they are? There are precious few Heritage Buildings in and around Adelaide as it is. You keep on expressing your opinion in Weekend Notes and I'll keep reading and commenting and expressing my opinion. After all that is what being an Aussie is all about? Even though I may not always agree with someone else's opinion I will defend their right to say it.

  2. Thanks for that support.

    Sometimes it feels like those who support heritage protection are in the minority. The pro-development brigade don't seem to understand that there are ways to develop without demolishing everything old.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. But thankfully parts of it remain hundreds or even thousands of years later for all to enjoy.

  3. h I feel the same way as you do about protecting heritage and feel the development brigade don't understand because they are doing Only what they know...! they have never likely studied history to understand its links especially those that were man made the links of where ideas in buildings came from why they are used how etc etc... perhaps if there was a educational outlet that spoke in a narrative that any layperson could understand Perhaps maybe then those involved in development would see the value of what has already been developed and also have a deeper understanding to the word meaning of value other than just the dollars they can make out of demolishing & rebuilding "developing" their way.. I also have been told the Glenside hospital building is now going to be the new art school which was situated on osmond tce norwood. Adelaide Central Art School ..personally I think this stinks..Im an artist. and I cant believe these people will take residence happily in a place that has just outed those in need especially artist. call me an idealist but for a group of "artist" not to feel a sense of wrong and not make a stand to express their horror that there are people whom were dependent on this building for their health & have been turfed out and this hospital has now been turned into a place where they the artists are now going to be learning& profiting in art ..! I find this repulsive I was a student at Central Art and pulled out when i was told the school was transferring to the Mental Health Hospital Glenside that the patients and those needing help no longer will have it provided for them at Glenside Oh but a College will be able to bring in "Value for the Dollar' in Gigantic proportions ... I cant believe that a Government can allow of all things a building that hospitalised & was basically the only place here in Adelaide (besides the RAH) to become financially in disaster & use such excuses as the building if I remember right was not safe or right anymore to use as a facility to care for mental health needs, some lame part of a justification 4 placing ppl in care suddenly with no where else 2go & placing those who needed this place in further risk with their health even 2 the saddest outcome of those with suicidal tendency, many a person who likely have been coming to Glenside for many years to seek help from the medical staff they had got to know and trust. this Building was a place for people young and old who were in crisis a place to go .. not to mention families love ones whom also have been just forgotten when this place suddenly closed & the many staff from doctors nurses orderlies cleaners etc etc.etc. all OUT because we have a Government the Department of Health that have employed what ? Why ? incompetent people to do a job which involves the care taking of our health. The Building whether a Nurses lodge or Glenside itself was all part of the package to Mental Health Peoples Lives that have been basically pushed in front of a bus moving ... because these people couldn't manage the finances that they were placed in privy positions of being a caretaker for ?? Yes You should Give your Opinion I say whether it be about Government or Building for you leave out pieces of the puzzle the puzzle never gets completed same as the picture of what you write about.. I as a reader wish to have all the pieces not just some of them ... Why not write discuss the politics of a situation an issue, If a reader disagrees with your narrative fine that is what free speech gives us the freedom to discuss whether that is in the verbal or written word .. that is how we for one can learn ... and not be so closed and close to our own opinions when we read or hear another's opinions it is healthy for our mind sets. :" Thank you for your article I have found your writings really interesting reading .. beez (excuse my spelling or any other mistakes im tired & lazy as when it comes to rechecking my words!

  4. Thanks for the support and the comments Beez.

    The government argues that they have built better facilities for the mentally ill, but their statistics are always suspect.

    Unfortunately the full truth is unlikely to be fully known because the people who have been hit most by the changes don't really have a voice...

  5. I absolutely agree that an author should be able to express their own Opinion on Weekend Notes... ESPECIALLY in regard to the destruction of our built heritage!
    Keep it coming and thanks for the good work. Catherine.

    1. Hi Catherine - thanks for your kind words and support. I guess you have noticed our built heritage is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine. I'm also somewhat interested in genealogy and enjoyed browsing your website too, you have done great work there.

      Looks like we are both Trove fans as well! Thanks for stopping by.