Cautious Singapore Court Threads Needle in Lee Family Spat


The 15-month suspension from practicing law by the late Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter-in-law late last week over the disposal of the late premier’s black-and-white colonial home is a distressing example of the family’s use of the legal system to settle scores in what ought to have been a private matter, critics say, and is deeply embarrassing for Singapore’s judiciary.

A lawyer, Lee Suet Fern in December of 2013 witnessed Kuan Yew’s apparent decision to revert to a 2011 will ordering the disposition of his properties and assets before he died on March 23, 2015 at age 91. At issue is the disposal of the five-bedroom colonial style mansion at 38 Oxley Road that Kuan Yew moved into in 1945, and whether Suet Fern influenced the decision. Lee, who ruled Singapore for three decades as prime minister, said publicly that he wanted the home torn down following his death to keep it from becoming a shrine to him as the founder of modern Singapore.

In all, Lee Kuan Yew signed six different wills, with varying instructions on bequeathals to the children. Each of the first four stipulated that the house be demolished. That clause was removed in the fifth and didn’t appear in the sixth, which bequeathed the home itself to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In an action witnessed later by Suet Fern, however, he indicated a desire to revert to a 2011 will that removed Lee Wei Ling’s right to stay in the home until her death.

What to do with the home has shredded relations between Lee Hsien Loong, 68, Kuan Yew’s eldest son, and his two siblings, Lee Hsien Yang, 63, a top Singapore corporate executive, and his sister, Lee Wei Ling, a 65-year-old neurosurgeon.

The dispute, which has played itself out on Facebook and other social media for more than three years, has shocked the Singaporean public with its virulence, percolating down into the third generation, with grandson Li Shengwu, an associate Harvard economics professor, accusing the prime minister of having “no shame about using state resources to settle grudges against relatives” and calling for him to resign immediately. Shengwu was fined S$15,000 in January for insulting the judiciary in the affair.

In July of 2017, Lee Hsien Loong was forced to take to the floor of parliament to deny allegations of abuse of power by his siblings and to complain that their accusations were damaging Singapore’s national reputation. Certainly, the case has considerably tarnished Singapore’s jealously-guarded if somewhat specious image of itself as having an independent court system. It is an image that is considerably at odds with reality, the Lee family and the government having used the courts to bring an unbroken successful series of libel and contempt of court suits against political opponents, critics, local bloggers and a long list of international publications. While before the Lees could maintain it was a bristling sense of propriety that sparked the legal actions, now there is widespread concern that the prime minister is inappropriately using the power of his office to involve a public agency in a family squabble.

The current case culminated in February when a two-person Law Society tribunal charged that Lee Suet Fern had deceived a presumably befuddled elder Lee into changing his will to order the disposal of the house. She and her husband say she had nothing to do with the writing of the will, that it was simply a reversion to the 2011 document.

Certainly, Lee Kuan Yew maintained his mental acuity almost up until his death, as noted in the judgment by two witnesses who testified that Lee “appeared frail and his speech was slurred, but his mind was certainly lucid – he asked us who drafted the will and specifically instructed us to date the will today. [The Testator] read through every line of the will and was comfortable to sign and initial every page, which he did in our presence.”

Thousands of pages of documents have been filed in Singapore courts over the issue. Lee Wei Ling, the third sibling, called the Law Society disciplinary tribunal’s action against Lee Suet Fern “a travesty,” and described herself as “appalled and disgusted” by reports that “seek to character assassinate my brother and his wife.”

In a 98-page judgment written on November 20 but issued last week, the three-member panel in its final judgment imposed a suspension that is far lighter than the lifetime disbarment sought by the two-member Singapore law society disciplinary tribunal, which could be construed as an indication that the court was attempting to find a middle path between an attempt to drive Suet Fern out of her profession and a belief that she had done nothing wrong.

The final judgment, for instance, also found that no solicitor-client relationship between Kuan Yew and Suet Fern. That significantly weakens the disciplinary tribunal’s case against Suet Fern. The judgment also pointed out that the elder Lee didn’t object to the wording of his final will in the year and some months remaining to him, also weakening the tribunal’s argument against her.

In effect, the decision to suspend her ability to practice law rested on the fact that “Upon being told that the Testator wished to revert to the First Will, the Respondent was well aware that she was in a position of potential conflict as her husband had been a significant beneficiary under that will.”

In effect, according to the three-judge panel, Suet Fern apparently should have recused herself rather than getting involved in the matter. As the law society panel alleged, Suet Fern “focused primarily on what her husband wanted done”, and “worked together with Mr Lee Hsien Yang, with a singular purpose, of getting [the Testator] to execute the Last Will quickly.”

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Chinese State Media Reacts to Biden Victory With Cautious Optimism


In particular, the state media has fixated on protests in American cities — starting this summer with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, through the protests surrounding the election — as proof that American democracy is chaotic.

After Mr. Biden won Pennsylvania, and thus the presidency, CCTV, the state broadcaster, aired videos of large crowds in Philadelphia on Saturday evening and a heavy police presence. An anchor declared that there had been “not only verbal attacks but also even physical clashes” between Trump and Biden supporters. (In reality, there were few reports of violent confrontations.)

Hu Xijin, the editor of Global Times, pointed to Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede, writing on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, that “American society is now highly divided, which creates the soil for further political derailment.”

The outlets had been emphasizing the potential for political violence all week as the vote counts trickled in. Since Election Day, the Chinese state media had shared photos of boarded-up businesses and police officers on watch at poll sites.

At the time the race was called, the second top trending topic on Weibo was the drive-by shooting of two people attending a pro-Trump rally in Florida on Friday. Few posts mentioned that the shots fired were pellet rounds, or that the two people were treated for minor injuries and released.

Some state-controlled outlets had seemed to revel in the instability. Just minutes before the race was called for Mr. Biden on Saturday, People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, had mocked Mr. Trump’s declared refusal to accept the election results.

Mr. Trump, about an hour earlier, had tweeted, falsely, that he had won the election. The People’s Daily account retweeted that post, adding the comment, “HaHa” and a laughing emoji.





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Cautious optimism in Melbourne CBD as cafes and restaurants reopen


“The doors are open, the coffee’s flowing. It’s a positive day, it’s a good day.”

Pellegrini’s did not bother staying open for takeaway during stage four restrictions, and Mr Malaspina found the empty city “so disheartening”.

James Fraser and his wife were glad to find a cafe on Wednesday.Credit:Joe Armao

“Our beautiful city of marvellous Melbourne, it was just like a ghost town … We’re in the people industry. We miss the people, we miss the contact. When you come here and the streets are empty, it’s really hard,” he said.

“It’s nice to get that enthusiasm back, and we get that with the customers coming in today. They come in and they clap and they, ‘Yay!’ It’s just so lovely.”

Cafe and shop owners were still getting their businesses together after Premier Daniel Andrews this week announced retail and hospitality could reopen to customers.

James Fraser was trying to find a meal with his wife after discovering that Brunetti cafe in Myer would not open until Friday.

Outdoor dining tables have popped up on Bourke Street outside the Village Centre Arcade.

Outdoor dining tables have popped up on Bourke Street outside the Village Centre Arcade.Credit:Joe Armao

“Then we’ve done the rounds, down the Block Arcade, down this avenue, down that street … This is about the 13th place we’ve tried,” he said when finally seated at a cafe on Block Place.

He was hoping for some scrambled eggs and then a haircut now the city has reopened.

“It’s about bloody time,” Mr Fraser said. “My wife, she was crying because she knows the city from when it was busy. It’s dreadful what’s happened.”

Joanna Brewer, owner of Issus cafe on city laneway Centre Place, felt alive for the first time in eight months.

At The Quarter on Degraves Street, staff didn't know what to expect on Wednesday.

At The Quarter on Degraves Street, staff didn’t know what to expect on Wednesday.Credit:Joe Armao

“The feeling, it’s hard to explain it,” she said, moving between queuing customers.

“People have actually come into the city. The vibe is outstanding … It feels like we’ve got some of the atmosphere back that Melbourne is so well known for. I feel like we’re getting there, everyone is really happy.”

Only the owners of The Quarter cafe on Degraves Street were working front of house on Wednesday, because Tony Roussos didn’t know what to expect from Melbourne’s first day out of lockdown.

But he barely had a moment to talk while making coffees and greeting customers who cherished the chance to dine in Melbourne’s laneways.

There was no shortage of customers in the city on Wednesday.

There was no shortage of customers in the city on Wednesday.Credit:Joe Armao

“The first two tables I served were drinking champagne, celebrating,” Mr Roussos said.

“We’re glad to be back in the capacity that we’re back. But we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. It’s a small milestone, but really, the hard work is rebuilding. That’s where the challenge is going to be, while people are still working from home.”

Jungle Juice Bar owner Annabelle Sheppard said it felt busier than the aftermath of Melbourne’s first lockdown, which ended in May.

Customers seemed to feel safer, more confident (and more desperate), though she worries how long it will take for office workers to return to the CBD.

“I think I’ve been a little surprised. There’s more people than we expected, and more than last time [lockdown ended],” she said.

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Victoria records four COVID-19 cases, Victoria restrictions ease, Daniel Andrews criticised for overly cautious Melbourne lockkdown approach, Australia death toll at 905


So far all travel bubble attempts have had all the flaccid buoyancy of a prematurely released child’s party balloon, with some tacked-together versions in Europe proving disastrously ineffective and leading to damaging setbacks in the containment of COVID-19.

Back in April, the concept of a trans-Tasman travel bridge excited much optimism and excitement, all dashed by our own series of setbacks, including the pandemic plight of Victoria.

A token, partial bubble, allowing New Zealanders to visit NSW, the ACT and the Northern Territory, has the significant catch of a compulsory 14-day quarantine period for Kiwis on their return and no ability for Australians to cross the ditch.

A sudden upsurge in community-acquired cases in NSW has probably pushed the launch date of the trans-Tasman bubble even further back. Alongside that, the prospect of the tourism and airline industries’ survival, devoid of government bailouts, has become even less certain.

Now Singapore and Hong Kong, two destinations which have performed well in containing COVID-19 and which are hugely reliant on tourism, have, in the conspicuous absence of a vaccine, announced their own quarantine-free, rapid testing-dependent travel bubble which may well pre-empt the trans-Tasman equivalent.

Singapore, South Korea and Japan, with their admirable COVID-19 records, have been identified by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, noticeably short on any detail, as other likely travel bubble partners for Australia.

So, in reality, what will the witch’s brew-like ingredients need to be to not merely successfully launch a travel bubble but also to maintain one?

Read the full piece at traveller.com.au here



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Cautious chameleons brush off the cobweb


An abundance of flowers and candles transformed the often dreary inside of Crowbar in an endeavor to make this seated celebration additional personal, whilst it was at odds with the overpacked phase. Controlled of screaming crowds, this was an opportunity for the band to share song origin tales, which gave a much more individual knowledge.

The band’s new content did not translate to a stay audience as properly as their former work.Credit history:Fb

Some of the reimagined tracks worked greater than their studio counterparts. Tunes this kind of as Ghost and Heartsleeve came with an unadulterated passion not heard on the album. Funeral Household, at first all sharp drum hits and slash-throat guitar perform, was offered a pensive facelift.

Undersize, a cheeky selection adorned with sonic effects on the recorded version, was most likely finest suited to the stripped-again cure, its initial acoustic licks translating very well to this toned-down ecosystem.

Yours Genuinely are cautious chameleons, getting a moment to adapt to new surroundings but rapidly functioning with what has stuck when they have thrown issues at the wall.

They executed tracks from final year’s debut EP Afterglow with much improved clarity, colour and self-assurance than the new substance – which just isn’t to say they are far better tunes but to reiterate that Yours Actually have been missing the chance to hone its shipping.

They ought to be recommended for the bravery and ambition of introducing a new system of substance to a stay viewers right after so very long a split, and in such an unanticipated structure, but over-all it does appear to be that observe will make perfect.



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Boris Johnson adopts cautious approach to second UK coronavirus lockdown – POLITICO


U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Leon Neal/Getty Images

Pubs and restaurants will be forced to close at 10 p.m. and people will be encouraged to work from home under new restrictions announced Tuesday.

LONDON — Boris Johnson took a softly-softly approach to the second nationwide coronavirus lockdown in the U.K. 

The prime minister on Wednesday unveiled a range of measures for England in a bid to stem the rising COVID-19 case rate, but held back from imposing sweeping restrictions to keep people at home, as was the case at the height of the first wave. 

Johnson said pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England must close at 10 p.m. from Thursday, while venues will be forced by law to provide table service.

The government also ditched its attempts to encourage workers back to their offices, instead telling them to work from home if possible with immediate effect. The move marks a significant U-turn after ministers previously insisted staff should return to their desks.

Johnson told the House of Commons that Britain had reached a “perilous turning point” toward a second wave of the virus but said “we are acting on the principle that a stitch in time saves nine.”

There are fears in the food and drink industry that the new measures for hospitality could lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses.

He said that without a breakthrough in treatments or a vaccination, the new measures could be in place for around six months, but he warned that harsher measures could yet be imposed if the virus continues to spread quickly.

“I must emphasize, that if all our actions fail to bring the [reproduction] number below one, then we reserve the right to deploy greater firepower with significantly greater restrictions,” he told MPs. “I fervently want to avoid taking this step, as do the devolved administrations, but we will only be able to avoid it if our new measures work and our behavior changes.”

The U.K. Cabinet has been split in recent weeks over how to tackle the spike in infections. Chancellor Rishi Sunak was reported to be pushing Johnson to avoid stringent measures in a bid to protect the economy, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock was reported to be pushing for harder measures to minimize deaths from the virus.

After the new rules were unveiled, both camps insisted they were on the same page. “Matt is fully supportive of these measures,” a health official said. “We need to suppress the virus whilst protecting the economy and education. Crucially, we must act now to prevent even further economic damage down the line.”

A Treasury official said the government was collectively navigating difficult trade-offs.

The new measures also included limiting weddings to 15 people from Monday and banning some sports events. Enforcement will also be ramped up for people who refuse to wear masks and businesses which do not adhere to the rules. The mandatory use of masks will be extended to people in taxis as well as retail and hospitality workers.

A Downing Street spokesman said the hope was that the package of measures “suppresses the virus but does so in a way which seeks to minimize the impact on the economy and also ensures we can continue with the key priority of the government, which is to ensure children can be kept in schools and students will be able to continue their higher and further education.”

The plans were rubber-stamped by the Cabinet Tuesday morning and run past the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at a meeting of [the government’s emergency committee] COBR immediately after.

However, the same approach is not being taken across the U.K., with the three other nations free to adopt different measures should they choose to. Later on Tuesday, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that visits between different households will be banned, mirroring the plan announced in Northern Ireland on Monday.

There had been fears in Downing Street that the devolved administrations could diverge from Westminster in the coming days and announce significantly tougher measures. That could allow the public to compare the health outcomes of the different approaches.

Before Sturgeon spoke, a Downing Street spokesman told journalists the devolved nations were “pulling together on the next phase of the coronavirus response.”

Meanwhile, there are fears in the food and drink industry that the new measures for hospitality could lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses unless the government introduces a new furlough scheme to support workers.





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Independent neurologist says Sydney Roosters have been even more cautious with concussed players than he has advised as Boyd Cordner prepares for return against South Sydney Rabbitohs


An independent neurologist, who has advised the Roosters over concussion concerns, says the club has been so conservative with players returning from head knocks it has kept stars off the park longer than he recommended.

Professor Chris Levi, who is part of a pool of experts that NRL clubs consult for players who have suffered two or more concussions within a year, has endorsed the club’s handling of Boyd Cordner and other players.

He claims Trent Robinson and his medical staff even adopted a more cautious route than he advised.

“In terms of the clubs, I’ve found them all very respectful of the second opinion,” Levi said. “I have not seen, in my experience, any club not adhere to that advice, and that includes the Roosters. They’ve been very respectful of the expert independent advice.



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Victoria should take ‘cautious’ approach to early easing of coronavirus restrictions, expert says


Victoria’s coronavirus case numbers are “very encouraging”, a Melbourne epidemiologist says, but he advises against rushing through the stages to get out of lockdown earlier than planned.

Tony Blakely is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Melbourne and helped do some of the modelling that underpinned the state’s “roadmap to reopening”.

Under that roadmap, Victoria moves to the second step on September 28, as long as the case numbers remain in the 30-50 range.

Case numbers have been going steadily down with 11 new cases in on Monday, the state’s lowest daily increase in more than three months.

It is the 11th consecutive day the state has recorded below 50 new cases per day.

The rolling 14-day cases average has dropped to 34.4 in metropolitan Melbourne from 36.2.

The rolling average in regional Victoria has dropped to 1.6.

Professor Blakely said the numbers in recent days were “very encouraging”.

“We’re getting to a point now where we are actually tracking so well that there can be consideration of bringing some of these [steps] forward, although that’s not my job to decide it,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews has taken a cautious approach saying although everyone wanted to open as soon as possible “if we do it too fast we simply run an unacceptable risk of losing control.”

The curfew between 9:00pm and 5:00am and the the limit on people travelling more than five kilometres from home will remain in place in the second step, but outdoor gatherings of up to five people from two households will be permitted.

MCU of Professor Tony Blakely wearing black rimmed glasses, grey suit jacket and open-necked light blue shirt
Professor Blakely said he was advocating moving faster on easing restrictions.(Twitter: Professor Tony Blakely)

Childcare and early education will reopen and there will be a phased return to face-to-face learning for prep to grade two, VCE and VCAL students and specialist schools in term four.

The third step in the roadmap is on October 26.

The trigger for that is for the 14-day daily new case average to be below five, and have fewer than five “mystery” cases over a two-week period.

The curfew will be dropped, there will be no restrictions on leaving home, and up to 10 people will be allowed together outside.

October 19 would be earliest date to move to step 3

Professor Blakely said the key thing to remember was that there must be about three weeks between steps.

“You want to allow enough time for a few incubation cycles of the virus, in case, by stepping out to what we used to call stage three and is now called step two, it takes off on you,” he said.

He said it could be possible to ease restrictions a certain amount a little earlier than September 28, but said he was not “advocating that”.

“It may be just a little too late for that now. It might take too much logistics to set that up,” he said.

The other alternative would be going to the third step a bit earlier.

“So if we release on the 28th of September as planned, probably the earliest we could pull the 26th of October back is to something like the 19th of October,” he said.

Professor Blakely said he would be happy to dump the 5km rule and the curfew.

“I doubt they’re having much effect at the margin,” he said.

A smiling woman wearing a patterned mask stands behind a display case full of pastries.
Melburnian’s appetite for an easing of restrictions grows as case numbers decline.(ABC News: John Graham)

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said it was “really pleasing” to see the proportion of tests coming back positive had been on the decline for two weeks now.

If you take out the positive cases linked to known outbreaks, the proportion of cases coming back positive dropped to below 0.1 per cent.

She said as restrictions eased and there was more movement in the community, contract tracers should spread the net wider for contacts.

A cluster in Melbourne’s south-east quickly grew to 43 cases when five households broke the stay-at-home rules to travel outside the permitted zone.

“I think we found in Hallam, when we find one case you go to their contacts and their contacts’ contacts in the same 48 hours,” she said.

She said there would be more teams to follow up each case and test their contacts whether they were symptomatic or not and monitor them.

“It might impact 100 people but it’s better that than 100 who have been exposed,” she said.

The Block Arcade in Melbourne with no people inside.
Retail stores, such as Melbourne’s Block Arcade will not be allowed to reopen until step three of the roadmap.(ABC News: John Graham)

‘Crazy’ to go for herd immunity, but it has worked elsewhere

Other countries have taken different approaches to suppressing coronavirus, like Sweden, which is pursuing a herd immunity strategy.

“But they had to pay the price [in deaths] to get there,” Professor Blakely said.

Herd immunity is also present in parts of New York and India and Professor Blakely said the experts are becoming more confident it will last.

But that is not a strategy he is advocating for Australia because a vaccine is getting closer and closer.

“It would be crazy to do that now,” he said.

“So we really want to hold the line somewhere around tight suppression for Victoria that might mean keeping the numbers between 10 and 20 a day,” he said.



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Djokovic’s event taught us to be cautious: French Open director



FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP 1000 Masters Series – Rolex Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 3, 2017 Tournament director Guy Forget during a press conference REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

July 6, 2020

By Sudipto Ganguly

MUMBAI (Reuters) – French Open organizers are taking every precaution to ensure the Grand Slam does not meet the same fate as Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour, which was abandoned after several players tested positive for COVID-19, tournament director Guy Forget has told Reuters.

Djokovic has come under fire after the charity event was played in front of packed crowds in Serbia and Croatia and saw players hugging at the net and posing for pictures together.

Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have all tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The French Open will allow up to 60% of the usual capacity inside the Roland Garros grounds when the rescheduled claycourt tournament starts on Sept. 27 and Forget said there was no chance of them repeating the mistakes of the Adria Tour.

“Maybe some people were overconfident there,” Forget said by telephone.

“Luckily no one got hurt really bad but even a few cases is too much and we want to avoid that as much as we can.

“We want to reassure everyone that having people getting ill will be terrible for us. Let’s be really careful, really cautious.”

France began easing restrictions in May but has been reporting over 500 cases daily in recent days. Protective masks will be mandatory for anyone on the move inside Roland Garros and they will be recommended for those sitting courtside.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) expect some 20,000 spectators a day during the early stages of the two-week tournament and about 10,000 per day on the final weekend.

Forget said a successful event needed to have some kind of a crowd.

“We all see soccer on television, it’s wonderful but something is missing without the crowds,” the former world No. 4 said.

“We are working closely with the administration, the government, to make sure we can provide some crowd while still following very strict security measures.”

MORE FLEXIBLE

The U.S. Open in New York, which is scheduled to start on Aug. 31, will have no spectators and operate under strict health protocols, including limiting the size of each player’s entourage.

Forget said French Open organizers were not planning anything as strict and were even hoping to ease restrictions.

“Luckily things are a bit more flexible in Europe and in France, especially,” he said. “Hopefully, what we’re going to announce will probably be even more flexible than what we did.”

The FFT drew heavy criticism in mid-March when it unilaterally moved the French Open to September from its scheduled May start amid the COVID-19 crisis, placing it in the middle of the hardcourt season.

Forget said he understood why some were unhappy about it but thought saving one of the most prestigious and lucrative tournaments in tennis was worth it.

“We’re not going to celebrate or congratulate ourselves for the decision we took,” the 55-year-old said.

“We thought it’s a risk worth taking. Of course we’ll make people unhappy.

“But in mid-October, if we’re able to come together and we’ve been able to provide revenue for 600 people, I think we will be very satisfied as a federation and I as a former player.”

Forget was reasonably confident the tournament would be a success but would not relax until after the men’s final on Oct. 11.

“I don’t want to shout ‘victory’ before the tournament actually happens,” Forget said.

“As the tournament director I’ll only be happy once the men’s winner shakes the hand of the finalist.

“We will all together be able to say, we did it.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Nick Mulvenney and Peter Rutherford)





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Melbourne AFL clubs should be cautious speculating on future of struggling rivals


Not long ago, the noted AFL historian Russell Holmesby introduced an oral heritage titled The Demise of Fitzroy Football Club.

The identify is considerably controversial simply because, in accordance to the officially authorised AFL variation, Fitzroy did not die but, in 1996, merged harmoniously with the Brisbane Bears and lived happily ever soon after as the triple-premiership winning Brisbane Lions.

But even 24 many years afterwards the phrases of the Fitzroy gamers, coaches, administrators and, most noticeably, lovers who confronted the choice of embracing the new club or going for walks away betray blended feelings about the “merger”, if not the Brisbane Lions on their own.

Former Fitzroy player and coach Billy Stephen transferred his allegiance to the new entity, but continue to considers the loss of the Roys as, “like a dying in the household”.

The patron of the Fitzroy-Brisbane Historical Society Mel Corben made a decision to retain adhering to the Lions from afar. But he suggests his son, “could not occur on board. He is still mourning Fitzroy”.

Such lingering thoughts will resonate with those people who supported South Melbourne when it turned the Sydney Swans, even following the excellent 2005 premiership devoted to the outdated Bloods, and of followers of merged or banished clubs in other competitions this sort of as the NRL’s Newtown and North Sydney.

You would assume such heartfelt terms would also evoke sympathy from the administrators of golf equipment these types of as the Bulldogs, Hawthorn and Melbourne who arrived near to merging, though it seems a in the vicinity of-death experience is more simply neglected in the club’s entrance business office than in the grandstand.

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The sentiments betrayed in The Demise of Fitzroy Soccer Club appear to be well timed mainly because its launch coincides with an outbreak of pandemic stress — a interval in which the monetary squeeze on the AFL has put a aim on the quite existence of some supposedly having difficulties clubs.

Even so, counterintuitively, it is not the AFL Fee or govt that is shining the highlight on the purple ink-stained books of financial debt-ridden golf equipment at least not publicly.

AFL main govt Gillon McLachlan has established a survival mantra to reassure supporters of golf equipment such as St Kilda and North Melbourne, who have been solid as candidates for relocation or elimination: “The AFL went into this [season shutdown] with 18 AFL teams and 14 AFLW groups, and we will arrive out of it with 18 AFL groups and 14 AFLW teams.”

Relatively, reflecting a mid-pandemic tilt from “we are all in this alongside one another” to a type of Footy Hunger Video games, it is the leaders of some rival Melbourne clubs that are questioning the existence of their suburban counterparts.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett instructed in a letter to his customers that battling clubs should really confront a advertising/relegation technique, whilst he did not give aspects of how relegated golf equipment would endure in the semi-amateur VFL if they went down.

Nor did it feel to cross Kennett’s thoughts that, in the exact same year Fitzroy’s continues to be have been carted north, Hawthorn legend Don Scott stood on a phase just before 1000’s of enthusiasts and theatrically ripped a Velcro Hawk from a Melbourne jumper, symbolising what would be still left of his very pleased club if a proposed merger with the Demons proceeded.

Jeff Kennett has instructed battling AFL clubs could be relegated to the VFL.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Much a lot more surprising was the insistence of Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon that struggling golf equipment show “better accountability” and his publicly mentioned fears that the 18 golf equipment could not survive.

Sure, the exact Peter Gordon who occupies a important put in club heritage immediately after tugging heartstrings and rattling cans in 1989 when the Bulldogs ended up set to be the junior husband or wife in a merger with Fitzroy.

In the situation of the at the time-struggling Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs, this sort of forgetfulness demonstrates the mere opportunity that can make your mind up a club’s destiny. When the songs stopped the Hawks and Bulldogs scrambled desperately and managed to get a seat. Fitzroy was left standing.

In the meantime, Offsiders panellist Caroline Wilson has documented even more rumblings about the viability of North Melbourne and its suitability as a candidate to fill the emptiness in Tasmania tales sourced from within just the AFL and rival golf equipment.

Record must not be a distant memory

Because South Melbourne’s relocation in 1982, truisms have been designed to justify generating conclusions about anyone else’s club or, much more not too long ago, to defend the reduction-building ventures the AFL has produced: “Victoria are unable to guidance 10 groups”.

On the other hand: “The AFL won’t be able to find the money for NOT to have teams on the Gold Coast and in Western Sydney.”

In these assessments, golf equipment created of flesh and blood are usually forged as mere franchises. Heritage is suddenly just distant memories not component of a team’s DNA. The feelings of supporters are disregarded as misty-eyed sentimentality in the confront of gloomy economical projections. Dehumanising a club will make justifying its extermination a great deal easier.

Appropriately, when Kennett, Gordon and the connections of other (now) wealthy golf equipment fret about their reduced slice of a now lesser pie, you surprise how much self-reflection requires put. Do they recall it is only a quirk of historical timing that meant they experienced a relatively robust base line when a once-in-one particular hundred yr pestilence descended?

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A footnote to the Dying of Fitzroy Soccer Club is that the Brunswick Street Oval is now household to a vibrant community club in a now gentrified suburb that has taken the Fitzroy Soccer Club running licence, title and colors.

The supporters of Outdated Fitzroy obtain on Saturday afternoons to cheer for the area staff, some wearing ancient hand-knitted scarves and beanies and badges honouring outdated Roys favourites.

It’s a terrific put to view neighborhood footy and, for Fitzroy loyalists, there is a particular aid figuring out the vultures of the AFL are no extended circling, but looking for other prey.

Offsiders will have highlights of the weekend’s AFL and NRL matches, and a in-depth discussion on all the major sporting activities difficulties from the week on ABC Tv set this Sunday at 10:00am.



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