25 August 2017


This barrage of noise about marriage equality is a side issue and a smoke screen.

What we want is EQUALITY - with EQUALITY comes every other equality, including "marriage equality".

This ongoing argument and the demand for parliamentary votes and referenda and similar parliamentary nonsense is just that - nonsense.

Parliament would never agree to give gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV/AIDS and other "different" population groups equality because it would mean there would be more people around demanding other rights - although once we had equality, we would presumably have all the rights we legally need.

The country is wasting billions of dollars and resources over this whole nonsense - money which could be put to greater use for groups needing assistance with health, education, employment and other issues, and the more we spend on nonsense the more we take out of the common pool, and the more time people spend on this nonsense the more human resources are spent on issues which are really only side issues.

Marriage is not an institution we should be encouraging - if people want to live together but don't want to get married - they are doing it anyway, all the time, every day, not just heterosexuals, but homosexuals and everybody else who wants to - why waste time and energy on an irrelevance?

What we want is Equality and we want it NOW!

22 August 2017



Pauline Sheila Lipson was born in Johannesburg on 12 April 1927. Her parents's surname was Spitz, and Pauline and I became "first cousins" when my mother, a widow with two small children, married my stepfather Maurice Spitz on 2 November 1931.

Mo, as my stepfather was known to one and all, was the youngest brother of Pauline's father, Harry, in a family of ten children, six brothers and four sisters.

Pauline was an only child, and we were both 5 years old when my mother married Mo Spitz.

At that stage we lived in an inner city suburb in Johannesburg called Berea, and we were there throughout our school years and until we left school.

We had two schools in the area near us - an all-girls school called the Johannesburg Girls High School, also known as Barnato Park, and an all-boys school called King Edward VII School, and both were in walking distance from our homes in Berea.

We were at each school from our primary years till the end of our secondary years when we matriculated.

Sometimes I was invited to "babysit" because her parents wanted to go out for the evening and the woman who lived there was away for a few days. On one of these occasions her parents, who had wanted reading lamps on either side of their beds had asked me if I could fit some for them as I was known to fiddle around at home doing all sorts of electrical repairs. When they came home from their outing they found some lamps waiting for them on their bedside pedestals.

We used to walk around the corner to visit each other, and on one occasion when I went to visit, Pauline had just had a terrible event which scarred her for life. There was a woman who lived in their house who was a sort of house-keeper/nanny, and one winter's night this woman had put a hot water bottle in Pauline's bed which had just been filled with boiling water. Pauline and this woman had just had a big argument and Pauline was very angry. She went into her bedroom and and banged herself down on the bed and the water-bottle burst. She was not called "Porky" for nothing - she was a heavy girl. As I remember it the wound took months to heal.

While we were schoolchildren our mothers would take us to visit aunts who lived around Johannesburg, and one of these aunts lived in a big house with a fish pond. Pauline and I  would play outside in the garden around the pond while the "grown-ups" were talking inside the house. I was a very timid boy and Pauline was much more of a doer than I was in those days. Pauline, who was full of mischief decided to push me into the pond when we were standing on its edge. For one of the very few times in my very timid life - and I don't know what possessed me - I managed to pull her into the pond after me, and we both got thoroughly soaked, of course.

Our mothers were suitably unimpressed with two soaking brats and put us in the car to take us home to change our clothes. On the way they had to stop at another aunt's house to attend to some fairly urgent matter, and they left us in the car while they went into the Aunt's house. The car was a very old Ford V8 prewar with a bench seat at the front and the leather seats had a binding strap of thin leather along the top covering the joining of two leather pieces. This strap had become loose over the years and it had some tacks which used to hold it in place having come loose. Between us and jumping around in the car from the front seat to the back seat and over the strap where the tacks were sticking out, Pauline managed to rip the length of her leg from the top down! As far as I know the scar remained with her for the rest of her life!

Over those growing up years Pauline and I saw each other regularly - our parents were great bridge players and they had many friends in common, apart from the family connection.

 One of the boys I was at school with lived at the other end of the same street that I lived in and his name was David Marcus. David had a first cousin called Arnold Lipson who was the youngest of 7 children and they lived in a very large house in a suburb some distance from where we lived and the house had a tennis court in the grounds. Occasionally we went there for a game of tennis and so I met Arnie Lipson who a few years later, met Pauline Spitz and married her around the time of Pauline's 21st birthday, in April 1948, and so we became related.

With Pauline being married and me still being at university, we saw each other less and less in those days, but never lost touch.

The next connection was of a totally different sort. When Pauline finished school she became an articled clerk to a lawyer for her practical training to become a lawyer. The lawyer's name was Siegfried Raphaely and he was a cousin of my father Morris De Saxe who had died in 1930 when he was 31 and I was three years old.

When Siegfried retired (or died - I don't remember which sequence of events occurred!) Pauline worked for his son Pat Raphaely, who took over his father's legal practice. I think she worked there until she finished her articles.

I think before Pauline had ever heard of Legal Aid, and during the period after the start of World War II after 1939 when I was at high school in Johannesburg, and helpers in organisations such as Legal Aid were not easy to obtain, I used to work there during my school holidays as a messenger boy and general "dog's body" as people like me were called at the time, running errands from the basement of the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court, where Legal Aid had been "generously" provided with accommodation.

And then the next series of events which brought Pauline into the Legal Aid Bureau in Johannesburg:
My aunt Mary Kuper started work at Legal Aid in the 1930s with Ruth Heyman who was, I think, its first director. When Ruth left, my aunt took over the running of Legal Aid and stayed there until 1948, when she died of leukaemia aged 46. A few years later Pauline went to work at Legal Aid.

One of the other stories I am fond of re-telling is one about books. Pauline was always a great reader, and very often she would borrow books and sometimes forget to return them. On one occasion she had borrowed a book from me which was one of my favourite books and I hadn't seen her for some time so was unable to ask for its return.

Pauline and Arnie had recently moved into a new house and they were having a dinner party. My then wife and I were invited to the party and after dinner I asked Pauline if I could take the book home, as I had seen it in her bookcase. She said I couldn't as the book was hers, so I took it off the shelf and showed her my name and address inside and the date of purchase! So I got my book back and took it home.

Two other items binding us over time were that Pauline's second daughter Margie was born on 17 January 1953, which was the day my grandmother died.  My grandmother lived in my parents' house for five years up to her death, so Margie's birthday is one I don't ever forget! Her youngest daughter Lindsay used to work at a bookshop in Rissik Street, Johannesburg in the 1970s and I used to go to the shop once a week to pick up the weekly journals and comic for myself and my  kids. Lindsay and I used to have long conversations when she was supposed to serve customers in the shop and I was supposed to make my purchases and go back to work, but I don't think it particularly affected either of us!

There was a long period during my marriage when my then wife decided she didn't like the Lipsons and didn't want us to see them any more and that was the situation for many years. Then we came to live in Sydney in Australia and my wife and I separated after 31 years. I was then 58 years old. When I turned 65 and knew of course that Pauline would soon be 65 I waited until her birthday was due and sent a birthday card. She was delighted and we resumed our friendship from them on. Then her three daughters came to live in Australia, one at a time - in Melbourne, and our friendship took on new dimensions.

After Arnie died their daughters and us - my partner and I - we had visited Pauline in Johannesburg in 1997, so she had already met him - tried to nag Pauline to come and live in Melbourne, as we had come to live in Melbourne in 2001, and because her whole life had been in Johannesburg, she couldn't make up her mind to leave. Finally, in about 2005, and because she realised that as she was ageing and health issues might became a major issue, it might be a good idea to be near her family, so she came to live in Melbourne and we had regular contact until her death.

I am six months older than Pauline, and we have been friends from the age of 5 until her death in Melbourne a few weeks ago, on 30 July 2017, when she was 90 years old. She will be sadly missed!

The photo below was taken at the bottom of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens on Sydney Harbour when Pauline and Arnold Lipson visited me in Sydney for the first time in early 1993:

We placed this notice in The Age newspaper on Friday 4 AUGUST 2017:

(this is  a work in progress as at 27 August 2017)

On 10 April 2001 Pauline was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg.

The Order of Procedure for the Conferment of the honorary degree is the fourth item down:

Doctor of Laws

Presented by Professor W D Reekie Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management BCom (Edin) PhD(Strath)

Pauline Sheila Lipson
The Citation:

Pauline Lipson was born in Johannesburg in 1927 and attended the Johannesburg High School for Girls. In 1945, she entered into articles of clerkship with a firm of attorneys. In 1946 and 1947, while doing her articles, she studied law part-time at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completed her professional qualifications in 1950.

At the end of that year, she was approached to take over the running of the Johannesburg Legal Aid Bureau on a temporary basis until a suitable permanent director was appointed. There was no need to look any further. The Legal Aid had found its permanent director.

The Legal Aid Bureau, founded in 1937, provided legal advice to underprivileged clients and secured them representation in court long before it was fashionable to do so. Its survival through the second half of the twentieth century was entirely due to Pauline Lipson's resourcefulness and dedication, her tenaciousness and her courage.

Lipson's first child was born in June 1950, shortly before she joined the Bureau. She took maternity leave in 1953 and 1955 (sic) to have two further children but her involvement never wavered. Thanks to her stewardship the Bureau grew into one of the most significant providers of legal services to indigent South Africans and by April 1999 it was staffed by sixteen paid employees and a large number of volunteer workers.

As Director, her duties included giving legal advice and assistance in a diverse range of fields. She negotiated with employers, with other practitioners, with welfare and non-governmental organisations, and with government departments. She also became expert in training law students and provided 'in-house' tutelage to students from Wits University, the University of the North and the University of Zululand.

Her chosen career required her to have superhuman qualities - tact, persistence, a sense of humour and what can only be described as great-heartedness. She applied legendary powers of persuasion in getting legal practitioners in Johannesburg to become actively involved in the Bureau's work and in raising funds for it. These attributes have, with the passage of time, led to her becoming an icon among legal practitioners in Johannesburg. Few other lawyers are as widely known among ordinary people, or as deeply respected for their contribution to the welfare of the less privileged members of our society.

Constitutional Court President, Justice Arthur Chaskalson, has said of Lipson:

                 If we are to address our past in a meaningful way and transform our
                 society into one in which the constitutional aspirations of
                 democracy, human dignity, equality and freedom are to be realised
                 in substance as well as form, our country needs people like Pauline
                 Lipson who, in different fields of endeavour, are willing to commit
                 themselves to doing what is necessary to create a fair and just
                 society. In acknowledging Lipson's lifetime commitment to justice,
                 and the sacrifices she has made in pursuit of that end, Wits is
                 identifying with and recognising the importance of such a

In a letter to the Chancellor of this university in support of the proposal that an honorary doctorate be conferred upon Pauline Lipson, former President Nelson Mandela writes as follows:

                 I first became aware of her work as Director of the Legal Aid
                 Bureau during the early 1950s. At the time, and for a number of
                 years thereafter, the Bureau was the only body to whom the indigent
                 could turn for legal assistance. Pauline Lipson dedicated herself to
                 the task. I still remember when the Legal Aid Bureau's offices were
                 in the Old Post Office building in Rissik Street. The 'Native'
                 Divorce Court was also there. The offices of Mandela and Tambo
                 were in Chancellor House opposite the Magistrate's Court - too far
                 for me to go back during short adjournments. I availed myself of
                 Pauline Lipson's friendship and hospitality. I went to her office to
                 make urgent telephone calls and to have tea. The waiting room was
                 full of men and women who had come for help. Pauline would
                 interrupt a busy schedule of interviewing people and urging young
                 members of the Bar and attorneys to appear on behalf of her non-
                 paying clients. She was a persuasive lady to whom few of us could
                 say no.

Pauline Lipson is one of the unsung heroines of the struggle for a just and equitable legal system in South Africa. She has been a champion who devoted her entire professional life to an attempt to provide indigent persons with access to justice. It is fitting that this university should pay tribute to her contribution bu conferring upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

I believe the person on the left is the other PhD graduand - Joy ChristineNalukwago Lwanga-Lumu.

From left to right I believe we have: Chairman of Council The Honourable Justice E Cameron, Joy Christine Nalukwago Lwanga-Lumu, Pauline Sheila Lipson, President of Convocation Professor John Shochot.


17 August 2017


Israel is trying to terrorise any group or organisation which gets involved in planning any action or campaign spreading the message about the evils of the Israeli government and its genocidal, apartheid, murderous activities against the Palestinians - in the USA against educational institutions, in the UK against any organisation daring to consider BDS, and the same in countries around the world daring to oppose the murderous regime of the Israeli government.

The brutal occupation of the Occupied territories - West Bank and Gaza - shows the Israeli intent of proceeding with the occupation until they have somewhow or other silenced - or got rid of - the Palestinians - from their homes and homeland, meanwhile spreading the myths and lies that Israel is the Jewish homeland. Never was, never is, never will be!!

And they spread the message internationally that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism which is just so much nonsense, as everyone around the world is beginning to discover.

When are the countries with the power and strength to do something to stop the Israelis in their tracks going to do something and when are politicians in so many of our western countries going to stop arse-licking the Israelis and enjoying their free trips to Israel to see one side of the border where the Berlin Wall cuts off legitimate citizens from their legitimate homeland?

Why is there not yet any international outcry and when are these countries going to stop funding this murderous regime?

13 August 2017


Genocide is a vast subject which has been researched in great depth and many studies have been done on the topic.

Countries which are not normally given publicity who are deeply involved will surprise many people when they consider what these countries are doing and why.

We can of course start talking about genocide naming a few of the well-known historic countries, such as Turkey and the Armenians, and Germany and the Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Gays and Lesbians - and many others.

Some of the modern ones taking place under our noses, and generally ignored by politicians and media, are of course the USA and its indigenous and African-American populations, and Israel which is determined to occupy the whole of Palestine by ridding the country of its indigenous population bit by bit, one murder or two at a time and stealing their country bit by bit until they are in control of the whole area known historically as Palestine.

We now all know of some of the genocides having taken place on the African continent, but there are also those in Asian countries which are not given the media and international attention that they need, such as China and Tibet, and Myanmar and the Rohingyas.


There are too many politicians and journalists in Australia who have remained silent for too long.

Another death on Manus - and someone who was desperately in need of assistance and attention - and the responses from the politicians?

Silence all the way.

And the citizens of Australia?

A vague stirring.

Will it lead to a campaign to stop this criminal activity on the part of the government and its loyal opposition?

Probably not.

Where is the humanity, human rights, protections, assistance, and all the other issues which need immediate attention?

One can't even quote Alan Paton any more - no doubt the generations of today have not heard of the famous South African book "Cry the beloved country."

This is probably not exactly genocide, but it is not far removed from what genocide is and what it does.

Those of us who care are too old or worn out to be able to actively campaign as once we might have done, and we hoped later generations would fill the gap, but alas it has not happened.

People should be marching in the streets throughout the country and screaming from the roof tops till everybody is awakened to the criminal activities taking place in their names.

I despair, and at 90 I see no solutions in my lifetime.


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm