Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Thinking the  Northern Territory News   would   be interested in an old  article about its former great  editor , Jim Bowditch ,  who had served  in  the  Z Special Force  in the Second World  War,  Darwin  activist  Rob Wesley-Smith   took  it  along  to the newspaper.  His action was  prompted by   the fact   that there  had  been  a   recent  special  ceremony in  Canberra  at the Australian War  Memorial   to  honour the  brave   group  , who  took the fight to the enemy behind their   lines .  Jim Bowditch ?  Two reporters  had  no  idea  who   he  was or  the extraordinary  things  he  had  done  both as  a  soldier and  a crusading editor. The  media  in general did not pick up  the  interesting fact  that  the Bowditch  family  were involved in  various ways  in  the  recent  Northern Territory election...the  Bowditch spirit  lives  on, Jim having once stood  for the ALP  in the seat of  Fannie Bay.
American  medal awarded to Bowditch for his wartime service in Pacific ; he also received the Distinguished  Conduct  Medal ,  Mentioned  In  Dispatches .  
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It seems  that in all  the  coverage  given to the  Wave Hill walk off to Wattie Creek  by the  Gurindji  , little , perhaps   nothing ,   was said  at major events  marking the anniversary  and  book  launch  about  the fact " Big Jim"  Bowditch  kept   the struggle   alive  for  years before  the  famous event in which PM Gough Whitlam was photographed  making  that symbolic act of  pouring the sand   into the  hand  of  Vincent   Lingiari , in  the  important Aboriginal   landrights  case.  Years ago , the late  author Frank Hardy personally acknowledged  Bowditch's  tireless  efforts  which eventually led to a  major win .   Another  opportunity  for  the  NT News   to recall  the  extraordinary   work  of   its  former extraordinary  editor ... if  anybody  knew , or  cared.