David Ochert was honoured with the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division in the Australia Day Honours list 2018 "for service to rowing, particuularly as a coach". He has been a rowing coach at Club, State and National levels dating back to 1981. He has competed at all levels of rowing and is a life member of the Toowong Rowing Club. He is also an inductee in the Hall of Fame, Rowing Victoria (2013).
From Hedva Sheiner:
Henry and Miriam Briggs came at least twice a year to Israel to visit their children and grandchildren. They have 2 kids in Israel and 2 in Sydney and grandchildren mainly here. They bought a house in Raanana and of course when here we met up with them.
This November they came again for a special simcha, their first great grandchild was born They left Israel at the end of November 2017 and on the day they arrived home Henry started feeling ill and could not stop vomiting. It took two or three days till he was hospitalized (no beds available in the hospital!!) and he underwent various tests and finally they found that he had pancreatic cancer at quite an advanced stage. Already then they did not give him long to live!
All their family, children, husbands, grandchildren and even their tiny great grandson were flown over from Israel. The last few days of his life he spent at their home with the whole family.
A few days before he went they had a special Book Launch at the Sydney Jewish Museum. The Book is an autobiography about his life as a Holocaust survivor and is named TO LIFE L’CHAIM and in it he also writes about being in Betar and quite a long description of what it meant to him.
They are all being flown to Israel and he will be buried at the Raanana Cemetery, where on this coming Friday we will be visiting Rosette’s grave for the “shloshim”.
May they rest in Peace!!
From Miriam: From the Australian Jewish News, January 12, 2018 (Aus time), a review of the life and the book written by Henry - "To Life L'Chaim". Condolences shown here.
From Jack: "It is my saddest ever duty to inform all our friends that my most cherished and loved girlfriend and bride passed away last night.
She was an unusually fine person with an extraordinary love of life and a typically polish sense of humour. But most of all she loved people and wherever we went made friends leaving a long trail of mourners who will not easily forget her.
Everyone wishes that on their death they will leave this earth just a little better for their short visit. Well Rosette achieved that - oodles of it.
I on the other hand must confront a very bleak dark hole of loneliness."
In the next 2 months or so, we will be publishing films and videos from as early as 1954. This is a partial list of the videos that will/have become available:
1954-55 Nudnik, the Shmendrik Camper 🗹
1954-55 Kinglake West camp in Victoria 🗹
1959-60 Kinglake West camp in Victoria NEW 🗹
1960s era camps in Sydney
1962 11th Kenes Artzi in Sydney 🗹
1989 Betar Reunion in Israel.
This has been made possible courtesy of John Ziegler. Harry Stuart is attempting the restoration, which includes titling, identification of Betarim where possible, adding soundtracks to the 8mm films, improving the sound from the videos.
Still in progress, the titles above will become clickable links as they become available.
Jack's talent in painting is well known in Betar circles. However, the volume of his output over the years is astounding. Over the past few months Jack has assembled over 550 paintings and pastels in a wide variety of subjects from the Holocaust to Australian football and aborigines. And his artistic genes have been passed to his daughter Michelle Feder whose partial work has been added to his portfolio.
Download the file (Adobe Acrobat) from here. Please note that this file is around 23mb.
As of Jan 17, 2018, a Youtube version loaded by Michelle, is also available here.
OFFICER (AO) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA Australia Day 2017 Emeritus Professor Larry SITSKY AM, 29 Threlfall Street, Chifley ACT 2606 For distinguished service to the arts as a composer and concert pianist, to music education as a researcher and mentor, and through musical contributions to Australia's contemporary culture. Read the article in the Canberra Times here. (Thanks to Peter Keeda for the submission.)