April 25 is the day we remember all those who have fallen in times of conflict. For me, it always brings up a memory from years gone by.
One of my great uncles, whom I may have met at some point in my youth, but who’s name is long forgotten, fought in the second world war. Many years after the war, he took a trip to Brisbane, and while there caught a tram. Yes
Brisbanians, Brisbanites, Brisbanorians, Banana Benders, you use to have trams, and a bloody good system too. But I digress.
He boarded the tram, presented his pensioner card to the conductor and asked for a concession fare. The conductor said to him “Nah mate, full fare for you.”
Understandably, my great uncle was a bit perplexed by this, showed his pension card again and asked for a concession fare.
The conductor explained further, “Mate, that’s a Victorian concession card, not a Queensland one. You have to pay full fare.”
Obviously my great uncle was a bit taken back by this, and made his voice heard.
“I fought for this country in the trenches against the Germans and the Japanese. I did my bit for the country, and it entitled me to a concession fare. So one concession please.”
The conductor by now getting annoyed at being delayed in collecting fares replied “Still doesn’t matter, you’re a Victorian, so full fare.”
“Well,” said my great uncle, “if I had known that during the war, I would have shot at the bloody Queenslanders as well!”
He got a concession fare.