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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Our Ajn Folk

Our Ajn Folk

It is meet that, as the Christmas season draws near, our thoughts turn more and more to those who await our return in the tar away homeland. True, throughout the months of alternate dcubt and glorious victory, the folk at home have always been to the fore in our minds; but at the approach of the hallowed time we tnink of Christmas days spent among those without whom "Home" would be a word instead of a volume; the flood gates of memory are opened wide, and we teel the nearness of their spiritual presence defying the vast distance that seeks to divide us.

Yes, we see them as if indeed they were with us: silver-haired Mother, who waits with sublime patience; bluff and hearty old Dad, keeping that cheerful exterior "for the sake of the women folk, y'know", the while he, as keenly as any, misses our noisy presence at the Xmas festivities; our sisters, proudly wearing our regimental colours and badges, and smiling for Mother's comfort as they bustle round preparing for the quiet celebration of the season; and the small boy of the family, with the Hun hat-badge you sent him stuck in his cap, or perhaps wearing the "Jacko" belt you smuggled Home to him, blundering round making as much noise as his brother—Aye! and I guess his Father, too.—made before him. It's a picture we all see, be our Homes in Southern Gippsland, amid the tropic heat of North Queensland, or past the western terminus of the great new railway. Our thoughts at Christmas time will all be of home and our ain folk.

If we are amid the bustle of Cairo, on duty or pleasure bent, we will be thinking of our far away homes. At Moascar the Xmas dinner will be washed down by the toast of "Home and those we love". All along the linesof communication to Palestine, Australia and the people there will occupy the place of honour in the minds of soldiers. And where the fertile flats merge into those eternal hills which make the northern surroundings seem grim and prison-like, discomforts will be forgotten for the glad season of memory's reunion. Where the waters of Damascus plungedown the hills in miniature cascades and the Barrada Gorge displays its beiuty, and far beyond the mid-Syrian district, where you once more break free from the ranges but meet the icy winter wind, home will hold dominion overall men's thoughts.

We have known vicissitudes in the bygone months, and time was when we grumbled at things beyond our ker.; but as the year draws to its close all bitternes dies and the balm of home thoughts heals the sore spots of the soul. And, as victory has crowned our long campaign, in a spirit of great thankfulness our Christmas thoughts can speed overseas to our ain folk, unburdened by the doubts of war.