B a r r y W i l l i a m s
Portrait of Barry Williams (c) Kilmeny Niland
I am very pleased to welcome ex flight sergeant Williams to our humble abode. I hope he enjoys the company. He adds a touch of gravitas among the sometimes unseemly levity of pieces on Popper and Hayek, epistemology and political economy.
Not that he is devoid of wit. Some of my most enjoyable lunchtimes were spent in his company at Mama's Kitchen when he toiled from Monday to Friday in the US Consulate to promote trade and cultural exchanges with the Great Imperialist Satan. Later he was more happily and usefully employed as the Executive Oficer of the Australian Skeptics (NSW) and editor of the quarterly magazine.
Essentially a man of peace, he was not found wanting in time of war. He saw active service in the Near East at the time of Confrontation with Indonesia over the newly independent state of Malaysia.
During a crisis he took up a rifle to defend the airforce base, like the heroes in the thin red line facing the Zulus at Rorke's Drift. In the event the Zulus did not appear, being engaged elsewhere. The cause of the alarm, a blip on the horizon, was an artefact produced by a defective radar unit. The base was rendered safe by returning the rifles to the armory before they went off and injured someone.
Everyone has indelible memories of momentous events that they witnessed, often in sporting events. It is often unwise to test these recollections against more objective records because many treasured impressions can be reduced to dust, or subjected to serious revision. Such is the case with the mythology of the Devil's Number "87" in cricket (13 short of the treasured "ton"). This is widely regarded as a particularly dangerous score, a reef where a disproportionate number of promising innings are wrecked. Read on for Barry's learned expose...