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I know nothing… recalling Schultz

War Stories: Colonel Hogan and Sergeant Schultz from the TV show Hogan’s Heroes.Reading reports in the Herald about the royal commission’s probe into child sexual abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese has made Topics feel sick to the stomach.
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The reports about top brass in the clergy knowing nothing and not recalling crucial events were shocking to say the least.

“I Can’t Recall,” the Herald’s headline said last Friday, preceded by “I Knew Nothing” the day prior.

This is serious stuff, no doubt. But this amnesia has an almost absurdcomic aspect to it.

This is why the headlines made Topics immediately think of Sergeant Schultz.Anyone who watched the TV show Hogan’s Heroes would remember Schultz – the portly prisoner-of-war camp guard at Stalag 13.

John Banner played the big-hearted Schultz in the show, which ran from 1965 to 1971.

Afraid of being entangled in trouble, Schultz often turned a blind eye to the prisoner’s tricky transgressions.

Plus, he was easily bribed with chocolate or some other tasty treat.

“I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing!,” Schultz would declare.

Strangely enough, the actor [born Johann Banner] was not a Nazi but a Jew.He lost family members in the Holocaust.And he was actually a sergeant in World War II, but he served with the Allies in the US Army.

But surely the most fascinating story about the characters of Hogan’s Heroes was the life [and death] of Bob Crane, who played Colonel Robert E. Hogan.

Crane had a passion for pornography, making many kinkyvideos –with himself as the star.

The 49-year-oldwas murdered in 1978 in an apartment in Arizona. Hewas bashed to death with a camera tripod. The homicide was never solved.

Hockey HistoryThe Hockeyroos, Australia’s female hockey team, went down 2-1 to the old enemy – Great Britain – at the Olympics at the weekend.

Australia’s Mariah Williams playing Great Britain at the Olympics.

Fiftyyears ago on Wednesday though, a Newcastle representative team had better luck against a Great Britain side.

The team defeated the Brits 1-0 in a match at Harker Memorial Oval at New Lambton.

“In a brilliant defensive display, the home side smashed repeated attacks by the powerful Great Britain forward line to save the match,”it wasreported at the time.

Newcastle was the only team to beat the tourists on their 22-match tour, apart from their three losses to Australia in a six-match testseries.

A reunion lunch to remember the occasion will be held on Wednesday at Wickham Park Hotel.Bob Stuart, who played in the match, said seven members of the team would attend, but four had passed away.

Bob, 78, recalled the team being thrilled to play the match.

“We knew it would be a difficult challenge,” he said.

A Newcastle rep side beat Great Britain in hockey in 1966.

The match was played in rain, wind and mud.“It was a fiercely played game in difficult conditions. The ground wasn’t ideal for field hockey, but it was a great win.”

Bob said three members of the team were “sporting legends”. This trio had sadly passed away.

Paul Dearing was a three-time Olympian, Barry Arms a twice Australian beach sprint champion and his brother Brian Arms a twice Australian beach relay champion.“Paul and Barry were the fittest human beings I’ve ever known,” Bob said.

Pricey PlumbersTopics reported last Thursday that a reader was a tad annoyed that a plumber charged $500 for a half-hour job.

On Saturday, reader John said the stinky nature of the job and overheads should be considered beforejudging whether a rate of $1000 an hour was reasonable.

Reader Mark Maguire added this:“I recently had some dental work done.The dentist (plus his assistant) took three X-rays, did a little grinding, then cleaned and polished my teeth.

“This took about 30 minutes, maybe a little longer.He charged me $190. I actually said to the receptionist: “That is very reasonable.

“If a plumber had done this, I’d say it would have cost me at least $600!”

Mark’s moral of the story:“Thank god plumbers are not clever enough to be dentists or we’d all have no teeth!”

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