Saturday, 19 July 2014

Melbourne's sadness

I woke to a sombre Melbourne this morning.

My city is hosting AIDS 2014 starting on Sunday. 
14,000 delegates are arriving in town.

Melbourne has just over four million people.
We are a small city by world standards
everyone knows someone, who knows someone
who is involved...

One of the Mums at Bookclub
is a Director of HIV Medicine. 
My boss has just taken a week off work 
to volunteer at this event.
Friends kids are working with the catering companies...

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
Next week Melbourne hosts the world's leading 
HIV leaders, scientists and researchers.
Former US president Bill Clinton and activist Bob Geldof are due to speak.

Melbourne is no stranger to big events
think Commonwealth Games, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Australian Open,
but this one just quietly, we are rather proud of.

Rather proud that without anyone batting an eyelid 
we were playing our part in getting together the world's 
leading experts in the global fight against HIV.

State Library, Swanston Street, Melbourne.
Yesterday we woke to the news 
of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, 
shot down over Ukraine near Russian border.
Our Prime Minister, Tony Abbot tells us 
of the 298 on board, 28 are Australians,
Eighteen were Victorian residents.
Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur
with a connection onto Melbourne.

There is initially a suggestion that up to 100 people on this flight
were heading to Melbourne for AIDS 2014.
Six Dutch passengers travelling to attend the conference 
have now been confirmed among the dead.

 They say “The cure for AIDS may have been on that plane..." 

Federation Square, Melbourne
Yesterday we saw horrific pictures of the burning wreckage.
Today we see the personal stories of Australian lives lost,
including a Melbourne University student.

We are in the middle of the University holidays
many of my daughter's Uni friends are in Europe travelling.
This would not be an untypical route home.
Malaysian Airlines prices are good,
more so, after they lost MH370.

Taken before all the flags were lowered to half mast until the end of AIDS 2014
Our Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle
put this tweet out last night:

Sorry I generally pride my blog as a happy place,
but Melbourne is in shock.

Unknown Mami
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