2nd EBC Meeting for 2017 (Friday, 21 April)


I would like to again thank those of you who attended our first meeting for 2017. The discussion and contributions made by attendees were all very illuminating and this bodes well for future meetings.

Our second meeting for 2017 will be held on Friday, 21 April.

We will once again be meeting at the Melbourne Savage Club. Our Vice President, Dr. Peter Janssen, will be presenting a paper on Edmund Burke and his thought with regards to England’s ‘Glorious’ Revolution.

There will be a slightly different format for this meeting. Rather than gathering for dinner at the RACV Club after the meeting we will instead be having unique evening at the Savage Club.
We will meet later (at 7:45pm) at the Savage Club for a 2 hour function including food and beverages.

The price of this event is $45.00 (beverages included). You are able to book through the Trybooking link below.

I hope you will be able to attend this interesting discussion. The RSVP date is Thursday 13 April. While there will be a Facebook page please reply to this email if you plan to attend.

Yours sincerely,

Lucas McLennan
Edmund Burke’s Club of Australia

TryBooking link:

Belloc versus Tolkien: Two Views of Anglo-Saxon England

hastingsEditor’s Note: Joseph Pearce has written this article to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, which falls on this day.

Picture the scene. An expectant audience, which includes the great Catholic writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, awaits the arrival of another great Catholic writer, Hilaire Belloc, the latter of whom has been invited by the University chaplain, Monsignor Ronald Knox, to give a talk to the Catholic chaplaincy at Oxford University. Seated just behind Tolkien as Belloc gives his talk is the celebrated Jesuit Fr. Martin D’Arcy, who records what subsequently transpired in his memoirs:

In his talk Belloc came out with one of his pet themes: that the Anglo-Saxons were utterly unimportant in the history of England. Now, there was present on this occasion a man who was probably the greatest authority in the world on Anglo-Saxon subjects and was the professor of Anglo-Saxon history [sic] at the time. He is presently professor of English Literature at Oxford. The man’s name is Tolkien, and he was a very good Catholic …. Well, Tolkien disagreed profoundly with Belloc on the question of the Anglo-Saxons. He was sitting just in front of me, and I saw him writhing as Belloc came out with some of his more extreme remarks. So during the interval, I said to him, ‘Oh, Tolkien, now you’ve got your chance. You’d better tackle him.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Gracious me! Do you think I would tackle Belloc unless I had my whole case very carefully prepared?’ He knew Belloc would always pull some fact out of his sleeve which would disconcert you! Now, that was a tremendous tribute from probably the greatest authority in the world at the time on that particular subject.*

Read the full article

How civilizations fall

by Kenneth Minogue

This piece appeared in The New Criterion in April 2001. It has appeared regularly on the internet. It is worth repeating here.

On the role of radical feminism in the decline of civilization.

How do civilizations fall? Islamic thinkers had an image for it. Consider a civilization based upon a court in a thriving city— Baghdad, for example. Arts and the intellect flourish. But over several generations, as the great Islamic philosopher of the fourteenth century Ibn Khaldun put it, the civilized become decadent with luxury. They lose their sharpness and think only of the good and the beautiful. And then some tribe of fierce Bedouin, smelling out weakness, come thundering in from the desert and storm the city. As barbarians, they do not understand the usages of civilization. They stable their horses in the libraries and use sculptures as doorstops, pictures for target practice. Given a pillow, Ibn Khaldun tells us contemptuously, they suppose it to be a bundle of rags. In time, however, the power of a superior culture is felt, and these people adopt and sometimes extend the ways of civilization, until they too are overthrown in their turn. Continue reading

Christmas greetings and the transcendent

The media have replayed the Christmas greetings of many religious leaders, all of which are edifying – at least the number I have seen. I have the welcome impression that the general community is concerned to preserve the cultural aspect of Christmas, if not the religious foundations of the Christmas festivity. It is reassuring the cultural initiative has been taken. It indicates that the elitist purveyors of materialism have not succeeded in blotting out the natural feelings of the ordinary person.

One of the most inspiring Christmas greetings linking the feast day with the transcendent is that of the Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute. Fr Sirico’s greeting can be viewed here.

Gerard Wilson

Treason and sedition – the worst of civil offences

Yesterday I was reflecting that treason and sedition have always been considered the worst of civil offences, punishable by death. It was not with reference to Muslims in Western countries on this occasion. Then I came across the following on a Facebook page:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the carrier of the plague. You have unbarred the gates of Rome to him.”

A quote attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero – 107 BC – 43 BC. And so history repeats itself, so it would seem.

Gerard Wilson

Report of the Annual General Meeting 6 November 2015

The Annual General Meeting of Edmund Burke’s Club welcomed quite a few new attendees whom the President Gerard Wilson warmly welcomed before beginning the business of the meeting. A special welcome was given to Dominick Bondar, Vice-President of Sydney University Liberal Club, who had just become the Club’s newest member. The President then gave an account – and an assessment – of the Club’s activities over the previous year.

Our membership not only remained steady but increased slightly. For various reasons we lost some but gained others. Our meetings with the supper afterwards continued to be thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The presentations stimulated much discussion which carried over to the supper. Continue reading

A fair portrait of Tony Abbott

Andrew Bolt’s portrait of Tony Abbott which appeared shortly after Abbott’s carefully planned assassination is not only objectively fair. It is true – true about Abbot’s qualities as a person, true about his loyalty, true about his achievements, true about the enormous obstacles that stood in the way of his administration, and true about the media’s unrestrained and shameless politicking to tear him down. When one is confronted yet again by a detailed account of Abbott’s demise, depicting Abbott as master of his own fall, one should return to this piece to be reminded of reality and not fantasy.

Loss of PM Abbott is a time of Sorrow

NOW Tony Abbott is gone I can finally tell the truth about him. Folks, you made a big mistake with this bloke. No, no. The mistake wasn’t that you voted for him. In fact, you got one of the finest human beings to be Prime Minister.

In many ways he seemed too moral for the job, yet he achieved more in two years than the last two Labor prime ministers achieved in six. Compare. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard left us with record deficits after blowing billions on trash — on overpriced school halls, “free” insulation that killed people, green schemes that collapsed, “stimulus” checks to the dead. Continue reading

Understanding Islam I

Fr Paul Stenhouse MSC PhD, an acknowledged expert on Islam and the Middle East, is currently presenting a five-part series on Islam in the ANNALS. The first part appeared in the March 2015 issue. With Fr Stenhouse’s kind permission the first part is reproduced here: Understanding Islam I