“If he were here tonight, our founder, B.A. “Bob” Santamaria, would never have wanted us to look back. He was a man of vision and he always looked ahead, asking that famous question of his: “What is to be done?” said Mary-Louise Fowler, national vice-president of the Australian Family Association, speaking at the dinner to mark the 75th Anniversary of the National Civic Council (the Movement) held in Sydney on October 14, 2017.
The NCC and AFA crews, from left: Symeon J. Thompson,
Joe Carolan, Mary-Louise Fowler, Patrick J. Byrne,
Robert Schroeders, Jeremy Barth and Peter Westmore.
Mary-Louise encouraged those in attendance to remember Bob’s words and keep on looking ahead and to resource a new generation of the Movement, which is keen to take up the present and future challenges that face society.
Around 90 supporters of the National Civic Council (NCC) attended the dinner at which they heard from a number of speakers, including Peter Westmore, national president of the NCC.
Peter spoke of the origin and history of the NCC, telling the audience of its origin in the Movement, the organisation that Bob Santamaria set up to take on the communists in Australia’s trade unions. The success of that effort can be measured in part by the animosity towards the Movement and its successor, the NCC – and Bob Santamaria himself – the remnants of the opposing side sustain even to this day.
That finally communism failed to extend its foothold in Australia must in some degree, probably extensive, be put down to the “groupers” success at that time in the union movement. A result for which Australia must ever be grateful.
The NCC has changed and yet has stayed the same in the intervening decades.
It is the same principles that direct it even as its battles have changed so as to be almost unrecognisable. Yet, as the organisation and its sister organisations confront the threats of today – euthanasia, the so-called Safe Schools program, gender-fluid “marriage”, abortion, loss of freedom of speech and religion, radical environmentalism with its distinctly anti-life agenda – it is clear that what the NCC is defending are precisely the things that it was defending when the opponent was communism: freedom, the family, the Judeo-Christian virtues and a strong and fair Australia.