At lunchtime on 20th July, 1969, I stood in my boss' office listening to the radio. With me were my boss, Jim Smith, and Pam Robinson (Pam was later to be awarded the Australian Medal. AM.)
Pam, like me, was an employee of James H. Smith & Co. (later to become Smith, O'Shannessy & Co.)
The occasion of the 20th July was to be the first landing, by man, on the moon.
I was itching to get home for my lunch break so that I could witness the landing on my television set.
As I drove into the driveway of 137 Clarke Street, Apollo 11 was landing.
At home I witnessed the magnificent feat and heard the historic words "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED".
I saw astronaut Neil Armstrong alighting from the landing module and taking his first step, as he uttered the words - "ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND'.
He was accompanied by fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The whole world population was euphoric.
The exercise had involved, worldwide, 40,000 engineers, technicians and scientists. The cost? A staggering 24 billion dollars (in today's values, close to 100 billion.)
What would be, and at what cost, the world's next venture?
The landing was the result of extensive research and planning, and was the forerunner to much space travel and exploration, including a further six moon landings.
I haven't taken to following space exploration in the decades since that momentous occasion, but surely one could be forgiven for questioning the earthly value of the exercise. I have an open mind, but do, at times, ponder what would be the effect on world homelessness if 24 billion dollars had been diverted to countering it.
Surely the homeless people of the world would experience a far better existence!
Google tells me that the estimated world homelessness has increased from 100,000 people in 1969 to an unbelievable 150 million today.
Where are our priorities?