An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Patriotic, Me?

Went to the Huon Club last night for the first time. I previously thought the Yacht Club was the last bastion of the colonial era in Lae, but I now have to add the Huon Club to that list.

Wood panelled walls, easy chairs, bar, two massive sized snooker tables - the sort where you need 10 foot arms or barge poles to reach the balls - and I am sure a portrait of the Queen was hiding somewhere, I didn't get to see her though as she must have been buried underneath all the Australian flags decorating the place.

The occasion of course was Australia Day. The location just happened to be the mysterious Huon club, which I only found out existed yesterday afternoon. I am not complaining though. It was a great piss-up. 25 Kina to enter and then free VB all night long. A large banquet of food was thrown in later as well.

His Excellency, the Oz High Commissioner, showed up and gave a little speech at the official time. Being the first time I have done the ex-pat Australia Day thing (oops, I did go to the Walkabout in Sheperds Bush once - no high commissioner there), I wasn't sure of what was the official protocol.

It turned out that the HC, who is a little rosy rotund rolly-poley sort of a man who would be able to play Humpty Dumpty perfectly (he is in the middle of the picture here), gave a little speech about the current situations involving the police presence and then toasted PNG. There was no saluting the flag. No singing Advance Australia Fair and no toasting the old bird in London - thank god!

We did all get to do the very Aussie thing of watch the Cricket on one TV and Lleyton Hewitt "coming on" on another. This was drowned out though by the two-piece band flown up from Cairns to keep us entertained. They were quite good.

After five hours of drinking VB, something I would not contemplate in Oz (apart from if it is the only thing on offer), I was feeling a little bit seedy this morning. No rest for the wicked though. Busy at the moment with a big Workshop for all our Study Centre co-ordinators here at the Uni.

Best be back to it. I am missing the free feed on offer.