Down to The Gong; coffee at the Diggers

Called in to the Uniting Church on the Mall. Thought about New Zealand.

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Met Mr Rabbit for coffee at The Diggers Club. We were still there for the 4.30 ritual. I have grown to appreciate the ritual; Mr R hadn’t experienced it before.

At RSL Clubs throughout Australia, the Remembrance Silence is a solemn ritual that takes place every night. All lights except a Memorial Flame or an Illuminated Cross are dimmed. Everyone present stands in silence facing the Flame or Cross and the Ode from For the Fallen is recited (usually from a recording).

Originally this ritual took place at 9 pm and it’s still listed that way on the government’s Defence website. However, some RSL Clubs now have it as early as 5 pm (Miranda RSL). No one knows for sure why it was at 9pm. It may be a coincidence, but the BBC went silent at 9 pm during WWII to allow radio listeners to hear the chiming of the bells of Big Ben in London. It was said that the BBC did this as a symbol to free men in the captive nations of the world.

Note: RSL Clubs (Returned & Services League of Australia) are social clubs for returned service personnel. People mistakenly refer to all Service Clubs and Memorial Clubs as RSL Clubs. Only those clubs associated with the RSL should be called RSL Clubs. – source

early_gradsMr R was in the SHS Class of 2000 and now teaches English here in The Gong. I passed my academic gown on to him yesterday. It’s almost 50 years old! Nice to know it will continue appreciated for some years to come, and may even appear in a speech night or two…

See, I really am an old reactionary after all!

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